I want to share with you an official Statement from the Catholic Diocese of Evansville:
Statement on Pope Francis’ revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding the death penalty
Pope Francis’ revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church emphatically states that the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the dignity of the person. With this announcement, the Holy Father has confirmed Church teaching on the death penalty and on the dignity of every human life.
Church opposition to the death penalty is founded in what Pope Francis has described as an "understanding that the dignity of a person is not lost even after committing the most serious crimes." St. Pope John Paul II wrote many years ago, “Not even a murderer loses his personal dignity; and God himself pledges to guarantee this.” The need to respect the dignity of every human life, from conception to natural death, inevitably precludes the death penalty. At the same time, we recognize the need for civil authorities to protect their citizens from those who have committed violent crimes through the offenders’ incarceration.
We pray for the victims of violent acts in our communities and throughout the world, and for their families. As a Church, we seek to care for them and provide assistance as they heal and seek justice. We pray for the perpetrators, that they may turn to God, seeking his mercy and forgiveness, and accept their responsibility to provide restitution and accept just punishment for their crimes.
The Catechism states the Church will continue to work with determination for the abolition of the death penalty worldwide. The Diocese of Evansville will continue to work with the Indiana Catholic Conference toward ending the death penalty in our state, as it has for decades.
END OF STATEMENT - THE FOLLOWING IS A COMMENT FROM THE DIOCESAN COORDINATOR FOR FAMILY AND LIFE PROGRAMS OF CATHOLIC CHARITIES.
“Capital Punishment has long been an issue of life and yet it can often be met with raised brow...after all, we can all agree that fighting for the life/integrity of an innocent baby or elderly grandmother is different than fighting for the life/integrity of someone who is convicted of abusing or ending the life/integrity of someone's innocent father or daughter. If we are honest with ourselves, we will nod yes. And yet God in God's mystery sees the leper as clean, the lake as calm, Lazarus alive, the demoniac on the shores of Gerasene as pure and you and I worthy of His infinite mercy...in other words, reality as it should and can be, not as it is while marred by sin.”
Eric Girten LSW, MPS
Coordinator, Family/Life Programs
Diocese of Evansville