Respecting human life
The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council is opposed to the use of the death penalty anywhere in the world and invites you to join it in taking action to end the death penalty.
ACSJC Position Papers
The ACSJC Position Paper on Why the ACSJC Opposes the Death Penalty sets out simply and clearly the reasons why the ACSJC is opposed to the death penalty, provides quotes from Church teachings on the issue, a list of resources, and suggestions of actions. It can be downloaded from the Position Papers page of this website.
ACSJC Position Paper on Blasphemy & the Death Penalty in Pakistan takes up the cases of two men, one a Christian and the other a Muslim, sentenced to death under Pakistanís blasphemy laws. This paper can be downloaded from the Position Papers page of this website.
Catholic Social Justice Series
Catholic Social Justice Series Paper No 40, The Death Penalty: Why Catholics Should Oppose it , by Dr Michael Costigan, sets out clearly the current position of the Catholic Church on capital punishment. It can be ordered from the ACSJC Secretariat for $5.50 plus postage.
For a good summary of the history of the development of the Catholic Churchís thinking on the death penalty, see Catholic Social Justice Series paper No 40 , which can be ordered from the ACSJC Secretariat for $5.50 plus postage.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church covers this issue at paragraphs 2263-2267. Make sure you refer to the second edition of the Catechism, as this is one of the sections that was changed slightly from the first edition. You can access the Catechism from the Vatican website at www.vatican.va
A number of national and regional Bishops Conferences have spoken strongly against the death penalty. Some of them are quoted in the ACSJC Position Paper on Why the ACSJC is Opposed to the Death Penalty. A good website collecting a number of the United States Bishops statements is www.nccbuscc.org/sdwp/national/criminal/cappunishment.htm To find statements by other Bishops Conferences, use a good search engine but be prepared to wade through dozens of references to US statements.
http://www.politicalresources.net/c-death.htm provides an excellent range of links
http://www.web.amnesty.org/rmp/dplibrary.nsf/index?openview is the main page for Amnesty Internationalís campaign against the death penalty.
http://www.santegidio.org/en/pdm/index.htm will take you to the English language death penalty page of the Community di Sant Egidioís website for information on an international Catholic campaign against the death penalty.