The following comes from a June 7 story in the National Catholic Reporter.
Photo from DeathPenalty.org
By Diana Diamond
For months, California bishops have been stonewalling requests that they announce their early support of an anti-death penalty measure slated for the November ballot, The Justice That Works Act of 2016. Their spokesman told me in January that the bishops were dealing with other issues, such as opposing an assisted suicide bill and a measure requiring parental approval for abortion by a minor. At the time, I was told that probably the bishops would not take a stand on the death penalty until it is certified for the ballot, as is their custom.
Never mind that Pope Francis took a strong anti-death penalty stance when he spoke before Congress; this apparently has not changed the California bishops’ timing.
Well, the anti-death penalty measure has achieved the necessary amount of signatures and still there is silence. The bishops want it to be officially qualified by the Secretary of State. Now I’m told that the bishops also want a pro-death penalty measure to be certified, and then they will make a public statement against the death penalty, probably within a month.
This despite the fact that four years ago, when an anti-death penalty measure was on the California ballot, they took a stand of support, albeit in August — only three months before the election. The measure failed by a 52-48 percent margin. But this year, they may be speedier. According to Karen Clifton, the executive director of the Catholic Mobilizing Network, “We expect the bishops to follow through on a campaign after the ballot measure is certified.” That may not be until late June or July, but it is an improvement.
Frankly, I find the bishops’ reluctance to be early endorsers of this initiative puzzling. Catholics, as well as the general public, are increasingly supportive of ending the death penalty. Nineteen other states have already abolished capital punishment. I fear the bishops don’t understand how important it is to support the initiative now, not later.
My opposition to the death penalty was renewed last year when I became chair of a SpeakOut committee at the Thomas Merton Center in Palo Alto, a lay-organized Catholic spiritual center. We were against the death penalty and decided to ask the bishops to take a strong stand against it. Our logic was that if the California bishops would oppose the measure early on, Catholics might support it — maybe by enough of a margin to tilt the outcome from 52-48 against and instead garner majority voter support. We also thought that California’s opposition to the death penalty could have a philosophical impact on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Our committee met with our local bishop, Patrick McGrath, and while he indicated support, he seemed to us reluctant to press other bishops to campaign against the death penalty. He did send a letter to his pastors asking them to urge their congregations to oppose it.
As SpeakOut chair, I contacted Bishop Richard Garcia of Monterey, a member of the executive committee of the California Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the California bishops. Garcia said we needed to talk first with Ned Dolejsi, the conference’s executive director. I did, but then Garcia refused to meet with our committee, suggesting we should work with Dolejsi on this issue.
Dolejsi told me in January that he didn’t think the bishops were ready yet for an anti-death penalty stand. He also said an opposing measure, urging that people on death row be executed after 10 years, would not qualify for the ballot because the DAs and police chiefs sponsoring it would never raise enough money for signature gathering.
It qualified in May. Of the two death penalty ballot measures, the one receiving the highest number of votes in November will prevail.
In mid-May, Dolejsi told me the California bishops agreed to support the anti-death penalty initiative, but still were not ready to speak out publicly….
[Diana Diamond is a journalist and lives in Palo Alto, Calif.]
It is immoral to abolish capital punishment. The Catechism states, and the Church has always taught, that states may have legitimate recourse to capital punishment when necessary. If the cases in which capital punishment is necessary are currently rare, that does not mean they will always be rare nor that a legitimate case will not arise. To take capital punishment away as an option for punishment and justice is unwise. Only foolish Leftists would support such an unwise, immoral goal in the name of a false conception of mercy and a false conception of respect for human dignity. Poll how many opponents of capital punishment support legal abortion on demand, and you’ll soon realize that respect for human life has almost nothing to do with…
So you’re calling Pope Benedict and John Paul II “foolish Leftists who support an unwise and immoral goal”? Watch out who you criticize. You’re criticizing a canonized saint who called for the abolition of the death penaly: St. John Paul II.
Saint Pope John Paul II authorized the promulgation of the Catechism, which affirms the right of states to have recourse to capital punishment. He did not support its abolition; he supported its judicious application, which he considered would probably be rare.
Neither did Pope Benedict contradict the magisterium’s constant teaching about the moral legitimacy of capital punishment.
You, jon, need to learn how to read and think more carefully; but nuance is not a characteristic that leftists possess, otherwise they wouldn’t be leftists.
Nice try, though, attempting to pit two of the Church’s most illustrious recent thinkers and theologians against me. I’m sure you thought you had me nailed. You don’t know them as well as I…
You’re wrong Sawyer. John Paul II most definitely called for the abolition of the death penalty. He was known for it. He delivered homilies, speeches calling for its end. You don’t remember? Research it. It’s easy to find. Plus, JP2 didn’t just “authorize” the section on the Catechism limiting the use of the death penalty. He wrote it! That section of the Catechism came straight from his Encyclical Evangelium Vitae.
As for Pope Benedict. Same. The Pope Emeritus spoke about ending the death penalty very plainly, praising nations that have abolished it. Sawyer, you need to educate yourself. The statements of these popes are easily found.
And me, a leftist? Wrong again. That is the recourse of those who can’t…
who can’t sustain an argument: they go after erroneous ad hominem attacks. Listen to the Magisterium Sawyer. Respect life!
Our Lord Jesus did not cry injustice when sentenced to death by the State, Jon. Judge with right judgement. Which precludes pretending that past popes were attempting to foist new doctrine upon the faithful.
You are he who cannot sustain a cohesive argument which is why seem to twist the words of others, to include the popes, to fit your own narrative.
Respecting life is to respect the laws given by God, not the pretense that negates the Spirit. In that sense yours could be construed as an ad hominem attack against God Himself.
Ann Malley: All that I am going to tell you from here on out is to read the statements of St. John Paul II, Pope Benedict, Pope Francis. All three called for the end to the death penalty. Ann Malley, Listen to the Magisterium. Respect life!
Read the Catechism for understanding. You cannot negate Catholic doctrine or the realities of justice, much as you may like. All three may wish there were no such thing as the death penalty, but that doesn’t negate its legitimate right to exist under the law of God.
Listen to the magisterium and understand what it actually means outside of personal opinion,feelings, wishes, etc.
Respect God. Respect the Faith. Respect the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and try to be consistent. That is respecting life.
I’m sorry Ann Malley, but the three popes did not negate Catholic doctrine when they taught that the death penalty must end. They did not! I’d rather trust their teaching, than our personal opinion on this matter. I’d rather be with Peter, not with folks who disobey him.
They did’t teach that the death penalty must end, jon. They expressed their hopes. There’s a difference. Catholic doctrine clearly upholds the right of the state to have recourse to capital punishment.
So I’m not asking you in any way to trust me or my opinion.
I’d rather be with Catholic doctrine, jon, than with anyone who separates himself from those clear teachings. That is why, if you look to what is said and understand its meaning, you will see that even the Popes you cite don’t separate themselves from the reality that the state does have a legitimate recourse to capital punishment.
