An Unfortunate Judicial Connection: Abortion Rights and the Modern U.S. Death Penalty are Irish Twins--Both Birthed from the Same Supreme Court Less Than a Year Apart
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I Was In Prison
Online Prison Ministry Newsletter
January 1, 2011
Dale S. Recinella, Catholic Lay Chaplain, Florida Death Row and Solitary Confinement
Susan M. Recinella, Clinical Psychologist for mentally ill adults, and Catholic Lay Minister to Families of the Executed
Upcoming Events:

There is Nothing Simple about Trying to Live Simply

By: DALE S. RECINELLA, Catholic Lay Chaplain for Florida Death Row

10:00 am Saturday January 8, 2011

Just Faith Program – Brevard Room above Parish Hall
Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church

624 Miccosukee Road
Tallahassee, FL 32308-4965
Phone: (850) 222-1321
For information contact: Pat Dallet or Claude Kenneson

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Death Row Ministry as Volunteers and as a Family

By: DALE RECINELLA, Catholic Lay Chaplain for Florida Death Row

SUSAN RECINELLA, Volunteer Ministry to Families of the Executed

6:30 pm Thursday January 20, 2011

Catholic Volunteers of Florida – Annual Retreat

839 Lake Asbury Drive
Green Cove Springs, FL 32043-9553
For information contact: Sr. Florence or call (407) 382-7071

What has been spoken in secret must be shouted from the rooftops
By: Dale S. Recinella

As my wife Susan and I travel the state and the country speaking on the death penalty to faith groups of all stripes, the most consistent reaction we experience from Catholics is: I did not know the Catholic Church had a teaching on the death penalty.

That teaching, most simply put, is that while the Church continues to recognize that the state has the right and the authority to impose the death penalty, the state is constrained by the fact that moral exercise of this right only obtains when nonlethal means are insufficient to protect innocent life in society.

Prior to a series of talks in Catholic venues in Texas, I gave a radio interview to one of the local Catholic stations. Off-air at the end of the interview, the radio personality asked me to stay on the phone. “You totally caught me by surprise,” he said, referring to my strong pro-life stance on abortion for more than 40 years. “I assumed you were a flaming liberal.”

“Why would you assume that?”

“Because you are against the use of the death penalty.”

“Our Catholic Church stands against the use of the death penalty.”

“I’m sorry.” His dismay was so strong that even a thousand miles of phone line could not filter it out. “I have never heard that before.”

To his credit, he attended my talks on Catholic teaching and the death penalty in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Lack of awareness of this teaching by faithful American Catholics is not limited to laypeople. Susan and I once addressed a gathering of more than 40 Roman Catholic deacons who had never heard the Catholic teaching on the death penalty. They were literally stunned by the clear and unambiguous statements on the death penalty in the Catholic Catechism and the Gospel of Life.

At the coffee break in our morning presentation, an elderly fellow who seemed to function as the informal group leader approached me quietly. “If we say this teaching from the pulpit in our parishes, we will get clobbered. Can you come and speak to our parishes?”

Side by side with this unofficial silence from American pulpits on the Catholic teaching on the death penalty stands an unofficial silence in the secular media on the horror of legalized abortion. The world news barely shrugged last November as China’s family planning officials seized Xiao Aiying in her home and injected her with a drug to kill her unborn baby at eight month’s gestation. This married woman with a 9-year-old daughter was in danger of violating China’s one-child policy.

Officially, the Chinese government claims that forced abortions do not happen. Officially, the state of Texas claims that no one who is innocent has ever been executed. And officially, pro-assisted suicide nations in Europe claim that no one has ever been mercy-killed against their will. Not even an elderly nun with terminal illness who would not have consented to such an act in a million years. But the doctors claimed to know that she would have wanted assisted suicide if she had not been brainwashed as a Catholic.

Our faith teaches that God is the author of human life. Our common human history teaches that man should not be trusted with the power to terminate human life. State bureaucrats with the power to decide who lives and who dies are a terrifying sight to thinking people. It does not matter whether they wear a uniform or a stethoscope and white coat. Or which language the legal killers speak. Or which continent they call home. Or even what human justification they use to decide which human beings are not worth keeping alive.

Beware of keeping silence while state bureaucrats carry out the legal killings of others. It is only a matter of time before they come for us.

First published: The Florida Catholic OnLine, November 8, 2010
© 2010 Dale S. Recinella & The Florida Catholic.
Used with permission. All rights reserved. No further reproduction or republication without prior written permission.

I Was In Prison
News & Updates
This ezine is targeted for people involved in prison ministry or in stopping the death penalty, we think you will find helpful information for people who are undecided about capital punishment, for those who have never experienced the inside of a jail or prison, and for those who feel called to participate through prayer and adoration.

Your name and information will never be used or shared with anyone. We promise!

Dale S. Recinella, Catholic Lay Chaplain, Florida Death Row and Solitary Confinement
Susan M. Recinella, Clinical Psychologist for mentally ill adults, and Catholic Lay Minister to Families of the Executed

If you Like this Monthly Ezine - You will love Dale's Book!
The Poor Clare Sisters
Paperback: 433 pages

Excellent book on the topic!,
June 13, 2005 Nathan Eanes
(Review from

The Biblical Truth about America's Death Penalty is a must-read. It deals with Biblical standards of Capital Punishment and then compares them to the system used in America today. It is the best-researched, most faithful to scripture, and most evenhanded analysis I have ever read concerning the Death Penalty. Whatever your persuasion on the issue, this book will teach you a great deal. Recinella is a trained lawyer and committed Christian who now volunteers part-time on Florida's death row. He thus understands law, the Bible, and the system of execution in America. I challenge anyone who supports the Death Penalty to read this book.

This ezine edited by The Poor Clare Sisters of Spokane
to support the IWasInPrison Outreach