Kentuckian Gregory Wilson, after 22 years on death row, is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection Sept. 16 at the Kentucky State Penitentiary at Eddyville.
The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Congregational Leadership issued the following letter to the editor’s of local media: (Click Read More)

The September 16 execution of Gregory Wilson gives the citizens in the Commonwealth of Kentucky yet another opportunity to reflect on the death penalty and struggle to find solutions that respect human dignity and hold all life as sacred.

The death of Deborah Pooley in 1987 in Kenton County by another individual is morally wrong and cannot be justified by any means. Her family continues to suffer from the trauma of this event in their personal lives through memories of their loved one, the lengthy judicial process that revives the memory, and media headlines. We hold them in our hearts and prayer.

The United States remains the only country in the Western industrialized world that still uses the death penalty. Yet, Christians are called by Jesus to follow his life and example. In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, he emphasizes mercy, reconciliation and redemption. At the same time, our society looks to the death penalty as a way to deal with the most serious of crimes. Holding this paradox and the following questions, citizens labor to find a compassionate solution>

  • How does this cycle of violence (i.e. killing one individual to show that killing other individuals is wrong) nurture the Commonwealth of Kentucky?
  • What prevents citizens of the Commonwealth from having compassion for the family of Deborah Pooley AND Greg Wilson?
  • How can we respect the life of victims AND the life of those who kill?

With a sense of compassion, we respectfully urge Governor Beshear to commute the execution of Gregory Wilson to life in prison without parole.

Additionally, we citizens of the Commonwealth are challenged to actively reflect upon and discuss these struggles so that all life can be respected and esteemed as sacred.

Mary Elizabeth Miller, SCN
Susan Gatz, SCN
Teresa Kotturan, SCN

Congregational Leadership of Sisters of Charity of Nazareth
Nazareth, KY 40048

Additional resources provided by famvin

United States Catholic Conference

A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death

“Ending the death penalty would be one important step away from a culture of death and toward building a culture of life.”
A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2005

Vatican Says Death Penalty Is “Affront to Human Dignity”

… In a position paper issued this month during the World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Paris, the Vatican said that the death penalty …

“The Culture of Life”

A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death stands as a call for the nation to abandon the use of the death penalty and move one step closer to building a culture of life.

People like Bud Welch whose daughter died in the Oklahoma City bombing and David Kaczynski, brother of the Unibomber, are some of the voices that have joined with the bishops in this campaign to end the use of death penalty.

The stories and narrative highlight the flaws in the death penalty and movingly advocate that Catholics oppose the death penalty in order to build a culture of life.

view 15 minute video
download study guide PDF from USCC site