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Catholic bishops of Ohio urge action to end death penalty

News of the Diocese

October 11, 2023

As the 135th Ohio General Assembly considers abolishing the death penalty, the Catholic bishops of Ohio sent a letter to all Ohio senators and representatives asking them to support legislation to end Ohio’s death penalty. The Catholic Church worldwide continuously seeks the full protection of the law for human life from conception to natural death.

“The Catholic bishops of Ohio make clear through this letter that the death penalty perpetuates violence and vengeance. The culture of death found in laws and public policies that threaten violence to groups of people, like Issue 1 in November or the death penalty for already incarcerated individuals, deserve no place in a just society. The Catholic Conference of Ohio will continue to encourage all Catholics statewide to vote for and ask their elected officials to respect life in all circumstances and stages of development, including supporting legislation that ends Ohio’s death penalty,” said Brian Hickey, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Ohio.

In the letter, the bishops of Ohio wrote, “Our desire to help foster a culture of life throughout Ohio requires a commitment to recognizing the sanctity of human life in all stages and circumstances, including the child in the womb, the infirm, those suffering from addiction and those with whom we have the fiercest disagreements. It must also include those who, at one time, blatantly disregarded the humanity of others and need to face justice. As witnesses to the power of God’s redeeming love to convert hearts and transform lives, we grieve that the state of Ohio can still decide to definitively cut off that opportunity by taking the life of someone already incarcerated. Such action further erodes respect for human life and will not help stem the devastating violence all too common in Ohio and throughout our country.”

Read the entire letter here.

Established in 1945, the Catholic Conference of Ohio is the official representative of the Catholic Church in matters of public policy affecting the Church and the general welfare of the citizens of Ohio. Click here to learn more about the Catholic Conference of Ohio and for links to action alerts regarding the proposed death penalty legislation.

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