Sr. Helen Prejean Dossier

PROFILE.  Death Penalty Abolitionist, Social Justice Activist, and Community Organizer; Author and Lecturer.   Co-Founder of  the Catholic Mobilizing Network.  Sr. Prejean is based in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Louisiana.  She is a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille.  Her bishop is Archbishop Gregory Michael Aymond – 7887 Walmsley Ave., New Orleans LA  70125-3496    Phone:  504-861-9521 .    Her blog.

This Dossier Exposes her BLINDNESS to the ABORTION holocaust; OBSESSION with GUILTY MURDERERS;  DEFIANCE against traditional Catholic teaching;  her connections with the NEW AGE FEMINISTS NUN MOVEMENTS and DISSENTING ORGANIZATIONS; and the ACLU.


“I’ve got to tell you what I’ve learned.  When you start talking about the death penalty, there’s a deep religious underpinning.  Who is God for us?   It is God who demands an eye-for-an-eye.  It is God who is pleased with sacrifice.

“And in the Christian tradition, there are those who say God allowed or even willed his own son, Jesus, to be sacrificed and killed on the cross in payment for our sins!  And when we kill criminals we have chaplains in death houses!  And when we kill criminals for their crimes God accepts their death in payment for their sins so they can go to heaven!  What kind of god do we believe in?!

What kind of father would demand the death of a son?  Is this a god?  Or is it an ogre, a monster, created by our own violent impulses?  We project so this is God who wants vengeance, like we want vengeance.  Truly there are contradictory images of God in the Bible.  On which one will we model our lives?”

Dr. Michael Savage responds to Prejean’s speech:

You [Sister Helen Prejean] are a clear and present danger, not only to the survival of America, but to the Democrat Party. … In my opinion, she is more closely associated with being a witch than a nun.

Heresy In Denver:  Ellis Washington spotlights Marxist tinge to Democrat’s nun speaker.

Prejean’s 2008 Speech at Democratic National Convention:  wait for it to load.

2008 Prejean Dem Party Speech


July-August 1997 St. Catherine Review:  Sister Prejean “will not take a stand against abortion.”

“Pro-Life Groups Asks Bishop to Stop Sr. Helen Prejean’s Fundraising for the ACLU”


We issue a public call for Idaho’s Catholic Bishop, Mike Driscoll, to intervene quickly and forcefully in the brewing scandal involving Sister Helen Prejean. As we reported earlier, she is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at an event to raise money for the Idaho ACLU.


Catholic League president William Donahue writes:   It is no secret that the “peace and justice” crowd is soft on abortion. Sr. Helen Prejean and others like her can get quite worked up about the rights of serial murderers on death row, but they never seem to be quite as excited about the rights of innocent unborn babies. That’s because too many of them see abortion as merely unfortunate:   They positively do not believe it is “intrinsically evil.”

Sr. Prejean on Values Voting

quotes by Sister Prejean:

I don’t trust candidates who claim to be “pro life” simply because they publicly state their opposition to abortion. What good is that if they do not also work vigorously and consistently to create social conditions in which healthy babies are born, children cared for, and families thrive?

I look for “pro-life” politicians to list “eradication of poverty” as a top priority.  Poverty in our nation is on the rise. During the last six years those living at or below the poverty line in the U.S. rose 17 percent. To allow even the existence of poor people in this rich nation, much less poverty on the increase, is totally unworthy of us as Americans and certainly not pro-life.


Due to controversies surrounding Sr. Helen Prejean, Catholic bishop cancels appearance at conference – 1997
See also same article in NCR’s archives.


” . . . the bishop had based his decision on his reading of an article about Prejean that was published in Our Sunday Visitor last April [1996]. Datillo had two concerns, Lyons said:  that Prejean might be soft on abortion and might depart from official church teaching in a book she is writing about women in the church.  Lyons told Mayhew that the bishop would therefore be “uncomfortable” appearing with the famous nun.

“The article about Prejean in Our Sunday Visitor was written by Robert Holton, a senior correspondent, based on an interview with her. Holton led off with Prejean’s views on abortion.

