MANILA, Philippines – Catholic prayer and protests greeted proposals to expand the use of the death penalty in the Philippines, with the move drawing outspoken opposition from the country's bishops.

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WASHINGTON – In this year's election, voters went against nearly all of the ballot initiatives backed by Catholic leaders and advocates, except the referendums on minimum wage increases and gun control measures.

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WASHINGTONN – The death penalty was up for a vote in California, Nebraska and Oklahoma on Tuesday, but stands against capital punishment proved unpopular with voters in all three states.

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WASHINGTON – The United States, with its mixed record on the death penalty, is about to take a closer look at the issue this fall with two cases before the Supreme Court and three referendums on state ballots in the November election.

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LOS ANGELES – The California Catholic bishops are urging voters to support a November ballot initiative that would outlaw the death penalty.

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MANILA, Philippines – The head of the Philippine bishops' conference set "ethical guidelines" against proposals to reinstate the death penalty as the country's war on drugs continues, with body counts increasing daily.

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Catholic bishops of New Mexico said they oppose Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's plan to reinstate the death penalty and called on the Legislature to reject it.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis called for a moratorium on executions during the Year of Mercy and said the fifth commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," applies not only to the innocent but to the guilty as well.

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VATICAN CITY - Two decades after her anti-death penalty work was transformed into the Oscar-winning movie Dead Man Walking, Sr. Helen Prejean’s campaign continues with the backing of Pope Francis.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis called for abolishing the death penalty worldwide, lifting the burden of debt on poor nations, global aid policies that respect life and revamped laws that welcome and integrate migrants.

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WASHINGTON - Readers of the Bible may recall the passage in Chapter 4 of Luke that presages the start of Jesus' public ministry, in which Jesus said, in part: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives."

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KARACHI, Pakistan - The human rights body of Pakistan's Catholic Church pleaded with President Mamnoon Hussain to grant clemency to a Christian death row convict who was a juvenile at the time of the alleged crime.

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After a judge sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death for his role in the Boston Marathon bombings, religious leaders in that city found themselves on both sides of the issue. Lawmakers in Nebraska are considering a bill to ban the death penalty there, which would make it the first conservative state to do so in four decades. And Christian leaders such as Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice and religious broadcaster Pat Robertson have provided support for movements such as Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty.

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Last year, a death penalty sentence slapped on a Sudanese doctor for refusing to renounce her Christian faith stirred international outrage and heightened calls on the government to increase religious liberty.

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WASHINGTON - Reaction was mixed to the May 15 jury sentencing of death for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

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