Pro-LGBT Jesuit priest Fr. James Martin has called for conservative Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is Catholic, to be denied Communion because he supports the death penalty.
Last week, the Republican governor signed the death warrant for a convict on charges of a second murder committed after the man escaped from a life sentence imposed for his first murder.
In response to the execution of Donald Dillbeck, Martin used the issue to imply that DeSantis was dissenting from Catholic teaching on the death penalty and should therefore be refused Communion in what appears to be a tit-for-tat with Catholic bishops who insist that pro-abortion politicians and those who engage in sexual acts outside of marriage, such as those living a homosexual lifestyle — and whom Martin continually defends — may not receive Holy Communion.
Taking to Twitter, his preferred pulpit, Martin wrote, “Many US bishops have said that Catholic politicians who don’t follow church teachings, especially on life issues, should be denied Communion. Will they call for @GovRonDeSantis to be denied Communion? Church teaching is that the death penalty is ‘inadmissible.’”
Dillbeck was executed on Feb. 23 after DeSantis signed the death warrant in January. The day before the execution, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a petition for a stay on the death penalty issued by lawyers arguing that the convict suffered from “developmental disabilities as a result of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, as well as effects of childhood abuse,” Our Sunday Visitor News reported last week.
Dillbeck, 59, had been convicted of murdering Faye Lamb Vann in Tallahassee, Florida, in 1990. He had stabbed her to death in an attempt to steal her car. According to reports, the murder was committed after the convict had escaped from a work-release job while serving a life sentence for a previous murder committed 11 years earlier. In 1979, when Dillbeck was 15 years old, he had killed Lee County Deputy Dwight Lynn Hall.
In an effort to reverse Dillbeck’s sentence, the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops asked DeSantis in a Feb. 6 letter to stay his execution and commute the sentence to life without parole even though they acknowledged that Dillbeck’s “heinous and violent crimes have caused tremendous grief and suffering to the victims’ loved ones and communities.”
The bishops wrote, “We hold that the death penalty should be inadmissible due to modern systems of incarceration whereby society can be kept safe and prisoners punished,” not heeding the fact that the second murder was committed after the man escaped from a life sentence for a first murder….
Original story on LifeSiteNews.
Such a snarky comment from a priest whose intent is purely political.
,” not heeding the fact that the second murder was committed after the man escaped from a life sentence for a first murder….” According to recent papal statements, this cannot happen due to modern systems of incarceration . I worry that early release of violent felons will result in more of these tragedies. And if so, what becomes of the papal statement? In spirit I agree with the new take on the death penalty but I fear in practice it is a chimera. For Fr.Martin to jump at the chance to assail one of his most ardent foes is understandable– is this Fr. Martin at his Machiavellian best? Would he adamentally ask for the same sanction if a LGBT politician permitted an execution? And since he has committed himself publicly and in print to a pro-life position, will he now agree wholeheartedly to ban pro-aborts from communion with the same ardor he displays for banning DeSantis?
I agree with Dan. But I will go a step further. I think that the recent popes are extremely naive on the topic of the Death Penalty. Reminds me of extreme, young, conscientious objectors in a terrible war, in which their wives, children, parents and grandparents– the entire family — would all be killed by ruthless enemies, while the pacifist watches, doing nothing, naively believing that he is being “Christ-like.” Ukranians wouldn’t do such things! The world has tremendous evils in it. There is a time and a place for extreme actions, like killing in Self-Defense– and the Death Penalty. You have a Christian Duty always, to heroically protect your family– even to give your life, if you must, while protecting them. And you have a Christian Duty, always– likewise– to protect your society from all Evils. A vile, Satanic murderer must give up his “human rights”– and in some cases, his life– that is the penalty for his Satanic crimes. (Not vengeance– penalty.) Capital punishment can only be imposed for certain capital crimes. There is a strict, objective, legal process for determining and imposing the Death Penalty. We need the older Catechism, and older and wiser popes. Gov. DeSantis, thanks for protecting your people! God bless you! The liberal, LGBT-promoting heretic and fool, Fr. James Martin, ought to be excommunicated! The Swiss Guards, who guard the Pope, would have to quickly stop— and possibly kill– a possible deranged, Satanic papal assassin. And may all God’s holy saints and angels, especially St. Michael the Archangel– strongly protect and defend the Pope, and help the Swiss Guards do a great job, in that fateful moment.
There is such a huge difference between abortion, homosexuality and the death penalty. The death penalty is used to protect the general public from people who would perpetuate heinous crimes against the public. It has always been accepted by the Church in these regards until recently. Desantis is doing his job to protect the public after this person had proved himself a true danger to society. Both the letter of John Paul II and Pope Francis are pastoral in nature. They are not ex-cathedra. The Church has said at this time, not to utilize the death penalty. I , as a lay person, am not satisfied with the reasoning of these popes regarding this issue.
