Statement in Support of Pope Francis’ Revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
on the Death Penalty
As Sisters of Bon Secours who have long advocated for an end to the death penalty in the United States, we applaud Pope Francis’ recent pronouncement on August 2nd that “the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.”
Thirty years ago this month, the Sisters of Bon Secours USA first promulgated a corporate statement “strongly opposing the death penalty because of our moral and ethical beliefs” and we pledged to work toward its elimination in the United States. While the state of Maryland abolished the death penalty in 2013, at this time in our nation’s history there are over 2,800 people on death row in 31 states where the death penalty remains permissible with 18 executions scheduled in the remaining months of this year.
As Women of Healing, we grieve for and hold in our prayer both the victims of violent crimes as well as those on death row who committed them. We stand in solidarity with the United States Catholic Bishops, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Death Penalty and people of good will throughout our country who will be emboldened to advocate evermore ardently for restorative justice that recognizes the dignity of every human life and the elimination of the death penalty in every place on this planet God so loves.
The Sisters of Bon Secours is an international congregation of Women Religious who bring to the world “Good Help to Those in Need”. Founded in 1824 in Paris, France, Sisters now minister in the United States, Peru, France, Ireland and Great Britain bringing God’s healing, compassion and liberation to people in need.