Cardinal urges reflection on ‘weighty moral question’ of capital punishment

By Catholic News Service
Thursday, April 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — Marking Good Friday, the most solemn day in the church calendar, Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory of Washington venerated the cross of Jesus and urged the faithful to “consider carefully the impact that capital punishment has on us as a society. On this day, when we must all acknowledge that we have all been set free through the death of one who was truly and perfectly innocent, should we not consider working for a society made more humane by disallowing yet one more act of violence?” he asked.

Cardinal Gregory was the principal celebrant and homilist of the April 15 liturgy at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington. He urged the faithful “to reflect in prayer on this weighty moral question” of capital punishment.

“Taking the life of one who has taken another’s life is most assuredly just another link in the horror of violence of which there is far too much in our world,” the cardinal said. “The pastors of the church are challenging us all to consider other means to protect society that do not include the destruction of another life.

“We are not seeking the wholesale release of murderers and dangerous criminals back into society,” he continued. “We are not urging our nation to neglect its obligation to protect its citizens. We are not suggesting that dangerous people are not dangerous people. We are, however, beseeching Catholics everywhere to consider carefully the impact that capital punishment has on us as a society.”


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