.- On Thursday, the bishops of California announced their support of a state ballot measure that would end the use of capital punishment in the state, replacing it with life in prison without possibility of parole.

“Our commitment to halt the practice of capital punishment is rooted both in the Catholic faith and our pastoral experience,” the bishops said in their July 14 statement in support of Proposition 62.

The message also states the bishops’ opposition to another ballot measure, Proposition 66, which is intended to expedite executions in California by limiting appeals.

“All life is sacred … just as Jesus Christ taught us and demonstrated repeatedly throughout His ministry. This focus on the preciousness of human life is fundamental to Christianity,” they wrote. “Jesus makes clear that to love God we must love our neighbor.”

Each person “holds an inherent worth derived from being created in God’s own image” and thus “each of us has a duty to love this divine image imprinted on every person,” the bishops recalled. CONTINUE READING