Following passage of legislation to repeal the death penalty in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development issued the following statement:
“I welcome Virginia’s repeal of the death penalty as a bold step towards a culture of life. Virginia will become the twenty-third state to abolish the death penalty, and I urge all other states and the federal government to do the same.
“Congratulations are in order for the Virginia bishops, the Virginia Catholic Conference, the Catholic Mobilizing Network, and all other advocates who worked very hard to achieve this historic result.
“This Lent, we are called once again to repent and believe in the Gospel. We are reminded that God created and loves every person, and we can respond to this love with reverence for the dignity of every human life, no matter how broken, unformed, disabled, or desperate that life may seem. As we prepare for Easter, let us give thanks for God’s many gifts and continue to build a culture of life.”