Martin needs to be defrocked and his Bishop needs to be excommunicated.
The headline is not accurate…again.
How is the headline inconsistent with what Martin said? It’s not a direct quote (headlines aren’t).
“Many US bishops have said that Catholic politicians who don’t follow church teachings, especially on life issues, should be denied Communion. Will they call for @GovRonDeSantis to be denied Communion? Church teaching is that the death penalty is ‘inadmissible.’”
He did not ask the bishops to deny De Santis communion as the headline says he did.
He was pointing out the inconsistency.
The article states what the headline says
” Taking to Twitter, his preferred pulpit, Martin wrote, “Many US bishops have said that Catholic politicians who don’t follow church teachings, especially on life issues, should be denied Communion. Will they call for @GovRonDeSantis to be denied Communion? Church teaching is that the death penalty is ‘inadmissible.’” “
Church teaching is that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and that under no circumstances may they be approved. Will Jimmy Martin, LGBTQSJ go on the record as agreeing with that teaching?
Three things to say here. Firstly, this Lifesite article is very deficient in articulating the traditional teaching of the Church on the death penalty. Contrary to LifeSite, the traditional teaching of the Church was articulated in the previous version of Catechism paragraph 2267 which says that “if this [the death penalty] is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor,” then “the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty.” Therefore the first aim of the death penalty is to defend society, and then to render justice. However, as John Paul II judged, “because of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases [of the absolute necessity of the death penalty] are very rare, if not practically non-existent” (Evangelium Vitae, 56). In other words, there are other means available now to defend society short of killing the criminal; there are other ways now to render justice. Then Pope Francis builds on John Paul’s magisterium by judging that the death penalty is morally inadmissible because it violates human dignity (present version of Catechism, 2267). The present Pope as quoted in this LifeSite article is correct: because the death penalty violates the dignity of the life of the criminal, it therefore does not truly administer justice. The death penalty only fuels the need for revenge, bloodlust, and therefore it is wrong.
Secondly, Martin’s justifies his question about DeSantis’ worthiness to receive Holy Communion from an alleged statement by the US bishops which said that “Catholic politicians who don’t follow Church teachings, especially on life issues, should be denied Communion.” Not only is that alleged quote dubious, but if true, it also supports denying Holy Communion to other Catholic politicians like Pelosi and Biden. Nonetheless, Martin’s question was already answered by the CDF back in 2004 in the document “Worthiness To Receive” by saying that because support for the death penalty does not carry the same moral weight as abortion, a politician who supports the death penalty “would not for that reason be considered unworthy” (3). At worst DeSantis and the other Catholic politicians who dissent from this clear teaching of the Church are committing a venial sin, because dissenting from a clear teaching of the Church is always a sin.
Lastly, as all venial sins go (such as support for the death penalty), persistently committing it is just as serious if a person does not resolve to correct himself/herself by learning to “think with the Church.” “Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin,” (Catechism, 1863). Therefore, the question Martin should have asked is: “if DeSantis would not listen to the Church’s bishops about the sanctity of the life of this criminal (thereby committing a venial sin), what other Church teachings concerning life-issues will this politician flagrantly disobey (which if disobeyed is a mortal sin)?” Be under no misapprehension: minor venial sins predispose a person to bigger sins, which is why no sin however minor can be admitted into God’s presence; it will have to be purged from the soul if not in this life, then after death. The US bishops did warn DeSantis. But tragically DeSantis did not listen. Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
Additionally, Dillbeck’s escape from a work-release program in which he committed a second murder while serving a life sentence is a very strong reason to strengthen and support Florida’s penal system, which DeSantis says he is committed to. However, the State’s penal and criminal system is not necessarily supported nor strengthened by allowing the execution of this criminal. It does not. The execution merely feeds the evil of bloodlust and vengeance in society. The “eye-for-an-eye and tooth-for-a tooth” kind of justice and morality has been condemned by Our Lord. Moreover, the escape of this one criminal does not necessarily support reversing the Church’s teaching on the inadmissibility of the death penalty in our time. It does not.
Donald David Dillbeck was 15 when he murdered Deputy Lynn Hall in a struggle over Hall’s gun.
He was 27 when he walked away from a work program and killed Robbie Faye Vann when she resisted his attempt to carjack her.
He was sorry for his crimes.
He was 59 when he was killed by lethal injection.
I disagree with jon. I think the world today, has become far more violent. There is very little respect for God, for morality, and for law and order, in today’s society. Prison systems are overflowing, and are considered very inadequate. Many criminals are let out of jails and prisons in California, due to this, and repeat their evil crimes. There are criminal gangs and drug wars in Mexico and Latin America, that are extremely violent and dangerous. Many good priests and laymen have been killed. There are violent hoodlums in America, destroying our liberal-run cities. There is gun violence erupting in schools and shopping malls, and other places. We never had that before, in America. There are ISIS Taliban terrorists plotting horrific crimes, worldwide. I think that if all the churches, including the Catholic Church, were very strong and stern on sin and crime, preaching the truth of the Gospel– “Repent of your sins, then come and follow Me”– it would help a great deal.
Churches today, often only preach a weak “comfort religion” of “hippie luv for all”– and no responsibility for sin. Confession lines are smaller and smaller, on Saturdays– nobody goes. I agree with Pope St. John Paul II– the Death Penalty should be used only in rare cases. But it is a penalty– NOT “vengeance!” A criminal who commits heinous crimes (like the terrorists at 9/11) forfeits his “human rights.” A very weak Pope, and very weak, liberal “bleeding heart goofballs” in political leadership, — will send the world closer to WWIII than anything else!
“Reply” is wrong. Pope St. John Paul II never said the death penalty “should be used” in rare cases. Wrong. Rather John Paul taught that the cases requiring the absolute necessity of the death penalty “are” rare if not non-existent. Therefore, as a consequence, John Paul repeatedly called for the abolition, the termination, the cessation of the death penalty. “Reply” is disagreeing with all of the bishops of the Catholic Church including the Supreme Pontiff who are all united in this clear teaching of the Magisterium against the death penalty. And if you disagree with them, you disagree with Christ (Luke 10:16). Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
jon, again, I believe what Pope St. John Paul II said in his “Evangelium Vitae,” but put it in my own words. I also believe that the world is a very dangerous place, today. And there is often little respect, and little reliable protection, for human lives. The Catholic Church has many good things– on paper– about love and respect for human life. But in real-life situations, the Church is not always honestly caring, respectful nor reliable, in regards to protection of human life– especially in regards to the safety of your children. There have been far too many evil, criminal clergy sex predators– wrongfully protected by the Church. And many bishops do not care whether or not their lay Catholic political leaders are pro-aborts, legislating Murder at Planned Parenthood, for millions of innocent, unborn children. They are Godless, selfish, un-Christian, cowardly hypocrites, disobedient to Canon Law and to Christ.
And shame on. The Pontifical Academy for Life, for destroying Pope St. John Paul II’s original mission- turning it into a horrific, Godless, heretical, secularized, sinful place, that now accepts Mortal Sins of birth control and abortion! With terrible, immoral leadership, under the gay-promoting, sinful Abp. Paglia!
Fact checking on jon. He is correct. Pope John Paul II prayed for the abolition of the death penalty. There are other times where in homilies or writing he called for an end to the death penalty.
I think that in Florida the governor cannot commute the sentence without agreement from two Cabinet members.
jon, I agree with the Church on the death penalty, but the Church has never said that it is a sin for lawful authority to execute a criminal.
Dissent from the teachings expressed in the ordinary magisterium of the Church particularly on faith and morals, even if such teachings are not definitive, is indeed sinful; though the gravity of the sin will depend on the gravity of the matter involved. Teachings such as the death penalty would fall under Canon 752 where the faithful are admonished to give “religious submission of the intellect and will” to such teachings. The source of this Canon is Lumen Gentium 25, while Canon 1371 (1) provides the possible consequence (“a just penalty”) to disobedience (after a person has been officially admonished) to teachings covered under Canon 752.
However, the strongest indication of the seriousness of any dissent from the Magisterium comes from the words of Christ Jesus Our Lord Himself: “Whoever listens to you listens to Me. Whoever rejects you rejects Me. And whoever rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me” (Luke 10:16). Thefereore, listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
Respect your fellow Catholics, jon. Many of the bishops do not agree with Church teachings, and many no longer believe in upholding Canon Law. Very few bishops will place Canon Law restrictions on sinful Pro-Abortion “Catholic” politicians, who evilly legislate Murder for unborn children — and try to force taxpayers to pay for it. Many bishops are against use of Canon Law, except in rare cases, to suit themselves. And the Pope also has said he has never refused Communion to anyone– he disobeys Canon Law, himself.
I don’t see it anywhere.
You make a case for it and well, but I do not think the Church has gone that far with it.
The Church says to pray the Rosary but it is not a sin if you do not.
The Church says to vote but it is not a sin if you do not.
An executioner was always exempt from sin.
It is the governor’s job to sign a death warrant. He could with 2 cabinet member grant clemency which is what Florida’s bishops asked him to do.
They did not say that he would be guilty of sin if he did not.
This has a link to the full letter.
