When Pope Francis asked Catholics to pray this September for an end to the death penalty, I in turn asked my flock to join him, stating: “It is well past time that the death penalty be stricken from the books.”
Such a prayer request is particularly called for in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, which includes within its boundaries San Quentin State Prison, the regrettable home of California’s death row for male inmates. Although recently Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered it to be dismantled and the condemned sent to other prisons, the irony is not lost: The death row at San Quentin has consistently been one of the largest in the United States (which had, as of earlier this year, over 700 men awaiting execution), even though the vast majority of us here in the Bay Area are opposed to capital punishment.
As we learn more about the death penalty in its practical operation, we should ask ourselves a key question: Is it necessary to kill in order to protect society?
While the citizens of deep-blue California have twice voted to keep the death penalty on the books, no one in California has been executed since 2006. And the practice is now officially on hold after Governor Newsom issued a moratorium on its use. However, a moratorium is only a temporary solution; the legal struggle over the death penalty will continue since a moratorium can easily be lifted later by a future governor (or even by the same governor, for that matter).
The pope and his predecessors, along with his brother bishops throughout the world, hold the strong view that the death penalty should be abolished not because it is an intrinsic evil, such as murder or abortion (which involve the killing of innocent human life). It is not; that is, it is not always and everywhere wrong. But as we learn more about the death penalty in its practical operation, we should ask ourselves a key question: Is it necessary to kill in order to protect society? We can once again take our cue from Pope Francis, who revised the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 2018, declaring that the death penalty “is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person” and stating that the church works “for its abolition worldwide.”
Death penalty advocates argue that executing murderers will deter future murders. The evidence for this claim is very difficult to establish. In fact, countries that abolish the death penalty tend to see declines in murder rates. So it is with the different states within our country: Those with the death penalty typically have more murders than states without it.
Most social science evidence both here and abroad suggests that the deterrent effect from the death penalty, if any, is vanishingly small.
Most social science evidence both here and abroad suggests that the deterrent effect from the death penalty, if any, is vanishingly small. For example, a 2020 study of the death penalty in Japan, published in the journal Supreme Court Economic Review (published by the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University), concluded that “neither the death sentence rate nor the execution rate has a statistically significant effect on the homicide and robbery-homicide rates, whereas the life sentence rate has a significant negative effect on the robbery-homicide rate.”
Capital punishment also carries within it the grave possibility of wrongly executing an innocent man or woman. Since 1973, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, 190 former death-row inmates have been exonerated of all charges related to the wrongful convictions that had put them on death row.
Those of us who follow Jesus Christ must also consider this: Our Lord—who from the cross where he was wrongly executed called out, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” —teaches us that we must be concerned with the soul of the guilty. The death penalty abruptly ends the possibility of conversion and mercy.
Recently I had the privilege to watch via Zoom a new play by Ruth Pe Palileo, Sons of Columbus (commissioned by the Benedict XVI Institute), which centered on Blessed Father Michael McGivney’s patient ministry to Chip Smith, a young man on death row for killing the local chief of police. Even in 1880, to my surprise, voices in society were raised against the death penalty for this young man.
We must be concerned with the soul of the guilty. The death penalty abruptly ends the possibility of conversion and mercy.
“I am requested by Mr. Smith to ask pardon for all faults he may have had and all offenses he may have committed, and at his request I ask for the prayers of all of you, that when next Friday comes he may die a holy death,” Father McGivney said at the end of the Mass.
He asked for prayers for everyone taking part in the execution, including himself: “To me this duty comes with an almost crushing weight. If I could consistently with my duty be far away from here next Friday, I should escape perhaps the most trying ordeal of my life, but this sad duty is placed in my way by Providence and must be fulfilled.”
A holy death, reconciled to God, is what we should wish for every prisoner on death row, and while there is life, there is hope for repentance and reconciliation.
The good news is that support for capital punishment has declined markedly from its peak in 1994, when Americans told Gallup they were in favor of the death penalty for convicted murderers by a margin of 80 percent to 16 percent. By 2021, just 54 percent of Americans favored the death penalty.
Yes, we need effective policing and enforcement measures to protect the innocent. We need good police officers to put their lives on the line. We need district attorneys willing to enforce the laws. We also need restorative justice ministries to bring healing to victims and to encourage reform of the penitent.
Criminal justice is also social justice. When crime rates soar, it is the least among us, the poor and minorities, who pay the highest price.
But today we no longer need capital punishment to protect the common good. If it is not necessary to kill to defend innocent life, then it is time for us to claim the higher moral ground and abolish the death penalty once for all. It is a reminder to us that the inherent dignity of every human being calls for us Americans to do better.
The above comes from a Sept. 22 posting written by Archbishop Cordileone in America magazine.
“No one in California has been executed since 2006.” As it should be.
Yay Archbishop Cordileone
Are you so gleeful with Archbishop Cordileone’s stance against pro-abortion politicans receiving communion? Knowing your stance, I think not.
Well Axiom on both counts my opinion aligns pretty closely with the Bishop…of Rome
“Well Axiom on both counts my opinion aligns pretty closely with the Bishop…of Rome” How well does this speak of the leadership of P. Francis, whose disastrous moves, IMO, have caused harm to the Church worldwide, and irreparable harm to the Church in China?
The thing that gets me is the acceptance of killing babies in the womb and babies just born, yet the same people deem it unacceptable to execute killers.
I understand the passion for life, but…
The death penalty has always existed in the civilized world. to say otherwise is to be ignorant of world history. To think that we are somehow going to signal in California that we are “more ethical than we’ve ever been” by simply abolishing the death penalty is rather naive and foolish, no? I think a clarification needs to be made in that the death penalty exists not only in civil law, but in military law as well using different terms: courts martial execution and summary execution (in time of battle).
The death penalty should be rare, but it must remain a moral option for use by the nation-state in the case of certain heinous crimes, particularly mass murder by terrorists, treason and espionage. To call into question of the death penalty or execution by the competent authority also begs of the question of the just war theory. To put this differently, does a sovereign nation state or does it not have a right to inflict deadly force in order to keep the peace and maintain its sovereignty? Does a nation EVER have the right to kill? This is slippery slope. The death penalty is not just about deterring future civil or war criminals, it is about deterring present ones who wish to destroy your family and the fabric of our nation.
Finally, I will add that there is sometime a curious and grace-filled moment in the condemned man’s life. What about those occasions when the death penalty is pronounced, and the guilty subject repents of his crime, confesses and receives eternal life prior to his execution? Sometimes, it takes that much to convert a soul.
To “El”: The entire Magisterium of the Church disagrees with you. To answer your points: firstly, a sovereign nation does not have the “right” to inflict deadly force unjustly; and the use of the death penalty–while there are other means to render a criminal harmless to society short of killing him–is unjust, a violation of that criminal’s human dignity. The death penalty indeed has been in existence historically, and it had been morally permissible for much of human history; but not in our time, not since other means have been developed to render a capital criminal harmless short of killing him. Secondly, as for your point that the death penalty is about “deterrence,” history proves you wrong: the death penalty has been going on for millennia, and it hasn’t stopped the occurrence of the most heinous crimes imaginable. Plus, the Archbishop’s words in the article prove the “deterrence theory” wrong. Thirdly, sometimes that moment of sincere conversion may indeed be triggered by the criminal’s impending execution, but not all the time. While there is time, there is a chance for God’s grace to work on a person’s soul. But a sincere conversion cannot not be induced artificially nor by pressure. Therefore, who are we to put a time-limit or restrictions on God’s sovereignty? Admit it folks, this rotting relic of the culture of death called the death penalty is on the way out and must be interred finally. Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
God’s Divine Justice is exact and true, and totally realistic– like Tough Love. The unrepentant, hardened sinner can even end up in Hell, eternally. Mankind had better respect God and His Divine Justice.
Excellent, El Padre! You should publish your views! I plan to send your excellent post to many. A great many clerics and theologians agree with your views 100%.
On the contrary “El’s” post is contradicting the official teachings of the Church. It relies mostly on “the death penalty has always been in existence” and “nations should have the right to kill” rather considering the weightier value of human life and dignity.
jon: Up until Pope Francis’ change in the CCC, the Catholic Church allowed for the death penalty. Again, it was to be only in rare circumstances after all other options failed. The English translation was “if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor,…” I think you need to be careful in that I am not advocating the free and easy use of the death penalty in most civil crimes today. Rather, I am pointing out that the change in Catholic teaching in the CCC regarding the use of the death penalty is quite recent and unfortunately fraught with some serious omissions as this relates to martial law and war powers. Up until Vatican II, for example, execution and the death penalty were commonly taught as a moral and necessary option for a civil society in time of war and strife. So, you create what’s called a Straw Man fallacy when you juxtapose this history with what you call “the weightier value of human life and dignity.” Whose life and dignity? Let me ask you this: what about the value of human life and dignity of the 6 Million Jews who were incinerated in ovens by the Nazis? Was the death penalty conviction against Hermann Göring, et al. not warranted by the Nuremberg Commission? No seriously intellectual Catholic military or civilian war historian would argue today that the executions (quite few in number, actually) against Japanese or German Axis leadership were unjustified. This is why it mist remain an option…just in case things really turn to…well…
“straw” is wrong. She forgets the fact that circumstances, one of the three fonts of morality, has changed as judged by Pope John Paul II in such a way that “as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases [of the need for the death penalty] are very rare, if not practically non-existent” (Evangelium Vitae, 1995). It is the existence in our time of other means to render a capital criminal harmless to society (short of executing him) which makes the continued use of the death penalty “cruel and unnecessary” (from John Paul II’s Homily in 1999). Therefore, the teaching to end the death penalty and the initial changes to the Catechism began during the reign of Pope John Paul II, not Pope Francis. Pope Francis along with Pope Benedict merely continued John Paul’s teaching on this issue. Secondly, Herman Göring was not executed; he committed suicide the day before he was to be hanged. But nonetheless, had he been executed, his execution as well as those of other criminals of the Second World War, would all be permissible morally at that time, because the papal judgment of John Paul II concerning the change in circumstances would not come until 50 years later. Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
No, jon, Pope John Paul II was great– but he was also a liberal idealist, regarding crime, who didn’t know, that our penal system has worsened, not improved. And the secular political liberals today that are in charge, have destroyed ir even further. Crime rates have actually skyrocketed, and crime has become a “Number One” concern, in America and worldwide. Pope John Paul II also never answered to the call to clean up serious crime– clerical sex abuse, pornography, gay sex scandals, embezzlement and financial mismanagement in the Vatican Bank, etc. — in his own Church. He ignored serious crimes. Straw man fallacy is correct.
“Reply to” is mistaken. Plus, there is absolutely nothing that she has written above that refutes in any way the wise teachings of Popes John Paul II, Benedict, and Francis on the matter of the inadmissibility of the death penalty. None.
jon, crime is skyrocketing, everywhere. There are many horrible crimes, including mass murders by gunmen. New Orleans is now America’s murder capital, with 208 homicides so far, in 2022– and three months to go. Homicides in New Orleans have increased 141%, in recent years. That city has lots of Catholic churches, too. Calif. also has skyrocketing crime and sin, everywhere. Something has got to be done.
Take a moment to actually read the article and to note what the Archbishop writes: “Death penalty advocates argue that executing murderers will deter future murders. The evidence for this claim is very difficult to establish. In fact, countries that abolish the death penalty tend to see declines in murder rates.”
Fine, jon. But I think the Church and society both need to get real serious about sin and crime.
The Church is indeed serious about sin and crime. You may have chosen to be blind to the many ways God continues to be at work through His Church.
Slavery has also always existed in the “civilized” world. Some uncivilized practices survive even we esteem ourselves highly.
El Padre I disagree with you, but I very much appreciate how well you represented the reasoning of “the other side”. You never resorted to ad hominems or represented the other side in bad faith. Good honest dialogue such as the one you represent, is what synodality is all about.
If the criminal of the horrific Uvalde, Texas school massacre were still alive, and if I were a Texan serving on a jury at his criminal trial– I would agree to a vote for capital punishment. Our society, today, is more evil, Godless, sinful, violent and backward, than ever! With very little moral teaching– and no discipline– from naive, permissive church leaders. They are not tough enough, either, on the sin and crime of abortion– baby murder. I believe only in the original Catechism. I believe in good discipline, hard work, self-responsibility, and accepting life’s hardships– and dealing with reality. No more baby stuff. If you do the crime– you do the time. Period. Let the minister say a prayer, and let the priest hear the last confession, of the murderer, before he takes his capital punishment. Next, he can discuss it with God. The early Christians had much harder penances, to cleanse the soul of sin. Our precious children deserve much better churches, and a much better, safer society.
Our children deserve better than keeping this rotting relic from the culture of death called the death penalty. Our children deserve a better lesson than “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” which is what “Our” here is supporting. Our children need to be taught about the dignity of all human life. Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
You…you…you would vote for capital punishment for a mentally ill 18 year old?
Who’s godless and sinful, violent and backward?
Ok. So this comment from “would” gets my commendation, specifically my first-degree “praise,” the fourth-degree being the highest (called “highest praises). Congratulations, “would.”
jon, do you think Adolf Hitler’s soul might be suffering eternally with Satan, in Hell? Do you think God is “cruel” to allow that?
“Reply”, please. Do think things through before you type. God’s justice is infinitely wiser than the wisdom of any human state or government. So, “Reply”, I therefore turn the question on you: would you really entrust life-and-death issues to a government that cannot even balance the budget, secure our borders, and ensure the future of the nation?
So– let Satanic Charles Manson kill all the kids at your nice little local elementary school, instead– same thing. While all the cops stand around, outside, not sure what to do about it. Let the killer claim to be high on dope, mentally ill, or whatever. Without law and order and good men to protect our country and our churches — and good discipline in the people — we will have no more America, and no more churches, at all. God bless the Swiss Guards at the Vatican, who protect the Pope. I said, if I were a Texan, serving on jury duty, and the Uvalde killer got convicted– and I was asked to give my vote for a death sentence– sorry, I would say, “Yes!.I would also say “yes,” if it were the case of murderers such as Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson, Mao Tse-Tung, Joseph Stalin, Taliban members and 9/11 murderers.
Mankind needs greater respect for God. And less concern for the “human rights” of the evil, Satanic mass murderers. They have forfeited their “human rights.” And are on the way to an eternity in Hell, anyway.
That is not Catholic teaching. Many people disagree with the Church on this.
Fr. Shannon Collins MSJB has several talks on YouTube on the Catholic Church and the death penalty. I’d like to know your thoughts on this one in particular: https://youtu.be/iT1HMmZk9aE
Capital punishment as practiced in the US is impractical and because of the appeals process, more trouble than it’s worth. It costs far more than life in prison in general maximum custody. About 25 % of the condemned US prisoners die of natural causes. Finally, life in prison is a fate worse than death in the majority of cases. If the condemned are indeed damned, they’re going one way or the other and 35 or 40 years in the context of eternity doesn’t add up to anything at all.
We’re just shooting ourselves in the foot unless we move to a post WW II military style process which is not going to happen. Best cut our losses and spend the money on victims reparation (which probably wouldn’t happen either).
Does your youtube priest tell people that God is such a “meanie” for letting unrepentant, demented, crazy, horrific mass murderers– like Hitler– go with Satan to live eternally, in Hell? Do you think the soul of Adolf Hitler might be in Hell? Is that “mean?” An eternity in Hell is far worse than a moment of capital punishment.
Sorry, this comment of Sept. 25 at 10:29pm is to Expiation, not asdf. Anyway, if I were to serve on a jury, in the extreme case of a conviction of a horrific mass murderer– if I were asked to cast my vote for capital punishment– I would probably say “yes”– and that’s that. The protection of our society is a very serious responsibility. Our churches— both Catholic and other denominations– no longer take their responsibility for spiritual and moral leadership very seriously, which is a big part of the problem. People are no longer taught Christisn morality. Many clergy leaders today, are extremely naive, permissive, cowardly, selfish, and immature. And they also do little to prevent and end immorality and crime in their own clergy, such as terrible LGBT sins, clergy sex abuse of children and adults, and child pornography. They are ridiculous.
The Church teaches. People like yourself reject it. They prefer their own brand of morality.
Human life is sacred.
me, if you are truly passionate about reforming criminals, go sign up for the prison ministry at San Quentin.
In “Comment’s” defense of the death penalty, she has managed to attack the clergy of the Church. Notice that people? Contrary to her argument, the Church’s Magisterium is leading societies of the world to recognize the sacredness and dignity of ALL human life, even the lives of those who have committed crimes, because God Almighty’s image is in all human beings. This is a lesson that is needed to be heard by folks like “Comment” and the rest of the secular world.
You didn’t actually bother to actually listen to Fr. Collins’ talk, did you?
“We need good police officers to put their lives on the line”
It is a strange world where evil is cured
by the sacrifice of the lives of “good police officers”
It is too bad that the bishops and priests have more regard for the violent and the pedophiles
than for the innocent and children
I would normally recuse myself if on the jury for a death penalty case — except for the murder or rape of a child. It’s so wickedly evil that I would have no problem casting my ballot for capital punishment.
I agree with you, Hermoine. These very horrific extreme cases of evil would cause me to accept the death penalty, as a member of a jury.
At least you know what would tempt you
No. Jury duty is a big responsibility. My only temptation, would be to think of a way to get out of serving on a jury, for a trial involving a grisly, horrific, cold-blooded rape and murder of a poor little child. I couldn’t bear it– hearing all the details, in the courtroom, would cause me to just break down and cry. How about you?
“Hermoine” and “Reply to”: As Catholic Christians we are called to respond to higher motivations of love even for the criminal, just as we react with compassion to the victims. Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
jon – I would consider capital punishment for convicted child killers as society’s self-defense. There is no greater evil than the corruption of a child, whether body or soul. I liken this to a father who comes upon a man molesting his child. In that father’s anguish, he might kill that man. Every parent would be able to put themselves in that father’s position and say, without hesitation, he was in the right. This also speaks to the good men who plotted to assassinate Hitler in order to save the lives of many innocents. Would you judge those brave men so harshly? You could argue that one killing is in the heat of passion and the other is cold-blooded. The plots to kill Hitler, et al, are as just today as they were 80 years ago.
“Axiom”: If I may suggest, do first clarify in your mind the difference between murder, self-defense, and homicide as opposed to the death penalty, which is the state-sanctioned killing for the convicted. So, do first clarify those in your mind, then we can talk. In the meantime: Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
God’s law is “Thou shalt not kill.”
A man killing a man who molested his child is not in the right. He is in the wrong.
Your feelings do not justify the breaking of the law of God.
The jury doesn’t condemn anyone to death. They merely decide the guilt or innocence of the accused. They have no moral culpability in what the judge decides to do, even if the prosecution declares they are seeking the death penalty. That’s all on others, not the jury.
The jury decides. In some states, a judge can overrule.
adf– It depends. According to the American Bar Association, in most states, the jury imposes a sentence in cases where the death penalty may be an option.
In 1971, a jury gave Charles Manson and three girls who were his gang members, the death sentence. The four murderers were sentenced to die in the gas chamber.
I believe totally in the older Catechism. Not in the “Francis Catechism.” The older Catechism is correct.
If you feel that “the older Catechism is correct” then be informed that the previous version of the Catechism lends greater support and provides a historical justification for Pope Francis’ judgment that the death penalty is not morally permissible in our time. The previous Catechism teaches that the traditional teaching of the Church is that “when [the death penalty] is the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor,” only then can there be “recourse to the death penalty” (2267). The reality in our time is that there are other practicable ways to defend the lives of human beings (society) against a capital criminal, that the use of the death penalty is now morally inadmissible. Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
I do not think times have changed– things have worsened. Murders and other crimes are on the rise, nationwide– and worldwide. Law enforcement is not effective. And the clergy no longer teaches the Faith and helps cultivate a moral conscience in people. The Catholic Church no longer stands as a Moral Authority in the world, firmly against sin.
“The Catholic Church no longer stands as a Moral Authority in the world, firmly against sin.”
It doesn’t? Why do so many people hate the Church then?
You must be quite young, and not acquainted with the pre-Vatican II- Church — which was a very strong force against sin! It used to stand strongly as a fortress against sin, a Moral Authority to be reckoned with, in the world! But in today’s world, everything has changed.
“Reply” the solution to increased crime out there is not the death penalty. It is not. A viable solution is supporting law enforcement, supporting the traditional institutions of society such as the family and marriage, including religious institutions such as the Catholic Church.
jon, nobody is saying the death penalty is a “solution.” Yes, the answer to all things is the traditional (man-woman) Marriage, Family, and society– and respect for God and the traditional Church. Clergy and secular authorities ought to get tough on sin and crime in the Church and society. With the Church to lead the way, inculcating the Faith and Morals, standing (as she used to do) as a Moral Authority for the world to look up to, and lean on.
On the contrary, the Church is indeed leading the way. For example, it is leading the way concerning the issue of the death penalty. The difficulty is that there are some Catholics such as yourself who for invalid reasons question the Church’s authority on matters of faith and morals. They obfuscate on blogs like this (notice how you obfuscate the issue here). Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
jon, Gavin Newsom is eliminating Death Row and the death penalty, anyway. And wants to let many prisoners go free out in the world, as there are so many horrible criminals– the prisons cannot hold them anymore. So there. What are you going to do, if one of Gavin Newsom’s released murderers attacks your wife and chikdren? We will end up, possibly being a society of gun-toting civilians, like the Wild West– with gun-toting men protecting their wives and children? And even lady school teachers toting a gun to protect her students at the local school? And volunteers with guns at local churches, to protect Mass-goers? This is all just horrible! I’m not exactly for or against the death penalty– just for law and order, decency, discipline, and safety for all! And I do not like civilians carrying guns! I won’t, for sure! And you?
The solution to the “Newsom” situation and to the other situations you describe is not to make the death penalty permissible, but rather the solution is in the ballot box. The Church will not compromise on its teaching on the inviolability and sacredness of all human life, despite your protestations. Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
“The hardest people to reach with the love of God are not the sinners. They know they are sinners. The hardest ones to win for God are the self-righteous people.”
Should there be a death penalty? Absolutly.Charles Manson was responsible for the death of hundreds of imprisoned men and at least a 1,000 on the outside! How did he do this? He formed the Arien Brotherhood while in prison and issued hit orders.
Do you think serial killers stop because they are in prison? No they don’t.Part of the reason for death row is to separate these horrible murders from the other inmates for their protection
Please give this some thought.
“John C.” The Church has indeed given it some thought. The solution to crime in the prison population is not necessarily to condone the death penalty, but to strengthen, clean up, and support the penal system. The Church is not about to condone the death penalty as a remedy to weaknesses in the penal system.
I think you have Manson confused with someone else.
In 1971, Charles Manson was given the death sentence. But in 1972, the California Supreme Court deemed the death penalty unconstitutional. So Manson’s death sentence was changed to life imprisonment. Manson died in prison. I don’t think he was the one who ordered killings from prison– I think it was a prisoner who belonged to the Mafia or to a Mexican gang. The death penalty is legal in California, today. But Gavin Newsom ordered a moratorium on use of the death penalty, in 2019.
“No one in California has been executed since 2006.”
That is, if you don’t count the people murdered by criminals.
“Dr. Pangloss”: That’s comparing apples and oranges. Those who are executed by the death penalty die by the agency of the state, in the name of the people, in your name and mine. On the other hand, those sadly murdered by criminals perish because of the evil in the criminal’s heart. Invaild comparison.
Apples and oranges?
Kate Steinle unavailable for comment.
Additionally, Steinle’s killer was not found guilty of second-degree murder nor manslaughter, but only of being in possession of a firearm. The killer claimed that he found the gun at the bench which went off and hit Steinle. Citing Steinle’s case as a support for the death penalty was not a good idea there. Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
thatdirty, on another story, someone told of a video on Saul Alinsky and the video juxtaposed the Catholic, Christian philosophy of viewing everyone as a person vs. .Alinsky’s using people as symbols
Her parents have asked that her name be left out of debates on immigration. I would imagine they would feel the same about it being used in other debates.
Of course people become symbols. How are we to remember them and how they lived and died? Symbols are only what we make of them.
Don’t you think St Serra is a symbol for the Church? Dagger John Hughes?
Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it. We should be deploring what happened to Kate and the rest of us.
The problem for “thatdirtylittleratnunnheim” is that what happened to Kate Steinle’s case does not refute nor dispel in any way the Magisterium’s teaching on the moral inadmissibility of the death penalty. Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
The problem for “thatdirtylittleratnunnheim” is that what happened to Kate Steinle does not refute nor deny the wisdom of the Magisterium’s teaching on the moral inadmissibility of the death penalty. Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
We celebrate Kate’s life and mourn her death not because she was killed by a gun or because the gun was in the hands of a man or an illegal immigrant.
We give thanks to her Creator for her being. We pray for the repose of her soul, for peace for her friends and family, for healing for the witnesses especially her father.
We pray for the man who was holding the gun that went off.
We pray for America.
We ask Kate to pray for all of us.
Lord, hear all of our prayers.
Charles Manson was a person. He was sentenced to the death penalty for the first degree murders of 7 people that he did not kill. (I think he admitted to killing another person.) He is used as a symbol in comments above as a mass murderer (which he was not) and a serial killer (which he was not.)
Kate Steinle was shot and killed in 2015 while walking with her father along Pier 14 at the Embarcadero in San Francisco in the State of California, a state which technically and officially still has the death penalty. In spite of the death penalty remaining legal in California, it did not deter Steinle’s killer. Folks, the death penalty is not a deterrence for murders and homicides. And so our gratitude goes out to “thatdirtylittleratnunnheim” for pointing out Steinle’s case as another proof against the death penalty. Brilliant. Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
Tell the whole story, jon. Kate Steinle’s life was cruelly ended by an illegal alien and criminal from Mexico, who was previously deported five times from the U.S. San Francisco is just a terrible, city, because it is a sanctuary city for illegal aliens– and some are dangerous criminals. The homicie was not intentional, and the criminal was acquitted. However, he had to stand trial– and was convicted and sentenced for being an illegal alien and a felon, possessing a firearm. Americans and their children and loved ones are not safe, with the leadership of liberal-leftist idiots. Respect life, jon!
Note to “Reply”: the issue in this article is the death penalty, not illegal immigration. If you want to talk about illegal immigration, I suggest you wait for an article on California Catholic Daily on that. Deflecting and obfuscating are not good. And you like to do both.
Plus, “Reply’s” sentiment is not supported by the facts as Cordileone has stated: “Death penalty advocates argue that executing murderers will deter future murders. The evidence for this claim is very difficult to establish. In fact, countries that abolish the death penalty tend to see declines in murder rates. So it is with the different states within our country: Those with the death penalty typically have more murders than states without it.”
Therefore, “Reply”: Listen to Cordileone, listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
You failed to tell the whole story. Murderers are indeed related to capital punishnent. Respect life, jon.
“Reply” should listen to the words of Archbishop Cordileone who wrote: “Death penalty advocates argue that executing murderers will deter future murders. The evidence for this claim is very difficult to establish. In fact, countries that abolish the death penalty tend to see declines in murder rates. So it is with the different states within our country: Those with the death penalty typically have more murders than states without it.”
“Reply”: listen to the living Magisterium. Listen to Cordileone. Respect life.
jon, respect for life always begins with showing basic respect, kindness, and genuine, heartfelt goodwill to all others– as our dear Abp.Cordileone does.
it’s the opposite. Respect, kindness goodwill flow from respect for human life and dignity. (or sometimes lesser values)
Good idea. I therefore expect “Reply to” to show basic respect, kindness, and genuine heartfelt goodwill in her comments here about the Holy Father, Pope Francis. I can make a list people.
Tragically, Pope Francis’ Pontifical Academy for Life is no longer a staunch supporter for Pro Life and Catholic teaching. And the Pope has publicly praised staunch pro abortion politicians.
So here’s the lesson people: regardless of what a human being has done that has offended you, or regardless of what crimes a person has committed, or regardless of what you have read in the anti-Francis blogs that unjustly criticize the Pope, or regardless of what charges are leveled against your fellow human being, you MUST “show basic respect, kindness, and genuine, heartfelt goodwill to all.” If you don’t, then “Reply to,” your words are just like a “clanging gong or a clashing cymbal”–worthless and devoid of charity and hypocritical. There must be no limit nor restrictions on whom you show BASIC respect, kindness, and goodwill. This includes the criminal who has committed the most heinous crime just as much to the Pope. People, listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
You need to love them. And you need to obey the Pope. And you need to be able to stay on a subject.
If you do not really value human life, then why are you against abortion?
There is another reason.
jon and human life– You have extremely bad manners! Looks like you feel extremely threatened and are insecure in your religious beliefs. There are many young Catholics of today, who are outstanding Pro Life leaders: Shawn and Marilisa Carney, Abby Johnson, David Daleiden, Kristan Hawkins, and Lila Rose, are among them. Perhaps you are very young and in their age group– old enough to be very young grandchildren, to those in my age group! These excellent young Catholic Pro Life leaders are always very kind, caring, mature, and respectful to others. They are excellent young Catholic leaders for you. Hope you will join the current 40 Days fir Life crusade. And participate in our Rosary Novena to end Prop. 1. I suppose you only know how to display very bad manners when you write anything. So I will no longer be reading anything you write– too immature.
I get that a lot.
There is absolutely nothing impolite in what I wrote. Folks, honestly, listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
And by the way, it is extremely bad manners to be attacking the Pope for no just and valid reason.
She always comes unglued.
So the State bears the sword in vain?