The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, March 22, 2005  

And Conservative Republicans

The New York Times reports (“Bishops Fight Death Penalty in New Drive,” by Neela Banerjee):

The country’s Roman Catholic bishops on Monday announced a more prominent effort to bar the death penalty, saying they hoped to build on a continuing shift in public opinion, and among Catholics in particular, against capital punishment.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops staked out a comprehensive position against the death penalty 25 years ago. But Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., said the conference was beginning a campaign for “greater urgency and unity, increased energy and advocacy.”

“We cannot teach killing is wrong by killing,” Cardinal McCarrick said at a news conference here. “We cannot defend life by taking life.”

Already, clergy members who were successful at mobilizing Catholics on other issues, like opposition to abortion, have sounded a call to fight the death penalty. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Colorado, for example, who told voters during the 2004 presidential campaign that abortion was a “foundational” issue, wrote in a recent article in a Catholic newsletter that “we need to end the death penalty now.”

And pro-life, yet pro-capital-punishment Republicans heave a collective sigh of, “What now?!”

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