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  #1  
Old Aug 21, '04, 12:10 pm
madavis madavis is offline
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Default The Catholic Church and the Death Penalty

Why does the Church stand against the death penalty? I'm just curious. I am in the process of converting to Catholicism, so I don't quite know all the details of the Church's positions.

I know, it may be a sanctity of life thing, but my point is that under Mosaic law, the death penalty was prevalent for far less crimes, than it is today in America... and we all know Jesus did not come to destroy the law of Moses, but to fufill it....

I have never given much thought to the death penalty issue, so it'd be nice If I can have a Catholic's perspective in light of the Church's teachings.
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Let us all pray for the Pope, our ever faithful shepherd. How great is the burden of he who bears the weight of the Church, and indeed the world, on his back.... VIVA LA PAPA!
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  #2  
Old Aug 21, '04, 12:19 pm
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K-McD K-McD is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Death Penalty

The Catholic Church does not "stand against" the death penalty. The Holy Father just says that it should be used seldom because we now have the means and resources for rehabilitating the criminal. In times past we didn't have jails, or maximum state prisons to hold violent criminals like we do today.

So a Catholic can be for or against the death penalty and still be in good standings with the Catholic Church.

Kevin
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  #3  
Old Aug 21, '04, 12:38 pm
ricatholic ricatholic is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Death Penalty

The "pro-life" stance of the church is a relatively new happening, before the most recent decades, the church really didn't get involved in any issues that contradicted the rights of states to do as they wish with their peoples.


Perhaps the fact that the church itself, in its past, was as much concerned with temporal ruling as with spiritual leading might explain its history. But with the shift in the church's power back to a more spiritual basis, I think we will see more efforts of the church to reconcile its' views more closely with those of Christ, as opposed to those of Paul who showed more concern, than Jesus did, with the legitimacy of temporal powers.

In an ironic twist, it is the secular eurpean states that have a more Christlike approach to the death penalty than the religious "christian "states like the USA. We take more of the OT or Koran approach to capital punishment.

Peace
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  #4  
Old Aug 21, '04, 12:45 pm
cestusdei cestusdei is offline
 
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Death Penalty

Folks,

Keep in mind that ricatholic is NOT Catholic. He is an anti-Catholic who mascarades as one of us. His opinion is not that of Christ or His Church. When he wants to see Jesus he looks in the mirror. When he wants to hear Jesus he listens to himself talk. In fact he is not even really a Christian as he denies virtually all of the New Testament.
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  #5  
Old Aug 21, '04, 12:53 pm
hermit hermit is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Death Penalty

I don't believe that the church has an "official" position against the death penalty.

To equate the death penalty with abortion is absolute nonsense.

Abortion is the senseless taking of an innocent life.

The death penalty removes a dangerous individual from society who has forfeited his right to life by disregarding the right to life by his/her victims. This is comparing apples and oranges.

BTW it seems that arguments based on rights are not very fashionable these days.
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  #6  
Old Aug 21, '04, 1:14 pm
ricatholic ricatholic is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Death Penalty

Quote:
Originally Posted by hermit
I don't believe that the church has an "official" position against the death penalty.

To equate the death penalty with abortion is absolute nonsense.

Abortion is the senseless taking of an innocent life.

The death penalty removes a dangerous individual from society who has forfeited his right to life by disregarding the right to life by his/her victims. This is comparing apples and oranges.

BTW it seems that arguments based on rights are not very fashionable these days.
Your last post is telling about your perspective, and in these times isn't it reasonable to think that we should be less concerned with the rights of others?

After all, wasn't that what Jesus taught? His teachings had nothing to do with how we should treat others, especially the least. He was in fact killed because He had all rights satified and luckily the Romans and jews found a few sinless people to nail Him to the cross and pierce His side. And as the church has taught, the crowd had no culpability in the capital punishment.


Peace
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  #7  
Old Aug 21, '04, 2:09 pm
Andreas Hofer Andreas Hofer is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Death Penalty

ricatholic,

Trying to set Paul in opposition to Christ (as you seem to do on every thread) contributes nothing to the discussion. Trying to lump abortion with capital punishment as issues that have only recently emerged in Catholic teaching also belies a profound ignorance of the constant teaching of the Church against abortion.

For those of you actually interested in Catholic teaching, the other posts have done a fine job of explicating it.
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  #8  
Old Aug 21, '04, 2:10 pm
madavis madavis is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Death Penalty

Quote:
Originally Posted by cestusdei
Folks,

Keep in mind that ricatholic is NOT Catholic. He is an anti-Catholic who mascarades as one of us. His opinion is not that of Christ or His Church. When he wants to see Jesus he looks in the mirror. When he wants to hear Jesus he listens to himself talk. In fact he is not even really a Christian as he denies virtually all of the New Testament.
Thanks for the heads up... I was getting that vibe from him anyway.

and thanks for all of you who have answerd....
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Let us all pray for the Pope, our ever faithful shepherd. How great is the burden of he who bears the weight of the Church, and indeed the world, on his back.... VIVA LA PAPA!
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  #9  
Old Aug 21, '04, 2:15 pm
madavis madavis is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Death Penalty

Quote:
Originally Posted by hermit
I don't believe that the church has an "official" position against the death penalty.

To equate the death penalty with abortion is absolute nonsense.

Abortion is the senseless taking of an innocent life.