JPII and B16 were NOT introducing a new doctrine. They were offering prudential judgment. KNOW the difference.
But JPII distinguished very sharply between his OPINION on the death penalty, and the teaching of the Church that abortion, euthanasia, and other attacks on innocent life, are always crimes because they are always deliberate homicide. Those, like Card. Bernardin, who wished to assist Catholics to rationalize voting for pro-abortion politicians, have put a lot of effort into falsely absolutizing opposition to the death penalty, and falsely relativizing opposition to abortion and other forms of murder.
Sawyer, read this statement from JP2 from St. Louis, Missouri on January 27, 1999: “The new evangelization calls for followers of Christ who are unconditionally pro-life: who will proclaim, celebrate and serve the Gospel of life in every situation. A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. . . . I renew the appeal I made . . . for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary.”
Sawyer, read this statement from Pope Benedict in Nov. 30, 2011: ” I express my hope that your deliberations [of the Sant’Egidio Community] will encourage the political and legislative initiatives being promoted in a growing number of countries to eliminate the death penalty and to continue the substantive progress made in conforming penal law both to the human dignity of prisoners and the effective maintenance of public order.”
THe two Popes most definitely called for death penalty’s abolition. JP2 was well-known for speaking up against it. How convenient for people like you do forget it, and more shockingly to revise history!
If the death penalty is soooooo evil, why haven’t the Pope and Bishops made it totally illicit in the Catechism, Church magisterium? Its use is really confusing. The Boston bomber guy, no death penalty. The nut who committed the murders in Charleston, yes on death penalty since the fed govt wants to send a message (the same govt that opposes it!). Go figure.
Good for the bishops for biding their time on this. I am sure they will come to support this anti-death penalty legislation. Of course there will be your customary detractors here who would rather not listen to the Magisterium. Hopefully they will convert and abandon this relic of the culture of death called capital punishment.
jon, did you listen to and follow the bishops of California when they supported Proposition 8? In that instance the bishops were right because same-sex unions contradict natural law.
If the California bishops endorse abolishing capital punishment, they will be wrong to do so, for the Catechism teaches that states may legitimately have recourse to the death penalty. The Magisterium has constantly taught that capital punishment can be morally legitimate. If the California bishops contradict that, they will be in error, as bishops can sometimes be, especially in California.
The judgment of bishops may be compared with Catholic doctrine to see whether the bishops are correct or in error.
Sawyer, yes, in fact I did happily and faithfully support the bishops on Prop 8. You see Sawyer, I am a faithful Catholic who follow Tradition, the Bible, and the Magisterium (the Pope and the bishops). Can you say the same thing about yourself concerning the death penalty?
The bishops of CA are not contradicting Catholic doctrine by opposing the death penalty. They would be in line with St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict. Both Popes called for its abolition. THat is well-documented.
Sawyer: the fact that the two Popes called for the end to the death penalty means that here in the Western industrialized world, it is no longer a legitimate recourse as there are now other means to defend society against a capital criminal short of killing. That is why the two Pope called for its end. Now, if you go to a primitive culture somewhere in the world with no penal system like the West’s, then yes, that society may have recourse to the death penalty. But NOT in California!
That is short-sighted. Social conditions can change to where the death penalty’s judicious use would be morally justifiable. When the West collapses due to Muslim invasion and terror, people will be grateful that the state has legitimate recourse to the death penalty.
JPII and BXVI never stated that Catholic doctrine calls for the abolition of the death penalty. They couldn’t do such a thing because the death penalty’s validity is constant, settled doctrine. What they did was appeal for its limited use during their pontificates. When conditions change, popes will appeal FOR the use of the death penalty. Yes indeed.
Yes indeed Sawyer the two Popes did call for the abolition of the death penalty. In case you’re still in doubt, read these words by John Paul II:
“May the death penalty, an unworthy punishment still used in some countries, be abolished throughout the world.” —by Pope John Paul II at the Papal Mass in the Regina Coeli Prison, Rome, July 9, 2000.
The last two Popes could call for the abolition of the exercise of all authority, jon, but that doesn’t trump Catholic doctrine.
Of course they could. THey have just done so! They have morally judged that the circumstances have changed and so have called for an end to the death penalty.
Also, your scenario of a Muslim invasion is really off-the-mark. It’s crazy. If a Muslim caliphate were to overwhelm the West, then YEAH, most definitely, you’ll see the rampant return of the death penalty. And AIN’T gonna be a merciful execution. Think crucifixions, and stoning.
jon, on one thread you demand that Catholics must follow every jot and tittle of VII which is not doctrinal and then proceed to push for the change of doctrine by overstepping even the Popes.
Your flip flopping in this regard is not crazy, but predictable.
…if they come to support the anti-death legislation they will be acting outside the catechism of the Catholic Church, jon. But hey, that is always possible as men are inclined to sin.
The Magisterium is not a bendy toy that can be directed back against itself, jon. I understand, at least from your postings, that you seem to believe the Simon-Says-Now approach of progressives. Using the pretext of the “law” to navigate away from the Spirit of the Law (Truth). But the Immaculate Heart will prevail in staunching the serpent, the very same who tickles the ears of prelates to give the people what they want…. instead of what Christ calls them to give.
Pilate: “Did you not know that I have power of life and death over you? Christ: “You would have no power over Me if it were not given you from above.” (Ann, as you alluded to before, capital punishment is something ordained by God.)
Bingo. Thanks for getting scriptural on us. Too often Catholics who believe themselves to be faithful separate themselves from the reality that the Christ is the Head of the Church. The Popes are His vicars, ordained to protect and pass down doctrine – not change it.
Well, yeah, Christ has just taken away that legitimate authority of the state to take a criminal’s life through Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict, Our Lord’s Vicars on earth.
You’re misunderstanding the Papal office, jon.
I don’t think so Ann Malley. Jon’s comments here and elsewhere demonstrate that he knows more about Catholicism, and traditional Catholicism to boot, than you do.
Capital Punishment used rightly by proper authorities is recognized as justified in the Old and New Testament, as Avery Cardinal Dulles acknowledged. Are those who oppose the death penalty saying that no matter how many people a person murders, how many lives a murderer has stolen, he is to keep his life? Is that fair & just? On what basis? The convicted murderer waiting the death penalty has time to repent, speak to a priest, etc. and knows the date and time of the end of his life, a mercy not given to his multiple victims.
Simply put: Catholic doctrine cannot be used to support the abolition of capital punishment since the Bible and magisterial teaching have always taught that it can be morally justifiable. If it can be morally justifiable, it cannot be justifiably abolished since a circumstance for its justifiable use may arise. To forbid capital punishment when it is called for is immoral, since a just sentence would be prohibited. People who support abolishing it do so not on the basis of Catholic doctrine but on the basis of some other value system. Popes and bishops may express prudential wishes that capital punishment be restricted, but they cannot endorse its complete prohibition as a matter of magisterial teaching.