“commenter”: If the words of Our Lord in Luke 10:16 don’t cause you to see the sinfulness of dissenting from the clear teachings of the Magisterium, then nothing in Canon Law, in the Catechism, or in the Dogmatic Constitution of Vatican II will enlighten your eyes. Sorry to say.
Sheedy’s letter to DeSantis on behalf of all of the bishops of Florida is pretty strong in urging him to choose life for Dillbeck. Just notice the words used: “we are deeply disheartened,” the bishops “implore you,” “we ask you to choose life.” If your spiritual father used those strong and clear words in a letter to you, how can you as a Catholic who wants to be obedient, holy, and just not have the compunction to heed? DeSantis disobeyed. He broke “union” on this issue with his spiritual father, his bishop. Make no mistake: it is a sin, not of the same gravity as dissent on abortion. But still a sin. Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
Have they ever said that a Catholic on a jury cannot vote for a death penalty without incurring guilt of sin?
Have they ever said that a Catholic judge cannot give the death penalty without incurring guilt of sin?
Have they said that a Catholic prosecutor cannot seek the death penalty?
Have they ever said that a Catholic cannot be an executioner?
“Thou shalt not kill.” (Exodus 20:13). Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
“’Thou shalt not kill.’ (Exodus 20:13). Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.”
“Whenever someone kills another, the evidence of witnesses is required to kill the murderer. A single witness does not suffice for putting a person to death.”–Numbers 35:30
“Then Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on do not sin any more.'” (John 8:11). Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
“’Then Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on do not sin any more.’” (John 8:11). Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.”
39 Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.”
The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation?
And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.”–Luke 23:39-42
“Let he who is without sin throw the first stone” (John 8:7). Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
The living Magisterium? That is not a thing.
I listen to the Magisterium. I respect life.
Don’t take from or add to the teaching of the Church.
jon, we are not Bible Christians. We have a Magisterium. You are confused on this. The Church has asked all governments to abolish capital punishment. It is still not required of individual Catholics under pain of sin to hold this position or obey this.
“’Let he who is without sin throw the first stone’ (John 8:7). Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.”
“one who does not have a sword should sell his cloak and buy one.”–Luke 23:36
“’Let he who is without sin throw the first stone’ (John 8:7). Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.”
“one who does not have a sword should sell his cloak and buy one.”–Luke 22:36
This is from the Roman Catechism.
Another kind of lawful slaying belongs to the civil authorities, to whom is entrusted power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of which they punish the guilty and protect the innocent. The just use of this power, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this Commandment which prohibits murder. The end of the Commandment is the preservation and security of human life. Now the punishments inflicted by the civil authority, which is the legitimate avenger of crime, naturally tend to this end, since they give security to life by repressing outrage and violence. Hence these words of David: In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land, that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord.
John Paul II began changing this teaching. Human life is sacred.
Pope Benedict XVI called for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty.
I think the fact that you just judged Gov. DeSantis to be guilty of a venial sin and possible moving toward a mortal sin is way above your pay grade.
It is indeed within the “pay grade” of the Magisterium to judge what is sinful and what is not. I merely pointed out the same Magisterium’s Canons, articles in the Catechism, and Dogmatic Constitution from Vatican II to support this. The Catholic faithful is called upon to give “religious submission of will and intellect” to teachings such as the inadmissibility of the death penalty, no matter what their “pay grade” may be: whether you’re a street-sweeper or a governor. The aim of the Church is unity in mind, will, and spirit. It is a scandal actually that there are many Catholics in our time who think it’s their “right” to dissent from clear teachings of the Church.
jon, could you at least acknowledge that you understand that we are not arguing with the Magisterium. We are saying that the Magisterium has not said that a person who acts as an agent in capital punishment (prosecutor, judge, jury member, death row guard, executioner, governor) is guilty of a sin.
“not” writes: “We are saying that the Magisterium has not said that a person who acts as an agent in capital punishment (prosecutor, judge, jury member, death row guard, executioner, governor) is guilty of a sin.” Wrong. The Magisterium is very clear that the death penalty is morally inadmissible (Catechism 2267). The Church has used the same term morally “inadmissible” many times such as in the Catechism 2296, where the Church judges as “morally inadmissible” causing mutilation or death of a human being in order to harvest that person’s organs to the benefit of another person. Is this “morally inadmissible” action sinful? You bet. Other actions which the Church has judged “morally inadmissible” include anti-Semitism, unlawful profits through exploitation, racism, depriving a worker of his just wages, and others. Is anti-Semitism which is morally inadmissible sinful? Yes. Is racism which is morally inadmissible sinful? Yes. If a person commits a “morally inadmissible” act, what do you call that? A sin. Therefore a conscientious Catholic must not cooperate either formally or materially to a sinful action. For example there have been conscientious Catholics who have disqualifed themselves from serving in a trial that involves the death penalty. Good for them. Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
jon, you are making things up.
