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?)

Featured Videos

Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Sep
2

Liturgical Calendar

September 2, 2014

Tuesday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 4:31-37

Gospel
Date
09/02/14
09/01/14
08/31/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: 1 Cor 2:10B-16
Gospel:: Lk 4:31-37

Saint of the Day

Martyrs of September »

Saint
Date
08/31/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 4:31-37

Homily
Date
09/02/14
09/01/14
08/31/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: