Catholics and the death penalty

The Florida Catholic has created an interesting presentation on the death penalty that is worth looking at. It’s a 12-part feature, headlined “The death penalty: Voices unite for louder opposition,” outlining church treaching on the death penalty and opinion poll results and includes the witness of Catholics and non-Catholics speaking out against the death penalty.

10 Responses

  1. The Church needs to make some effort to fact check anti death penalty claims. The Church, simply, parrots anti death penalty claims.

    It is a disservice to the truth as well as to their flock. …

  2. The liberal Catholic left loves to say that capital punishment is as evil as abortion. But the church has always condemned abortion from the earliest years on to the present day. My Catechism says abortion is a grave crime and that it is sinful because of its homicidal intent. It goes on to condemn abortion in the most stringent language.

    This universal and consistent condemnation of abortion throughout church history is not true for capital punishment. Reading further in my Catechism I find that “Capital punishment is part of the acknowledged Christian tradition, illustrated by St. Paul’s statement that, ‘The State is there to serve God for your benefit. If you break the law, however, you may well have fear; the bearing of the sword has its significance. The authorities are there to serve God; they carry out God;s revenge by punishing wrongdoers.’ ” (Rm, 13:4). Our Catechism goes on to say that “Certainly if capital punishment is morally justified, punitive sterilization is also legitimate on principle”.

    I too am against capital punishment but it is certainly not comparable to the evil taking of perfectly innocent life in the womb or partially born. I sincerely wish that the church would speak out more loudly and clearly against such a comparison. Its disgusting to hear more and more people identifying themselves as pro-choice Catholics.

  3. It would appear that some reference to the Bible might help in this discussion. If we read the Hebrew version, Ex. 20:13 states “not shall you murder”, that is shedding of innocent blood. Different then the more general Greek/Latin term “thou shall not kill”. So what did Jesus say in Matt. 15:4 “Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death”. Rather strong terms. So who do you give more weight to, Jesus or a theologian? Another point is, how many times are the victim and their families ever mentioned, except for a byline, if that.

  4. Romans 12:19

  5. In the death penalty in the United Kingdom, a moron (a term was not derogatory at the time) named Timothy John Evans, was hanged in 1950. Evans got a pardon the day the founder of K-Mart dies. Thanks to a moron (a term was not derogatory at the time) and a Welshman, the death penalty is no longer exists in Britain.

  6. Ron – There is a difference between private vengeance (Paul) and punishment (Jesus). Let’s not get the two mixed up.

    V.E.G.In this country, if a man murders and is found insane, the death penalty is not given.

  7. Every saint of the Roman Catholic church who has written or spoke about the death penalty has supported it! Some, like St. Alphonsus Ligouri, have demanded it under certain circumstances. Do the research!

  8. It is easy to try and differentiate between the value of one person’s life and the value of another person’s life, especially when we talk about the issues of abortion and capital punishment.

    However, I do not make that distinction. Christ did not reserve his mercy for a chosen few. He did not deem some unworthy of salvation because of the nature of their sin. When we speak of abortion I believe that it is part of a larger discussion on the consistent ethic of life preached by the church. Execution, for no matter how heinous a crime, is not a natural death and it is not mandated by God. If it were then the Catholic Church would not be trying to abolish it.

    Abortion and capital punishment are not apple and oranges. Life is life. Innocence and guilt are irrelevant. The child you save today from abortion could be the man or woman you execute tomorrow. So when does their life become worthless?

  9. Death Penalty Support: Modern Catholic Scholars

    http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/

    Pope John Paul II: Prudential Judgement and the death penalty

    http://homicidesurvivors.com/2007/07/23/pope-john-paul-ii-his-death-penalty-errors.aspx

    “The Death Penalty: More Protection for Innocents”

    http://homicidesurvivors.com/2009/07/05/the-death-penalty-more-protection-for-innocents.aspx

  10. The death penalty is a perfectly reasonable form of retribution. Its good for deterrence and protects the innocents. We should worry about good justice, not being humane to sick criminals.

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