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Friday, April 20, 2012

Catholics and death penalty

Noting the notable role of Catholicism in recent state death penalty abolition efforts


Today's Washington Post ran this interesting story headlined "Catholic activists pushing politicians to turn tide against the death penalty." Here are excerpts:
Soon, probably next week, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy will sign into a law a bill that abolishes the death penalty in his state. When he does, Connecticut will be the fifth state to enact such legislation in as many years — and the third with a governor who was raised a Roman Catholic....
Powerful, vocal Roman Catholics have been much in the news of late, mostly for their hard-line positions on abortion and birth control, and their self-serving rhetoric on the subject of religious rights in the health-care debate.  But Catholic activists are playing another political role, too — under the radar — on an issue that hasn’t made the same sorts of headlines.
They are helping to turn the tide of public opinion in the United States against the death penalty.  (According to a Pew poll earlier this year, about a third of Americans now oppose capital punishment, up from 18 percent in the mid-1990s.)  And they are appealing to the consciences of Roman Catholic politicians to do it.
The sanctity of human life is central to Catholic theology, and for death penalty opponents, this sanctity extends as much to living men and women convicted of capital crimes as it does to embryos and fetuses....
Last November, a delegation of international death-penalty opponents was invited to a private audience with Pope Benedict XVI.  There, the pope praised and encouraged “the political and legislative initiatives being promoted in a growing number of countries to eliminate the death penalty.”...
In 2011, on Ash Wednesday, Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation that abolished the death penalty in Illinois.  Quinn had attended Catholic schools as a child and went to Georgetown University but had long supported capital punishment.
More at http://sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/2012/04/noting-the-notable-role-of-catholicism-in-recent-state-death-penalty-abolition-efforts.html

Also:

"Pope seeks end to death penalty"

The title of this post is the headline of this AP story, which gets started this way:
Pope Benedict XVI voiced support Wednesday for political actions around the world aimed at eliminating the death penalty, reflecting his stance as an opponent of capital punishment.
He made the comments during his weekly public audience to participants at a meeting being promoted by the Catholic Sant'Egidio Community on the theme "No Justice without Life."  He said he hopes "your deliberations will encourage the political and legislative initiatives being promoted in a growing number of countries to eliminate the death penalty."
At http://sentencing.typepad.com/sentencing_law_and_policy/2011/12/pope-seeks-end-to-death-penalty.html

2 comments:

bill bannon said...

This new papal position will get inmates and guards killed and already has in the cases of Fr. Geoghan and Jeffrey Dahmer...both of whom were murdered in prison by lifers in non death penalty states. You see if a lifer murders in a non death penalty state, his increased punishment is solitary...he may want that if others in the prison have already attacked him. So in some cases in non death penalty states, a murder of another inmatenwill get the murderer the solitary he wants. Given that solitary costs about 100K per year, he will only be there until such a cell is needed by other prison murderers as time goes by.
Unforetunately this is the opposite mistake of
Catholicism's 600 year mistake of supporting burning
heretics ( cf. Pope Leo X's Exsurge Domine,
article 33 condemned as "against the Catholic
Faith"
). Now section 80 of Splendor of the
Truth
calls all torture "intrinsic evil" and burning was
a torturous death...meaning many Popes were incorrect
since historical context is irrelevant in intrinsic evils even if you argue that heretics were often rebels against the crown also. Regardless the Church now positions itself against torture in se.

   Popes are considered conservative as long as they object to the Pill.  They can be ravingly liberal on Biblical exegesis and no one will notice as long as they have the sex thing correct.
   You must research the root error of the last two Popes on the death penalty.  Neither believes in all the first person imperatives of God in the Bible.  Read section 40 of Evangelium Vitae where John Paul implies that the death penalties of the Old Testament were the products of a less refined culture which means God didn't give them as Scripture says He did.  Then read section 42 of Verbum Domini by Benedict.  He thinks the massacres of the Old Testament were sins rather than dooms from God with a purpose which is spelled out in Wisdom 12 inter alia.  So you have two Popes in a row who are grossed out by Old Testament killing and they both use modern critico-historical exegesis to change what scripture says.  But both use subtle wording to protect that exegetical position from complaints of the light to moderately read Catholic who would not be inclined to accept that exegesis if they knew it was afoot in the Vatican.  Now consider that all Bishops and Theology teachers take the oath to affirm the non definitive Church positions within the Profession of Faith and you can understand how the web site " Catholic Moral Theology" was able to come up with a statement against the death penalty signed by 379 Catholic theology profs.  Lol...it affects their career if they don't sign it if they are not progressives to begin with who also are grossed out by most of the OT which is probably mostly the case.  Book III of Plato's republic says men become feminized if they over indulge culture and avoid sports.  Benedict needs less piano and more dumbell work as do our theology profs.  Unfortunately as you and I leave this earth, it will remain so.  The Church will be feminized in the bad sense of that term for some time to come.  The opposite error of burning heretics lasted from 1253 til 1816.  This error will be no different.  And Catholic authors will by and large support it because their book sales will plummet to the degree that they correct (even healthily) papal non infallible errors.

P. said...

You are entitled to your own opinion.

We can't forget that things must be seen in the context of the age, somethings that were acceptable in one time can't be in other.

I truly believe death penalty is wrong. We can kill in legitimate defense. The aim is not to kill the other, is to defend ourselves and in historic terms it can be understood as it is the war now, the right and sometimes the duty of a country to defend his people.

I do believe that there is no excuse for a country as USA to have the death penalty. That is what I truly believe.

About the Pope's opinions and teachings, I strongly believe and trust in his over human intelligence - which the great majority of people has not. So, in case of doubt, I follow Ratzinger sure that doing that,I will be less able to go wrong.

The shadow

The shadow
Even when we can not see him, his hand is always there!

At God's service