Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued the following statement in light of additional federal executions this week and new executions set in September:
“The Church’s opposition to the death penalty is clear, and we have made many requests that the federal government should not resume these executions. Yet, not only has the government done so, they have scheduled even more executions. After the first three in July, there are two this week, and two more at the end of September.
“We know from scripture that God created each of us in his image (Gen. 1:26-27). This gives each person an irrevocable dignity, despite their sinfulness. When the Pharisees wanted to put to death the adulterous woman, they put the question to Jesus in this way: ‘Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?’ (Jn. 8:5). We must not forget the Lord’s answer! Remembering the Lord’s call for mercy, we renew our plea: stop these executions!”