On January 1, 2002, the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary endorsed this statement opposing the death penalty:
“We, the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Aberdeen, SD, believe that the death penalty is immoral and should be abolished. As women committed to nonviolence, we seek a penal system that supports conversion and reconciliation, rather than one that perpetuates the cycle of violence and vengeance. We believe the death penalty flows from the assumption that problems in our society will be resolved through violent means.
We support a consistent ethic of life, believing that all life is sacred from the moment it begins until its natural death. The death penalty promotes the idea that the life of the condemned is no longer sacred in the eyes of God. We believe that all persons are loved by God and redeemable.”
Today we recommit ourselves to our statement opposing the death penalty. We are saddened to hear of the execution in South Dakota scheduled for this fall. We oppose this step and we stand against state approved execution. We join the Sioux Falls’ Catholic Diocese and other organizations who oppose the death penalty, working collaboratively for its end.
We are encouraged by Pope Francis’s recent revision to the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person” and “she (the Church) works with determination for its abolition worldwide.”
We pray for all persons who have been affected by violent acts. We strive to pray and work for peace and nonviolence of mind, heart and actions beginning with our own inner conversion and reconciliation in order to live nonviolently, respecting all life.