Bishops invited prayers during Aug. 14 execution

The Catholic faithful and all people of faith were invited to pause in their homes, schools and workplaces at 10 a.m. Aug. 14 to join Nebraska’s three Catholic bishops in prayer during the execution of convicted murderer Cary Dean Moore.

Having expressed their opposition to the death penalty, Archbishop George J. Lucas and bishops James D. Conley of Lincoln and Joseph G. Hanefeldt of Grand Island spent silent time in prayer for Moore’s victims, Moore himself and an end to capital punishment in Nebraska.

People across the state were invited to join them in prayer silently or by praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet, said Tom Venzor, executive director of the Nebraska Catholic Conference, which represents the bishops' public policy concerns.

Prayer intentions included: 

The repose of the souls of the victims of violent crime, including Moore’s victims in 1979, Reuel Van Ness and Maynard Helgeland. 

Consolation and healing for families affected by violent crime. 

The repose of Moore’s soul. 

An end to the death penalty in Nebraska and a restoration of justice.

The bishops have consistently spoken out against the death penalty and praised Pope Francis’ declaration Aug. 2 that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.”

Pope Francis has ordered a revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church asserting that principle and committed the church to working toward abolition of the death penalty worldwide.

“As the state carries out its first execution in 21 years, we are deeply saddened for all involved, and we look to Jesus Christ for consolation and peace,” Venzor said.

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