Wrong. wrong. wrong. The two last popes and the present one have called for the abolition of the death penalty. You’re totally wrong. Are you smarter than Ratzinger? OR Karol Wojtyla? I think not. I’d rather believe those men than your erroneous theologizing here.
You’re utterly confused if you believe that even if the last two popes were officially against the death penalty that they can circumvent Catholic doctrine. Sadly, this is the error of papal positivism wherein Catholics who are not educated as to the truth of the Catholic faith fall for that Protestant strawman that the Pope trumps the word of God.
That’s correct – the abolition of capital punishment is based on a value system not of protecting human life, but rather of destroying it, consistent with the overarching liberal objective of denial of God. Pragmatically, abolishing capital punishment absolves the crime of murder. Liberals have already absolved murder by abortion, and they will pursue absolution of all murder until they achieve it. This is true regardless of how many Catholics do not realize how they act as pawns for the liberal cause.
Wrong. Abolishing the death penalty does not absolve the crime. The criminal is condemned. ANd in the end it is God who will apply the punishment. So you’re calling JP2 and Benedict liberals? Interesting. You’re very mistaken.
What is interesting is why you are attempting to paint JP2 and Benedict as men who were intent on changing Catholic doctrine. You are very mistaken and push too far. Perhaps you should limit yourself to that which has been said and the boundaries within which these statements were made.
Ann Malley: I have limited myself to what JP2 and Benedict have said. Check the quotes from the popes that I have posted here. THey called for the abolition of the death penalty.
Then limit yourself to the limitations of the words and true meaning of those quotes, jon. You overreach and misrepresent papal authority and the fixed nature of doctrine.
I didn’t know that I was calling them liberals specifically, but it’s rather irrelevant as they did advance the liberal position on this issue. That’s a given. It’s well documented that abolition of capital punishment has been a Marxist objective for decades. Capital punishment in the criminal system is reserved for murder, so relaxing its application relaxes condemnation of murder. Catholics who reject the Catechism on the point will have to live with that.
Sawyer, JP2 and Benedict were not putting forth personal prudential “wishes” when they called for an end to the death penalty. They were most definitely teaching the Church, instructing the CHurch, shepherding the Church into a correct application of Catholic doctrine for our time and circumstances, when there are now bloodless means to defend society without killing another human being.
Why don’t you read Lumen Gentium, paragraph 25. “This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him…
“….are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.”
Even when not speaking ex-cathedra, meaning that when he delivers a homily, writes a speech, writes an Encylical, Catholics are obligated to adhere to the pope’s words, including his words calling for an end to the death penalty.
…not if Catholic doctrine clearly outlines the opposite, jon.
“Dear brothers and sisters, the time has come to banish once and for all from the continent every attack against life. No more violence, terrorism and drug-trafficking! No more torture or other forms of abuse! There must be an end to the unnecessary recourse to the death penalty! No more exploitation of the weak, racial discrimination or ghettoes of poverty! Never again!” Words from Pope John Paul II’s homily at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City on Saturday, 23 January 1999. Listen to the living Magisterium! Respect life!
“…There must be an end to the unnecessary recourse to the death penalty!”
The Popes are not in a position to determine what constitutes necessary or unnecessary in the realm of the state’s execution of its lawful authority.
Catholic doctrine supports the rights of the state. Our Lord Jesus Christ did as much when He faced Pilate.
That said, human beings do have a right to life. But just as one may forfeit one’s right to freedom by doing that which they should not, there is also a forfeiture of life that can come into play for certain acts committed.
Listen to the living magisterium, indeed. Respect life! Respect true justice and stop pretending that we are suddenly more merciful that Christ.
Respect for life…
… may well be realized on a greater scale with a increase in faithfulness to clear Catholic doctrine and less inclination to appeasement that seems too often to embolden the enemy.
Wrong. The Popes are in a position to state what is necessary or not. They have just done so. JP2 had done so. He and Benedict called strongly for the end of capital punishment.
No, jon. You’re wrong. Even the Popes are subject to Catholic doctrine.
Well of course they are. But as re-articulated in Vat2, they also present in their time the right application of those doctrines, as appropriate for the times. And JP2 has correctly discerned that the times in which we live warrant the abolition of the death penalty, because non-bloody means are now available to defend society without recourse to the death penalty.
Jon, the right application of doctrine is not to obfuscate it or reinterpret it. And JPII was correctly discerned in limiting his exhortation to the bounds of doctrine. You, on the other hand, push too far.
The pastoral articulations of VII are not those that bind, jon. Again, that is where you make your mistake. Using a non-binding lens that obscures that which is clear is no way to proceed when speaking of doctrine. That’s why VII is not doctrinal. The language used would never bear the test of clarity.
The times in which we live are sadly those which bleed for lack of clarity, jon. That could be why you are currently attempting to overthrow doctrine.
Sorry to deliver you the news Ann: but, V2 is indeed binding. You either adhere to it or not. You either obey, or dissent. Stop your dissent. That’s all I’m going to say to you. From here on out, no more words from me to you as you do not argue on point. Ciao!
Catholic doctrine is binding, jon. As you state it leads and points to Christ. And Christ accepted the lawful jurisdiction of the state. Why? Because all authority comes from God.
That upsets you. I understand that. And I do hope that you stick to your own talking points in future. If you had you would have refrained from breaking your own declaration of having supposedly give me your “final” word days ago.
(In other words: Stick to your own declarations of: That’s all I’m going to say to you from here on out.)
Ann, you covered it. Paul Paul VI said that there was nothing in V2, as a pastoral rather than doctrinal council, which was binding unless stated infallibly elsewhere. In the area presently the U.S., about 18,000 people received capital punishment since 1600. More than that die every week by abortion since 1973. This board is full of Obama voting zealots who remind of Khrushchev banging his shoe on the table when they rant, wrong, wrong, wrong.
An authentic interpretation of the doctrines of the Church can only be made by the Magisterium itself, meaning by the Pope and his bishops. Therefore, when the popes and his bishops teach the Church universal that the death penalty should be abolished, they are appropriately applying long-standing doctrines of the Church for own time. It is not for isolated lay folks to interpret the correct application of doctrine. This rather is the responsibility of the Church’s shepherds. And the Church’s shepherds have rightly judged that the death penalty be abolished because there are now other means available to defend society from capital criminals without taking their life, a privilege that only belongs to the Creator.
“…a privilege that only belongs to the Creator.” There you go again, painting the Popes as changing doctrine. Sorry, jon. Wrong number.
The Magisterium is not “the Pope and his bishops.” While exercised through the Pope and bishops, the Magisterium is the supernatural teaching authority of the Church which cannot contradict doctrine. The Magisterium can never be understood as every utterance that comes from the pope and bishops, even if they all agreed. The Magisterium exists supernaturally independent of these men, no matter high how ranking.