It is comparable to being in the military. The Popes have said “Never again war.” But they have not said that it is a sin to be in the military or to kill as a combatant.
It does not say morally inadmissible.
jon, have you thought about the implication of what you are saying in terms of the Church’s infallibility on morals?
To “commenter”: comparing a soldier serving in a just war or just military action with the “cruel and unnecessary” use of the death penalty is invalid.
Additionally, it does not matter that Catechism paragraph 2267 does not contain the adverb “morally”, because it is universally understood that the Church when judging the lawfulness of an action always judges the morality of it. Even if the adverb is not used, Catholics nonetheless understand what is being taught. For example, Pope Pius XI in 1938 said: “It is impossible for a Christian to take part in anti-Semitism. It is inadmissible.” Therefore, is anti-Semitism which is “inadmissible” sinful? You bet. Also, Pope Pius XII in 1950 judged that depriving even priests of their just wages is “inadmissible” (Menti Nostrae, 128). So, is depriving priests of their just wages, which is “inadmissible,” therefore sinful? Certainly. And in 1974, in a speech to the United Nations, Pope Paul VI repeated the fact that racial discrimination as seen in apartheid in South Africa is “inadmissible”: “We deplore the fact that, in certain parts of the world, there persist social situations based upon racial discrimination and often willed and sustained by systems of thought; such situations constitute a manifest and inadmissible affront to the fundamental rights of the human person.” Therefore is racial discrimination which is “inadmissible” sinful? Indeed. Again, the adverb “morally” need not be used because the rest of the faithful understands what the Magisterium means. To insist on the use of the adverb is pedantic. Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
The Supreme Pontiff Francis, in the audience granted on 11 May 2018 to the undersigned Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has approved the following new draft of no. 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, arranging for it to be translated into various languages and inserted in all the editions of the aforementioned Catechism.
The death penalty
2267. Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.
Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.
Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”, and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.
“Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. ”
This sentence , suggests that in times past people thought that recourse to the death penalty was considered appropriate because such were mistaken about the dignity of the person; now in our times, unlike them, we know that the dignity of the person is not lost by the commission of crimes. This sentence insinuates that it has always been a mistake to apply capital punishment, that its application violated the dignity of the criminal. In other words, in past times the death penalty was mistakenly considered appropriate, but not at all today, because we know better. The sentence presents a great difficulty for me. For 2000 years the Church permitted the death penalty, only now I read the Church was in error because she did not sufficiently value the dignity of the criminal.
I wonder if the dignity of the criminal had little to do with the death penalty in times past because the dignity of the victim was considered first and foremost with the idea that only the death penalty answers to the infinite value of the person murdered. Anything short of the death penalty for heinous crimes represented a lack of justice for the victim. The dignity of the criminal was not at issue as the criminal was now the recipient of the required justice for the victim. It was not a matter of revenge, of bloodlust, and therefore wrong. Just wondering…
This wiki page is good. https://www.usccb.org/resources/churchs-anti-death-penalty-position
Good page with history. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_capital_punishment
I think the growing awareness of human dignity came as they had to defend against attacks on human life at the embryonic stage.
Just a fair warning not to rely on Wikipedia to faithfully explain to you Catholic doctrine. For example, if Pope Benedict were alive today and read this Wikipedia entry on the death penalty, he would have been aghast to learn that he, as prefect of the CDF, had suggested that Pope John Paul II’s teaching on the death penalty was not binding on Catholics. This is factually wrong. The CDF’s 2004 document “Worthiness To Receive” merely situated where dissent on the Church’s teaching on the death penalty is relative to dissent on abortion; it did not suggest anything of the kind that Wikipedia indicates.
However, the issue of the death penalty is a good example how the change in circumstances (third font of morality) as judged by Pope John Paul during his reign (namely, the change in circumstance that the improvements in the penal system in our time and in many places has allowed for the protection of the general population from a criminal short of executing him) has contributed to the development in the Church’s understanding of doctrine. It has always been considered that the intentional killing of another human being, though he may be a criminal, is unlawful as it violates the fifth commandment, for even the criminal still bears the “imago Dei”. Aquinas taught this. But Aquinas also taught that the death penalty is justified because it defends society. However, in our time, when the necessity to defend society by intentionally killing the criminal is removed because of improvements in the penal system, making it possible to defend society without intentionally killing the criminal, then the efficacy of the death penalty is vitiated, lessened. This change in circumstance, among other things, clarified even further for the Church her understanding of the doctrine of the dignity of all human life, even that of the criminal. I propose that it is precisely this change in circumstance that allowed for the greater understanding and appreciation for the sacredness of human life, no matter who he/she is.
” However, in our time, when the necessity to defend society by intentionally killing the criminal is removed because of improvements in the penal system, making it possible to defend society without intentionally killing the criminal, then the efficacy of the death penalty is vitiated, lessened. This change in circumstance, among other things, clarified even further for the Church her understanding of the doctrine of the dignity of all human life, even that of the criminal. ”
jon, this is what troubles me: circumstances cannot always be called upon to keep these improvements in place. With people like AOC advocating shorter sentences for violent offenders, overcrowding resulting in early release etc. and the general increase in criminal activity, it would seem there could easily be more Donald David Dillbecks. JP 2s reasoning regarding circumstances thus seems to be a sword that cuts both ways IMHO. If it cuts the wrong way, would the Church not have to return to Aquinas?
The Church renders judgment on the morality of an action based on present circumstances among other factors, not on hypothetical or possible future circumstances which may or may not even happen.
jon, traditionally, there were three circumstances where guilt of murder is not imputed to the person who kills. Self-defense, war, and capital punishment.
I do not see where that has changed.
Asking states to abolish the death penalty is not the same as declaring it sinful.
I am opposed to capital punishment but I think you are going farther than the Catholic Church goes.
The Church implores states to abolish the death penalty precisely because it is sinful. It is sinful because it violates the dignity of human life! Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
I think that the best older and wiser Catholic popes and clerics of previous eras, understood human nature much better, than those of today. TIney also better understood the nature of sin and repentance, and how to help guide souls, spiritually. They were not naive, they did not water-down Christian teaching into a superficial, shallow, silly “social club,” a big “bowl of cherries,” no recognition of sin, and no penance necessary– unless you desire it– according to your own schemes of “moral relativism.” With lots of secular, goofball “pop psychology,” permissiveness, no discipline, secular, unChristian, radicalized youth fads and fashions, rock music, “hippie-type” World Youth Days, and “hippie luv” and Christian Salvation and Heaven guaranteed, for all. The best older, more mature Catholic popes and clerics of previous eras, were very serious with teaching, preaching and upholding the Catholic Faith. Yes, God loves mankind, and sees us, His children, as “good” and “loveable.” But mankind has lost his/her relationship with God, through sin. Repentance of sin, and Salvation, struggling and learning to lead a good life, following Christ, is all very important, very serious. The duty of our religious leaders to guide us in holiness, and prepare us for Heaven, has been greatly neglected, in the modern Church. Being subjective, “Me-Generation”-style, obsessed with “myself” and individualism, emotional feelings, comfort and worldliness– has gone way too far. Too babyish! UnChristian! Too much focus on “humanism” and the “human heart”– instead of focus on Christ’s Sacred Heart, which is holy and Divine, not of this world, detached from all created things, not seeking fulfillment of human “gratifications.” Seeking only union with God, and fulfilling God’s Divine Will– the Source of all our true happiness, joy and fulfillment. I think a return to St. Thomas Aquinas, objective study of religion, and serious practice of the Catholic Faith, is badly needed.
No. Because it is unnecessary and contrary to the dignity of human life which they try to defend from conception to natural death.
This man is a grave scandal to the ministerial priesthood. A modernist , and gravely sacrilegious. I saw him championing the “ gay” movement, than with eyes blazing put up a horde symbol with his fingers, his tongue was out as well. He looked and crazed and maniacal. He may be “perfectly possessed “.
I sure as h**l don’t know for sure;
but I ain’t gonna disagree with ya
So, a double-murderer is sentenced to death by a judge and a Republican governor signs off on it. That governor should be denied Holy Communion, according to Martin and the like. Yet, a Democrat president and speaker of the house promote, fund and sign off on the killings of hundreds of thousands of innocent babies, but, they should be able to receive Holy Communion. Makes sense to me.
“….and remarkably, the pope seems to object not only to life sentences, but to any sentences of an especially long duration. For in his March 20, 2015 letter he criticizes “life imprisonment, as well as those sentences which, due to their duration, render it impossible for the condemned to plan a future in freedom” (emphasis added). Pope Francis appears to be saying that it is wrong to inflict on any offender a sentence that is so long that it would prevent him from returning eventually to a normal life outside of prison.”
“I don’t want to speak ill of anyone, but it touched my heart: when the commemoration of the Normandy landings took place. The heads of so many governments were there to commemorate that. It was the beginning of the fall of Nazism, it’s true. But how many boys were left on the beaches in Normandy? They say thirty thousand… Who thinks of those boys? War sows all of this. That is why you, who are journalists, please be pacifists, speak out against wars, fight against war.”
