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'We must recommit ourselves to end' death penalty, USCCB chairmen say

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The Catholic faith tradition "offers a unique perspective on crime and punishment, one grounded in mercy and healing, not punishment for its own sake," two bishops said in a statement renewing the U.S. Catholic church's push to end the death penalty.

"No matter how heinous the crime, if society can protect itself without ending a human life, it should do so. Today, we have this capability," wrote Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston and Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami.

Europe must tackle structural causes of crisis, says bishops' commission

Europe must agree on shared financial and social policies to offset the risk of another crisis that almost saw Greece quit the eurozone, said a European bishops' commission.

A Thursday statement issued by German Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, president of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community, expressed relief that a bailout package had prevented the "Grexit" -- the prospect of Greece abandoning the euro currency and returning to using the drachma.

Lawmakers call for probes into Planned Parenthood video allegations

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Lawmakers are calling for investigations into a health care provider that has come under fire by anti-abortion activists for allegedly selling fetal organs for profit.

The anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress claims that the Planned Parenthood foundation violated the law by selling the fetal tissue to medical researchers.

Planned Parenthood spokesman Eric Ferrero vehemently denied the accusations, saying that the tissue in question was donated to medical research – not sold.

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