Catholic Mobilizing Network and Restorative Justice

Restorative justice has been at the heart of CMN’s mission since the organization’s inception because of its relationship with families who are directly affected by the death penalty. Their stories give profound testament to the transformative power of restorative practices as a path to forgiveness and reconciliation. Furthermore, CMN believes strongly that when speaking out against crime and capital punishment, we must be sensitive to the needs of all those impacted. CMN seeks to advance the Church’s prophetic message of responsibility, rehabilitation, and restoration in the area of criminal justice and other incidents of harm.

Restorative Justice and the Death Penalty

The death penalty is the most extreme example of retribution in the US criminal justice system. Yet, it is only the tip of the iceberg in responses to crime that violate the Church’s pro-life teaching on the inherent dignity of the human person. Our Catholic faith believes that each person is created in the image and likeness of God and therefore calls us to continually seek reconciliation and forgiveness. The Church teaches that in responding to crime, we must take a restorative approach that honors the human dignity of the victim, offender, and community impacted.

How CMN Promotes Restorative Justice

CMN seeks to elevate restorative justice in the national consciousness of the Catholic Church. Through dynamic resources and spiritual formation, Catholics will be equipped to educate, advocate, and pray for restorative change.

For CMN, one of the core components of this work is an educational program called Restorative Justice, Restorative Living: A Lens for Learning and Action. This program is a formational opportunity for small groups to learn about restorative justice as it relates to Catholic teaching and to discern the call to restorative action in personal life, parish community, and the criminal justice system. Currently in a pilot phase, the program will be available nationally beginning in the fall of 2018. To receive more information about this program email us at info@catholicsmobilizing.org.  

Because of CMN’s current involvement in the criminal justice system and call to restorative justice, we support faith-filled engagement that attends to the needs of victims of crime, reduces rates of incarceration, creates humane and rehabilitative environments for those who are in prison, and empowers communities in preventing and responding to crime. Such engagement may take the form of prayer, prison and social ministry, education, advocacy for criminal justice reform and individual accompaniment.