||Susan M. Recinella, Clinical Psychologist for mentally ill adults, and
Catholic Lay Minister to Families of the Executed|
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
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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
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