Ralph the Magisterium is defined in the Catechism as the office of the Pope and the bishops. Please read your Catechism so that you know what you’re talking about here.
Right, the Magisterium is the teaching “office” of the church, exercised through the collective authority of the pope and bishops. It is not the men themselves. It is simplistic to say that the Magisterium is merely the pope and bishops. That was was the point I made.
The Magisterium does not exist independent of these men. The Magisterium is exericsed by them, not by angels.
“It cannot be over emphasized that the right to life must be recognized in all its fullness…In this context I joyfully greet the initiative by which Mexico abolished the death penalty in 2005, and the recent measures adopted by some Mexican states to protect human life from its beginnings. These resolute moves in such a fundamental question should be an emblem of your homeland, one of which it can be justly proud”. Words by Pope Benedict XVI to the new Mexican ambassador to the Holy See on July 10, 2009. Listen to the Magisterium. Respect life!
Consider too that abolishing capital punishment would remove a valuable bargaining chip from the means prosecutors use to seek speedy justice. In exchange for not seeking the death penalty upon conviction, a prosecutor may offer a lesser sentence in exchange for a defendant pleading guilty before trial. A criminal who is aware of the evidence against him and who doesn’t want to take a chance of being executed could very well accept such a plea bargain. Justice is served and an expensive, lengthy trial is avoided. Abolishing capital punishment would prevent prosecutors from making such enticing offers in negotiating with defense counsel.
Wrong-headed priority. So you would endorse the taking of another human life as a “bargaining chip.” Can you hear yourself? Do you hear how warped your reasoning has become?
You have no basis upon which to judge what is warped, jon. You have taken the objective teachings of Christ, as confirmed in doctrine, and substituted it for sentimentalism. Like the list of imagines in a John Lennon song.
So you’re saying JP2 and Benedict are teaching sentimentalism? Wrong. THink again Ann. This is not my teaching, it’s the Holy Fathers’. They have called for the end to the death penalty. I am just remind you and a few other folks here. Your gripe is with them, not me.
I’m saying that you are misrepresenting others, jon, out of raging sentimentalism. Your gripe is with doctrine. Just like it is for many others.
jon’s mistake is that he thinks every statement by a pope should be given equal weight. Sometimes popes speak authoritatively, sometimes exhortatively. When recent popes have encouraged countries not to resort to the death penalty, that was exhortative rather than authoritative. When Pope John Paul II taught that states may have legitimate recourse to the death penalty, that was authoritative and consistent with all prior magisterial teaching. Capital punishment is justifiable in some cases, therefore it may not be abolished. Countries may decide whether to execute criminals, but they may not be told that they must never do so.
I think you should give Pope John Paul II’s words in his Encyclical (Evangelium Vitae) tremendous weight. It is in that Encyclical that he put forth the scenario that it be “abolished completely” (the Pope’s own words). So, I agree that not every statement a pope makes should be given equal weight. WHen he speaks on an airplane, that’s down in the totem pole. But when the Pope delivers a speech, or writes and Encylical, and delivers a homily against the death penalty, which JP2 did many times, YOU SHOULD ADHERE TO IT.
We are required to adhere to Catholic DOCTRINE, jon. So should and could and intimate all you’d like, but doctrine remains. And thank God for that.
Wrong. It is Jesus Christ Our Lord Who remains. All doctrine points to Him and leads to Him. The mercy of God which is Our Lord is further reflected in a soul that has assented to the call of the Holy Fathers to abandon the death penalty in favor of life! The pro-death crowd’s doctrine of death shall NOT remain. It will wither away and die forever!
Jesus Christ remains, jon. And Jesus Christ submitted to the lawful jurisdiction of the state. So this attempt of yours to subvert doctrine that cannot change is a telling signal that you do not hold the Catholic Faith but rather adhere to a novel hijack that intimates that doctrine can reject itself.
The pro-death crowd are those who pretend that there is no objective truth. They seek to crucify Christ and the doctrines He taught.
The words of John Paul II: “The Catechism of the Catholic Church… is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine…. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith.”
CCC 2267: “Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church DOES NOT EXCLUDE recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.”
Quid erat demonstrandum. The death penalty is legitimate in some cases and must never be abolished. That is Catholic doctrine.
SO why didn’t you quote the whole section and give us the whole doctrine? Eh? The rest of 2267 reads: “If, instead, bloodless means are sufficient to defend against the aggressor and to protect the safety of persons, public authority should LIMIT ITSELF TO SUCH MEANS, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person. “Today, in fact, given the means at the State’s disposal to effectively repress crime by rendering inoffensive the one who has committed it, without depriving him definitively of the possibility of redeeming himself, cases of absolute necessity for suppression of the offender ‘today … are very rare, if not practically…
Sawyer, that is the complete Catholic doctrine, not your incomplete, emotionalist, personal opinion of it. Quote the whole thing, so as to tell the whole truth.
I didn’t quote the rest because this site limits to 750 characters and the rest wasn’t necessary to make my point. As to your assertion, jon, the modifier “practically” in the phrase “practically non-existent” is the crucial operator. “Practically” does not mean “absolutely”. Cases in which CP is justified are “practically” non-existent but not absolutely non-existent. Therefore a circumstance can arise in which CP is morally justifiable, therefore CP must not be abolished for that would take away from the state a God-given duty and right that it has the prerogative to exercise.
“Practically” means ‘in practice.’ Meaning, the Church is not speaking in an abstract, theoretical way, but concretely, “in practice,” what is going on ‘in practice.’ Therefore, in reality, in practice, the cases necessitating the use of the death penalty is non-existent. Your “crucial operator” actually proves my point and strengthens it.
No, jon, your interpretation of what “practically” means is disproven by the appearance of the words “very rare” preceding it: cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent. If the cases were absolutely non-existent, the text would not say they are very rare; it would say that they are simply non-existent. But the text doesn’t say that.
Sawyer: The cases necessitating capital punishment have been deemed to be non-existent, in the judgment of the recent popes from JP2 onwards. John Paul was clear that the punishment be abolished. Benedict repeated his call. The question of the meaning of “practically” which means “in practice” and “almost” is actually elucidated in the subsequent statements of the popes since Evangelium Vitae, and by EV itself. Notice that in the last sentence of paragraph 56 from which that line in question from the Catechism comes, JP2 actually points out THE principle at work concerning the death penalty: “If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons,…
“….public authority must limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.”
The verb “must” on paragraph 56 of Evangelium Vitae necessitates that other means be used. It’s mandated.
The best way to read 2267 of the Catechism is that the Church is closing the door to the necessity of capital punishment. Therefore three popes have called for its end.
Yes, there might be circumstances in which capital punishment is permissible. Consider a secluded island, where there ARE no prisons. There are maybe 250 people in the village, but one of them is a heinous murderer. If they have no way of keeping him in prison (remember, they have no prisons), then they might be justified in what you call by the sterile name “CP”.