Oh, that pope…pacifism… I had previously read all of this information, as I get the online Vatican news, too. Pacifism?? Let all the dangerous, violent criminals out of the prisons, to go commit more horrific crimes– and destroy countries, worldwide? There are Latin American political leaders desperate to round up violent drug lords, and lock them up for good– and protect their innocent citizens! How long is “too long” a prison sentence, for those evil, violent, Satanic drug lords– according to Pope Francis?? And regarding WWII– what if all those brave soldiers who valiantly died on the Normandy beaches, had all become pacifists– and refused to fight to stop Hitler, from destroying European nations, and our own nation, perhaps, too? Who would fight and give their lives, to try to liberate the poor Jews, as well as thousands of Catholic priests, scheduled to die, in Hitler’s Death Camps? What would happen, if all the American Armed Forces turned pacifist– and Al Qaeda and the Taliban hatched more Satanic terrorist plots, like 9/11– to violently murder millions of Americans? I don’t think that God led the Jews to be mindless, helpless pacifists, in the Bible. Self-defense, and defense of your family, community and country, is a duty to God. God ordained the Exodus from Egypt for the Israelites– and many Egyptians died, as a result, chasing the Jews across the Red Sea. During WWII, it was tragic, that even the Vatican suffered a bombing– what would the poor Pope do, if that were to ever happen again? Call the military, ASAP– to run to protect the poor Pope and the Vatican– that’s what! The Nazis tried to assassinate poor Pope Pius XII! His pectoral cross deflected the bullet, miraculously. Now we have the terrible war in Ukraine, with the senseless Russian murderers, led by Putin. Shouldn’t the brave Ukranians receive support, as they valiantly fight for their country– and their very lives?
Also, in regards to the famous Biblical Exodus historical account, God was pretty hard on Pharaoh and the Egyptians, when Moses was seeking freedom for the poor, enslaved Israelites. God sent 10 plagues upon the Egyptians, as Pharoah kept denying Moses freedom for his people. At the 10th plague, God told Moses to have the Jews sprinkle their door posts with lamb’s blood, so that the Angel of Death would safely pass over their homes. (That is where the name, “Passover” comes from.) Thus, the Angel of Death, sent from God, went all over Egypt, taking the lives of all first-born Egyptian children– including Pharaoh’s son. God was pretty hard on Pharaoh and his Egyptian people. And the Jews were led by Moses to their freedom, with God’s blessing. We cannot always understand the ways of God.
I think Fr. Martin should be denied communion until he repents of his gay heresy.
I agree 100%!
Couple of issues: first, given the parole boards in the US, It is entirely possible that he could get out and murder a third time. Next, This is a guilty person who is being punished as the courts see fit that he pay for his crime, not an innocent baby in the womb. Finally, Fr. Martin is leading others into mortal sin on a daily basis and he doesn’t even flinch at his culpability. He need a reality check.
[…] Fr. James Martin asks bishops if they will deny DeSantis Communion […]
Is DeSantis a Catholic? I understand that he, as well as Rubio, waver between calling themselves Catholic and Evangelical. Does anyone know for sure?
Yes, DeSantis is a Catholic.
Marco Rubio is also, but for a while he attended an evangelical church with his wife and children. He has a more complicated spiritual journey. According to one story, in 2004, he returned to the Catholic Church. He “yearned” for his “roots.” He went to Mass every morning. He subscribed to the Catholic publication Magnificat. He “craved, literally,” he would write, “the Most Blessed Sacrament, Holy Communion, the sacramental point of contact between the Catholic and the liturgy of heaven.” He liked “the contemporary gospel message,” the simplicity of the focus on the Scriptures, of Christ Fellowship—but what he really wanted, and needed, he thought, was “the actual Body and Blood of Jesus.”
Ron Desantis got civilly married at Disney World, not in a Catholic Church. Unless he got a dispensation, his marriage is not valid due to defect of form. Maybe he should be denied communion for not following the Church’s marriage laws.
Maybe he and his wife were not Catholic at that time, or maybe they were, at that time, lapsed Catholics– and later had their marriage convalidated, in the Catholic Church. Who knows? DeSantis seems to care a lot, to stand up for what is morally right, and hold his ground, against the immoral, radical liberal leftists. Give him a break. I bet he practices his religion correctly. We are blessed to have him, in America. Dump Gavin Newsom ASAP, for an excellent governor like DeSantis.
In the news today, I read that Casey, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ wife, is a strong Evangelical Christian, and that Gov. DeSantis, a Catholic, “leans in her direction.” Also, his wife’s family had strong ties to Walt Disney World, and Casey talked Ron into having their wedding there, in a pretty Wedding Chapel, near Magic Kingdom. He said that he agreed to this, as long as no Disney characters, like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, were present at their wedding. No information was given, about a possible later convalidation of their wedding in a Catholic church. However, he mentioned that their three children were all baptized– but the news story didn’t say in which church. DeSantiscwould still someday be a far better Catholic president than
In the news today, I read that Casey, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ wife, is a strong Evangelical Christian, and that Gov. DeSantis, a Catholic, “leans in her direction.” Also, his wife’s family had strong ties to Walt Disney World, and Casey talked Ron into having their wedding there, in a pretty Wedding Chapel, near Magic Kingdom. He said that he agreed to this, as long as no Disney characters, like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, were present at their wedding. No information was given, about a possible later convalidation of their wedding in a Catholic church. However, he mentioned that their three children were all baptized– but the news story didn’t say in which church. DeSantis would still someday be a far better Catholic president than Biden.
What a pathetic joke. “Catholic” President Joe Biden’s wife, Jill, publicly wearing a Rosary while giving a speech to young Kenyans in Africa, promoting contraception, urging the kids to use birth control pills and condoms.
Contracting a civil marriage is a mortal sin. I do not think any bishop would give a dispensation for that. The dispensations I have heard about are when a Catholic marries a non-Catholic Christian in their church.
DeSantis said he was the dutiful groom that went along with what his bride wanted. Her day, her way.
are you saying DeSantis knowingly
entered into a mickey mouse marriage???
Pope Francis has not the authority to change the Church teaching on the death penalty. Theologians know this. JP 2 didn’t like capital punishment and he saw it abused in colossal ways in the communist worlds that he fought. Recall how even he didn’t “change” the teaching because he knew he could not. The revision to the CCC is in error. To suggest that a sovereign entity cannot in prudential judgement resort to capital punishment for the protection of its citizens contradicts Catholic doctrine in many levels, as it undermines justice.
You’re right. John Paul II took the teaching about as far as he could without departing from/contradicting the Church’s previous teaching(s) on the issue. And, ironically, some dismiss an encyclical like Humanae Vitae while taking one line of the Catechism (not magisterial teaching) as virtually infallible. And, let’s not forget magnitude. The number of executions (since it was reinstated in the 70’s) is .0024 percent the number of babies killed since 1973 (Roe v. Wade).
“May the death penalty, an unworthy punishment still used in some countries, be abolished throughout the world.” (Pope John Paul II, Prayer at the Papal Mass at Regina Coeli Prison in Rome, July 9, 2000). Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
He can wish for that without making it binding on all Catholics to support.
Popes can wish and pray for nuclear arms to be abolished. Doesn’t mean it’s realistic, doesn’t mean it’s binding doctrine, doesn’t mean it’s wise.
Abolishing the death penalty is foolish because, even if it’s not necessary right now in some places, social conditions can change and society might need it again. I think American society needs it now.
So I disagree with recent popes’ non-binding, personal prudential judgments.
I also disagree with Pope Francis that laws should not criminalize sodomy. Oh, is that part of the magisterium now too because Francis said it? Nonsense.
Stop with the ultramontanism and hyperpapalism.
Do you know what the word “ultramontanism” even means?
Really? Are you of a Christian denomination that hires traveling preachers to come and give sermons on the evils of the Catholic Church?
Are you a Jehovah’s Witness?
“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.” (“Lumen Gentium,” 25). Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
jon, you can contact the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops and ask them whether DeSantis committed a sin by signing the death warrants.
Good for you. Many modern prelates and clerics are out-of-touch with reality and with God.. I believe Christ and His Jewish people in the Bible knew well, the harsh realities of life, and had lots of good, common sense, in their daily lives. Christ knew people, and understood life situations, and best ways to handle different things. He was never afraid to call a spade a spade. He stood strong and tall like a man, with flawless integrity in all things. He knew when people needed to be told to change their “wrongs,” and when other people needed encouragement, help or words of comfort, due to life’s hardships. He knew when to be tender and when to be stern. He had no human dysfunctions, sins, nor babyish attachments forapproval-seeking”– which many unmanly, babyish, bleeding-heart liberal, bad clerical leaders struggle with, today. He would easily say, “Repent of your sins. Then, come follow Me.” Not everyone would do that. That was their problem, their choice– and He let them have their own choices. You must grow up, you must make your own choices, you must take the consequences of those choices. There is always forgiveness for sin– but still, you must be strong and honest, accept consequences for your own sins, do penance, and try to improve. No babying. Capital crimes are less common, and capital punishment by society may at times be something important for lawmakers to consider. We have a duty to God to protect society from all evil. And in today’s world– there is far too much evil and sin.
Additionally……”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.” (Dogmatic Constitution “Lumen gentium” 25). Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.
let him without stones,
encourage the first sin