“Sister Prejean indicated that while she is adamant about not taking human life when it comes to executing prisoners, she has an at best strained appreciation for the church’s teachings on the sanctity of unborn life, on birth control, and thinks the church is `appallingly’ unfair to women,” Holton wrote. The subhead on the article read, “Why the nun behind Dead Man Walking has a hard time seeing abortion clinics as another kind of death row.”

Prejean told Holton that she regards abortion as “much more complex than a mere choice.”


 “Sr. Prejean’s Spin Insults the Preborn”  by Judie Brown

As a Catholic, Prejean should understand the fundamental teaching of the Church on abortion and capital punishment because there is a nuanced difference.

On abortion, the Catechism of the Catholic Churchstates,”Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law”

On the death penalty, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harmwithout definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himselfthe cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”

In other words, abortion is a crime against God while the death penalty is the exercise of a type of civil punishment in response to a heinous crime that is to be used rarely, if at all.

Combox:  “I concluded that she would never touch abortion because she would loose support for her cause from those who support abortion, but oppose the death penalty, and she was not willing to take that risk. Can you imagine how differently she would be treated by the lamestream media if she publicly opposed abortion as well as the death penalty?”


Sr. Prejean was labeled pro-abortion by the Cardinal Newman Society — she gave the  commencement address at a Catholic U.


The ACLU and Sr. Prejean – she was given an ACLU award in 2005.  She spoke at an ACLU fundraising event.  A pro-life group wrote their bishop to stop her.  The Oregon ACLU announced Prejean’s October 2011 visit to Oregon.  One month later, the ACLU claimed a victory over Oregon voters when Oregon’s governor placed a moratorium on the death penalty.

‘CALL TO ACTION’ organization and Sr. Prejean – Prejean is a frequent speaker at this apostate organization.  Her 2000 speech at CTA’s national conference is available on CTA’s site.

Call To Action is a well-known dissenting group of “Catholics” who actively undermine the faith.  I have a copy of “Call To Action or Call To Apostasy? How dissenters plan to remake the Catholic Church in their own image” by Dr. Brian Clowes.  The book is available at Human Life Intl.  It is well researched with citations.

The Vatican excommunicated Call To Action – CNS NEWS

Sr. Prejean doubts the crucifixion of Christ:  her appearance at an interfaith gathering for the Democratic National Committee

  • COLORADO CONVENTION CENTER — Following the hot topic of abortion, Sister Helen Prejean tackled another: calling for abolition of the death penalty to raucous applause at the DNC’s interfaith gathering.
  • She received nothing but a stony silence, however, when she questioned the basis of the biblical crucifixion story as a “projection of our violent society.”
  • “Is this a God?” Prejean asked about the belief that God allowed his son, Jesus, to be sacrificed for the sins of humanity. “Or is this an ogre?”
  • The audience — to that point in strong agreement with the author of “Dead Man Walking” — said and did nothing.

FULL STORY:  ‘God, ogre comparison doesn’t fly with interfaith crowd.’

Mark Shea responds (scroll down that page):

  • “Sr. Helen is delusional if she thinks her New Age gospel starring a God without wrath who brings men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross is going to persuade serious Christians to trust her when she talks about the death penalty.”


On Feb. 16, Sister Helen Prejean and Franciscan Sister Marya Grathwohl will present “Joy in Danger: How Earth Mysticism Can Guide Us in Gospel Discipleship.” The “conversation” will offer “a retreat rhythm of storytelling, reflection, the arts, ritual and prayer” in which participants can attend to their “deep communion experiences as human-earth-beings, at home in the cosmos.”

Eco-Feminist Sr. Prejean appeared at A Sophia Center summer institute advertisement calls these speakers “mindful scholars of the new cosmology.” This “new cosmology” rejects any notion of human superiority over beasts, plants, and inanimate creatures.


“Sister Prejean’s Lack of Credibility” a New Oxford review of Prejean’s book, “The Death of Innocents.”


Prejean explains this focus on O’Dell’s girlfriend by positing this definition of “victim”: “the family of the murdered one and the family of the executed one” (italics added). There is thus a moral equivalence for Prejean between the family of an innocent victim and the newfound girlfriend of a convicted rapist and murderer.This curious definition of “the victims” suggests that her concern for “victims” seems to be more window-dressing for her cause than true concern. She acknowledges that after Sonnier (the Dead Man Walking murderer) was executed, she was stung by the criticism that she cared more for the criminal than for his victims.

