Here's our weekly roundup of interesting Catholic links from around the web to get you started for the week.
• As Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death Friday after his role in the Boston Marathon bombing, the bishops of Massachusetts issued a statement strongly condemning the death penalty back in April.
The defendant in this case has been neutralized and will never again have the ability to cause harm. Because of this, we, the Catholic Bishops of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, believe that society can do better than the death penalty. As the Bishops of the United States said in their 2005 statement A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death, "no matter how heinous the crime, if society can protect itself without ending a human life, it should do so." We believe these words remain true today in the face of this most terrible crime.
• A Catholic News Service video looks at the Dominican Sisters at Rosary Hill community in New York and their mission to care for the dying.
• Over at the To Go Forth blog, Jason Adkins examines how Catholic social teaching should inform our ability to decide who has a right to vote, and who doesn't.
There is no evidence that losing the right to vote deters crime. It is merely punishment for punishment's sake. Fortunately, a rethinking of the punitive criminal justice policies of the past is occurring across the ideological spectrum. In Minnesota, legislation that would restore the vote to those on supervised release has obtained broad bi-partisan support and hopefully will be signed into law soon.
• Elliot Williams, an intern with Catholic News Service, writes about his experience covering the Vatican and encountering Pope Francis.
Between the Swiss Guards saluting us at every corner, and the gentlemen escorting us through secret hallways connecting each chamber, I believe I witnessed a part of the Vatican that few people get the chance to see — especially people my age.
• Finally, Busted Halo's Louis Sullivan watched "Avengers: Age of Ultron" and realized you don't need powers to be a superhero.
In the new movie, we finally get a better look at Clint Barton, the man behind the Hawkeye persona, and by the end of it, we have a completely different perspective on him. We begin to see Hawkeye not just as the underpowered member of a super-powered team but instead, essentially, as ourselves.