The Evangelization Station

Best Catholic Links


Search this Site


Home


Contact


Feedback


Mailing List


Pray for Pope Francis


Scroll down for topics


100+ Important Documents in United States History


Anti-Catholicism


Apostolic Fathers of the Church


Articles Worth Your Time


 Biographies & Writings of Notable Catholics


Catholic Apologetics


Catholic Calendar


Catholic News Commentary by Michael Voris, S.T.B.


Catholic Perspectives


Catholic Social Teaching


Christology


Church Around the World


Small animated flag of The Holy See (State of the Vatican City) graphic for a white background

Church Contacts


  Church Documents


Church History


Church Law


Church Teaching


Demonology


Doctors of the Church


Ecumenism


Eschatology

(Death, Heaven, Purgatory, Hell)


Essays on Science


Evangelization


Fathers of the Church


Free Catholic Pamphlets


 Heresies and Falsehoods


How to Vote Catholic


Let There Be Light

Q & A on the Catholic Faith


Links to Churches and Religions


Links to Newspapers, Radio and Television


Links to Recommended Sites


Links to Specialized Agencies


Links to specialized Catholic News services


Liturgy

General Instruction of the Roman Missal


Mariology


Marriage & the Family


Modern Martyrs

Mexican Martyrdom


Moral Theology

****

Pope John Paul II's

Theology of the Body


Movie Reviews (USCCB)


New Age


Occult


Parish Bulletin Inserts


Political Issues


Prayer and Devotions


Pro-Life

****

Hope after Abortion

Project Rachel

****

Help & Information for Men

****


Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults


Sacraments


Scripture


Spirituality


The Golden Legend


Vatican


Vocation Links & Articles

 


What the Cardinals believe...


World Religions


Pope John Paul II

In Memoriam


John Paul II

Beatification


Pope Benedict XVI

In Celebration



Visits to this site

Iowa Catholic Bishops' Statement on Death Penalty

February 4, 1998

We speak in opposition to the death penalty and its possible reinstatement in Iowa. We challenge the people of Iowa, especially our own Catholic faithful, to examine the issue of capital punishment in the light of basic moral and religious values. After further review and in light of current discussions and initiatives, we speak more strongly than ever against the death penalty. We dare to take this position and we raise this challenge because of our commitment to a consistent ethic of life, by which we wish to give unambiguous witness to the sacredness of every human life from conception through natural death. We proclaim the good news that no person is beyond the redemptive mercy of God.

The recently updated and definitive edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, released September 9, 1997, includes stronger language against the death penalty to reflect the teachings of Pope John Paul II in his 1995 encyclical, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life). The new language in the Catechism states that recourse to the death penalty is not excluded "if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor." The Catechism then affirms strongly that "today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime ... the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically non-existent" (paragraph 2267).

The United States Catholic Conference, responding to the situation in our country, has for more than 30 years opposed the use of capital punishment. The Iowa Catholic Conference hereby reaffirms that position. We oppose the death penalty in any form, even a "limited" death penalty.

We oppose reinstatement of the death penalty to send a message that we can break the cycle of violence, that we need not take life for life.

We oppose the reinstatement of the death penalty to manifest our belief in the unique worth and dignity of each person, made in the image and likeness of God.

We oppose the reinstatement of the death penalty to give further testimony of our conviction that God is indeed the Lord of life.

We oppose the reinstatement of the death penalty to follow the example of Jesus, who both taught and practiced the forgiveness of injustice.

We find certain difficulties inherent in the use of capital punishment:

  • Use of the death penalty extinguishes possibilities for reform, rehabilitation, and compensation for evil done.

  • Use of capital punishment involves the possibility of innocent persons being executed.

  • The legal imposition of capital punishment in our society involves a long and costly process.

  • The criminal, his/her family and loved ones, and those who perform or witness the execution suffer great and unavoidable anguish.

  • Executions attract enormous publicity, much of it unhealthy, stir considerable acrimony in public discussion, and may even increase the level of violence in society.


We affirm that there is a special need to offer sympathy and support for the victims of violent crime and their families. Our society should not flinch from contemplating the suffering that violent crimes brings to so many when it destroys lives, shatters families and crushes the hope of the innocent.

Recognition of this suffering should not lead to demands for vengeance, but to a firm resolution that help be given to the victims of crime and that justice be done fairly and swiftly.

We urge our brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as all people of goodwill, to remember the teachings of Jesus, who called us to be reconciled with those who have injured us (Mt. 5:43-45) and to pray for forgiveness for our sins "as we forgive those who have sinned against us" (Mt. 6:12). We call on you to contemplate the crucified Christ who sent us the supreme example of forgiveness and of the triumph of compassionate love.

Most Rev. Jerome Hanus, OSB
Archbishop of Dubuque
Most Rev. William E. Franklin
Bishop of Davenport

Most Rev. Lawrence D. Soens
Bishop of Sioux City
Most Rev. Joseph L. Charron, C.PP.S
Bishop of Des Moines

Most Rev. Daniel N. DiNardo
Coadjutor Bishop of Sioux City
Most Rev. Daniel W. Kucera, OSB
Retired Archbishop of Dubuque

Most Rev. Gerald O'Keefe
Retired Bishop of Davenport

 

webmaster  www.evangelizationstation.com

Copyright 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved