[quote="ClemtheCatholic, post:1, topic:337565"]
Before anybody brings it up, I have read CCC 2266-2267 many, many times and I know there is not, technically speaking, an absolute ban on the death penalty.
But what I want to know is why the Catechism says what it says in light of God commanding the death penalty for loads of sins in the Old Testament. Surely God didn't command them all because there was some sort of big danger to society if they were left alive? It seems rather contradictory to me!
God, being the author of life, is the only one with the ultimate right to extinguish life, even of the innocent, because God knows their destination after earthly death.
With this, you should be able to see that God commanding the death of someone, or a group of people, is different than men commanding the death of someone, or a group of people. Men have a limited right to cause the death of other men which extends only to self-defense, or the defense of others. Even then, the intent should not be to kill, but to stop the harm to yourself or others.