William E. Lori, the archbishop of Baltimore, pledged in a letter last week to Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) to enlist the Catholic Church in an effort to “end state executions in Maryland once and for all” during the upcoming session of the General Assembly.
“I urge you to again make repealing the death penalty a priority for your legislative goals this year, and assure you of our continued commitment to fully engaging Maryland’s Catholic community in advocacy efforts to achieve this goal,” Lori wrote. “We hope, too, to encourage our many faith partners throughout the state to join this effort.”
O’Malley, a practicing Catholic, has long advocated repeal of capital punishment. He has yet to say, however, whether he will sponsor a repeal bill in the 90-day legislative session that starts Jan. 9. On Thursday, he also met with NAACP leaders on the issue.
O’Malley and Catholic leaders have been at odds on some other issues during his tenure, most notably same-sex marriage. Last year, O’Malley pushed through a bill allowing gay nuptials over the objections of church leaders.