For Immediate Release:
In the strongest possible terms, Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, called today upon President Bush and other government officials to intervene to stop the execution Timothy McVeigh, scheduled for May 16, and in fact to abandon the use of the death penalty altogether.
"Whoever can stop this, should intervene to stop it now," Fr. Pavone said. "The time has come for our nation, and for each of us individually, to realize that nothing is solved by putting criminals to death. The victims do not come back to life, the wounds we have are not healed, and we are all diminished in the process."
Fr. Pavone further explained, "To call for the cancellation of the execution of Mr. McVeigh is not to deny that what he has done deserves punishment, but rather to declare that death is not the appropriate form of punishment. It is not to deny that the state has the right to use capital punishment, but rather to declare that the time for its use is past. It is not to deny the pain and grief of the families and friends of the victims, but rather to declare that nobody mourning a killing will find peace as a result of more killing. Our problems are not solved by eliminating people at any stage or circumstance of life. We live in a culture of death. To change it, we are called to absorb violence, not inflict it. "
"We are proud to join our voices with those of the Holy Father and our bishops. Priests for Life also echoes the call of Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, OSB, Archbishop of Indianapolis, to observe May 15 as a special Day of Prayer for Peace and for an End to Violence.