With the Supreme Court currently discussing issues related to the death penalty, some may wonder what the Catholic Church officially says about this topic.
In 2005, the US bishops issued a statement called, A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death. The booklet clearly explains the principles supporting the protection of all life. The statement also calls on Catholics to work towards the end of the death penalty in the US.
Certainly it is obvious to almost everyone that the Catholic Church is pro-life. Usually, however, people assume this focuses on the unborn, on those with disabilities, and on the elderly. Yet, this actually extends to all life, including those facing the death penalty.
More recently, the US bishops have launched a campaign to end the death penalty. Supporting material and information is available at their website: www.usccb.org/sdwp/national/deathpenalty/index.shtml
It is easier to understand why the Church protects the life of unborn children who, when aborted, are always innocent victims. Yet, many find it harder to understand why the Church also protects the life of individuals who have chosen to commit horrible crimes against others. Catholic teaching values all life created by God.