By: Emma Tacke
With his historic revision to the Catechism, Pope Francis gave us a new platform from which to advocate for an end to the death penalty. Now the only question is question is: how do we use it?
There are so many ways for you to make a difference. Whether at the parish, diocesan, or national level, there are countless concrete actions you can take toward a more restorative criminal justice system.
IN YOUR PARISH: Respect Life Month
Beginning on Respect Life Sunday (the first Sunday in October), Catholics in the U.S. are called to renew their commitment to defending all human life. CMN offers a Respect Life Month Toolkit designed to help Catholic parishes and schools engage their communities in conversations about the death penalty and restorative justice, both critical pro-life issues.
In the toolkit you'll find:
Educational resources like workshops, book lists, small group modules, podcasts, and flyers
Advocacy resources like state-specific factsheets, sign-ups for CMN's Mercy in Action Project, National Catholic Pledge Cards, and sample social media posts
Prayer resources like sample prayers of the faithful and guided prayer services in English and Spanish
IN YOUR DIOCESE: Letters to the Editor
A letter to the editor (LTE) is an effective way to voice your support for the Church's revised stance on capital punishment. Write to your local paper or your local diocesan publication (complete list here).
IN YOUR NATION: Sign the Pledge
If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to add your name to the National Catholic Pledge to End the Death Penalty. Your signature makes a difference — it allows you to join fellow Catholics who also wish to see an end to state-sanctioned killing. Today, 53% of Catholics in the U.S. still support capital punishment. Signing the pledge is an important way to turn the tide.
Both as individuals and as a community, it is time for us all to amplify the Church's call to end the death penalty once and for all. Let us beckon our fellow Catholics — and all people of goodwill — to proclaim the value of human life, and the hope for redemption for us all.