A Faith Perspective on the Death Penalty

What does the church teach about the death penalty?

What do you believe?

Following is the video of a presentation by Fr. Mark Miller, C.PP.S., on Oct. 10, 2023, which was World Day Against the Death Penalty. Fr. Mark used personal histories, scripture, the Catechism and social science to guide his audience through the church’s evolving understanding of the death penalty.

This evening of education was the culmination of a novena, nine-days of prayer, to end the death penalty. Pope Francis has asked us to pray every day from Oct. 1 to Oct. 9 to end the death penalty.

Those who registered for this event could also have registered to receive a daily email with prayers to end the death penalty.

Here is an article that appeared recently in the magazine U.S. Catholic that might interest you: What does the church teach about the death penalty? By Stephen Schneck.

Here is an outline of the presentation.

0:13 Opening prayer

2:24 Two questions to ponder.

5:12 Some statistics about the death penalty

10:17 Five myths about the death penalty

19:45 A sixth myth about the death penalty, the myth of closure.

21:50 What does Sacred Scripture tell us about the death penalty?

26:05 What does it mean to say that “executions are done in our name”?

32:00 What the Church teaches about the death penalty

40:42 Questions and discuss time

51:03 Restorative justice as an alternative

Resources to share

58:40 Conclusions

Here is a link to the prayers we used in the novena: #MobilizeMercy, Oct. 1-9: Novena to End the Death Penalty

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