Ours is not that situation. Ours is one in which technology, concrete, and bars keep men confined and make the taking of their life unnecessary. They are caged forever. There is no need to further degrade their lives. It is already degraded enough.
Sawyer you didn’t even attempt to refute my post at 1:16 PM.
You just keep posting and missing the point that Catholic moral teaching says capital punishment is ONLY permissible if there is NO OTHER OPTION.
YFC, circumstances can change. Jailed criminals can orchestrate hits from their prison cells. They can murder prison guards. There can arise a circumstance in which bloodless means are not sufficient to protect innocent lives from a dangerous criminal. In that circumstance, CP should be an option. To abolish CP in law would be to remove a valid option whose morally justified application could arise. It is immoral to abolish in law something that might be necessary someday, something that is a state’s natural duty and right to implement. I’m not missing the point: I’m arguing that a case where there is no other option than CP could still arise.
Sawyer says that there can arise a circumstance in which bloodless means are not sufficient to protect innocent lives. THis is conjecture. The solution there is to strengthen the penal system. Your answer demonstrates the callousness and disregard you really have for human life. YOu’d rather we keep killing prisoners instead to strengthening the penal justice system.
Have not heard from any anti-capital punishment people concerning my question. For those opposed to the death penalty in all cases, is it fair and just for the one who murders many people, stolen the lives of multiple victims, to be able to keep his life no matter how many victims he has created? Also, once in prison, what is the punishment for murdering guards, other inmates, ordered hits on those living on the outside, etc. More life sentences? Again Scriptures, Old & New Testament acknowledges proper authorities have the right to utilize the death penalty rightly. As does Paul, Augustine, Aquinas, even the Roman Catechism (1985 edition)..
Pope John Paul II judged that the circumstances of modern society are such that the death penalty is not needed. This is a judgment of the temporal order, with which the faithful may disagree. But Pope John Paul II did not teach that the death penalty is intrinsically evil. Intrinsically evil acts have an evil moral object. But in order to be moral, all three fonts of morality must be good: intention, moral object, circumstances. Since the death penalty is not intrinsically evil, the push to abolish it is not based in Catholic doctrine nor natural law.
Sawyer: Are you saying that JP2’s and Benedicts’s teachings are not in accord with Catholic doctrine? They have called for the end to capital punishment. Either they are wrong or you are. I say it is you who are wrong. You are wrong because you have associated the death penalty as an intrinsic good that should be an option at all times. Well, you’re wrong. The circumstances (one of the three fonts of morality) have changed (the change is that there are now other means to defend society short of killing a capital criminal). And therefore, that change in circumstance greatly vitiates the good in the use of the death penalty in our time! So, JP2 and Benedict very correctly and in accord with the moral laws of the CHurch have…
called for an end to the death penalty.
The other font of morality, namely intent, is greatly affected now too if there are other non-bloody means available. THis means that if other non-bloody means are available, and you insist on killing a capital criminal, what is therefore your intent? Bloodlust? Revenge? Justice? THere can be no justice here as justice is rendered in a non-bloody way now. Then it can only be first two, in which case even your intent is wrong, making the whole action (death penalty) morally wrong.
OK fine, even if Catholic Doctrine doesn’t require the abolition of the death penalty, we should! We KNOW that a sentence of death has been given in many circumstances in which the person was innocent. Dozens of men were on death row, only to be exhonorated. I don’t need some arcane reading of Catholic doctrine to tell me that if innocent people are being put to death, then we need to hold off and figure out how to really decide who is innocent and who is guilty.
YFC,at least you acknowledge that Catholic faith doesn’t support the abolition of the death penalty. Therefore those who do support its abolition do so for other reasons and values. Hence, the bishops of California should not endorse the abolition of CP because it would give the impression that supporting the cause is a matter of Christian discipleship or Catholic doctrine. It is not.
Additionally, innocent people have died because of open borders immigration and early jail releases. Do you therefore also support closing the borders to illegal immigration and oppose early jail release? To be consistent in protecting innocent lives, it would seem that you should.
Because I said that maybe the catholic faith doesn’t REQUIRE the abolition of the death penalty, is not the same as saying that it doesn’t SUPPORT the abolition of the death penalty. Two very very different things. In addition, in other posts, you have said that the abolition of the death penalty would be immoral – a position the Church has never taken.
It is arcane when it suits your purposes. Just like pastoral documents suddenly become doctrinal in your mind when it suits your purposes.
While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.” (Cardinal Ratzinger, Letter, Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion, General Principles, n. 3)
There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion about the application of capital punishment, but not about its validity in principle. To advocate for the abolition of CP is to say that CP is immoral in principle, or…
It is immoral! In our times it is! THat is the whole point of JP2’s teaching! He and Benedict called for its abolition!
As predicted, since you’ve quoted the CDF Letter, I ask, where in the letter does it say that there “IS” a legitimate diversity of opinion today? No where. In that sentence the CDF is positing a hypothetical scenario, there “may be” (not ‘is’) a legitimate diversity. There is no legitimate diversity today as there are now other means to contain a capital criminal short of putting him to death! ANd so the popes have called for its abolition in our time! Listen to the Magisterium. Respect life.
So, jon, to cut to the chase: do you affirm that capital punishment is valid in principle as a means for the state to perform its duty to protect citizens? I’m not asking about the morality of any particular case nor about changeable social circumstances as they happen to be in any particular nation at the present time; I’m asking about the principle that the state has the right to execute certain grievous and dangerous offenders. Do you affirm that right of the state? Do you affirm the validity of capital punishment in principle, which is prior to any consideration of the morality of applying capital punishment?
Sawyer, you should not be asking me these questions. YOu should be asking JP2, Benedict, and Francis. It’s their teaching not mine. THey have called for an END, the ABOLITION of the death penalty. THat call is well-documented and widely available. Be a faithful Catholic and adhere to their teaching.
ANd just a reminder again: The death penalty is NOT an INTRINSIC GOOD.
I asked YOU, jon, and if the popes were here I would also ask them. Since you will not answer the pointed questions I posed to you I am no longer going to engage with you. Undoubtedly your refusal to answer my pointed questions is because you can see where the rational line of reasoning would lead as a conclusion, you don’t like the conclusion because it defeats your argument and stance, it has created cognitive dissonance for you, and you are avoiding that by refusing to follow reason any more.
In sum: Catholic faith does not require and does not teach that CP must be abolished; those who seek to abolish CP do so on the basis of a foreign ideology.
You persist in your error Sawyer. The Magisterium does require and teach that capital punishment be abolished. The proof for this is in the words of the recent popes. Some of their words are quoted here. My point is proven. However, yours is not.
