Loading
Denver bishops’ statement on the death penalty
By Archbishop Charles J. Chaput

July 9, 2002

 

Like all good citizens, Catholics want justice for both the innocent and the guilty. But we do not believe the death penalty accomplishes that for either.

 

The death penalty doesn’t work as a deterrent. It doesn’t give anyone “closure” because only forgiveness can do that. And finally it diminishes all of us - the executioners - by reducing us to the same violence as the murderer.

 

Catholics can respect proposals to make the death penalty contingent on a unanimous jury decision. This approach clearly does a better job of protecting the rights of the accused and the interests of society than our current system. But — more importantly — we need to root all of our thinking about the death penalty in the sanctity of the human person. All life is sacred. Every person, even the murderer, is a child of God with God-given dignity. As a result, except in the most extreme circumstances, capital punishment cannot be justified. In developed countries like our own, it should have no place in our public life.

 

We believe the time is right for Coloradans to put all executions on hold. We believe the time is right to think deeply and carefully about the kind of justice we want to witness to our young people. We don’t need to kill people to protect society. We don’t need to kill people to punish the guilty. And we should never be in a hurry to take anyone’s life.

 

As the assembly meets on this vital issue this week, the governor and legislators can do our state a great service. We encourage them to commit themselves to re-examining the death penalty - its justification and its application — in a serious way in next year’s regular session.

 

Colorado has nothing to lose and much to gain from the debate. The times call for it. So does common sense.

 

+ Charles J Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

Archbishop of Denver

 

+José H. Gomez, S.T.D.

Auxiliary Bishop of Denver

 

Printed with permission from the Archdiocese of Denver.

Ads by Google
(What's this?)

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
20

Liturgical Calendar

April 20, 2014

EASTER SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:13-35

Gospel
Date
04/20/14
04/19/14
04/18/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Second Reading:: Col 3:1-4
Gospel:: Jn 20:1-9

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:13-35

Homily
Date
04/20/14
04/19/14
04/18/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: