Faith News

EPF sends letter to Attorney General Eric Holder: The Episcopal Peace Fellowship, December 3, 2012

Excerpt:
In no way should it be construed that the EPF condones or supports the heinous acts that occurred in Boston on April 15, 2013. Yet vengeance, rather than atonement, will be the only outcome of another death resulting from the bombing. This is neither an acceptable rationale in this country nor in the Kingdom of God.

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‘Cities for Life’ say no to the death penalty: Vatican Radio, November 29, 2013 (contains interview audio)

Excerpt:
Over 1,600 cities are gearing up to say ‘Yes’ to life and ‘No’ to the death penalty, as part of an annual initiative organized by the Rome-based St Egidio community. Begun over a decade ago to raise awareness about the campaign to end capital punishment worldwide, the ‘Cities for Life’ event now includes marches, meetings and symbolic events in cities right across the globe.

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Sermon for Christ the King Sunday: Rev. Bill Exner, Episcopal Peace Fellowship, November 24, 2013

Excerpt:
Why the reading on the Crucified Lord today? In a very rare move, our Bishop Rob Hirschfeld has asked all clergy to speak about the evils of state sponsored execution, which The Episcopal Church has condemned officially and often for many many years, and there is no more fitting example of the horrors of state sponsored execution in all the world than the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

In fact this last Sunday of the Christian year is called Christ the King Day – as in the victory of light over darkness – the victory of God’s life and love over our propensities for retribution and death. That’s right, in the end we owe it to our kids to extend, and never presume to limit, the saving love of Christ. Pray that by our witness the crucifixions will cease and healing will come, even on the last day.

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For mother of prisoner, death penalty issue in ‘forefront of our lives’: Priya Narapareddy, National Catholic Reporter, November 22, 2013

Excerpt:
In New Hampshire, the Legislature is now considering a bill to repeal the death penalty, and it has the backing of Bishop Peter Libasci of Manchester.

Libasci said capital punishment does not send any message of deterrence. Instead, it “publicly validates the very act of taking a human life” and proclaims there is no “sacrilege” in taking a life, he said in an October statement.

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Stay of Execution: Catholic Conscience and the Death Penalty: These Stone Walls,                    November 20, 2013

Excerpt:
If, like a number of Catholics I know, you find yourself on the fence about Catholic opposition to the death penalty, then please read this to the end. The death penalty in American justice is one of those hot-button, polarizing issues I usually try to avoid onThese Stone Walls, but I just waded into its murky depths. So I ask you to step into that torrent with me for a few minutes to weigh another side of this story.

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NH clergy call for abolishing state’s death penalty: Union Leader, November 12, 2013

Excerpt:
New Hampshire church leaders have issued a call to abolish the death penalty and for clergy to discuss the issue with their congregations.

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New Hampshire bishop supports state bill to repeal death penalty: Catholic News Service, The Pilot, November 1, 2013

Excerpt:
“But the death penalty neither deters others, nor brings this perpetrator to understanding, but instead, in the worst of ironies, publicly validates the very act of taking a human life. The death penalty does not help the criminal to understand the magnitude of what he or she has done; it reinforces, instead, the terrifying notion that there is, ultimately, no sacrilege in the taking of human life.

Catholic teachings, Bishop Libasci said, “recognize that the imposition of the death penalty signals neither a firm commitment to the sacredness of human life itself nor the desire for the betterment of society, but signals a collapse into defeat by a society that tries to make itself believe falsely that we can defend life by taking life.”

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The death penalty in the news: Elizabeth Lefebvre, U.S. Catholic, October 25, 2013

A personal decision: going on the record against capital punishment: Ellen Kollob, Leaven for the Loaf, Monday, October 21, 2013

Excerpt:
This isn’t a road-to-Damascus moment. It’s taken me a long time to get here, just as it took time for me to reject the laws that let us treat our preborn children as property. Unlike abortion or euthanasia, capital punishment isn’t cut-and-dried. Even in the official teachings of my religious faith, there’s a teensy bit of wiggle room on the death penalty that is utterly absent in discussions of abortion and euthanasia. (“[C]ases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not nonexistent.”)

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First man exonerated from death row by DNA testing speaks at Portsmouth church: Jeff McMenemy, Seacoast Online, October 13, 2013

Excerpt:
A jury convicted Bloodsworth in 1985 of the brutal murder and rape of a 9-year-old girl in Baltimore, Md., and he spent almost nine years in state prison there — including two years on death row — before he was set free. Ultimately, he was cleared when his lawyer — on his third try — found the evidence from the case prosecutors used to convict him “in the judge’s closet in a paper bag.” Once the evidence was tested for his DNA, he was released and the DNA lead police to the real killer.

The 53-year-old said his faith helped him endure the years in state prison, and it also kept him fighting for his release. “If God wants me to die for someone else’s sins, then that’s the way it’s got to be,” Bloodsworth said. “But I didn’t think he wanted me to.”

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The Better Angels of our Nature: John Garvey, Death Penalty Information Center, Opinion, October 25, 2011

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