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Lincoln’s Bishop Conley calls on group to pull ads distorting his words on death penalty

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Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 11/06/16

From CNA: 

Bishop James Conley of Lincoln has called on the group “Nebraskans for the Death Penalty” to retract social media advertisements which distort his words to promote a capital punishment initiative in the state. The advertisements use heavily redacted quotes, taken out of context, from one of Bishop Conley’s interviews regarding Referendum 426, a state ballot measure attempting to maintain the death penalty after legislators voted to abolish it. On October 26th, Bishop Conley conducted a 12-minute radio interview with Coby Mach, host of KLIN’s Drive Time Lincoln. The bishop explained the Catholic Church’s theological and pastoral positions on the death penalty. While the Church allows for the death penalty in principle, he said, it holds that in contemporary times, “the circumstances where that would be an option are practically non-existent… we can protect people without recourse to the death penalty.” …Days later, however, the death-penalty advocacy group “Nebraskans for the Death Penalty” used an edited version of the bishop’s remarks, without providing context, in paid social media advertising. JD Flynn, spokesman for the Diocese of Lincoln, said that the advertisements “unfairly cherry-picked portions of Bishop Conley’s comments, from one radio interview, to misrepresent the central message of our bishops: that executing people solves no problems in our state, there is clearly no need for it, and no convincing justification for it.” On Thursday, November 3rd, Bishop Conley asked that the advertisements be retracted.   According to the Nebraska Catholic Conference, the advertisements were still being used on Facebook on Saturday, November 5th. Flynn explained that “Bishop Conley has asked civilly and politely that his words and images not be used, disingenuously, to promote the death penalty. But ‘Nebraskans for the Death Penalty’ has been unwilling to respond with civility. These ads are intended to confuse Catholics about what Nebraska’s bishops believe.”

Read it all. 

Photo: Twitter

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