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"Because the State of New Jersey has other means to redress the injustice caused by crime and to effectively prevent crime by rendering the one who has committed the offense incapable of doing harm and because we recognize the dignity of all human life, we continue to consistently and vigorously oppose the use of capital punishment."


Statement of the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey on the Death Penalty
February 4, 2005


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THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE DEATH PENALTY

We cannot overcome crime by simply executing criminals, nor can we restore the lives of the innocent by ending the lives of those convicted of their murders. The death penalty offers the tragic illusion than we can defend life by taking life.”
-United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, A Good Friday Appeal to End the Death Penalty (Washington, DC: USCCB, 1999).
Where does the Catholic Church stand?

How do most Catholics feel about the death penalty?

“The new evangelization calls for followers of Christ who are unconditionally pro-life: who will proclaim, celebrate and serve the Gospel of life in every situation. A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away… I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary.”
-Pope John Paul II, St. Louis, MO, January 1999


1 Evangelium Vitae, encyclical letter, March 2005.
2 Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2267.
3 “What the Vatican Has Said” from Catholics Against Capital Punishment web site at www.cacp.org.
4 Statement of the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey on the death penalty, February 2005.
5 Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty brochure.
6 Statement by John Zogby at press conference launching the Catholic Campaign to End the Death Penalty, Holy Thursday 2005.
7 Zogby International Survey for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, December 2004.
8 Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty brochure, citing the Zogby survey.
9 April 2005 survey by the Bloustein Center for Survey Research at Rutgers University
10 Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty brochure, citing the Zogby survey.

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