San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, in whose Archdiocese the death chamber is located, has issued the following statement on behalf of the California Catholic Conference of Bishops regarding the declaration of a moratorium on executions by California Governor Gavin Newsom:
Free training is being offered to Parish Bereavement Ministry Directors and Ministers and those who accompany the bereaved. Space permitting, Diocesan Restorative Justice Directors, Priests, Women Religious, Deacons, Chaplains and other interested parties may be able to attend.
Participants will learn how to more effectively minister to survivors of violent crime, particularly those who haveve experienced the death of a loved one to homicide.
When: Begins at 1pm Tuesday, May 7– Ends at 1pm, Thursday, May 9, 2019.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation manages more than thirty prisons in the state with a combined inmate population of over 130,000. The California Department of State Hospitals also runs five state hospitals, housing mental health patients who have some involvement in the criminal justice system.
As part of restorative justice, it is important that people living in these facilities have their religious needs met. Catholic Chaplains do just that.
The California Catholic Conference today called on members of the Senate Public Safety Committee to pass SB 1391, a bill by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) that would end the practice of trying 14 and 15 year old children as adults, making sure they are tried as Juveniles and that they receive every opportunity for rehabilitation through the juvenile justice system rather than a lifetime of incarceration in the adult prison system.
Catholic dioceses in California are offering special prayers and Masses in observation of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, an annual event established in 1981 to draw attention to the people and families whose lives have been affected by violent crime. In recognition of those impacted by crime, the Restorative Justice Committee of the California Catholic Conference has issued the following statement. (Members of the Committee are the Most Rev. Richard Garcia, Bishop of Monterey, the Most Rev. Armando Ochoa, Bishop of Fresno, Most Reverend David O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, and the Most Reverend Myron Cotta, Bishop of Stockton):
Our Restorative Justice Intern, Maria Jose Fernandez Flores, attended the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering (CSMG) in Washington DC this last week. The CSMG brings together leaders in Catholic social action to network, advocate for social justice, and form emerging leaders in service to the Church and society. The Gathering builds solidarity, knowledge, and practical skills among attendees who live and share the Church's social mission for the common good and the evangelization of the world. Below is the recap of the event in the words of our Intern Maria Jose:
In an odd and unexplained rule change proposal, California may ban chaplains from meeting with death row prisoners nearer than three hours before their scheduled execution.
The California Department of Corrections (CDCR) is engaged in a detailed revision of its procedures for ending the lives of prisoners sentenced to death. The elaborate set of rules specifies in minute detail death drug formulation, testing, staff training, protocols and numerous other aspects of executions.
When Stockton Bishop Stephen E. Blaire went out of the ominous steel gates of Deuel Vocational Institute in Tracy late last Christmas eve, he was given a small but powerful painting of the cross being raised by three prisoners.
At 20 years old, Jerry Elster was a gang member in Los Angeles. Defiant and angry at a system that he viewed as against him from birth, his attachment to his community was non-existent.
“It was not difficult for me, at that age, to wrap myself in a cloak of resentment and bitterness,” said Elster. Having no ties to his own community, gang life attracted Elster and eventually he ended up killing a rival gang member.