Has teaching on the death penalty officially been changed?

#21

“As a person who morally believes in the sanctity of life, to judge another to determine if the imposition of the death penalty is appropriate is not a duty I take lightly,” Dinkelacker said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

He stressed the rule of law, saying without it, “those not able to protect themselves become prey for those like Kirkland.”

“I took an oath to follow the law and I will do that,” the judge said, according to Fox 19 Now. “To do otherwise, is morally, legally, philosophically and theologically wrong

“If we as people, as believers of law and justice, are going to have the death penalty imposed on the worst of the worst … then if not you, Anthony Kirkland, who," Dinkelacker said.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters, also a Catholic, pursued the death penalty in the Kirkland case and argued that the Vatican stance was misguided.

It’s understandable that some people don’t see these situations in the same way.

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#22

If the moderators ever lift the moratorium on discussing capital punishment we could discuss this, but since the thread will likely be closed as soon as it is reported to one of them, we can’t. Banning discussion seems an odd approach for a discussion board to take, nonetheless, for the time being at least even talking about this topic is forbidden.

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#23

The moratorium has been lifted for this thread: Has teaching on the death penalty officially been changed?
@camoderator, can you merge this thread into the other one?

Update- merge completed

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#24

Its not surprising…the Judge is a learned man in the law of the nation, but his theological justifications have no more merit than yours or mine. There are plenty of Catholics who claim use of contraceptives is theologically justified, that not caring of the poor is theologically justified, etc…take it with a grain of salt…might be as simple as “Thou protest too much [your honor]”.

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#25

“As a person who morally believes in the sanctity of life, to judge another to determine if the imposition of the death penalty is appropriate is not a duty I take lightly,” Dinkelacker said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

He stressed the rule of law, saying without it, “those not able to protect themselves become prey for those like Kirkland.”

“I took an oath to follow the law and I will do that,” the judge said, according to Fox 19 Now. “To do otherwise, is morally, legally, philosophically and theologically wrong

“If we as people, as believers of law and justice, are going to have the death penalty imposed on the worst of the worst … then if not you, Anthony Kirkland, who," Dinkelacker said.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters, also a Catholic, pursued the death penalty in the Kirkland case and argued that the Vatican stance was misguided.

It’s understandable that some people don’t see these situations in the same way.

1 Like

#26

“As a person who morally believes in the sanctity of life, to judge another to determine if the imposition of the death penalty is appropriate is not a duty I take lightly,” Dinkelacker said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

He stressed the rule of law, saying without it, “those not able to protect themselves become prey for those like Kirkland.”

“I took an oath to follow the law and I will do that,” the judge said, according to Fox 19 Now. “To do otherwise, is morally, legally, philosophically and theologically wrong

“If we as people, as believers of law and justice, are going to have the death penalty imposed on the worst of the worst … then if not you, Anthony Kirkland, who," Dinkelacker said.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters, also a Catholic, pursued the death penalty in the Kirkland case and argued that the Vatican stance was misguided.

It’s understandable that some people don’t see these situations in the same way.

1 Like

#27

“As a person who morally believes in the sanctity of life, to judge another to determine if the imposition of the death penalty is appropriate is not a duty I take lightly,” Dinkelacker said, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

He stressed the rule of law, saying without it, “those not able to protect themselves become prey for those like Kirkland.”

“I took an oath to follow the law and I will do that,” the judge said, according to Fox 19 Now. “To do otherwise, is morally, legally, philosophically and theologically wrong

“If we as people, as believers of law and justice, are going to have the death penalty imposed on the worst of the worst … then if not you, Anthony Kirkland, who," Dinkelacker said.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph Deters, also a Catholic, pursued the death penalty in the Kirkland case and argued that the Vatican stance was misguided.

It’s understandable that some people don’t see these situations in the same way.

1 Like

#28

This is the point I tried to address earlier: what, if any, level of assent is required when popes and bishops speak out? This argument seems convincing to me:

The Church’s “extraordinary” magisterium, capable of binding the faithful in faith and doctrine, can proceed solely-papally or papally-episcopally ; but her “ordinary” magisterium, also capable of binding the faithful in faith and doctrine, can proceed only papally-episcopally . As Francis’ move on the Catechism hardly qualifies as papal-episcopal, and there being no such thing as an ‘purely papal, ordinary, magisterium’ (the term itself seems an oxymoron, implying that some significant points of Church teaching have been taught only by popes!), then Francis’ views on the death penalty might (I stress, might, given the infallibility concerns above) contribute to the Church’s ordinary magisterium but they do not, and cannot, control it.

How to sum up the traditional understanding of this matter so far? Maybe thus: If it’s not extraordinary, it’s at most ordinary, but if it’s ordinary, it requires popes and bishops around the world and over a long, long time , and not just a pope in a claim or two.

All of which is why the questions surrounding the death penalty impact not only that very important social and civil issue but also the Church’s understanding and operation of her own magisterium.

In case I left out parts that make this clear: if Francis’ statement on the subject is not part of either the extraordinary or ordinary magisterium, it does not compel our assent.

