Catholic Bishop Speaks Out Against the Federal Death Penalty for Terrorism

D.C. has abolished the death penalty. However, the church still speaks out against the federal death penalty. In 2004, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, who at the time was the Archbishop of Washington, came out with a strong statement against the expansion of the federal death penalty for terrorists. Here is a portion of his statement:

“The cowardly attacks of September 11 and their tragic human costs still haunt our nation. There can be no diminishing the horror of terrorism or the responsibility of those who employ wanton violence on the innocent. Based on our Catholic teaching, however, we oppose expanding the death penalty even for terrorists. As you know, the bishops of the United States oppose the use of the death penalty in any instance.  Catholic teaching on capital punishment is clear: If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority should limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person (Catechism of the Catholic Church).”

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