THE MOST BASIC HUMAN RIGHT IS THE RIGHT TO LIVE!
December 10 marks Human Rights Day, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For seven decades, the Declaration has aimed to foster equality, fundamental freedoms, and justice globally. It serves as a guiding framework for laws and policies at international, national, and local levels.
Within the broad scope of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we specifically highlight these key articles due to our opposition to the death penalty:
Article 3 asserts the right to life, liberty, and personal security.
Article 5 prohibits torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
Article 11 emphasizes the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial.
You can read the entire Declaration here: Universal Declaration of Human Rights | OHCHR
WE OPPOSE THE DEATH PENALTY
C.PP.S. corporate stand calling for the abolition of the death penalty – Sisters of the Precious Blood
In 2002, the Congregation of the Sisters of the Precious Blood published their corporate stand calling for the abolition of the death penalty. They have been actively engaged in this justice work for more than 20 years! As there are bills in committee in both the Ohio statehouse and the senate, the Sisters continue to show up to advocate for repealing this practice in the State of Ohio. It seems that it might happen this political cycle.
This time also calls on the power of intentional prayer. So, the Sisters’ Justice Committee invited Sisters to reflect on various aspects of the suffering and injustice inflicted by capital punishment and to craft prayers through those various lenses.
These prayers were crafted to be prayed communally as a 1 hour vigil alternating between praying the prayer followed by silent reflection. Prior to each prayer, a candle could be lit to symbolize that aspect of reflection.
There are videos of each of the prayers as well as PDFs that could be printed and shared.
Please pray these prayers in any format that works for you.
02 – For the Victims and Their Families – by Sister Terry Maher, CPPS
We oppose the death penalty because we believe that tedious judicial system calls on families to relive and be retraumatized for years. We recognize that grief and healing takes time and that taking the perpetrator’s life is not a solution. video PDF
04 – For Lamenting Racism and Systems of Oppression – by Sister Mary Wendeln, CPPS
We oppose the death penalty because we believe that systems of oppression, especially racism and classism, contribute disproportionately to People of Color being on in the prison system and on death row. video PDF
05 – For Forgiveness and Reconciliation – by Sister Marita Buemer, CPPS
We oppose the death penalty because we believe in being a life affirming, reconciling presence in our shattered world. video PDF
06 – Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation – by Sister Donna Liette, CPPS
Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation is a ministry in Chicago addressing the pain and reconciliation of victims, families and perpetrators of violence. One of the Sisters, Sister Donna Liette, who has been actively involved in this ministry, shares a little about the value of circles of reconciliation in this video. video