The death penalty removes a dangerous individual from society who has forfeited his right to life by disregarding the right to life by his/her victims. This is comparing apples and oranges.

BTW it seems that arguments based on rights are not very fashionable these days.
Oh i agree... we should not equate the two. I didn't mean to sound like I was. It really, really baffles me as to how some people can be for abortion.... i just don't get it.
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Let us all pray for the Pope, our ever faithful shepherd. How great is the burden of he who bears the weight of the Church, and indeed the world, on his back.... VIVA LA PAPA!
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  #10  
Old Aug 21, '04, 3:33 pm
faith_ful1953us faith_ful1953us is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Death Penalty

You are mistaken the the Catholic church is against the death penalty. I would suggest that you read the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
2266 states: Preserving the common good of society requires rendering the aggressor unable to inflict harm. For this reason the traditional teaching of the Church has acknowledged as well-founded the right and duty of ligitimate public authority to punish malefactors by means of penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime, not excluding, in cases of extreme gravity, the death penalty.
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  #11  
Old Aug 21, '04, 7:12 pm
madavis madavis is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Death Penalty

Quote:
Originally Posted by faith_ful1953us
You are mistaken the the Catholic church is against the death penalty. I would suggest that you read the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
2266 states: Preserving the common good of society requires rendering the aggressor unable to inflict harm. For this reason the traditional teaching of the Church has acknowledged as well-founded the right and duty of ligitimate public authority to punish malefactors by means of penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime, not excluding, in cases of extreme gravity, the death penalty.
oh wow... thanks. this is exactly what I was looking for.

Nothing states what the Church teaches better than the catechism. I just thought I had heard that the Church stood against the death penalty. I should have just looked in the catechism, but I don't own one yet.
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Let us all pray for the Pope, our ever faithful shepherd. How great is the burden of he who bears the weight of the Church, and indeed the world, on his back.... VIVA LA PAPA!
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  #12  
Old Aug 21, '04, 7:40 pm
Tom of Assisi Tom of Assisi is offline
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Cool Re: The Catholic Church and the Death Penalty

Quote:
Originally Posted by ricatholic
The "pro-life" stance of the church is a relatively new happening, before the most recent decades, the church really didn't get involved in any issues that contradicted the rights of states to do as they wish with their peoples.


Perhaps the fact that the church itself, in its past, was as much concerned with temporal ruling as with spiritual leading might explain its history. But with the shift in the church's power back to a more spiritual basis, I think we will see more efforts of the church to reconcile its' views more closely with those of Christ, as opposed to those of Paul who showed more concern, than Jesus did, with the legitimacy of temporal powers.

In an ironic twist, it is the secular eurpean states that have a more Christlike approach to the death penalty than the religious "christian "states like the USA. We take more of the OT or Koran approach to capital punishment.

Peace
Abolishing the death-penalty is a product of liberal-socialism. So it is not ironic at all that the socialists in Europe would be for abolishing the death-penalty even though the majority of Church going Christians in Europe are pro-death penalty.

There is nothing Christ-like in abolishing the death-penalty. The Church has always supported the use of capital punishment over the last 2000 years and it was employed in Old Testament times as well.

The recent Pro-Life movement you mention only arose because the secular state legalized abortion (via the courts). Pro-life measn anti-abortion and does not refer to the death penalty.

Pope John Paul II has urged that the death penalty be used rarely, and in America since 1970 I believe we have had fewer than 1000 state executions. Pretty rare. Since Roe v. Wade in 1973 we have had something like 40 million abortions hence the importance and need for the pro-life (anti-abortion) movement.

And of course, the Church has never waivered in adhering to Christ's teachings--despite how imperfect so many of us are.
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  #13  
Old Aug 21, '04, 8:06 pm
Tom of Assisi Tom of Assisi is offline
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Cool Re: The Catholic Church and the Death Penalty

here are some helpful links:

www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0205/articles/scalia.html

www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0104/articles/dulles.html


God bless to all of you --even the pretend Catholics (cough cough) ricatholic (cough cough).
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The hottest places in hell are reserved for those liberals who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. ~ Dante Alighieri
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  #14  
Old Aug 22, '04, 12:16 pm
AlanFromWichita AlanFromWichita is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Death Penalty

Quote:
Originally Posted by madavis
oh wow... thanks. this is exactly what I was looking for.

Nothing states what the Church teaches better than the catechism. I just thought I had heard that the Church stood against the death penalty. I should have just looked in the catechism, but I don't own one yet.
There is an online version. Unfortunately, it is different than the printed version I bought when it first came out. For example, in the case at hand, the death penalty is authorized by paragraph 2267 in the online version rather than by 2266 in the printed version. It also has very different wording, although the conclusion seems pretty much the same.

Here's a pointer to the section of the online version including 2267:

http://www.usccb.org/catechism/text/...2chpt2art5.htm

Alan
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  #15  
Old Aug 22, '04, 7:50 pm
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pnewton pnewton is offline
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Default Re: The Catholic Church and the Death Penalty

Quote:
Originally Posted by ricatholic
I think we will see more efforts of the church to reconcile its' views more closely with those of Christ, as opposed to those of Paul who showed more concern, than Jesus did, with the legitimacy of temporal powers.
The divinely inspired record of Christ is not in oppostition to the divinely inspired writings of Paul.
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