CalChurch in action – for politically correct causes

[CalChurch in action – for politically correct causes]

1. California bishops endorse initiative to end death penalty

They state that the practice is no longer morally justifiable

California bishops (and others) in San Quentin Prison

JULY 19, 2016

The following comes from a July 14 CA Catholic news release:

SACRAMENTO, CA – During this Jubilee Year of Mercy, we, the Catholic Bishops of California support Proposition 62 which would end the use of the death penalty in California. Our commitment to halt the practice of capital punishment is rooted both in the Catholic faith and our pastoral experience.

The Bishops of the United States have long opposed the use of capital punishment. In the past, it was sometimes morally justified in order to protect society, but those times have passed. Proposition 62 provides voters with the opportunity to end this practice in California, just as 19 other states have already done.

Capital punishment has repeatedly been shown to be severely and irrevocably flawed in its application. In the long – but absolutely necessary – process of ensuring an innocent person is not put to death, we have seen many accused persons being exonerated as new forms of forensic investigation have enabled us to better scrutinize evidence. The high cost of implementing the death penalty has diverted resources from more constructive and beneficial programs both for rehabilitation and restoration of victims and offenders. Finally, repeated research has demonstrated that the death penalty is applied inconsistently along racial, economic and geographical lines.

For all of these reasons, we must also oppose Proposition 66 which will expedite executions in California. The search for a fair and humane execution process and protocol has failed for decades. Any rush to streamline that process will inevitably result in the execution of more innocent people. Neither the proponents nor the opponents of the death penalty wish this result.

As Catholic Bishops we are heartened by the growth of Catholic lay movements aimed at ending the use of the death penalty. The faithful have heard the words of St. Pope John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis to stop this practice around the world. As Pope Francis has stated:

A spreading opposition to the death penalty, even as an instrument of legitimate social defense, has developed in public opinion, and this is a sign of hope. In fact, modern societies have the ability to effectively control crime without definitively taking away a criminal’s chance to redeem himself. The issue lies in the context of a perspective on a criminal justice system that is ever more conformed to the dignity of man and God’s design for man and for society. And also a criminal justice system open to the hope of reintegration in society. The commandment “thou shall not kill” has absolute value and pertains to the innocent as well as the guilty. (2/21/16 – Angelus)

2. Pro-immigrant mass draws thousands

In his homily, Archbishop Gomez calls for immigration reform

Faithful process through demonstrate in front of Year of Mercy doors before Mass in Recognition of All Immigrants at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

JULY 18, 2016

The following comes from a July 18 Angelus article:

Two groups of pilgrims set out on long journeys on foot in the early morning hours on Sunday.

Their destination was the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles to join in a special Mass in Recognition of All Immigrants. The pilgrims, from different nationalities and backgrounds, challenged themselves to walk these long distances to raise awareness of the dire need of comprehensive immigration reform. They were attending the call to be merciful and compassionate in this Year of Mercy.

The pilgrims joined thousands of faithful at the cathedral, including those from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Dioceses of San Bernardino and Orange who gathered for the special Mass presided by Archbishop José H. Gomez at the cathedral.

“We gather to pray for all of the immigrants and their families- past, present and future. We pray for immigration reform in our country, for our elected officials and for people all over the world that they open their hearts to the immigrants who come to their countries,” Archbishop Gomez said.

On Friday, July 15, a group from Lake Forest began a three-day, 50-mile walking pilgrimage to the Mass to unite the faithful in prayer and reflection for all those impacted by what they experience as a broken immigration system.

The pilgrimage, called “Siempre Adelante” (Always Forward), was dedicated to St. Junípero Serra –whose first feast day was July 1– as it follows part of the same route he traveled with fellow missionaries to found the first nine missions in California.

Before Mass, immigrants of diverse backgrounds shared testimonies including Emiliano Leonides, one of the leaders of the “Siempre Adelante” pilgrimage for a second consecutive year and catechist at Santiago de Compostela Church in Lake Forest.

“I’m here to ask God and all the people attending the Mass in Recognition of All Immigrants to not forget how much we suffer when pursuing our dreams and crossing the border,” said Leonides. “We are sending the message to those in power that there’s a need to change the laws for a comprehensive immigration reform and stop the separation of families,” he added.

“I am walking with them to raise awareness about the need for comprehensive immigration reform and to let people know what the Constitution states: that we are one under God. God loves all his children,” said Lily Nguyen-Ellis, also a parishioner of Santiago de Compostela Church, who joined the pilgrimage for the first time this year.

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