ANNAPOLIS, Md. (CNS) -- While others debated the financial costs of maintaining the death penalty in Maryland, Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien highlighted moral concerns during an Aug. 19 appearance before the Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment in Annapolis.
Testifying in the state capital for the first time since his Oct. 1, 2007, installation as head of the Baltimore Archdiocese, Archbishop O'Brien said Catholic opposition to the death penalty is consistent with the church's respect for the sanctity of human life. He quoted from Pope John Paul II's 1995 encyclical, "The Gospel of Life," which calls for the defense of life from conception to natural death. "Woven into the fabric of the (pope's) exhortation was an appeal to end capital punishment -- to stand against the killing of even those who have committed murder and, in so doing, have affronted God's dominion and denied their own and their victims' God-given humanity," said Archbishop O'Brien, who was accompanied by Bishop Eugene Sutton of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland and Bishop John Schol of the United Methodist Church of Maryland.
Source: Catholic News Briefs