Colorado Bishops applaud progress of death penalty repeal bill

Statement from the Colorado Catholic Conference on the Colorado Senate passing SB20-100.

January 31, 2020

The Catholic Bishops of Colorado commend the Colorado Senate for passing SB20-100 and taking an important step to repealing the death penalty in our state.

We wish to thank bill sponsors Sen. Julie Gonzales and Sen. Jack Tate, Senate President Leroy Garcia, and all the other senators who supported this important legislation.

The Colorado Bishops have been active in their support for this bill.

On Monday, Bishop Jorge Rodriguez testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee:

“The Catholic Church has long taught that every person, whether they are unborn, sick, or sinful, has a God-given dignity that cannot be erased or taken away. Yes, it can be marred, but it cannot be blotted out in the eyes of God.

If we as a society accept the idea that it’s possible for someone to lose their human dignity and be executed, then it is only a short step to say that certain classes or types of people belong to this less-than-human group. History has shown that this is not outside the realm of possibility.”

On Tuesday, Bishop Stephen Berg’s comments were featured in the Pueblo Chieftain:

“The death penalty, while it might offer a sense of short-term justice, only adds to the cycle of violence and takes away this opportunity for conversion.

Conversion and healing are also possible for the victims and their families. It is tempting to hold on to hatred for those who hurt you so deeply, but it consumes the lives of those who let it remain in their hearts. Instead, when the cycle of violence is interrupted by forgiveness and faith, the opportunity exists for healing and growth in charity for victims and their families. God is able to take a great evil and transform it into an even greater good.”

SB20-100 now moves to the Colorado House.

The Colorado Catholic Conference is the United Voice of the Catholic Bishops of Colorado.