Bishops attending a meeting were among the first to sign the National Catholic Pledge to End the Death Penalty at the US bishops’ headquarters building on 9th May.
Each person taking the pledge promises to educate, advocate and pray for an end to capital punishment.
“All Christians and people of goodwill are thus called today to fight not only for the abolition of the death penalty, whether legal or illegal, and in all its forms, but also in order to improve prison conditions, with respect for the human dignity of the people deprived of their freedom,” Pope Francis has said. This quotation kicks off the pledge.
The pledge drive is organised by the Catholic Mobilizing Network.
‘The death penalty represents a failure of our society to fulfill the demands of human dignity, as evidenced by the 159 people and counting who have been exonerated due to their innocence since 1973,’ the organisation says on the pledge sheet following space for someone’s signature.
Quoting from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the network added, ‘The death penalty is not needed to maintain public safety, punishment must ‘correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and (be) more in conformity to the dignity of the human person’.’
Picture: Bishops sign pledges to end the death penalty at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops building in Washington on 9th May. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn).