For Immediate Release • September 10, 2010
The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests says that Attorney General William Barr is not deserving of an award planned to be given to him at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, and have asked the organizers “to reverse their scandalous decision.” The AUSCP has also asked Bishop Robert Barron to withdraw from his role in the ceremonies.
The prayer breakfast is scheduled September 23 as a live streamed event from Washington, D.C. Barr is scheduled to receive the Christifideles Laici award, according to the organizers, “In Honor and Gratitude for Fidelity to the Church, Exemplary Selfless and Steadfast Service in the Lord’s Vineyard.”
The AUSCP says the award is “shocking, incomprehensible and scandalous,” citing Barr’s reinstatement of the death penalty and use of force to clear lawful protestors from Lafayette Square.
The statement was approved by AUSCP Leadership Team on August 25, 2020.
AUSCP STATEMENT re September
NATIONAL CATHOLIC PRAYER BREAKFAST
The vision and mission of AUSCP includes contemplative prayer, dialogue, raising a prophetic voice, and undertaking prophetic action centered in faith.The recent decision of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast (NCPB) to confer its Christifideles Laici award on Attorney General William Barr at their September Breakfast is for us shocking, incomprehensible, and scandalous.
Specifically, we consider Mr. Barr’s recent decisions and actions to be abhorrent in the context of Catholic faith. We consider especially scandalous his decision to begin again federal executions after 17 years of moratorium. Executions are clearly not pro-life. Pope St. John Paul II judged such actions as “unnecessary.” Pope Francis defined them as “inadmissible.” That position of the Magisterium is now affirmed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Mr. Barr also showed disrespect for sacred space when he was party to a recent show of force to enable the President to use the grounds and building of an Episcopal Church in Lafayette Square to hold up a bible in front of the church as a prop for a political photo op. Such actions do not express the Gospel values that we priests and friends of the AUSCP across the country hold dear.
We ask any Bishop who may have been involved in the choice of Mr. Barr to receive the NCPB Catholic award to reverse this regrettable choice and/or to remove themselves from NCPB. We have asked Bishop Robert Barron, who is scheduled to confer the award virtually to withdraw from that role.
For these reasons the AUSCP urgently calls for the NCPB Board to reverse their scandalous decision.