We have embarked on the season of Advent, waiting in eager anticipation for the birth of the Lord into our sinful world. With a heavy heart in a season of holy preparation, we are reminded of the U.S. government’s ongoing efforts to resume federal executions for the first time in 16 years. The first of these federal executions was scheduled for Dec. 9 but was placed on hold by a federal judge. The government is appealing the decision and intends to carry out the executions if it prevails.
As bishops of the Catholic Church, we have a moral obligation to teach the faith and uphold the dignity of human life. Through prayer, education and advocacy, we call on our government, as both Christians and as Americans, to turn back from the path of death and forgo all executions.