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Catholic Conference of KY Offers Support for Governor Patton

 Frankfort, KY (October 22, 2002) –Kentucky’s Roman Catholic bishops join in the call to Governor Patton to commute the death sentence of Kevin Stanford. According to Vincent E. Senior, CCK’s Executive Director, “Kentucky’s bishops are offering their support to Governor Patton if he elects to use his constitutional power to stop the execution of Kevin Stanford. Our Governor faces a gravely historic opportunity to prevent this execution of a juvenile offender and he has our support.” Kevin Stanford was 17 years old when he convicted of murdering Ms. Baerbel Poore in Jefferson County.

The bishops also call on Roman Catholics and all persons of goodwill to pray for Ms. Poore’s family, Governor Patton and Kevin Stanford. October is designated as Respect Life month in the Church and the bishops urge all Catholics to reflect on the violence of the death penalty. CCK has circulated information to all parishes in the state directing Catholics to contact Governor Patton in support of commuting Stanford’s death sentence.

“Sadly, just as Kevin Stanford chose on that January night in 1981, our Supreme Court is now choosing death over life and further advancing our nation’s “culture of death”. Governor Patton is the only one who now has the power to stop the cycle of killing, I pray he chooses wisely,” said Scott Wegenast, a CCK policy analyst.

Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly, O.P., stated, “The Church’s opposition to the death penalty does not arise from misplaced sympathy for convicted murderers. On the contrary, murder demonstrates a lack of respect for human life and I urge Governor Patton to be courageous in his decision.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church was revised in 1997 to reflect more clearly a consistent ethic of respect for human life and current Papal teaching (cf., Catechism of the Catholic Church nn. 2266-2268, John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, n. 56). 

The Court’s rejection of Kevin Stanford’s appeal is contrary to the Church’s teaching that all human life, in all its conditions, must be respected. According to Fr. Pat Delahanty, a policy analyst for CCK, “Executing children, even those who have committed horrible crimes, demonstrates the failure of our government to recognize the most basic human right, the right to life. Governor Patton has the opportunity to reaffirm what is best in our humanity in the face of inhumane behavior. I urge him to commute Kevin Stanford’s death sentence.”  

The Catholic Conference of Kentucky is the public policy arm of the state’s four Roman Catholic Bishops.

  

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Catholic Conference of Kentucky

1042 Burlington Lane

Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

502-875-4345 502-875-2841 Fax cckstaffATccky.org

Last modified: October, 2010