You refer to your pointed questions. The reason I answered as I did is because, frankly, I found your questions pedantic, tiresome, and redundant. You have clearly not learned from the words of the pontiffs who called for the abolition of this rotting relic from the culture of death that is capital punishment; and so you ask these questions looking for a way to save face. Well, no. NO such face-saving gesture is warranted for you. The choice is either obedience or disobedience;…
…..obedience or disobedience; adherence or non-adherence.
If you do press for an answer, I’ll graciously give you one, based on my reading of the popes. Capital punishment WAS valid in principle. It is no longer valid NOW. And this answer is based on the popes’ own words unequivocally calling for an end to the death penalty. The popes have not, and do not contradict Catholic doctrine when they call for the end to this form of punishment.
Okay, jon, since you replied to my questions at last:
If something is valid in principle, it is valid universally; principles don’t change. If CP is valid in principle (it surely is) it can never be invalid. What may change are circumstances of its moral application, but the principle of its validity cannot change. States have the unchangeable duty and right to execute certain grievous and dangerous offenders.
Popes calling for nations not to use the death penalty are exhortative wishes, not authoritative teachings. Nowhere has a pope said Catholics must oppose CP as they must oppose same-sex unions or abortion..
Again you persist in your error. When the last two Popes called on nations to abandon the death penalty, theirs was not a wish. It was a valid teaching of the Magisterium. It is binding, according to Lumen Gentium, #25.
Plus, your interpretation that the death penalty is applicable and an eternal principle valid for all time is refuted resoundingly by Ratzinger’s and Wojtyla’s call to abandon it, to abolish it in fact. They aren’t leftists with an agenda. They are correctly applying Catholic moral principles for own time.
Again, the death penalty IS NOT an intrinsic good. That’s your error.
In other words, jon, which of the following statements do you agree with?
1) Capital punishment is never morally justifiable.
2) Capital punishment is sometimes morally justifiable.
If you answer #1, you are wrong and run afoul of Catholic doctrine. If you answer #2, you are correct. The next logical realization would be that since capital punishment is sometimes morally justifiable it should not be abolished, even if at the present time it appears that capital punishment would seldom be morally justifiable. Future circumstances can change.
Sawyer: Listen carefully to the words of JP2 and Benedict and Francis. Especially JP2 and Benedict, they called for its ABOLITION. Read the statements I posted above. Your problem is not with me. Your problem is with Popes JP2 and Benedict and Francis. WHy don’t you ask them your questions.
If you’re still in doubt, why don’t you read this: “It cannot be over emphasized that the right to life must be recognized in all its fullness…In this context I joyfully greet the initiative by which Mexico abolished the death penalty in 2005, and the recent measures adopted by some Mexican states to protect human life from its beginnings. These resolute moves in such a fundamental question should be an emblem of your homeland, one of…
“….one of which it can be justly proud”. Pope Benedict XVI to the new Mexican ambassador to the Holy See on July 10, 2009.
Good luck, Sawyer, you are engaged on an uneven playing field, with Jon the Pious. Unlike him, you are bound by reason and fact. And non-contradiction.
He is most certainly on an uneven playing field. Sawyer has seen fit to challenge the teachings of JP2 and Benedict. He’s out of his league. Pray for him.
You are seeing fit to outstrip God and JP2 and Benedict by pretending that your opinion strikes a moral certitude. Pray for yourself, jon, and for others. But give off your attempt to assert that we can now change doctrine and make doctrine out of that which is official only pastoral.
Tookie Williams – founding leader of the west side ‘crips’ gang faced the Death Penalty, but could have had it commuted had he helped mitigate the harm caused by his gang – but while in prison he maintained ‘status’ and Power – including causing the harm or Death of innocents on the outside.
Until and Unless stone cold killers can be incarcerated so as to Prevent them doing further harm, then notorious killers like Williams (who was given a Choice to commute the sentence) provide an example of the Last Resor to protect the sheep from the wolves.
“May Christmas help to strengthen and renew, throughout the world, the consensus concerning the need for urgent and adequate measures to halt the production and sale of arms, to defend human life, to end the death penalty….for the protection of creation and of human dignity!” Words by Pope John Paul II’s “Urbi et Orbi” on Christmas Day, 1998:
Your arguments and tactics haven’t varied one syllable for many a long year, Jon. I’m tempted to think you’re either a death row inmate yourself, or a loved one is.
Wrong Larry. What I am is a faithful Catholic obedient to the Pope, his bishops, his priests. You, I am actually a true blue traditional Catholic, more faithful than the trolls who seem to inhabit here, spewing disobedience, scandal, and woe on unsuspecting readers.
He is simply defending Church teaching. No need to get nasty.
Not perfect but the death penalty is a deterrent, best we have & a final resort for ridding society of pure evil. We ARE allowed to defend ourselves. Worse alternatives may exist: Sharia law, coming to EVERYWHERE. In parts of the USA & UK already. The ‘Center for Security Policy’ article, Sharia in American Courts: The Expanding Incursion of Islamic Law in the U.S. Legal System, January 5, 2015. As we argue about this progressive* fake ‘life’ issue (*all for DEATH culture except for this) we ignore the bigger threats to American Law. Ready for: honor killings, losing a limb for stealing, death to gays, etc? Sharia doesn’t need prisons/trials? Death/maiming happens first. Explanations later. Not an expert, but Sharia seems…
.continued……harsher on suspects & offenders. US system = too(?) fair like in bend over backwards. No expert, but we are blessed with a system that really strives (as best as we can) for the best fair outcome & a trial before judgement too. Do states follow thru anymore on the few DP left? Aren’t the DP drugs not available? I read they aren’t being manufactured. Let’s keep the best deterrents we have in place for our own safety and protection. And keep our focus on the Sharia incursion in our courts, the bigger picture.
Well it’s easy for you to say a cavalier thing like “well it isn’t perfect”. You aren’t on death row. If you were on death row, you’d want a much more perfect system.
To simply dismiss it is another flawed thing in life seems awefully cold to me.We know that it is far from perfect.
YFC, That’s the best you’ve got as a counter? It isn’t logical to run down a good system for a tiny flaw. t’s many times a better legal system than others & deserves to be defended as such. You say it sounds ‘cold?’ BUT so many on DR actually deserve their fate & worse. Just ask the families of their poor dead victims. Why be so ‘cold & dismissive’ yourself to victims & their families? The families ‘WANT A MUCH MORE PERFECT SYSTEM’ (your own words in the proper context). The victims deserve it, not the criminals.
..continued…….Pray for those on DR, so they repent of their evil acts. But it’s a fact that their own bad judgement & actions got them there with rare exceptions. The families however, are INNOCENT VICTIMS. Hearts should CRY for the victims & loved ones left behind. If you have no concern for them, you are spiritually ‘dead’. The Death Penalty is the BEST we have. If it prevents one person from serious crime & saves one family from a great loss, it is working, as best as it can, in a weary world.
