Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic World News

Texas bishops: death penalty does ‘great harm’ to the common good

October 12, 2016

In a Respect Life Month statement, the bishops of Texas renewed their call for the abolition of capital punishment.

The bishops stated:

Catholic teaching unequivocally states that “if non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means ...” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2267). This simply means if alternatives to the death penalty exist that serve to protect society from violent criminals, society “must limit itself” to these other means. There can be no doubt such means exist today in the United States, including in the State of Texas.

The bishops also argued that the death penalty “does great harm” to the common good for several reasons:

  • “the death penalty is disproportionately used on the poor, racial minorities and the vulnerable”
  • “the death penalty in and of itself perpetuates the notion that life is in some instances disposable, or can be judged of no worth”
  • “the death penalty negatively influences our children’s moral formation and our culture as it fails to allow for mercy and redemption”
  • “scarce public resources are devoted to the death penalty”
  • “innocent people are killed by the government on our behalf”


For all current news, visit our News home page.

Further information:
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: loumiamo - Oct. 12, 2016 3:37 PM ET USA

    What of justice? Justice requires a murderer to forfeit his life. Some killings do not require forfeiture of life to restore justice: manslaughter in its various degrees, justifiable homicide in its various degrees. But when murder becomes a crime where justice isnt exacted, the murdered person is judged to be unworthy of justice. The sanctity of ALL life is lost; otherwise the murdered person would get justice. Societal protection trumping justice protects no one, & proof of that is seen daily.