A nun criticized the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast (NCPB) for its plans to award Attorney General Bill Barr for “Christlike behavior” on Wednesday morning.
Sister Helen Prejean slammed the Catholic organization for announcing the Christifideles Laici Award would be given to Barr, who is Catholic, at the annual breakfast. The award honors the recipient for “Exemplary Selfless and Steadfast Service in the Lord’s Vineyard,” according to the NCPB website.
Prejean, an advocate against the death penalty, argued in a tweet Tuesday night that the attorney general has not demonstrated “Christlike behavior” after the Department of Justice (DOJ) resumed federal executions this year.
“A.G. Barr has ordered the executions of six men with at least one more on the calendar,” she wrote on the social media platform. “What is ‘Christlike’ about using discretionary power to kill?”
The National Catholic Prayer Breakfast will present an award to Attorney General Barr for “Christlike behavior” tomorrow morning. A.G. Barr has ordered the executions of six men with at least one more on the calendar. What is “Christlike” about using discretionary power to kill?
— Sister Helen Prejean (@helenprejean) September 23, 2020
Another nun, Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of the Catholic social justice group Network, told Newsweek she was “horrified” Barr was the recipient of the award.
“I am horrified that they are giving an award to Attorney General Barr who had reinstituted executions of people on death row, which is shocking and counter to Catholic social teaching,” she said. “It is abundantly clear, ‘thou shalt not kill’, and he is doing that and he is being given an award.”
The NCPB created the award last year “to help highlight these good works and those who serve the Church so well.” The virtual breakfast, which was postponed since March due to the pandemic, started at 11 a.m.
As of Wednesday morning, 22,213 people have signed a Faithful America petition calling on the NCPB to cancel giving Barr the award. Originally, the petition had a 20,000 signature goal, but the group has since raised it to 25,000.
“Attorney General William BarrBill BarrProsecutor says no charges in Michigan toilet voting display Judge rules Snowden to give up millions from book, speeches The Hill’s Morning Report – Sponsored by Facebook – Washington on edge amid SCOTUS vacancy MORE‘s work — which includes teargassing peaceful protesters in front of the White House, defending the president’s lawless corruption and attacks on American elections, and reinstating federal executions — has nothing to do with service to the Lord, and cannot be described as fidelity to the Church,” the petition reads.
“As fellow Catholics and other Christians, we call on the NCPB to cancel this award for Barr immediately, and avoid any further appearance of endorsing Donald Trump or his Cabinet members so close to an election,” it continues.
The NCPB and the Justice Department did not immediately return requests for comment.
Faithful America, a progressive Christian group, noted in a release that the award will be given the same week the DOJ will conduct two executions.
Pope FrancisPope FrancisPope seeks to prevent Mafia from using Virgin Mary imagery Pope: No one should seek to profit from pandemic Priest tapped to be bishop by Pope Francis resigns after sexual abuse probe MORE has come out against the death penalty under all circumstances calling it “inadmissable” in 2018 when he changed the Catholic Church’s teaching.
But the Trump administration resumed federal executions after a 17-year suspension, conducting six executions this year, including William Emmett LeCroy who was executed Tuesday after being convicted of raping and killing a woman in 2004.
Progressive Christians have also denounced the NCPB for identifying as non-partisan but hosting mostly Republican leaders including President TrumpDonald John TrumpOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: ‘This is my country’ Pelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate MORE this year.