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#29

Despite having posted here, I’m not able to find this thread directly. I can only get to it by first opening a closed thread on the subject under <Apologetics<Social Justice and then clicking on the Split/Merged link in that one.

This thread indicates it is located under <Apologetics, but I see no threads at all there. Can anyone get here directly?

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#30

We are required to offer religious assent or submission. See LG 24.

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.

There are distinct limitations to this type of assent. It may be relevant that the pope has spoken several times and put his ideas about the death penalty into the CCC. This is not one of his airplane remarks.

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#31

Here is the direct link to the oldest of the two merged threads

Perhaps you are using “dark theme”. Some of the mechanics of the website are now broken for dark theme (see complaints in the feedback forum). You can fix it by using the default theme and going to apologetics and from there using a drop-down menu to select “none” under apologetics. Then it is directly visible.

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#32

CCC 892 Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a “definitive manner,” they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful “are to adhere to it with religious assent” which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it.

This was the precise point I addressed in my earlier citation: “…her “ordinary” magisterium, also capable of binding the faithful in faith and doctrine, can proceed only papally-episcopally” There is no evidence that this has proceeded papally-episcopally, and it therefore does not satisfy the requirement that we give it religious assent.

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#33

That did it - thank you.

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#34

I’ve only seen that wording in Edward Peter’s (canon lawyer) blog, and I thought he was trying to talk about the type of teaching that is of the faith, that we must believe. He says his language (papally-episcopally) is in reference to the ordinary magisterium, which he expounds upon here:

The ordinary magisterium, one must see, takes a long, long time, to develop; it requires repetition and consistency over many generations, this, not simply on the part of popes but also by the bishops around the world, and even incorporates, to some extent, the lived acceptance of teachings by Catholic pastors, academics, and rank-and-file faithful through time.

This makes it seem to me that his language is about things that we have to believe, like faith believe. But religious assent is not about things we have to believe like that, so I don’t know how to understand what he says. Likely my own lack of understanding is coming into play here.

For reference, I supply a link to a section of a theology textbook on the topic, but he is one of those authors that I know from experience is best read in the context of his whole system, since it is a specific system to Grisez.

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#35

The Catechism of the Catholic Church was compiled at the initiative of Pope St. John Paul II, who described it as follows (link below):

  • It faithfully reiterates the Christian doctrine of all times.
  • It presents the Truth revealed by God in Christ and entrusted by Him to His Church.
  • It explains this Truth as it is believed celebrated, lived and prayed by the Church.

As I understand those words, spoken in 1992, they can only mean that any change to the CCC necessarily means a change to Catholic doctrine.

https://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2NWCAT.HTM

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#36

Yes, it was one of Peters’ blog posts I was citing, and specifically the distinction between the two types of assent that are required.

In sections 891 and 892 the catechism defines the types of assent required for doctrines of the extraordinary magisterium (“obedience of faith”) and of the ordinary magisterium (“religious assent”).

The two forms of assent are of course based on the origin of the doctrine. The question I raised was whether either type of assent was required of us in regard to the rewriting of 2267. My response was that neither applies because that section represents a teaching neither of the extraordinary nor the ordinary magisterium, and I cited Peters in support of that position.

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#37

No

God Bless you

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#38

Well, let’s be honest. The USCCB will be more likely to crack down and verbally chastise a Catholic politician or judge who still supports the death penalty, or one who supports strong border controls. But they will shy away from correcting politicians who advocate for abortion, contraception, same-sex marriage, gender ideology, etc.

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#39

Thank you Ender. Your pointing me to those CCC pasages and making me read them helped me focus. I went back and read Peters’ column.

Here is Peters himself (I bolded what I am referring to):

In light of the foregoing, then, it is easier to see why the present formulation of Canon 752 seems wanting: its language appears (I say appears, because scholars are divided over the meaning and implications of Canon 752) to regard as possible the obligation of “religious assent” being owed to a single, undoubtedly non-infallible, purely papal, no-matter-how-unprecedented, assertion regarding faith and morals. I, for one, frankly doubt that is what the Church meant to say although I grant that seems to be how her new law presently reads.

So, if I am understanding Peters correctly, he thinks the law in its wording says that we might be owing religious assent to a single non-infallible assertion, but that the wording seems bad and needs to be changed because that is not really what the Church likely meant to write down with those words.

I too think the wording reads that way, so I agree on that score.

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#40

Separate from my disagreement about the church’s position on capital punishment is my concern with what principles may be compromised in the attempt to justify banning it. Take Peters’ comments: do we really want to believe that right and wrong is nothing more than whatever the current pope says it is? If we take that route don’t we risk their comments being understood as little more than executive orders, which one president (pope) can issue and the next can rescind? That’s not a stable moral platform.

What about our understanding of punishment itself? As long as 2266 is unchanged it would seem the old doctrines still hold, but the new 2267 seems clearly incompatible with it. The new 2267 essentially dismisses everything the church has written on the subject for her first (at least) 1950 years. If we can dismiss the virtually unanimous position of the Fathers, Doctors, theologians, and previous popes on this issue, are we not free to dismiss their position on other issues? Is not everything “reformable”?

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