National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

South Dakota's bishops call for end to death penalty

 |  NCR Today

South Dakota's two Catholic bishops have called for a stay of all executions in their state and for the repeal of the death penalty, saying it "undermines the moral authority of our government."

"We call for a system of justice and reconciliation that is worthy of the values of the people of South Dakota," write Rapid City Bishop Robert Gruss and Sioux Falls Bishop Paul Swain, who released their statement Oct. 9, the feast day of Saint Denis, a martyr of the early church who was executed by beheading.

The bishops' statement came days before South Dakota executed Eric Robert Oct. 15, the second person to be executed in the state since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty in 1976.

Addressing the situation in their state, where a criminal Donald Moeller is set to be executed Oct. 28, the bishops write that while "the state has an obligation to hold violent criminals accountable for their actions and to protect society from those who are a threat," "we as persons and as a state ought not to shrink to the level of the violent criminals by sanctioning state-inflicted violence."

"We are all gifted by God with life and reason and, therefore,are called to a higher standard," the bishops continue. "Violence in response to violence does not relieve personal anguish or result in societal protection."

email-graphic.jpgThe latest news... right to your inbox. Sign up for NCR email alerts.

The full text of the bishops' statement follows.

 

 

 

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature-flag_GSR2.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

April 11-24, 2014

04-11-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.