Virginia Governor (now U.S. Senator) George Allen denied O’Dell’s clemency petition (thus earning Allen a comparison with Pontius Pilate by Sr. Prejean — what does that say about whom O’Dell represents?), and O’Dell was duly executed. The Italian government and the Vatican remained intensely involved in the O’Dell case, and his body was even shipped for burial to Italy, where Sr. Prejean and Lori Urs were received as heroines. Sr. Prejean herself claims that the high profile of the O’Dell case aided in the subtle shifts taking place in Catholic teaching on the death penalty.

Indeed, the latter half of the book is devoted to a summary of what she calls the “seismic change” in Catholic thought on the death penalty, and Sr. Prejean’s own role in it. She leaves the impression that Pope John Paul II further modified his death penalty stance after she wrote him a letter concerning the O’Dell case.

This part of the book is of particular interest to Catholics, and although Sr. Prejean acknowledges that the Church still maintains the moral licitness of the death penalty, she enthusiastically (and accurately) recounts the demotion of the death penalty from its traditional place as a vindication of the Fifth Commandment prohibition against murder by restoring the moral harm inflicted by murder, to a mere matter of self-defense of society.

In this discussion of Catholic teaching, Sr. Prejean recounts her confrontation with Justice Antonin Scalia in the New Orleans airport. She begins by describing how her brother and Scalia became hunting buddies by chance, and expresses skepticism when her brother “tried to convince me that Justice Scalia is a devout Catholic.” Indeed, she is skeptical, and defines Scalia as a “Traditionalist” who attends the Old Latin Mass “in a white suburban parish and sings Latin hymns,” a practice unfavorably compared to her own attendance at an inner-city black parish where spirituals are sung (never mind that Old St. Mary’s where Scalia sometimes attends an indult Mass is in a mixed black and Chinese area of Washington, D.C.).

She emphasizes this difference between Scalia’s “world” and hers by contrasting his Harvard education with her school of hard knocks education in the “inner city African American housing project in New Orleans.” She pictures herself, like Jesus, “on the ground” working for justice, which she says is why the Jews wanted to kill Jesus. She describes her religious order’s shift from school teaching to “social justice” in the early 1970s without apparent regret at the loss of vocations to her order.

This street education is what leads her to confront Scalia, and she warns him she will be taking him on in her book. He supposedly playfully raised his fist in response and told her he’d be coming right back at her. Sr. Prejean indeed does “take him on,” attacking Scalia for referring to the “God of Hosts” as justification for the idea that God sanctions the death of wrongdoers. Her protest would more profitably be lodged against the tradition of the Church, which has steadfastly supported the right of the state to exact the death penalty, as shown most persuasively in E. Christian Brugger’s recent book, Capital Punishment: Roman Catholic Moral Tradition. Scalia’s position is in line with what the Church has taught in the past about this issue. He is not alone in his reservations about recent admonitions of uncertain binding authority to execute rarely and only when other means are not sufficient to incapacitate the offender.


Life and Death in South Bend:  a report on Culture of Death conference, Notre Dame, by Patrick Henry Reardon.  2001.

Sister Helen, who had just spent two hours discoursing on her infinite mercy and boundless compassion, proceeded to shout down the question of Dr. Charles.

“Sister Helen treated us to one of the most blatant performances of self-aggrandizement I have ever heard. We learned all about my book, my movie, my play, my opera. We listened to endless comments about Sister Helen’s friendships with movie stars (all of them pro-abortion, as best I could determine), her travels and political agitation on behalf of convicted murderers, her self-declared influence in changing the current pope’s position on capital punishment, her 1998 nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, and so on.

“The most conspicuous deficiency of Sister Helen’s presentation, however, was the total lack of any logical or rational coherence in her opposition to capital punishment. It was all emotion; in the course of her two-hour presentation I heard no two sentences that together formed a reasonably arranged argument on the subject. This intellectual deficiency was accentuated in the question and answer session afterwards, when J. Daryl Charles rose once again to query just how her opposition to the death penalty was to be adjusted philosophically with Western Christendom’s traditional position on this matter. This young professor from Taylor University, having endured a public browbeating by Judge Noonan the previous evening, was about to get slapped around again. Sister Helen, who had just spent two hours discoursing on her infinite mercy and boundless compassion, proceeded to shout down the question of Dr. Charles.

