BY ISN STAFF | September 18, 2020

Catholic bishops, men and women religious, and laypeople will come together next week for two Virtual Prayer Vigils hosted by Catholic Mobilizing Network surrounding the federal government’s planned executions of William LeCroy on September 22 and Christopher Vialva on September 24. If carried forward, the lethal injections will be the sixth and seventh conducted by the federal government since it restarted the practice of executions following a 17-year hiatus in July 2020. The unrelated crimes occurred, respectively, in the states of Georgia and Texas.

virtual vigils against federal executions

“The federal government has executed more people in 2020 than at any other comparable time in the past 70 years,” said Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, executive director of CMN. “These executions are tragic and unnecessary. We will come together as Catholics and people of goodwill from across the country to lament and proclaim the Church’s teaching on the unconditional sanctity of human life.”

The vigils for Mr. LeCroy and Mr. Vialva are expected to draw the participation of hundreds of Catholics nationwide, and will be led in collaboration with the following Church leaders:

  • Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

  • Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, former president, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

  • Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Washington, former president, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

  • Archbishop Gregory J. Hartmayer, O.F.M., Conv. of Atlanta

  • Sister Carol Zinn, S.S.J., Executive Director, Leadership Conference of Women Religious

  • Sister Addie L. Walker, S.S.N.D., Ph.D., Director, Sankofa Institute for African American Pastoral Leadership at Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas

  • Deacon Al Turner, permanent deacon, Archdiocese of Atlanta

  • Jennifer Carr Allmon, Executive Director, Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops

Previous vigils for federal executions, gathering hundreds virtually, featured Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, who is also the son of a murder victim.

Registration is open to attend CMN’s Virtual Prayer Vigils here. Vigil recordings will be made available to those who register as well as streamed live from CMN’s Facebook page.

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