The disagreement here seems to be over whether bloodless means (BM) are sufficient. My opponents argue BM are sufficient, hence they believe CP is no longer necessary; I argue BM might be sufficient in most cases but cannot be in all possible cases, hence I maintain that CP could be necessary to implement.
Abolishing CP in law is immoral because it takes away a state’s natural right and duty and it would prevent a state from using CP in a circumstance in which it was necessary because BM weren’t sufficient.
Don’t abolish CP: implement it morally and judiciously and properly, which in California would mean very rarely.
My opponents claim CP can never be morally, judiciously or properly implemented. They are wrong.
You’re arguing against a couple of the greatest minds of the contemporary Church, Wojtyla and Ratzinger. They also happen to be the most prominent members of the Magisterium whose task it is to apply Catholic doctrine to our time. I’d rather ride on their barque, the barque of St. Peter, than on Sawyer’s.
Moreover, I pity those who have to argue in favor of death. Imagine having to defend, promote, be enthusiastic about killing another human being. I mean, it can’t be uplifting and life-giving to a person’s soul and spirit to advocate for death. We really should pity them and pray for their conversion. Abandon the death penalty folks: this rotting putrid relic of the culture of death!
jon, creating a straw man to knock down makes you look pathetic. Who is arguing in favor of death or who is enthusiastic about killing? Nobody.
CP, when necessary and applied morally is a just sentence that defends a society against a grievous and dangerous offender. CP is about justice and protecting innocent life. How sad that you apparently oppose justice and protecting innocent life. (See what I did there?)
I haven’t created a straw man. YOu are indeed promoting death. What else could it be. But you know, you’re missing the force of Benedict’s and John Paul’s teaching which is why your entire argumentation is weakly pathetic and will never fly. WHy do I say that? Just listen to yourself. You’re arguing from a hypothetical scenario–“when CP is applied morally it is just”. Well, to use the wording from the Catechism, that kind of conjecture IN OUR TIME, according to the judgment of the recent popes, is “practically non-existent.” The Church is arguing from what is evident, what is in reality, what is “in practice” namely that there are now other means available, widely, to defend society. When a human life is at stake,…
…you don’t want to be tinkering with “scenarios” and conjecture, and the Church doesn’t. The Church sees the change in circumstance and has rendered a judgment against the continued use of the death penalty.
Additionally Sawyer, justice is not necessarily served by the death penalty, according to the present Magisterium, this is proven by JP2’s and Benedict’s call to end this form of punishment. Neither does it necessarily protect innocent life, especially if one considers the fact that there have been men not actually guilty of a capital crime who have been mistakenly, unjustly executed.
IN California, when there are other means to contain a capital criminal, yes, it is immoral to keep the death penalty. It cannot be justly and properly implemented with other options available. To insist upon it betrays an intention that is bloodlust and revenge.
Jon, Are you aware of what happens, unintended consequences, of prison?Especially hard criminals with unholy intentions with nothing to lose? Just a couple of examples: See Mike McD June 10th above. See Hymie on June 12th below. And TODAY– the unholy attack on the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando Florida where so many died. If the killer had lived, he would be an example of a candidate for the DP. And the Catholic Catechism (by St JPII & Pope B16) is clear about allowing Legitimate Defense including CP in section 2263 thru 2266. All life matters, but some put themselves at odds with civilized society & lose the right to live freely due to their unholy acts.
Don’t think for a minute that abolishing CP is the endgame for these leftist activists. Just as civil unions were a tactic to get same-sex “marriage” enacted in law, abolishing CP is a tactic to get courts to rule eventually that life sentences without parole are a virtual death sentence and should be abolished also.
The top human rights court in Europe ruled in 2013 that a prison sentence of life without parole is inhuman and degrading treatment, and violates the European Convention of Human Rights. The 16-1 ruling calls into question the life sentences of three men convicted of murder in the United Kingdom, holding that inmates must have some opportunity for their sentences to be reviewed and some prospect for release.
Yeah, JP2 was a leftist and so was Pope Benedict. Right.
Um, jon, the article is about California agitators who are trying to deny the state a tool in the carrying out of justice. “These leftists” refers to those people. Mark my words: they won’t stop with abolishing CP. They will next agitate for abolishing life without parole because it is “cruel and unusual” punishment, or because it is “demeaning” and “degrading” and “dehumanizing” to take away hope from a criminal, no matter how grievous his crime. Or they will argue that to take away someone’s freedom for his entire life is to virtually execute him since freedom is a human right. There will be some cockamamie argument, believe me. Abolishing CP is just a stepping stone.
So. You say Sawyer that abolishing the death penalty is a stepping stone. You of little faith. The “leftists” may very well progress to asking for abolishing life without possibility of parole, but are you really lacking in faith in the Holy Spirit that He will guide the Church away from that error? I can see now from that statement that you have really been arguing your point throughout this thread from from fear.
“I commend the church in the Philippines for seeking to play its part in support of human life from conception until natural death…I also note with appreciation the church’s work to abolish the death penalty in your country.” Words by Pope Benedict XVI to the Philippine bishops, Nov. 29, 2010. Listen to the living Magisterium! Respect life!
“I ask you to hear the call of the Church for the abolition of capital punishment….Please allow yourself to reflect on the Holy Father’s plea and use your authority to help shape a society in which all human life is recognized as sacred.” Words by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the late papal nuncio, to Gov. Steve Beshear of Kentucky on September 9, 2010. Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life!
“Well done!” Words by Pope Benedict XVI to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when she presented to the Holy Father a copy of the new law outlawing the death penalty in the Philippines, June 26, 2006.
Aquinas and Augustine beg to differ with JP2 and Benedict.
Well, that makes sense Hymie. Aquinas and Augustine did not live in our times when there are now other means to defend society from capital criminals without resorting to the death penalty.
The mass murder in Orlando is exactly the sort of scenario in which killers deserve the death penalty. Good thing the assailant was killed by police with the taxpayer relief shot. Even in prison, the murderer would have been an example and inspiration to other ISIS terrorists to commit similar heinous acts. Executing such people protects society from those who would imitate them by sending the signal that you, too, will be hunted down and killed for committing such an atrocity. Bloodless means are not sufficient to protect against Islamic terrorism.
This is indeed callous. You’re no different from the liberal politicians running for office who use tragedies like Orlando to forward an agenda: and an agenda not supported by the Church. It is the mark of a true child of God when he/she looks at a tragedy like this and has mercy even on the guilty.
Sawyer. You make no sense. The state of Florida has the death penalty. It didn’t seem to have deterred the gunman now did it? (Campion, do you call this argumentation noble and well-reasoned??)
Islamic terrorists would have plunged ahead whether or not we have the death penalty. For these cowards, death is what they want.
Moreover, Sawyer, that the gunman was shot is not strictly speaking the issue we are dealing with here on this threat. What happened to the gunman there, being shot, is purely self-defense and sanctioned; it was not an execution in the sense that we’re discussing here. YOu’re conflating the two.
