Catholic bishops again condemn death penalty

Executions "unfair, unnecessary and unhealthy for America’s soul."
The U.S. Roman Catholic bishops have renewed their call to end the death penalty, saying state-sponsored executions are unfair, unnecessary and unhealthy for America’s soul.

The nation’s Catholic bishops, in Washington for their annual mid-November meeting, affirmed church teaching that allows capital punishment in limited circumstances, but said life imprisonment is a better alternative. “We seek to build a culture of life in which our nation will no longer try to teach that killing is wrong by killing those who kill,” the bishops said in an 18-page statement. “This cycle of violence diminishes all of us.”

On the death penalty, the bishops are hoping to harness growing skepticism over capital punishment among both Catholics and the general public. A poll commissioned by the bishops in March found that support for the death penalty among Catholics has slipped to just 48 percent, down from 68 percent in 2001.


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