Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City has issued a call to prayer for the abolition of the death penalty and for the end to abortion in Oklahoma.
“We must pray for a renewed focus on the precious gift of life – all life from conception until natural death,” said Coakley in a statement published on the archdiocesan website Oct. 20. “We need urgent prayers for our leaders that they have wisdom and courage to create laws and policies that respect the dignity of human life.”
Oklahoma is scheduled to execute seven individuals between Oct. 28 and March 10. The state’s last execution was on Jan. 15, 2015.
“I ask that we offer special prayers now through the beginning of Advent for greater respect for life, and to pray on the day of the execution for victims of these horrendous crimes and their families, and for the souls of the condemned,” said Coakley. “As Saint John Paul II said in his encyclical, ‘The Gospel of Life,’ may God grant that all who believe in Jesus proclaim the Gospel of life with honesty and love to the people of our time.”