National Catholic Reporter

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Thomas Wenski

Catholic support for prison sentencing reform bill

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Two prominent Catholics have endorsed an important new bipartisan criminal justice reform bill.

Sponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley and Dick Durbin, among others, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 would reduce sentences for some current federal prisoners while creating shorter sentences for future prisoners. It is principally concerned with long prison sentences given to low-level, non-violent drug offenders, but it would also limit solitary confinement for juvenile offenders. 

Diocesan social action directors take time to focus on ‘Laudato Si’’

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Believers cannot sit out the effort to restore creation after years of abuse, a speaker told diocesan social action directors during their annual Social Action Summer Institute.

"To be at odds with creation is to be at odds with God," Dominican Sr. Kathleen McManus, associate professor of systematic theology at the University of Portland, said in a presentation to the institute's 275 participants. "And it's to be at odds with our neighbor and with our deepest selves."

'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.

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April 22-May 5, 2016

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