The Texas Case

The church teaches that "every life has value and dignity. That is a given," said Andy Rivas, executive director of the Texas Catholic Conference during a Feb. 24 program at the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington. Rivas helped devise a program of events in Texas in November that sought to link the issues. The day started with a Mass at a chapel in Huntsville, Texas, celebrated by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, which attracted an overflow crowd. After Mass, most people walked about a mile to a Planned Parenthood clinic in the town; some who had trouble walking stayed behind for eucharistic adoration. After praying outside the Planned Parenthood clinic, the group prayed a "rosary for life" while walking another mile or so to the state prison in Huntsville, where all the states executions are carried out.   

But in trying to curb the use of the death penalty in the Lone Star State, Texas Catholics have had to "pick and choose" the individual cases they think would merit the attention of the governor. Cardinal DiNardo in such cases writes a letter of support for sparing the prisoner, as does the bishop of the diocese where the crime occurred. "Its always helpful to have an archbishop or a cardinal write," Rivas said.

But a recent state effort to expand the application of the death penalty, despite Texas Catholic Conference lobbying efforts against it, passed overwhelmingly. "There are 33 Catholics in the Legislature. We had only two vote our way," said Rivas.

Advertisement
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago speaks Nov. 13 during the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
Cardinal Bernardin’s consistent ethic of life could be helpful as the church grapples with issues like migration, health care and even taxes, some bishops say.
Michael J. O’LoughlinNovember 17, 2017
Giant machines dig for brown coal at the open-cast mining Garzweiler in front of a power plant near the city of Grevenbroich in western Germany in April 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
“What we need to do is just continue to live out the challenge of ‘Laudato Si’,’ which is to examine our relationship with the earth, with God and with each other to see how we can become better stewards of this gift of the earth.”
Kevin ClarkeNovember 17, 2017
Hipsters love the authentic, the craft and the obscure—which is exactly why Catholicism, in its practices and its aesthetic, is perfectly suited for them.
Zac DavisNovember 17, 2017
In response to a query from America, Steve Bannon said, “The daily examen has become a tool for me to lead a better, more fulfilled life.”
James T. KeaneNovember 17, 2017