Sawyer, noble and well-reasoned effort on capital punishment (CP) (which I enjoyed quite), but all rational arguments with “jon” (“jon”, I believe,stands for “Just Obstinately ‘No-Never-Nada'”), will meet the same 3 retorts:
1. This pope (or that) have now said ‘no CP’, so all the prior 20 centuries of doctrine and the legion of popes, saints and scholars (Aquinas, Augustine, Suarez, Pius V, Pius X, etc) are reduced to zero. Behold the Church of Simon-says!
2. “Wrong, wrong, wrong”.
3. “You [all] are wrong-headed.” followed by his prudential judgment of excommunication latae sententiae on you all.
It’s not nice to mess with Jon the Pious.
Campion, jon makes more sense than you or Sawyer. Are you contemptuous because he and I are more faithful to the Magisterium that you both are? The Devil will have more contempt for us than for the likes of you. As for your three points:
1. As Jon correctly pointed out, Aquinas, Augustine, Pius V and X did not live in our time when there are other ways to protect society short of the death penalty.
2. Well, if you’re wrong, you’re wrong. What can we say? We can’t lie to you by saying you are right when you are truly wrong.
3. If you are excommunicated, you may have more serious problems that should be taken cared of. Maybe if you come to CalCath Daily less often you’ll solve that problem.
I disagree. His is not even well-reasoned. THere was no substantial proof presented to me. The only things I saw are an incomplete quotation from the Catechism, disingenuously omitting an entire paragraph, and secondly, a quotation from the CDF which misinterprets it.
It is indeed not nice to mess with pious me, especially if I see a Catholic totally disregarding a teaching on two of our great contemporary Popes, Wojtyla and Ratzinger, and especially if said Catholic is erroneously presenting his POV as if it were the teaching of the Church! Wrong! The only authentic teaching of the Church for our own times concerning the death penalty is that which is articulated by the Pope, not by Sawyer, and certainly not by Campion.
Additionally Campion, his first reply to me is to state that JP2 and Ratzinger never called for the abolition of the death penalty, saying he knows them more than I (that may very well be case if he’s had drinks with them). But he was proven resounding wrong by ample quotes showing that the two popes did call for the abolition of the death penalty. Then he erroneously calls me a leftist. ANd you call all of that noble? RIght. Noble indeed.
For the 100th time, jon, you don’t distinguish between exhortative wishes and authoritative doctrinal teaching. That’s the big flaw in your misguided thinking. No pope has authoritatively taught that CP should be abolished, and none ever will because the validity of CP is well-established in Scripture and the Church’s Tradition, which cannot change. The Catechism affirms the validity of CP in principle and counsels on its prudential application. It does not call for the abolition of CP. So don’t say that abolishing CP is a necessary Catholic stance; it is not. It is an immoral stance that will lead to more evil.
This is my final post under this story because it will soon disappear from the front page.
Adhering to the pope’s call to abolishing the death penalty is a necessary Catholic stance, as mandated by the Lumen Gentium #25. This is an authentic teaching of the last two popes, and therefore must be adhered to, in accord with Lumen Gentium. Read it for yourself: “This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent…
“… repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.”
So, it is manifestly in error of you to say that what the popes have taught are mere “wishes.” That is incorrect. It is manifestly wrong to say that the two popes would teach something that, as you erroneously said, “will lead to more evil.” As if the Ratzinger and Wojtyla would teach evil. I hope you will come to realize how wrong you are.
And no pope has ever taught authoritatively or “exhortatively” that it is immoral to abolish the death penalty.
Prison gangs such as the Mexican Mafia order hits both in and out of prison. What’s to lose? Such ones brutally prey on other prisoners and even guards, forcing the less violent and non-violent inmates to modify their behavior, and in some cases to compromise it in ways Catholics would hopefully find appalling.
The word “deterrence” has been barely mentioned here. Yet criminology recognizes deterrence as a completely separate justification for punishment from societal protection. The latter refers to incarceration of a criminal for a past act committed by him to protect society from propensity for future acts. Deterrence refers to the general effect of dissuading other persons from committing future crimes. The non-binding clerical comments opposing capital punishment all seem to refer to societal protection and ignore deterrent effect.
Ralph: great point: but you, like Sawyer, are using reason and fact. Ineffective on this playing field. Punishment no longer should fit the crime, in jon-world and “Rose”-church.
Why? A pope (or two) have now said so. 20 centuries of doctrine—-pfft! Just like that. The Church of Simon-Says. Aquinas, Augustine, all those other saint-popes: modernism reigns now: a new teaching for a new age.
Gal. 1:8: “But even if we or an angel were to preach a different Gospel to you other than the one we preached, let them be under God’s curse.”
Now, THERE’S an anathema Jon the Pious and “Rose”, supposedly his Favorite Accolyte, can sink their teeth into.
Maybe you can answer this Campion: Why do you champion death when justice can now be served without taking the life of another? Why cling to this rotting relic of the culture of death? Why are you so intent on bloodlust?
Campion, the more you speak here on this topic the more you condemn yourself. The authentic teachers of the Gospel is the Magisterium. That is a more foundational doctrine of the CHurch. Three popes have taught it. They are the guardians of the deposit of faith, and when they taught for the end of the death penalty, they are correctly applying the eternal teachings of the Church for our time.
Ralph’s argument will not fly. There are states with the death penalty. It hasn’t deterred capital crimes in those states. And Campion’s point has been refuted long ago. He forgets the three fonts of morality–the act or object chosen, circumstances, and intent. All three have to be good to make an action good. The circumstances have changed as judged by JP2, therefore affecting the morality of the action. This foundational Catholic doctrine is lost on folks like Campion who don’t apply thought or critical thinking, but merely emotionalism. Pray for him.
Ah, now the mysterious “Rose” appears as a counterpart to “jon” to comfortably assail any other reasoned perspectives. And the standard invectives of jon-typical pontifical excommunication to those who dare disagree. Ubi caritas, indeed.
Well, I am glad Rose is helping the true and authentic teaching of the Church in this here blog, for you certainly aren’t in support of the Magisterium.
“I also hope, more generally, that we will reach the point of giving up recourse to capital punishment, since today the State has other means available to suppress crime effectively, without definitively depriving the offender of the possibility of redeeming himself.” Pope John Paul II, General Audience, September 13, 2000.
“I am pleased with the recent deliberation of the Supreme Government and the legislative authority which – with the Church’s loyal collaboration – has abolished the death penalty and it is to be hoped that this will be a motive that encourages the most zealous and indispensable respect for the life of every human being, from his conception to his natural death.” Pope John Paul II to the new ambassador from Chile, June 18, 2001. Listen to the living magisterium! Respect life!
Beyond dispensing sacred justice, a pope or three notwithstanding, studies consistently show more executions equal less murders, eliminating recidivism and apparently inspiring second thoughts–an ounce of prevention shall we say. And then there’s treason, most deadly in the aggregate.