Nun Protests Attorney General Bill Barr Receiving ‘Christlike’ Award: Sister Helen Prejean Biography, Wiki, Age
Sister Helen Prejean, a world-renowned nun and anti-death penalty advocate, is protesting Attorney General Bill Barr receiving an award for “Christlike” behavior at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on Wednesday, September 23.
Barr will be honored with the Christifideles Laici Award, which is given to public figures who “awaken and promote a deeper awareness among all the faithful of the gift and responsibility they share … in the communion and mission of the Church,” according to the prayer breakfast website.
The award Barr will receive reads, “In honor and gratitude for faithfulness to the Church, exemplary selfless and steadfast service in the Lord’s vineyard,” according to the Prayer Breakfast website.
However, the Catholic Church as a body has opposed the death penalty in all cases since 2018, NPR reported.
“No matter how heinous the crime, if society can protect itself without ending a human life, it should,” the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops also wrote in a 2005 statement.
The church’s position, many Catholic activists and academics noted, appears to be at odds with the recent resumption of federal executions by the Justice Department.
Why is the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast presenting an award to Attorney General Barr for “fidelity to the Church” when he has ordered an unprecedented number of federal executions in direct contradiction of Catholic teaching on the death penalty?
— Sister Helen Prejean (@helenprejean) September 23, 2020
The American Association of Catholic Priests issued a statement calling for the award to be revoked. The decision to award Barr the Christifideles Laici Award was “shocking, incomprehensible and scandalous,” according to the statement.
Prejean, who has been a leading voice against the death penalty for decades, said on Twitter Tuesday night that Barr’s renewed push for federal executions contradicts Catholic teachings.
“Why is the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast awarding Attorney General Barr an award for ‘fidelity to the Church’ when he has ordered an unprecedented number of federal executions in direct contradiction to Catholic teaching on the death penalty?” she said.
Prejean also said that “there is nothing pro-life in our government rendering prisoners sentenced to death defenseless, restraining and killing them.”
“The cold clinical lethal injection protocol does not change the cause of death on the death certificate after an execution: homicide,” he added.