PREJEAN QUOTES in Human Life International’s Pro-Life Library CD:

Prejean, Sister Helen (anti-capital punishment activist)

“We really have to look seriously at the whole thing of birth control, family planning and not having unwanted pregnancies. … The crosshairs of this decision are in the woman’s body and the woman decides this. … To say that someone has a choice and the woman is all alone and the man is nowhere to be found, what kind of a real choice does that give these people?”

Sister Helen Prejean, quoted in Our Sunday Visitor, April 1996, also in The Truth from The Women of Truth, Autumn 1997, page 5.

“The movie Dead Man Walking was a bloomin’ miracle.  Like the virgin birth. It wasn’t supposed to happen. … My journey began with an awakening to the poor. An awakening to justice.  Here at CTA [Call to Action], I don’t have to awaken you to justice. …

“I haven’t met the death row inmates that aren’t human as we are. We create those stereotypes, so then it’s easy to kill them. It’s all about connection. When we don’t connect with each other, we can kill each other, we can do anything. And the death penalty is just one more military solution to a social problem. All the dymanics are there:  Target the enemy, dehumanize the enemy, terminate the enemy — whom we never see. …

“And I asked the Pope:  Are we just for the dignity of the innocent? What about the guilty? I told him that when I talk to people who call themselves pro-life, they make a distinction. Pro-life means the innocent. The guilty deserve everything they get.”

Helen Prejean, CSJ. “Dead Man Walking:  The Journey.”  This was Prejean’s opening address to the Call to Action National Conference in Milwaukee on November 3, 2000, and issued as a February-March 2001 Call to Action reprint [NOTE:  Prejean’s astounding hypocrisy becomes obvious when we learn that she is strongly pro-abortion, and that the second paragraph in the above quote applies perfectly to preborn children in danger of abortion as well as to those people under the death penalty. But in Prejean’s world, there is plenty of compassion for killers and absolutely none for the innocent preborn]

Your editor at FIDELITY and ACTION supports the death penalty.  Our courts are broken and rapists and murderers of children and adults who are released by uncaring judges DO RAPE and MURDER again!

Google the phrase:  “murderers released from prison who murder again”


CNN Interview

QUESTION: Sister Helen, you’re Roman Catholic. Terry Schiavo, I know this is off the topic of your book, but I have to ask you this question because I know you have some thoughts on it and we’d love to hear your opinion on this. You’re Roman Catholic, Terry Schiavo is Roman Catholic as well. What do you make of the ongoing battle? I’m sure you’re aware of it back and forth here.

SISTER HELEN PREJEAN:  You know, I just heard that President Bush is saying this is about defense of life. Look at all of the human energy around this woman, who is in a, you know, a state where you’re saying, “Is she alive?”

Does she deserve to die? Well, we have killed almost 1,000 people through the death penalty.

If you want to talk about defense of life, you not only have to talk about this single individual and all of this around her particular life where her husband and other members in the family say, in fact, she should be allowed to die that, in fact, she already has died — I see it as a bogus, diversionary thing.

We’ve got to look at the deep fabric of our society. Look at all the children that are killed by violence. Look at all of those who die from overdose of drugs. Yet we do not set up clinics around this country to help them to deal with drugs.

The Catholic bishops of the United States tomorrow are going to initiate a campaign as part of respect for life to end the death penalty in the United States. This is the protocol of death where intentionally we set about to kill human beings.

You want to talk about respect for life, let’s look at it across the whole board, and put our attention and our energies into stopping government killings, which directly kill people who are alive and not diversionary tactics like everything is around whether or not this poor woman should be allowed to live or die when you get into all these complex things.

Shocking Admission by Sister Helen Prejean:

Heinous Crimes Deserve the Death Penalty!

Did she really say that?  Yes.

It is the first question asked by the interviewer.

Someone ought to inform the bishops and priests of her shocking admission.

Here is what she said verbatim:  click image to watch on YouTube.

Read the full post HERE.



Available on Amazon but it’s out of print so it’s over $200.

Page updated 07/27/2019.

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