18 Jan 2016 News Vatican No comments

Pope Francis to migrants : "Each of you carries a story, a culture and precious values

Yesterday, Pope Francis welcomed several thousands of migrant worshipers at St Peter’s square to commemorate the world day of Migrants and Refugees. At least…

Read more

11 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (1)

Do those who die in mortal sin get a second chance to repent?

Full Question Does the Catholic church teach that someone dying with mortal sin always goes to hell? With so many unexpected deaths, accidents, there must …

Read more

12 Jul 2016 Articles Comments (1)

Give God control: 20 verses to help during anxiety and fear

Terrorism, disease, natural disasters, war, violence and crime; we live in a world where we see and hear about horrors every day. People are dying every day, in…

Read more

10 Oct 2015 News Vatican No comments

Pope Francis leads synod in praying for peace in the Middle East

This morning, Pope Francis offered one of the synod’s daily moments of prayer for peace in the Middle East, and appealed the international community to put imme…

Read more

07 Sep 2016 Europe Middle East News USA Vatican Comments (2)

Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti wants churches destroyed – it’s time for the West to rethink relations

Unless Western powers show they care about human rights they will be exposed as hypocrites This story, reported by an Israeli source, about the Grand Mufti of …

Read more

27 Jun 2016 Americas Asia-Pacific Europe News USA Vatican Comments (1)

‘Christians must ask God’s forgiveness for treatment of gay people,’ says Pope Francis

Catholics and other Christians not only must apologise to the gay community, they must ask forgiveness of God for ways they have discriminated against gay peopl…

Read more

09 Jul 2016 News USA Vatican No comments

Stop aid to Pakistani government unless it defends Christians, says Peter Tatchell

The human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has spoken out after the Pakistan government announced further restrictions on Christians’ civil liberties. Pakist…

Read more

10 Sep 2015 Articles Comments (4)

Why do we call Mary “Mother of God"?

To understand the title, “Mother of God," we must first clearly understand Mary’s role as mother of our Savior, Jesus Christ. As Catholics, we firmly believe i…

Read more

24 Jul 2015 Articles Q&A Comments (10)

How can I overcome sin in my Christian life?

Answer: The Bible presents several different resources to aid us in our effort to overcome sin. In this lifetime, we will never be perfectly victorious over si…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

California bishops back initiative to abolish death penalty

The bishops released a statement to coincide with the launch of the Yes on 62 campaign

The California Catholic bishops announced their support last week for Proposition 62, a voter initiative on the November ballot that would repeal the death penalty.

The bishops timed their statement to coincide with the launch of the Yes on 62 campaign that took place at a Los Angeles news conference. Speakers there included former death penalty advocates, victims’ families, law enforcement officials, faith leaders and wrongfully convicted former death-row prisoners.

“During this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we, the Catholic bishops of California, support Proposition 62 which would end the use of the death penalty in California," the bishops said in their statement.

Proposition 62 — called, The Justice That Works Initiative, by its authors — would replace the death penalty with a sentence of life without the possibility of parole and would require convicted murderers to work and pay restitution to their victims’ families. The bishops also announced their opposition to Proposition 66, also on the November ballot, which would expedite executions in California.

“All life is sacred — innocent or flawed — just as Jesus Christ taught us and demonstrated repeatedly throughout his ministry. … Each of us holds an inherent worth derived from being created in God’s own image. Each of us has a duty to love this divine image imprinted on every person," the statement said.
If approved by voters, California would become the 20th state to ban the death penalty. The initiative faces a divided electorate. In 2012, California voters defeated Proposition 34, a ballot measure to repeal the death penalty, 52-48 percent.

With 747 people on death row, California has the largest population of death-row inmates in the nation. It would save $150 million a year by halting the practice, according to the Yes on 62 website. However, no one has been executed in California since 2006 because of court battles over the use of lethal injection and the decades-long wait from sentencing to execution. The existing law was approved by voters in 1978.

The bishops said their opposition to the death penalty also is rooted in “our unshakeable resolve to accompany and support all victims of crime" for whom the suffering over the loss of a loved one by a criminal act rarely ends with the execution of the convicted.

“Their enduring anguish is not addressed by the state-sanctioned perpetuation of the culture of death," they said. “As we pray with them and mourn with them, we must also stress that the current use of the death penalty does not promote healing. It only brings more violence to a world that has too much violence already."

Beth Webb, the sister of a woman gunned down by her ex-husband in a Seal Beach hair salon with eight others in 2011, said as much. She was one of nine speakers at the news conference.

“I’m here to say that neither me nor my mom will find closure in the death of another human being," she said. “That makes us like him. For us to want his blood, to say that we will only be satisfied by his death brings us to his level."

Speakers at the Yes on 62 campaign launch included former death penalty proponents Ron Briggs, who led the campaign to bring the death penalty to California in 1978, former California Attorney General John Van de Kamp, and former Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti.

Rabbi Jonathon Klein, executive director of CLUE, a Los Angeles non-profit organisation that organises the faith community around issues of economic justice, spoke about the death penalty and all religious traditions.

“This is a compassion-driven measure that also makes sure that justice is served," he said. “We know that all of our religious traditions are pointed in the same direction. And that is to move away from the death penalty, to move away from a justice system that has killing and violence at its core."

The California bishops quoted Pope Francis who said during his Angelus address on February 21 in Rome: “In fact, modern societies have the ability to effectively control crime without definitively taking away a criminal’s chance to redeem himself … The commandment ‘thou shall not kill’ has absolute value and pertains to the innocent as well as the guilty."


Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories