Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 12:28 AM By jon
Discounting the rightful cause of repealing the death penalty by associating it with the ACLU will not work. Repealing the death penalty not only has the support of the bishops, but most importantly of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 2:06 AM By Truth Teller
While the “SAFE” Death Penalty Repeal has more than enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, it will be TRAGIC if the CALIFORNIA PARENTAL NOTIFICATION INITIATIVE does not get enough signatures to be on the November, 2012 ballot. Tens of thousands of more young girls will be exposed to Planned Parenthood’s SECRET ABORTIONS and to SEXUAL EXPLOITATION for years to come. May God have mercy on us and our religious leaders if we don’t care enough to at least gather the signatures needed to qualify a Parental Notification Initiative for the November Presidential election!!!
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 3:21 AM By Marie
If the signature gathering for the SAFE Death Penalty Repeal has reached its goal to get on the November ballot, I hope and pray that Catholic bishops and parishes throughout California will now promote signature gathering to get the Parental Notification initiative on the ballot. We really need to get Parental Notification on the ballot so that voters can have an opportunity to reject Planned Parent’s “right” to perform abortions on young girls without a parent even knowing about it. Do our Catholic bishops and priests really care about this abuse and sexual exploitation of thousands of young girls? It is time for the California bishops and priests to really promote signature gathering for the Parental Notification Initiative instead of just giving it tepid, inadequate support with so many “Don’ts” and warnings and limitations that effectively stifle volunteer efforts to obtain the large number of signatures required to qualify the Parental Notification initiative for the Presidential election ballot. If we fail, tens of thousands of young girls will suffer spiritual, emotional, and physical harm, and some may even die and tens of thousands more of God’s precious children will be killed by immoral abortionists every year!
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 3:31 AM By Joe
Pope John Paul the Great reminded us that we must respect life from conception to death. God, who is the creator of all life, is the only one who should determine who lives and who dies. If we consider life to be a gift from God, then who are we to throw the gift back in God’s face?
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 6:01 AM By Ted
Until legislation is passed to ensure that “Life Imprisonment Without Parole” is mandatory for any capital crime, and that law is put through the courts and passes Constitutional testing in that way, I would not support banning capital punishment. The problem with the Pope’s idea is WE LET THEM OUT TO RE-OFFEND. Only if I can be sure they will never be let out will I support a ban on capital punishment. Had Richard Allan davis remained in prison as he should, Polly Klaas would in all liklihood be alive and well today. That one case adequately proves my point and it’s all I need. I don’t really care who is against it – capital punishment is necessary for the safety of me, you, and our families until we fix things in our penal system.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 7:11 AM By Dan
Now the ACLU intends this Death Penalty Repeal to apply to unborn children in the womb, does it not? What a change of heart!
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 7:15 AM By JOHN
It is critical for the bishops to save face and concentrate now on getting signatures to stop child abuse by the abortionists. If the bishops fail us on the Parental Notification inititative, then we need to say—“Not a dime for the bishops’ fund.”
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 7:21 AM By JLS
Total waste of resources, squandering on an issue which has to do with 40-50 executions per year in the entire nation! Sad that some are not guilty, but this is rare. These heinous villains do not need to be pampered, and the people advocating it are merely exercising their hatred of society, a kind of tyranny, a kind of zoo to keep people in fear.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 7:28 AM By Carson Weber
I second the very first comment (authored by jon).
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 7:30 AM By JLS
jon, your citing the bishops as moral leaders is more of an oxymoron than a wise statement. The bishops are not even willing to stop over a million baby slaughterings each year in the USA, and yet you pine away for three or four dozen heinous villains … how much money comes your way for your advocacy, jon? What’s in it for you?
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 7:32 AM By Tom in San Jose
It would be also be nice if innocent, unborn children were not subjected to the death penalty (torturously carried out by hacking them to pieces) for the mere crime of being inconvenient. Re. the initiative, I agree with Ted in that “life imprisonment without parole” is the key bit; if the state can’t carry out that obligation, then the community cannot be protected in accordance with CCC 2267. I’m still making-up my mind whether to sign the petition.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 7:33 AM By Larry
Putting a killer behind bars for life will keep the general society safe FROM HIM (although it will not be as great a deterrent for other potential killers) but it most certainly will NOT protect the lives of those inside the prison, whether inmates or staff. It will impose a grave responsibility upon the staff to keep this person under strict control, because he will no longer have any incentive to refrain from killing. The more murderers you send to prison for life, the greater will be the danger inside the prison, and the more difficult will become the job of controlling them. The bishops and death penalty opponents seem to feel that the lives of those inside the “joint”, whether inmates or staff, are not worth protecting, and need not be factored into the equation when determining whether the extreme recourse to the death penalty is warranted under the law of God. I do not hold with this thinking.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 7:45 AM By RB
With economic calamity for the US and world just around the corner and California bankrupt. If our civilization collapses, those imprisoned zombies who are alive to the world but dead to God will be let out of their cages and will wreak vengeance and horror. Society is fragile, the cells and walls we have constructed are not as enduring as we pretend them to be.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 8:16 AM By Bud
The death penalty should be retained for taking the life of another on purpose period. No special allowances that depend on who was murdered, and a myriad of tricks by the lawyers must be eliminated period.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 8:41 AM By Maryanne Leonard
Since the ACLU is composed, from all I can discern, of bleeding heart liberals who ostensibly are tormented with concern for our society’s poor, downtrodden victims, any day now I expect to see them walking with us, carrying signs to protest the murder of the innocents going on inside abortion mills and – yes! – hospitals across this once great nation.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 8:54 AM By RWhite
It is not surprising that the ACLU has no regard for the innocent but all the compassion for the guilty. When considering the death penalty I always look to scripture and doctors of the church for guidance, Genesis 9:5-6., Num. 35:30, Num. 35:33-34, Romans 13:4, Acts 25:1-12. The key verse in this section is Acts 25:11,, Ecclesiastes 8:11 St. Augustine – The City of God: Book 1, chapter 21 St. Thomas Aquinas -Summa contra gentiles, Book III, chapter 146, Summa Theologiae, II, II, q. 64, art. 2. The reasoning against the death penalty is found in the catechism and even there it does not eliminate the death penalty. The fiscal reasons are a legitimate argument , I would say legislate a more streamlined process balancing the rights of the accused with economic realities ( your not going to get a F.Lee Baily but a competent attorney and a limited appeals process), also consideration on the rights of the victims families and society’s need for punishment which is what the death penalty is . If they made a proposal to eliminate protective custody in prison and life without parole they might have a stronger case. Metus improbos compescit, non clementina ( Fear not kindness restrains the wicked.)
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 9:09 AM By Laurette Elsberry
Please watch the 3 minute ACLU of Northern California video on YouTube of Ashley Morris, ACLU-NC Organizing Coordinator, who is listed on the San Jose Diocese website as the contact person for signature gathering for the SAFE death penalty repeal initiative. She is proudly celebrating her role with ACLU in defeating the 2008 Parental Notification Proposition 4. (In fact, PROP 4 nearly passed with 6,220,473 Californians voting YES – 48.04 % YES to 51.96 % NO votes.) The ACLU video, “How We Won: Proposition 4” can be viewed at: www DOT youtube DOT com/watch?v=docmApJbYz8 Ashley Morris is identified as an ACLU of Northern California “Organizing Coordinator”. How can the bishops expect to be taken seriously about defending religious freedom in regard to the Obama Care Mandate for contraceptive coverage? The ACLU was effective in forcing all California bishops, priests, and Catholics to pay taxes to fund hundreds of thousands of abortions performed on young girls in the past 20 years without even a requirement that a parent know about it. How would the bishops respond if Ashley Morris and the ACLU advocated attacking bishops’ and Catholics’ lives instead of their consciences and religious freedom?
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 10:04 AM By Peggy
There have been 1400 executions of criminals nation wide since 1976. Every day 4000 innocent babies are killed. It’s the old “seamless garment” argument. How many bishops will support repeal of the death penalty and not say a word against abortion?
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 10:42 AM By Ray
How many of the responders to this article have actually has a member of the their family murdered? While the murderer is alive, either in prison or out, it is alway with you that he is out there and could murder again. As Ted indicated earlier, unless a life sentence WITHOUT parole is put into law, I would not gback such a proposal.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 10:55 AM By Seraph
If the Catholic bishops oppose the death penalty, that is their prudential opinion, but it is a legitimate option for Catholics to support the death penalty. It should be plainly stated that Catholics have the freedom to support it, because tradition of the Church has always supported it, from Moses, to Augustine, to Aquinas all the way to Pope Pius XII. Opposition to the death penalty started with Pope John Paul II who said it should not be used. It his prudential opinion, not official doctrine that binds every single Catholic. Catholics are free to support or reject the death penalty
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 11:09 AM By Seraph
That the Catholic bishops believe the death penalty should be abolished, is their prudential opinion, but it should be plainly stated that Catholics are free to support the death penalty. Support for the death penalty has always been the tradition of the Church and scripture, from Moses, to Augustine, to Aquinas, and all the way down to Pope Pius XII. Opposition to the death penalty started with Pope John Paul II who said it shouldn’t be used. However, that is his prudential opinion and not official doctrine that binds every single Catholic.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 11:09 AM By sam
I guess few of you have ever read the parable of the “weeds and the wheat” present by Jesus Himself. If so you would not be so belligerent re the realities of human existence. It is only when Jesus Himself, the Just Judge, signals the angels to separate these things out; then He alone will separate the goats from the sheep. Lets face it – no human is capable of discerning that which He alone knows – knowing as He does what’s in a man heart. Recall just this week, we were warned at Mass during the Readings & Gospel to quite passing judgement and judging by externals; and, make an honest judgement. The latter can only be done when we being w/ourselves. For no one knows a man spirit except that man himself; and no one knows the Spirit of God except God. Look first to your own sinfulness before passing judgement on others for you will be judged as you have judged others. And from the looks of some of these articles on this site, as well as some of the comments, you seem to forget that God will have mercy on those who have shown mercy.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 11:11 AM By sam
PS – btw eliminating the death penalty IS a Catholic Church priority among other priorities concerning “Life”.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 11:14 AM By Tracy
I have a big problem with the ambiguous statement in the CCC when we are told that in todays society, with our “modern” detention facilities that the death penalty is unnecessary to protect society from murderers. What a huge presumption. Let’s just say for example, here in California, we have a major earthquake which not only destroys the prison, allowing prisoners to escape, but also kills the prison guards who work at the facility, what then? What happens if this country ends up in economic ruin depleting money for the prisons, what then? I should also add that nowhere in the Bible or in Catholic tradition is there mentioned that the death penalty was designed to protect society. It has always been there to appease Gods justice.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 11:52 AM By k
Tracy, I know what you mean by that. It seems a little different from the other teachings in the CCC. As far as I can tell, the teaching of the Church is “Thou shalt not kill”. three exceptions were made- just war, self-defense and capital punishment. Now the Pope is saying that human life is sacred and should always be protected. Though they have never said anything about self-defnese, both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have strongly urged the nations to abandon war and capital punishment.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 12:11 PM By Laurette Elsberry
I reviewed the ACLU YouTube “How we won: Prop 4”, and transcribed the words of Ashley Morris. In the 5:13 minute video, at 2:12 minutes she notes , “We had a diverse and inspiring group of volunteers coming out – teachers, and pediatricians…”. At 2:33 she further beams, “I was really inspired this year by the level of activism I saw on college campuses. Students were running their own phone banks on campus, and planning huge rallies with hundreds of students. They were getting op eds in their college papers, and getting their editorial boards to endorse the No on 4 position.” And at 3:29, “We’ve definitely seen our volunteer base grow over the last three campaigns. And that was really inspiring, especially this year. Because there was a lot on the ballot, a lot of progressive issues”. Ashley Morris’ name and contact information can be found on the Diocese of San Jose ( dsj.org) website in the section on the Initiatives which you can access through Item #5 on the home page. She is the contact person for the Diocesan/ACLU effort to end the death penalty found as on the “Procedural Guidelines SJ Diocese”. On the video her title is “ACLU-NC (Northern California) Organizing Coordinator”. Would the bishops be willing to work with a racist group like the Ku Klux Klan who favored lynching Blacks, or a neo-Nazi group who favored killing Jews? The ACLU is far worse than the KKK since they defend and promote the killing of tens of millions of God’s children and they demand the bishops be their fiscal accomplices in paying for this California HOLOCAUST.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 12:23 PM By JLS
sam, the priority of the Church is salvation, not ending the death penalty, not ending poverty, not ending sin, but beginning salvation. Jesus tells us He came not to condemn the world, because it already was, but to save those who believe in Him. Church dogma allows for capital execution … ain’t gonna change til the Second Coming.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 12:49 PM By Tom in San Jose
Is there really any such thing as an iron-clad “life imprisonment without parole”? In my opinion, the very same ACLU pushing this initiative will work doubly hard to get the relevant criminals released from prison once the state constitution is changed.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 3:36 PM By Abeca Christian
Larry I agree with your comments. I know of a few inmates that were very dangerous and also ended up killing other inmates of lesser crimes. The gangs inside prisons too, some kill so they can get their title as the man in charge. Some inmates even escape and kill some more. Also this faulty system we have, how many cases do we hear of that criminals are set free and then end up killing and raping more children! I am for the death penalty as defined by Saint Thomas Aquinas and as the church has always taught showing mercy for society that needs protection!
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 3:41 PM By JLS
Lots of murders take place inside prisons, more than 50 per year. So, allowing some of these capitally convicted convicts to live is serving a death sentence indirectly to others. I wonder what the stats are.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 3:42 PM By JLS
sam, if only Jesus separates wheat from chaff, then why are you attempting to do just that? Are you Jesus?
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 4:03 PM By The Rose
I agree jon. The end to the present use of the death penalty is the teaching of the Church as articulated by the Pope and the bishops in union with him. This is not just an “opinion” of the bishops or the Holy Father. This is their teaching for the Church in our day, for our time.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 5:12 PM By jon
Certainly, Rose. The Pope and the bishops when they exercise their magisterial authority, are not merely giving an “opinion,” rather are presenting the teaching of the Church for our time. And Pope Benedict through his many speeches, through homilies, and others have called for an end to the death penalty. Plus, this teaching is reflected in the Catechism.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 5:16 PM By Larry
Wrong, Rose–there is no such thing as a teaching of the Church “in our day, for our time.” But then this has been pointed out to you time and again, and you persist in holding the error that the pope and bishops’ urgings against the death penalty constitute infallible and binding teaching, when even the pope and bishops say that it does not. This is all the more pernicious when we realize that you are, in effect, saying that the Church may change infallible teaching from time to time–because the infallible teaching of the Church through the centuries on the death penalty is clear–it is an extreme, but allowable recourse. The good news is that you and Jon are not fooling anyone with your repeated misstatements.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 5:57 PM By JLS
If Calif ends the death penalty, as it’s called, then what cause will jon and Rose take up? If they take up ending abortion, it would be a great trade. But the problem with jon’s and Rose’s efforts is they’re claiming a falsehood, and saying it could become Church doctrine. But this cannot be since it would then contradict what actually is and has been for two millenia Church doctrine.
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 7:49 PM By Elizabeth
WOW!!!! I pray that the Parental Notification Initiaive gets their quota and quickly too!!!!
Posted Friday, February 17, 2012 11:36 PM By Niel
That the Church has supported the death penalty in the past does not mean the Church now has to accept this. The church supported the inquisition, yet we know what a mistake that was. The church in the US was silent about slavery. The Church, as we are learning, was passive about child abuse for a long time. All this said, I love my church. We are in a continuous conversion from sin to love. Pope John Paul taught us that death penalty is not correct. We must grow closer to Jesus’ teaching of love and forgiveness. The hatred, the instilling of fear as ways of maintaining order was not the message of the Jesus, on the contrary. Repealing the death penalty, just as one day eliminating abortions, will mean a greater respect and dignity of all life, sinners and innocent.
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 1:09 AM By Abeca Christian
Bravo to the Post from Friday, February 17, 2012 5:16 PM By Larry and bravo to JLS! Elizabeth you are right! I noticed that every time we have the Parental Notification Initiative there is another initiative that steals the spot light from it, and this time it is the death penalty one. I am so sad that one of the parishes that I also attend, they had the parental one and the end death penalty one too. This is wrong, we should not support the one that ends death penalty, it’s a trap to distract us away from the parental one! Trust me that is how the spiritual warfare works!
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 1:11 AM By Abeca Christian
Niel you are embracing false compassion. Watch Bishop Fulton Sheen episodes on false compassion, you are one who has embraced false compassion! You hold little regard for the victims and their families who had to endure a loss of loved one, an innocent one due to your false compassion!
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 1:59 AM By Susan
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. If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person. Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent. “
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 6:33 AM By Larry
“The church supported the inquisition, yet we know what a mistake that was.” If you’re referring to the Spanish Inquisition, that claim is not entirely true. It was largely a tool of the Spanish crown, and after 1482 became completely so when King Ferdinand defied a direct order by Pope Sixtus IV to ensure due process and right of appeal to Rome by defendants. “The church in the US was silent about slavery.” But not the Church per se. Pope Eugene IV denounced slavery in 1434 and ’35. “The hatred, the instilling of fear as ways of maintaining order was not the message of the Jesus, on the contrary.” But he did warn his listeners often of the danger of eternal hell if they did not repent. He is recorded in the Gospels hundreds of times as having done so.
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 7:26 AM By MIKE
It is mind boggling that so many Catholics do not know that the Church never supported slavery in the USA. Individuals supported slavery, on a smaller percentage scale than the rest of the US population. The Church never supported the Spanish Inquisition. For info on the Inquisition on the internet go to – – – “INQUISITION” by RealCatholicTV. This is one of their CIA video projects with written documentation also provided. Here’s one quote: “The inquisitions were instituted to protect both guilty and innocent people from the gross injustice of secular leaders and mob rule thus initiating an unprecedented level of justice and order throughout much of Europe.”
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 7:47 AM By JLS
Also, once again, where the document finishes by saying that the need for the death sentence is rare … consider what the word rare means: An example of rare is the execution rate in the USA averages annually about 50 per 300 Million people, which is a rate of 1/6,000,000, ie one out of six million and check out the percentage rate, Susan: 0.000000167 %. Contrast this for a moment: It is like one person dying every year in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. Not only is the death penalty in the USA rare, Susan, and not only is it extremely rare, but it almost does not exist because of how rare it is. How many deaths by lightening do you suppose occurs each year in the USA? The rate for death by violence is 0.98 %. Susan, there are nearly 6 million times as many deaths by violence as executions (5,868,263 / 1) (note, the six million figure that occurs twice in these stats is coincidental, and should not be confused). So, one convict is executed for every 6 million people who die by violence (not counting war, which is a much lower statistic at 0.30 %). Susan in one Calif county, each year there are more than 100, maybe 200 people murdered … what is the murder rate for the whole nation, close to a million?
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 9:59 AM By Brian S
Again and again in this forum, opponents of the death penalty are accused of false compassion, ignorance or naivety, and of ignoring the pain of crime victims. So why are not John Paul II or Benedict accused of those things? They have provided clear opposition to capital punishment, even advocacy that was crime-specific, and direct requests for mercy for horrible criminals. Why are these Holy Fathers not referred to CCC paragraphs?
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 10:34 AM By jon
Pope John Paul during his papacy called for the end to the death penalty. Pope Benedict has joined his predecessor in calling for the end to the present use of the death penalty. No one can refute this. This is the present teaching of the Church, supported by the Catechism (2267), and the call of Lumen Gentium is for the faithful to adhere to the Pope’s prudential judgment.
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 1:01 PM By Larry
Jon, we are all capable of reading CCC#2267 for ourselves.
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 1:26 PM By JLS
jon, no one is refuting the papal calls for ending the death penalty. It is certainly a priority, however it is so far down on the list that it really is not important at this time in history. People need to put their time, treasure and talent into stopping abortion, lightening strikes, crib deaths, drunk driver fatalities, and rapes. Would you rather save one decent woman or girl from a rape or a deranged aggressor with many chalk marks on his belt?
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 1:40 PM By JLS
Stats by Bureau of Prisons are mostly rates and make it difficult to find out the actual number of prison and jail homicides each year. It looks like there are at least three times as many murders in confinement than executions.
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 1:41 PM By JLS
Forgot: There are many many suicides in prison and jail … maybe due to rape, maybe due to no evidence to charge a murder.
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 2:12 PM By DAN
Sorry Jon, but you have been told this many times. As long as it is in accord with the CCC – the death penalty can never be for revenge but to protect others from an aggressor, Cardinal Ratzinger has clearly stated that people can disagree with the Pope on this matter. Again for the hundredth time – see “WORTHINESS to RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION, General Principles” by Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict) on Priest’s for Life web site.
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 2:33 PM By Nani
No. 1: How many of you are circulating petitions for the Parental Notification Initiative? We need to be doers of the Word. The CA bishops support this initiative so ask your pastor to collect sinatures after the Sunday Masses. No. 2: If we execute one innocent person, it’s one too many. (Every year nationwide several death row inmates are released due to new evidence or the confession of another.) No. 3: The system is broken. Appeals take years and lots of money because there are not enough lawyers and judges who specialize in that field. (Lack of compensation is the reason given.) Should we go back to the old days of convicting and hanging them within a few days? (See #2) No. 4: The only peace and resolution for the family of a murder victim comes from God and forgiveness not an eye for eye. No. 5: The SAFE initiative calls for life with NO possibilty of parol to be substituted for the death penalty and requires the inmates to work and pay restitution.
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 3:09 PM By Abeca Christian
Brian S if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck then it’s a duck. Its illogical to ignore the real teachings of the church in support of the death penalty to protect the innocent!
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 3:22 PM By k
JLS, it does not say that the need for the death penalty is rare, it say “the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not practically non-existent.” The critieria for judging is not the number of executions. It is whether the offender can be rendered incapable of doing harm.
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 4:53 PM By Brian S
JLS, the question here is not the rarity of executions themselves, but the rarity of the occasions when the state cannot otherwise render “one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm”, for it is only those occasions when executions are warranted at all. The fact that executions occur only after years and decades of murder-free incarceration should be proof enough that those situations simply do not exist in the United States.
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 5:32 PM By Niel
I could just imagine people in the crowd who were about to stone the prostitute accusing Jesus of “false compassion”. The first saint, without a doubt, was a death-sentenced thief in the cross, right next to Jesus himself. “This day you will be in the kingdom with me.” A thief, a bandit!!! (this is the part some will tear your clothes). It’s simple: love your neighbor and LOVE YOUR ENEMY. It’s not false compassion, it’s RADICAL compassion what we need to live as followers of Christ. …and jon, you make a great point!
Posted Saturday, February 18, 2012 10:20 PM By jon
Do not forget that John Paul II had said that the necessity for the death penalty is not only rare, but practically non-existent. Some people would like to ignore the the non-existent part. And they tend to gloss over the phrase ” if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.”
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012 8:20 AM By Larry
“Today…the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity ‘are very rare, if not practically non-existent.'” This section of CCC#2267 is flawed in two ways. First, it is not a teaching of faith or morals, the only two subjects upon which the Church is infallible. It is an assessment of a social situation, upon which no bishop or even pope has any special competence or Divine mandatum to pronounce. Secondly, since it begins with the qualifier “today,” it is inextricably bound to the moment in which it was written; in this case circa 1994, which was before Timothy McVeigh’s bombing of the Murrah Federal Building and the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. In other words, the credibility of any time-bound statement depends on conditions at that time. Those conditions have changed, especially on the battlefields where our troops fight terrorist armies and confine captured terrorists. The moral teaching which #2267 contains says that the death penalty may only be used to protect “human lives” and “people’s safety.” Unless you are prepared to argue that the killer’s cellmate, his cell-block mates, the guards and other staff members of the prison are neither “human” nor “people” deserving of such protection, then you must concede that their safety must be factored into the equation of whether the death penalty is warranted–not just the safety of the general public beyond the prison walls. Such factoring will yield a very different result than if the “human lives” and “people” inside the prison were left out of consideration.
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012 1:03 PM By Brian S
Larry, the notion that the Church is not required to speak on social situations is profoundly anti-Catholic, and has been spoken to across the centuries by Popes who have your sentiments exploited by political princes seeking domination. As for the incarcerated population, its safety is obviously required to be considered in the analysis, and I have raised this previously. However not a single one of the horrible crime stories cited in these forums as proof of the need for a death penalty has been a prison murder, showing that that concern is not driving its defense.
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012 2:22 PM By jon
Larry, you’re wrong. The Catechism says that the death penalty may only be used if this is the “only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.” There are now non-lethal means to protect society from convicted criminals without resorting to the death penalty. Therefore, Popes John Paul and Benedict have called for the end to the present use of the death penalty because the non-lethal means (such as imprisonment without the possibility of parole) now available to society preserves the dignity of all human life, even those convicted of capital crimes.
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012 2:28 PM By jon
Larry the Church’s teaching on the death penalty does indeed touch upon morals. You’re wrong. JP2 in his Apostolic Exhortation “Ecclesia in America” has placed the death penalty as part of the culture of death. And guess what, the culture of death is a MORAL problem.
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012 2:29 PM By jon
Abeca, the Church no longer supports the present use of the death penalty.
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012 3:22 PM By Noel
Prayer for justice: You let your rain fall on the just and the unjust. Expand and deepen our hearts so that we may love as You love, even those among us who have caused the greatest pain by taking life. For there is in our land a great cry for vengeance as we fill up death row and kill the killers in the name of justice, in the name of peace. Jesus, our brother, you suffered execution at the hands of the State but you did not let hatred overcome you. Help us to work tirelessly for the abolition of state-sanctioned death and to renew our society in it’s very heart so that violence will be no more. Amen – Sister Helen Prejean
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012 4:54 PM By jon
Larry’s comment “This section of [the CCC] is flawed in two ways” sums up very well the dissentious attitude of those who, like him, disagree with the Magisterium on this issue. As soon as you sit in judgment on the teachings of the Magisterium—calling it flawed—instead of accepting it humbly and with docility, you are no different from those who would disagree with the Church’s Catechism on issues such as contraception, holy orders being for men alone, and other pet advocacies from those on the left. As soon as you find flaws in the Catechism, you are on the slipppery slope to finding more flaws. You begin to pick and choose what you want to believe. You are on the slippery slope to being, yes, a cafeteria Catholic.
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012 5:10 PM By JLS
jon, abortion needs attention; death sentences do not, as they are extraordinarily rare today, and in the USA executions are practically non-existent. The need for them is great, however; these people continue to murder others both inside and outside prison. The stats are skewed down, because much of the incredible suicide rate in prison and jail consists of murder … you should know that in such places, murders are almost impossible to prove and so they get written off as suicides. Apparently you do not go out of your way to actually talk with hard core long term prison people. How would you feel being in prison with countless violent criminals, many of whom have murdered and raped and continue to do so?
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012 5:18 PM By JLS
So, Brian, you’d happily trade the $90,000 the state pays to maintain a capital convict for the necessary things needed by starving people, or the lives of unborn babies? Why would you want to spend almost a hundred thousand dollars each year for twenty to sixty years on one individual capital serial rapist/murderer? Let’s see, 100 G Notes per year for fifty years is Five Million Dollars PER Convict! Present rate of death sentence is 50 per year … sparing them in one year costs the state a quarter billion dollars … each year would add this amount. So, in twenty years it would add up to about three or more Billion Dollars.
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012 5:20 PM By JLS
Abeca is correct and jon is wrong: Church doctrine, which cannot be changed, allows the secular govt to execute people. Jesus tells us that one of the duties of rulers is to make war. jon, the state may make war or execute people.
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012 5:34 PM By Mark from PA
“Jesus tells us that one of the duties of rulers is to make war.” Where did Jesus ever say that? Making war is certainly not a duty. Again folks, listen to what Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have said on this subject. It has been mentioned many times. Pope John Paul II did not call for the death of the man who tried to kill him but forgave him. Pope John Paul II spoke out against the culture of death.
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012 5:53 PM By Larry
“Larry, the notion that the Church is not required to speak on social situations is profoundly anti-Catholic…” Of course I didn’t say that–I referred to it as an “assessment of a social situation,” as opposed to a TEACHING on social situations. The Magisterium is no more infallible on the former than if the pope or a bishops’ council were to say, “The Chicago Cubs are a shoe-in for the World Series this year.” Saying that the circumstances requiring the death penalty are rare or virtually do not exist, assumes too many things that are beyond the competence and special Divine mandate of the Magisterium. Their job is to teach what those circumstances are–not to assess whether they do or do not exist–which is a task for the Christian conscience either individually or in the person of the state. For example, the Archdiocese of New York may teach the principles of self-defense and justifiable homicide under the 5th Commandment–but it would be overreaching if the Chancery Office sought to issue its own findings on each incident involving shootings by NYPD officers.
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012 7:35 PM By k
The section on the death penalty was altered between the 1st and 2nd editions of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Does anyone have the 1st edition? Can you post section 2267?
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012 8:24 PM By Niel
JLS, you are putting a cost to how much a life is worth. The Gospel teaches us a different economy, not of this world. Jesus, the Good Pastor, left behind 99 sheep to go after his one lost sheep. That doesn’t make economic sense but it makes loving sense. God is Love. How does your view align with the God of Love? How do you explain that Jesus loved his enemies, forgiving those who sentenced him, beat him, executed him? Argumenting the value of a human life based purely on dollars and cents don’t’ convert hearts. Only love.
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012 11:08 PM By Abeca Christian
It’s so disturbing that folks would go out of their way to state that the church no longer permits the death penalty but they never go out of their way to end abortion! This is sick. Saint Thomas Aquinas pray for us! Bishop Fulton Sheen would not appreciate jon’s opinion on the death penalty!
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2012 11:12 PM By Abeca Christian
Thank you JLS, jon keeps forgetting that I only state what the church teaches! We must keep the death penalty! We must!
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 12:27 AM By jon
The section on the death penalty found in the 1st edition of the Catechism exhorts societies to limit themselves to using non-lethal means to protect themselves and not to resort to the death penalty, because these non-lethal means “are in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.” And that is exactly what these pro-death penalty people are forgetting: the dignity of ALL human life, including the life of convicted criminals.
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 3:14 AM By MAC
Jon, you are being dishonest. The CCC that we are all required to adhere to, including you and the Bishops – “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” does NOT prohibit the death penalty under the specific condition of protecting others. (This right-to-life protection extends to other prisoners and prison guards.)
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 6:05 AM By Mark from PA
Abeca Christian, many states and countries have abolished the death penalty. Do you take issue with states that have abolished the death penalty? You need to realize that if there is a death penalty that some innocent people will be executed. Are you OK with that?
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 6:39 AM By Larry
“And that is exactly what these pro-death penalty people are forgetting: the dignity of ALL human life, including the life of convicted criminals.” No, we remember even that. The certainty of his own death at the hands of the state may be the only thing that forces the convict to come to grips with his crime and his need to repent before that last moment. On the other hand, a convict sentenced to life without parole may stand a greater chance of going to hell if death were to suddenly strike him down, i.e. of a heart attack or an attack by another inmate.
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 8:11 AM By JLS
The other day in a Mexican prison, a nation which has no death penalty, there was a riot that resulted in 44 murders. jon, how would you feel being in such a prison?
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 8:13 AM By JLS
Niel, every life has a cost; every life has a worth. Study Catholicism to find out the varying amounts. A serial rapist has a worth, but it is essentially negative especially contrasted to the worth of a single unborn baby.
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 8:14 AM By JLS
Niel, Love says in the Gospel that rulers are tasked to make war. How does this fact fit into your weird theory of religion?
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 10:03 AM By jon
The Catechism is very straightforward in saying that if the death penalty is “the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor” may it be used. Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul before him has judged that other non-lethal means are now available to defend society, and therefore the Popes have called for the abolition of the death penalty.
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 10:15 AM By jon
Supporters of the death penalty negate, deny, rob the human dignity of capital criminals because they insist on death while other means are available to protect society without recourse to this penalty which Pope John Paul II has judged “cruel and unnecessary.”
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 10:20 AM By Brian S
JLS, you calculate lives as if you are adding sums. It should be needless to say that is not the position of the Church, but it is not. It is exactly the argument of the abortionist, however. Larry – the theory that capital punishment may lead to reconciliation is worthy of consideration, and I am confident that John Paul and Benedict did so – yet they teach us as they do. As for the idea that Popes can “speak” but not “teach”, it is a distinction without a difference. Papal pronouncements are not the written equivalent of good morning pleasantries. As Leo writes in Rerum Novurm “(it must not be) supposed that the solicitude of the Church is so preoccupied with the spiritual concerns of her children as to neglect their temporal and earthly interests.”
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 10:32 AM By Abeca Christian
Pope John Paul II may have given his opinion on said matter but he also quoted many times the writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas that supports the death penalty! Those that neglect the whole teachings of the church from it’s beginning, especially on dogmatic elements, they will only misinterpret the current writings of the CCC.
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 11:03 AM By MacDonald
Pope Benedict on Vatican Radio about the death penalty: “I greet the distinguished delegations from various countries taking part in the meeting promoted by the Community of Sant’Egidio on the theme: No Justice without Life. I express my hope that your deliberations 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.”
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 12:14 PM By Larry
“As for the idea that Popes can ‘speak’ but not ‘teach’, it is a distinction without a difference.” Only if you deify the pope, and make him an object of worship instead of who and what he actually is–the Vicar of Someone Greater. That would be a sin of idolatry.
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 12:55 PM By JLS
So, Larry, we’d expect to find in the archives of Church dogma, phrases from popes such as, “It’s lunchtime; let’s eat” (in Latin of course)?
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 12:58 PM By JLS
Last week in Mexico, a nation with no capital punishment, a prison riot cost the lives of 44 inmates. One objective of the death sentence is to minimize the death rate; so, had some of these criminals been sentenced to death and executed by the court, then likely this type of incident would be much less than it is, and thus lives would be saved. In other words, jon, the death penalty saves lives when used well.
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 1:32 PM By jon
Contrary to Abeca and Larry, the call to end the present use of the death penalty is not a mere “opinion” of the Pope. Lumen Gentium disputes your mistaken assertion. This is his prudential judgment, not mere opinion, to which the faithful are called to adhere as mandated in Lumen Gentium. To adhere to the Pope’s judgment is not idolatry, contrary to Larry’s mistaken point, but a sign of obedience to Christ who said to his apostles, “whoever listens to you listens to me.”
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 1:35 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
I once read of a a French canonized Saint, who was condemned to death for his crimes, he repented and became a Saint; however he, before his execution, stated that he had made his peace with God, but because of the crimes he had committed, it was just that he be executed! He is now a canonized Saint! God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 2:02 PM By Larry
You anti-death penalty folks have as much as stated that the pope is never fallible–that his every utterance is the Word of God. If that’s true, that can only mean that the pope is none other than God Himself, not a mere vicar–that he is in fact a reincarnation of Jesus, as it were. All other mortals have to be wrong SOMEtime, under some circumstances. This is not only gravely sinful, but is a most absurd heresy.
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 2:07 PM By Brian S
Larry, accepting a teacher does not require his deification. I do not deify my natural father, nor the holy father, but appreciate the teachings of each. The Vicar of Christ is here to teach us.
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 4:24 PM By Larry
Brian S.–You clearly said, and I quote: “As for the idea that Popes can ‘speak’ but not ‘teach’, it is a distinction without a difference.” In other words, every syllable that falls from the pope’s lips must be revered as Divine teaching. As far as the pope is concerned, all speaking constitutes teaching. This is what you said. Everything the pope SAYS constitutes a binding teaching from God. However no one but God never makes a mistake. None but God is never wrong. None but God never acts or speaks foolishly. None but God is ALWAYS exemplary in thought, word and deed. None but God must ALWAYS be obeyed and believed. If the pope’s infallibililty is unlimited–that can ONLY mean that HE IS GOD. This is the error (and that is too mild a word) which you death-penalty opponents are putting forward when you try to ram down our throats the notion that the pope cannot be fallible under any circumstances, even–strangely enough–when he himself declares that a particular utterance is his own private opinion and is not binding on the faithful. You can’t now try to disavow the logical consequences of the argument you advanced.
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 4:58 PM By k
Mr. Fisher, do you have your copy of the Catechism handy? What I have read is that the 2nd edition removed deterrence and justice as reasons for the permission for capital punishment. You still have the 1st edition, you have said.
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 7:49 PM By Brian S.
Larry, you claimed that while the Pope could “speak” on all issues, he could not “teach” on all. I object to that as preposterous, and would hope any faithful Catholic would agree. I never asserted that every syllable of the Pope is infallible.
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 10:36 PM By Abeca Christian
Larry and JLS are right!
Posted Monday, February 20, 2012 11:56 PM By JLS
**2258 “Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end.** How does a soul in Hell remain forever in a special relationship with God? Does anyone else see the problem with this? Is it the translation or what? Does it imply that there is no need for the Sacraments? Read it carefully, and look at what it says. When is the next revision planned, anyone know?
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 12:23 AM By JLS
I just now re-read the CCC and find that the word “possibilities” is set solidly into the framework of the idea being generated. “Today”, it says,the state has possibilities of rendering a violent aggressor incapable of further aggression: The state has always had possibilities of preventing an aggressor from further aggression. That is one of the reasons jails have bars on the windows. It costs money to house prisoners. That money could be used elsewhere for other needs which might be more important such as saving babies from abortion or feeding the poor. Every day in the world, 4000 people die of starvation. How many of those would not starve if the money was sent there instead of to prison? jon, would you like to go and tell a starving kid that you like to see money that could buy him life rather spent on housing a violent aggressor?
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 12:47 AM By Niel
Just got to say, this is the weirdest Catholic page I’ve seen in my life. Some of the pro-death penalty arguments makes me feel like they are following some kind of cult, not the Catholic Church I’ve learned to love. The ideas of fear, vengeance and hate are just unbelievable. And the idea that promoting the end death penalty takes away from fighting against abortion is absurd. We fight for both causes! They’re both a threat against the sanctity of life. And the whole argument about being pro death penalty because of the poor living conditions inside prisons is also absurd. We should fight to change the horrible living conditions inside our prisons. Why would the death penalty help improve those conditions or help save lives of prisoners? Because you are creating a culture of fear and intimidation? Is that the teachings of Christ? Where does he teach such a thing? In some unique Church document from God-knows when? At the end this is all just promoting a culture of provenance, of more violence and fear. It’s almost like arrogantly imposing that death penalty should remain despite the last two popes clearly stating that the death penalty is wrong. All said, I am thankful to understand the arguments the pro-death penalty Catholics have, despite not being in agreement. God Bless
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 12:49 AM By Kenneth M. Fisher
k, I haven’t had the funds nor the time to drive to a Catholic Book Store to purchase a 2nd Edtion, but I don’t think you are right about that change. In any case, the Catechism cannot replace Tradition. Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict knew that, and that is why they never implied that their personal opposition to the Death Penalty was binding on all. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 7:18 AM By Larry
“Larry, you claimed that while the Pope could ‘speak’ on all issues, he could not ‘teach’ on all.” The teaching mission of the Church, Brian–which means that of the Magisterium, which is headed by the pope–is to teach on faith and morals. That is how the Church itself is infallible, in faith and morals–NOT in any other category of knowledge, such as astronomy, biology, political science, criminology and penology or sports trivia, to give a few examples. If I say, “a person may kill another to defend his own life,” that is a statement of moral principles, and a correct statement. If I say, “but in our society today, that is never really necessary,” that is an assessment assuming knowledge of the social climate. If that knowledge is in error (and it certainly is in our society) than others can take issue with it, without denying the moral principle stated above. When the pope teaches that the death penalty may be invoked as a last resort if necessary to save lives, he is teaching a moral principle. When he says that the need to save lives by this method is not necessary, then he is issuing an opinion which assumes knowledge of criminology and penology–it assumes knowledge of statistics such as executions-versus-murder rates, prison overcrowding, homicide rates in cities and neighborhoods, criminal psychology, etc–all of which fall well outside the domain of faith or morals–which means outside the Church’s infallibility. If his appreciation of those facts is incorrect on any count, we may disagree with his assessment without denying the moral principle which he has taught, and without denying his Divine right and mandate to infallibly teach moral principles. It is you and your allies who have responded by saying, “how dare you disagree with the pope on anything!” If the pope is NEVER to be disagreed with, then that must mean that his infallibility is unlimited–which must mean he is God. Or, in your words, it’s a “distinction without a difference.”
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 9:15 AM By jonj
Funny how some of the people most anxious to use state force as a means to propagate catholic values also support the death penalty. It’s also mteresting how these same people constantly talk about the need to convert others, yet never seem to talk about helping the needy. There seems to be a consistent thread here.
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 9:23 AM By Abeca Christian
JLS I see your point. It’s a good one too! Larry way to go! Mr. Fisher yip you are right on!
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:42 AM By JLS
Excellent explanation, Larry!!! The only problem I see with it is that it uses fact and logic, which many people hate to deal with.
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 11:42 AM By Brian S.
It should be obvious that one can accept, appreciate, and embrace teachings made by those who are neither infallible nor God – we do that beginning with our own parents, and continuing through our lives. In my own case, the repeated appeals of the Holy Fathers led me to re-examine my former support of the death-penalty and remove it. None of the arguments presented here – atrocious crimes, potential diversion of resources, cost, or duress-induced reconcilation – were unknown or unconsidered by John Paul or Benedict. They have provided wise counsel for this time and place. Their counsel does not violate prior Church teaching, nor does its acceptance depend upon some charicture or mis-characterization of the obedience we owe the Holy Father.
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 2:28 PM By Larry
Well, we’ve finally identified the bone of contention. I’d say what you need, Brian, is to meditate on the Gospel passage “call no man on earth your father.” This is easily misunderstood–but what it actually means is “call no man on earth your ultimate authority-figure for anything and everything.” We do have fathers on earth–biological fathers, priestly fathers, etc–but there is a hierarchy of fatherhood that leads up to God and stops there. Your 11:42 a.m. post makes it clear that your loyalty is to Popes Benedict and John Paul instead of Jesus Christ and His Church, whose vicar the popes were and are. True, the popes and the bishops in union with them do teach infallibly in Christ’s name, but as with all human beings, they can and do step outside of that role and act and speak in their own name and voice from time to time. When they do so, they have no more claim on our loyalty or religious assent than does the next door neighbor. Myself and many other posters here look to God and what He has taught over the centuries through his bishops and descendants of St. Peter–not to those bishops/popes for their own sake. That’s why you and I are not speaking the same language. The minute the pope and bishops tell me, “the Churches teaches ‘A’, but WE bishops would prefer instead that…” I interrupt to say, “stop right there! You’ve told me what God teaches through his Church. That’s enough for me. I’m not interested in your personal preferences.”
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 2:29 PM By JLS
I discussed the death penalty yesterday with a man who spent twenty years in prison. He believes it is needed for some people, and even for more than are presently being executed. He tells me that there are lots of murders in prisons, and that most of the suicides are murders. Brian S., did Pope Benedict XVI have this in mind when he made the statement you refer to?
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 3:48 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
Brian S. Wise counsel is NOT Dogmatic teaching! Everyone in a position of authority receives and sometimes rejects wise counsel! God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 5:40 PM By jon
The obligation placed on every faithful Catholic is to adhere to the mind and will of the Holy Father. Those of you who think you know better than the Pope on this issue ought to hear again the teaching, the mandate, from the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium: “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.” This includes a submission of mind and will to the Holy Father’s teaching on the end to the present use of the death penalty.
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 11:14 PM By Brian S
As I’ve said before fellow – your argument is with the Popes, not with me. As for what Benedict had in mind, JLS, you must ask him, but I doubt he is as ignorant of the ways as the world as you suppose. Larry, you sound like many good protestants who encourage weak-minded Catholics like myself to read the bible and decide for myself. Of course, I’ve decided that the Popes are truth-tellers. You gentlemen apparently feel otherwise.
Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012 11:17 PM By Abeca Christian
same old same old…… jon. This topic at hand was already discussed before and I for one know that those of us who presented the pro-death penalty have it just right!
Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2012 12:57 AM By jonj.
Larry very clearly and eloquently wrote about the pope stepping outside his infallbility. What’s interesting is how many fail to recogize is this situation occurs almost every time the pope or any clerical body expresses a position on secular law. Good legal design is generally outside the competence of the clergy. We also know that natural law cannot simply be exported into secular law, or else the CCC would not specifically prohibit using secular law to require attendence at. catholic mass– even though wilfull failure to remember the sabbath is a mortal sin. Funny how easy this point is to see if we disagree with the pope ( or other church authority figure), but how difficult it is to remember when others disagree with church authority and we agree with the authority figure.
Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2012 7:52 AM By Larry
“Those of you who think you know better than the Pope on this issue…” There are many people, Jon, who in fact DO know better than the pope on whether the factual conditions justifying the death penalty specified by the moral law actually exist. The pope’s “supreme magisterium” covers only defining and teaching the moral law itself–not in issuing purported findings of fact in conjunction with that law.
Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2012 9:05 AM By Larry
Brian S. asks us to heed the personal opinions of Popes Benedict and John Paul for their own sakes–because they are wise and compassionate men, not because they point to Someone Greater. Jon, on the other hand, insists upon making the pope into God Himself by granting him unlimited infallibility and authority–unlimited as to occasion–unlimited as to topic–and even unrelated to whether the pope himself prefaces his remarks by saying they are or are NOT binding. In this case, both Benedict and John Paul have said their death penalty preferences are NOT binding, but are merely personal. This introduces a curious irony in Jon’s logic in that Benedict and John Paul apparently were mistaken about the fact that they could never be mistaken–an obvious logical impossibility–a square-circle, if you will. After all–how can the pope be infallible all the time if even when he says “now what I’m going to say is not infallible” the remarks that follow are, in fact, infallible? We are left with a contradiction in terms which equals pure nonsense. Finally we may ask–has Jon himself ever denied the Holy Father that unbounded deference which he here demands that the rest of us give?
Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2012 9:15 AM By Brian S.
Kenneth is certainly correct to note that wise counsel is often rejected. Of course so is dogmatic teaching, both are normally unfortunate. Unlike Larry, I do hold the opinion of the Popes, above that of my next door neighbor. While he may have neighbors more well-trained and educated, wiser, and more versed in Catholic principles than our Popes, I do not.
Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2012 11:06 AM By Abeca Christian
Larry excellent comments. Comments that use reason and logic and speak directly to the heart in truth. This wisdom of yours in regards to the death penalty is refreshing and I thank you, God bless you for being the voice for the victims of heinous crimes!
Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2012 2:55 PM By Larry
Jon delights in quoting from Lumen Gentium Section #25, beginning with “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…” He would do well to quote the text immediately before the above, which reads: “In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will…(etc)” There you have it. “FAITH AND MORALS.” Not criminology, penology, or whatever “-ology” you can come up with. Faith and morals. God’s eternal moral law and the creed of our faith.
Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2012 4:14 PM By Abeca Christian
Larry you nibed it in the bud.
Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2012 4:21 PM By Brian S.
Larry, your effort to neatly split matters into “faith and morals”, to which you concede the authority of the Pope – and “everything else”, which is under nobody’s authority but yours, is interesting. Of course, Popes have long been told to mind their own business and surrender such worldly pursuits as economics, war, welfare, health, etc. – in short any priority it chooses – to the civil authority. Fortunately, the Church has always rejected that notion.
Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2012 4:51 PM By JLS
Brian S., you’re back to misinterpreting my posts again. Read what Larry is posting, because he has it down, and is making it clear, by using full context quotes from the Pope and other primary sources, and he is patiently organizing it on each point of dispute. So, Brian S., instead of trying to shoehorn my motivational posts into a kind of instructional format,which won’t fit, and then screwing the meaning up … instead, go study what Larry is saying which is pretty much in an instructional format. In other words, Brian S., my style primarily is to pose questions and destroy false logic … This style really is not an instruction one on any elementary level. Read Larry’s excellent, comprehensive and clearly put posts.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 2:37 AM By Kenneth M. Fisher
I don’t believe for one minute that the minds of those who are against any application of the Death Penalty will be changed by the following, but here goes: I have been told by competent authority that it is the teaching of Moral Theology that even a Pope cannot go against tradition. For Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul to dogmatically teach that we must under pain of sin be against the Death Penalty would be going against Tradition, and that is exactly why they did not attempt to do so! God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 8:17 AM By Larry
Brian S. The term “faith and morals,” denoting the only two subjects upon which the Church is infallible, is taken directly from Lumen Gentium #25, CCC#890 and the Catechism of the Council of Trent, page 102 of the original 1829 English-language edition. To paraphrase your own words, “your argument is with the Church, not with me.”
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 8:21 AM By jon
Contrary to Larry, a homily is NOT a place where a Pope, “issues purported findings of fact in conjunction with that law.” In many homilies Pope John Paul II had called for the end to the death penalty, which is his judgment, which every faithful Catholic is called to adhere to.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 8:27 AM By jon
Additionally, contrary to JLS and Larry, the death penalty IS INDEED a matter of faith and morals. It touches on the morality of the state rendering death to capital criminals when the state has other means to protect itself. This violates human dignity. And the violation of the dignity of ANY human being—be it an embryo, a fetus, a person in a coma, a disabled person unable to talk and walk, your enemy, a homosexual activist, a capital criminal, any human being—-the violation of their human dignity is a MORAL PROBLEM. And so clearly, with respect to this moral issue, the Pope has demonstrated that he knows better than either JLS and Larry.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 8:33 AM By jon
Additionally, contrary to JLS and Larry, the death penalty IS INDEED a matter of faith and morals. It touches on the morality of the state rendering death to capital criminals when the state has other means to protect itself. This violates human dignity. And the violation of the dignity of ANY human being—be it an embryo, a fetus, a person in a coma, a disabled person unable to talk and walk, your enemy, a homosexual activist, a capital criminal, any human being—-the violation of their human dignity is a MORAL PROBLEM. And so clearly, with respect to this moral issue, the Pope has demonstrated that he knows better than those who disagree with him on this issue.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 8:46 AM By jon
Moreover, I believe it will benefit the pro-death penalty activists to read Pope John Paul II’s words from “Ecclesia in America” that the death penalty forms the fabric of the culture of death–and the culture of death is a MORAL problem: “Nowadays, in America as elsewhere in the world, a model of society appears to be emerging in which the powerful predominate, setting aside and even eliminating the powerless: I am thinking here of unborn children, helpless victims of abortion; the elderly and incurably ill, subjected at times to euthanasia; and the many other people relegated to the margins of society by consumerism and materialism. Nor can I fail to mention the unnecessary recourse to the death penalty when other ‘bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons. Today, given the means at the State’s disposal to deal with crime and control those who commit it, without abandoning all hope of their redemption, the cases where it is absolutely necessary to do away with an offender ‘are now very rare, even non-existent practically’. This model of society bears the stamp of the culture of death, and is therefore in opposition to the Gospel message. Faced with this distressing reality, the Church community intends to commit itself all the more to the defense of the culture of life.”
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 9:19 AM By Larry
Of course, Jon, the death penalty is a moral matter. Moral teachings, like teachings on the dogmas of faith, are derived only from Divine Public Revelation, which is closed as of the death of the last Apostle in the first Century AD. And in turn, there are two sources of Public Revelation: Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Both of them make it clear beyond clarity itself that God allows recourse to the death penalty. Those sources have been repeatedly cited for you, and you have repeatedly ignored them, so there’s no use doing it again. Making a judgement upon whether the death penalty is demanded by current conditions in 21st Century America requires knowledge outside of and far more recent than Public Revelation, so it cannot fall under the Church’s charism of infallibility.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 10:12 AM By Mark from PA
Thank you for touching our consciences, Jon.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 10:45 AM By jon
Larry, I hope you realize that with your comment on 9:19 AM, that your position is self-contradictory, thereby making your entire argument here invalid and false. You were intimating a position that the Pope’s teaching is not a matter of faith and morals, and now you are backtracking.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 10:55 AM By jon
Additionally Larry, the only time that the traditional teaching of the Church has allowed recourse to the death penalty is when it is the “only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor,” as articulated in the Catechism (2267). Allowing the death penalty was true in the past when society DID NOT have any other means to protect itself. Now society has other means without violating human dignity. And this is the judgment of Popes John Paul and Benedict. And Lumen Gentium calls upon you and every Catholic to adhere to the Holy Father’s teaching.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 12:07 PM By Brian S.
Larry, I joined in this only to request that the same courtesy that would be provided John Paul and Benedict be accorded to those who agree with them. Just from this thread, advocates of repeal have been accused of “misplaced compassion”, of “exercising their hatred of society” and “a kind of tyranny”. They have been asked “how much money comes (their) way for (their) advocacy”, and what they are “in it” for. We are accused of having “little regard for the victims and their families”, it is said we would “never go out of their way to end abortion”. We are told we are concerned with things of less import than “lightening strikes, crib deaths, (and) drunk driver fatalities”. Perhaps you believe these statements are true of Pope Benedict, and this is, as you insist, your right. Certainly these statements, when based on opposition to the death penalty, might be as true of him as any other.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 12:18 PM By MAC
Jon, I looked for “Ecclesia in America” on the Vatican web site. Please check to see if you can find it in ENGLISH, and also give us a parprgaph number. Under that heading I could have missed something, but it appeared only to be about illegal immigrants. FYI – the death penalty has nothing to do with the murder of innocents such as abortion and euthanasia, and is totally unrelated to protecting the innocent in society from an unjust agressor.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 12:59 PM By Larry
Brian–why are you calling me to account for other peoples’ statements? I didn’t say any of those things. If you have a quarrel with someone else, take it up with them. If you wish to answer me, answer my arguments, please.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 1:18 PM By k
MAC ,it is number 63.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 1:44 PM By Larry
Jon, you’re mischaracterizing my statements. I have explained in excruciating detail the difference between a moral law and a prudential assessment. I’m not going to repeat and repeat. Re-read my posts.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 1:45 PM By Larry
“Allowing the death penalty was true in the past when society DID NOT have any other means to protect itself. Now society has other means…” Jon, you’re wrong and the pope is wrong.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 4:13 PM By JLS
jon, I just posted several reports that show that society has no idea how to protect itself from murderers. In Mexico last week 48 prisoners were killed in a jail house riot, by other prisoners. Prisoners in the USA are murdered frequently in prison, more than are executed by a factor of at least four or five, at least.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 4:15 PM By JLS
jon, the phrase “only possible way” is determined by that society’s rulers, not by wishful thinking.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 4:16 PM By Brian S
Larry, What argument have you made that I have not addressed? I agreed that prison society requires protection, however, prisoners death sentences are not given for murders committed in prison, and no one is insisting that these laws be changed, proving that these murders are not driving death penalty support. You repeatedly cite the abstract right of the state to resort to capital punishment while ignoring the conditions restraining its use, conditions that must always be evaluated in the here and now. You insist that the Church not evaluate these conditions, insisting that governments only, and not bishops and popes, have the right to judge those conditions. Your assertion that the Church has no right to judge the conditions of the here and now against its timeless principles is an accomodation with the State that any dictator would accept. You state that you even have no personal interest in the opinions of bishops and popes, not appreciating that they are called to be our shepards.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 4:16 PM By JLS
Looking at it from another perspective, jon, the popes’ statements are faith and morals, but these same statements leave it up to the secular rulers as to whether it is necessary to use the death penalty … which the Church has always taught.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 4:18 PM By JLS
jon, I never said that the death penalty is not a matter of faith and morals.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 4:58 PM By Larry
“You repeatedly cite the abstract right of the state to resort to capital punishment…” There are no “abstract” rights, Brian–just as there are no “abstract” duties; “…while ignoring the conditions restraining its use, conditions that must always be evaluated in the here and now.” By whom, Brian? “You insist that the Church not evaluate these conditions…” That’s right, I do. “…insisting that governments only, and not bishops and popes, have the right to judge those conditions…” Now you’re talking. Ideally, of course, the “governments” would be composed of at least some Catholic laymen, voted into office by the laity. “Your assertion that the Church has no right to judge the conditions of the here and now against its timeless principles is an accomodation with the State that any dictator would accept.” Now hold on a moment. I didn’t say the Church had no right to judge the “conditions of the here and now.” If people are starving to death in the streets, or being butchered wholesale by a tyrannical regime, the Church had BETTER say something about it! But ChurchMEN have no right to dictate decisions to me which the CHURCH teaches are up to my conscience. “You state that you even have no personal interest in the opinions of bishops and popes…” You’ve got it backwards. What I said was that I have no “interest” in their “personal opinions.” “…not appreciating that they are called to be our shepards.” They are called to shepherd us to JESUS, not to THEMSELVES! That is what I appreciate–and I call upon them (and you!) to “appreciate” that fact themselves, and tell me what GOD thinks, not what THEY THEMSELVES think!
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 6:03 PM By Larry
Let’s try to make this as simple as possible–it just isn’t that difficult to understand. It’s a well-known principle in law–and this applies to Divine law as well as human–that you can do anything at all that is not forbidden. Unless God or man tells you that you can’t do it–you can do it. In all the material that Jon or Brian have quoted, there is not one line–not a single sentence–that says, “the death penalty is absolutely immoral–it is absolutely to be excluded–you may never use it–you may not advocate it–if you do, you have committed serious sin and you must repent before receiving Communion again.” It’s not there. You can search through all the speeches of Benedict and JP–you can search the catechism–you can’t find the above. It–is–not–there. Instead the teaching says the death penalty can be used if needed to save life, but that the present and former pope would really like us not to use it. Fine. That’s their opinion. They’re entitled to it. You know what? They’re WRONG. It’s a mistake. It’s bad advice. It’s bad policy. I disagree strongly with Benedict and JP. I don’t go along with them, and I don’t intend to ever go along. I’ll continue to advocate that others not go along. And there’s nothing anybody can do about it. You can’t demand that Cardinal George excommunicate me, or even deny me Holy Communion under canon 915, because no less than Pope Benedict himself, as Cardinal Ratzinger, wrote in “Worthiness to Receive Communion” that it is NOT a sin to support the death penalty, and therefore not grounds to bar the subject from the Sacraments. In other words, it’s perfectly okay for me to believe that Benedict, JP and most of the American bishops are completely wrong about it, because unlike with issues such as abortion or birth control, my conscience does in fact have a right to disagree with them. And there’s really nothing more to be said about it.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 7:04 PM By jon
Moreover Larry, if you want a categorical statement from the Church that the death penalty is immoral, you do not have to look far than the words of Pope John Paul II at his homily on January, 1999 in St. Louis: “I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary.” That which is cruel and unnecessary is definitely immoral.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 7:19 PM By jon
In response to Larry’s point concerning the CDF Instructions on worthiness to receive Communion, some people are erroneously using the Instructions to excuse and allow dissent. That is an abuse of this document. The Instructions make the point that unlike abortion advocates, advocates of the death penalty are not in material support of an intrinsic evil. However, the CDF Instruction does not excuse dissent from the Church and from the Pope on matters of faith and morals, which includes the death penalty. This mandate to adhere to the Pope’s judgment is found in a document that has WAY MORE precedence over the CDF Instruction, namely it is found in Lumen Gentium.
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012 8:53 PM By EDITOR
EDITOR’S NOTE: Both sides in this argument over capital punishment have been given ample opportunity to state their positions and rebut their opponents. It is time for the tit-for-tat to end. Although this thread is not closed to new comments, repetitive submissions will no longer be allowed.
Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012 2:28 PM By Roberto vino
Our priorities are mixed up! We should be working in the defense of those MOST in need, the statistics are approximately 1.5 million abortions to .1667 executions yearly. (One execution in California in the last six years!) That is why I believe our priority should be to undo Roe v. Wade. Protect the innocent — NOT the convicted!
Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012 3:33 PM By jon
I believe the cause of Life in its varied forms is THE priority, whether it be the embryo, the fetus, the immigrant, the poor, the sick, the incarcerated.
Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012 8:54 PM By Abeca Christian
Not all incarcerated are created equal. There are some that are extremely dangerous and will continue to kill and kill. Our duty. in the name of pro-life, is to protect all innocent life, even from those who would kill again. I agree with Roberto Vino as well. It’s inconceivable that one would compare the unborn, their right to life, as equal to a murderer who took other innocent lives.
Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012 11:01 PM By jon
False. All human life is endowed with dignity in the eyes of God for all human life is made in His Image. Violating the human dignity of one class of human beings violates the dignity of ALL human life.
Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 3:24 AM By Elizabeth
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. If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person. Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not practically non-existent.” The death penalty is not against Church teaching but may only be used to protect others from the unjust aggessor, never to be used for revenge.
Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 7:40 AM By jon
Elizabeth, the section in the Catechism you just quoted makes it very plain that the death penalty may only be used “if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.” According to John Paul and Benedict, there are now other means to defend society without recourse to the death penalty, making the cases that necessitate its use “rare, if not practically non-existent.”
Posted Thursday, March 01, 2012 10:46 PM By Abeca Christian
Elizabeth jon just has his own personal interpretation. Glad you can see right through that and see the truth. Also I suggest reading on it from Saint Thomas Aquinas and other saints who preached the truth in regards to this topic. I appreciate Bishop Fulton Sheen’s take on it as well! Blessings!
Posted Friday, March 02, 2012 12:37 AM By Elizabeth
jon, murders and rapes happen in prison all the time. The perps are unjust aggressors, and guards and other prisoners need to be protected. Even you quoted the word “rare”. Rare would not be possible if “banned”.
Posted Friday, March 02, 2012 2:59 PM By jon
Elizabeth, the solution to the problems you raise is not to revert to the death penalty but to strengthen the penal system so that abuses within the prison population do not exist. The focus of Popes John Paul and Benedict in their teaching against the death penalty is the protection of the general population, the society outside prison walls. To support the death penalty because it “protects” other prisoners and guards is ludicrous. The priority here is protecting life in all its forms; the priority here is the welfare of society in general.
Posted Friday, March 02, 2012 4:21 PM By Abeca Christian
The solution is what Saint Thomas has presented and that to protect the innocent, sometimes the death penalty is a great thing to deter anymore killings!
Posted Friday, March 02, 2012 5:08 PM By Larry
Jon: Contrary to your assertion, CCC#2267 does NOT specify that the “human lives” which must be defended, if necessary with the death penalty, do not include the lives of prison inmates, guards and staff. I already pointed this out earlier in this thread–that unless you prefer to deny that they are in fact “human lives,” you cannot exclude them from the equation, as you are now trying to do with your 2:59 p.m. post. You say that the solution is to “strengthen the penal system so that abuses within the prison population do not exist,” as though such were easy, or at least possible. The problem is, when you sentence more and more prisoners to life without parole, you increase the difficulty of that task and lessen the possibility that it can be accomplished at all. Guards have been murdered even by prisoners they were transporting under high security–prisoners who have nothing left to lose. You once again are repeating ad nauseam your same stale arguments over and over, which is why I am surprised to see them on this thread after the editor posted a warning at 8:53 p.m. February 23 that such posts would be barred from print.
Posted Friday, March 02, 2012 5:17 PM By Angelo AVP
When it comes to the death penalty I have always been strongly in favor of it. Of course with an exception, just as long as neither I nor any of my family members or friends be given that sentence. Reminds me of a bumper sticker I’ve read, “It is easy to be pro-choice. When you are not the one being killed.” Something to think about!
Posted Sunday, March 04, 2012 6:15 PM By Abeca Christian
God bless you Larry, you pointed out he obvious, you have done a good deed for all the victims that need a voice and for any future. I appreciate your posts, you really know how to defend the faith. God bless you
Posted Monday, March 05, 2012 9:32 AM By Abeca Christian
Most liberals now a days, instead of debating logically, they choose to give out personal attacks and they try to intimidate with words that help them stab at another. Many lack logic and appropriate dialogue. Just the other day, I saw two young kids talking near a park where my kids were hanging out, one kid told the other kid, I hope Obama loses, the other kid in response said “you are racist”. Then they continued to argue but the kid who called the one kid racist ended up winning the argument because the other kid backed down shortly after more name calling was flaring up, the kid who didn’t like Obama felt uneasy for being accused of something he wasn’t even near to comprehending. On the drive home, I mentioned to my kids what I saw, they told me that the kid who didn’t like Obama, his family were pro-life and that they have seen them once at one of the yearly pro-life chains that occur in October.
Posted Monday, March 05, 2012 10:53 PM By jon
There have been folks here saying that the Pope is merely giving an “opinion” when he talks about abolishing the present use of the death penalty. The truth is that statements such as “The problem is, when you sentence more and more prisoners to life without parole, you increase the difficulty of that task and lessen the possibility that it can be accomplished at all” from Larry are indeed the ones that are truly “personal opinions,” a personal opinion I hasten to add that is not substantiated. In contrast to this, the Pope’s words on the death penalty are authentic Magisterial teachings, not mere personal opinions of the Holy Father, for this teaching is expressed in Encyclicals, homilies, messages, speeches.
Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 10:06 AM By Abeca Christian
Humans can do all they an to improve yet still we are imperfect and to think that a society can all think alike on how to defend our innocent, think again because we have to this day, not been doing everything possible to protect society from harmful individuals, as long as sin exists, and it will, because we are all sinners, as long as we are tempted, as long as we condone and encourage sinful lifestyles and all other immoral sins, we will find that trying to protect another human being from another with evil intent, is not always so easy. This godless society that lacks fear of the Lord, will continue on a path of destruction! Mercy is not what some think it is, only God is the true creator of Mercy. Look to Him for that, He has allowed the death penalty throughout the ages, His mercy is unending. Some will never comprehend that one!
Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 12:16 PM By Sandra
I’m outside of “death row” everyday. Come join me. Location: Planned Parenthood
Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 4:38 PM By The Rose
I totally disagree with Abeca. When the crowd dragged a woman caught in adultery to Jesus, they were asking him whether or not to apply the death penalty to her. Jesus’ answer is mercy. Jesus let the woman go telling her to “sin no more.” Your statement that “He has allowed the death penalty throughout the ages,” is therefore simply false according to the witness of the New Testament.
Posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 9:56 PM By Abeca Christian
Rose I know that you disagree, I didn’t know I was trying to change your mind since you just abruptly jumped in this thread. Plus if I wanted to I can also rebuttal your last comments with all the scripture that shows God permitting the death penalty as a righteous action but why even bother, you have already sold your mind against any reason.
Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2012 7:47 AM By Larry
“In contrast to this, the Pope’s words on the death penalty are authentic Magisterial teachings, not mere personal opinions of the Holy Father…” That’s a lie, Jon–and furthermore it’s a lie you’ve been repeating over and over on this and many other threads. I once again call upon the editor to enforce his own decree of February 23, 8:53 p.m. to bar any more repetitive posts to this thread.
Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2012 10:17 AM By Abeca Christian
The road is narrow. He who wishes to travel it more easily must cast off all things and use the cross as his cane. In other words, he must be truly resolved to suffer willingly for the love of God in all things. –St. John of the Cross
Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2012 1:23 PM By Abeca Christian
How did the ACLU get access to our Bishops and their support, that is what I want to know. When did our Catholic Church get involved in anything that ACLU promoted? Can we get the ACLU’s support for the Parental Notification Prop? Let me guess……hmmm
Posted Wednesday, March 07, 2012 4:36 PM By Abeca Christian
Does anyone know if the ACLU supports any pro-life causes? I don’t know if I have heard of any coming from them?