Taking a Person's Life?


#1

Hello,

I’m writing an essay for my Roman Catholicism class and there is a question that I just can’t find the answer to.

Do you know “under what circumstances does the Catholic Church believe that it is morally acceptable to take another person’s life?”

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.

Regards,

Dan


#2

[quote=pipman]Hello,

I’m writing an essay for my Roman Catholicism class and there is a question that I just can’t find the answer to.

Do you know “under what circumstances does the Catholic Church believe that it is morally acceptable to take another person’s life?”

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.

Regards,

Dan
[/quote]

Did you look in the CCC?

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:


#3

Off the top of my head I would answer that it would have to be self-defense. A Catholic is permitted to defend his or her own life. If the attcker is killed as a result, then that death would fall under the category of an unitended “double effect”. In other words, protecting one’s own life is the motivation (or intended consequence). The death of the attacker would then be an unintended second consequence. A Catholic, however, is never permitted to take another life as a primary or intended action.

Note also that this is dependent upon a reasonable response to an attack. If one defends oneself from a slap by shooting the “attacker” with a gun, the above would be inapplicable.

I suppose, by extension, it could also apply to defending one’s country in a just war as well (inasmuch as you are providing defense against an unjust agressor nation).


#4

So one would assume that it would be ok also to take ones life if they are defending their family, for instance, if a parent takes anothers life, because the aggressor is about to murder their child…then it is acceptable. Also, law enforcement personel may take anothers life in the line of duty…correct?

[quote=mtr01]Off the top of my head I would answer that it would have to be self-defense. A Catholic is permitted to defend his or her own life. If the attcker is killed as a result, then that death would fall under the category of an unitended “double effect”. In other words, protecting one’s own life is the motivation (or intended consequence). The death of the attacker would then be an unintended second consequence. A Catholic, however, is never permitted to take another life as a primary or intended action.

Note also that this is dependent upon a reasonable response to an attack. If one defends oneself from a slap by shooting the “attacker” with a gun, the above would be inapplicable.

I suppose, by extension, it could also apply to defending one’s country in a just war as well (inasmuch as you are providing defense against an unjust agressor nation).
[/quote]


#5

[quote=Catholic4aReasn]Did you look in the CCC?

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Hey Nancy,

Sorry, but what is the CCC?

Regards,

Dan


#6

[quote=pipman]Hey Nancy,:slight_smile:

Sorry, but what is the CCC?

Regards,

Dan
[/quote]

The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Would I be wrong in assuming that you’re not Catholic? If not, which Christian tradition do you embrace? How is it you’ve come to take a Roman Catholicism class? It’s really interesting that a class on Roman Catholicism wouldn’t make metion of the CCC!!

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:


#7

LOL…I heard that :slight_smile:

[quote=Catholic4aReasn]The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Would I be wrong in assuming that you’re not Catholic? If not, which Christian tradition do you embrace? How is it you’ve come to take a Roman Catholicism class? It’s really interesting that a class on Roman Catholicism wouldn’t make metion of the CCC!!

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:
[/quote]


#8

Here is a link for the CCC.

Take a look at Part Three, Section Two, Chapter Two, Article Five, “The Fifth Commandment”, paragraphs 2258-2330.


#9

[quote=dumspirospero]So one would assume that it would be ok also to take ones life if they are defending their family, for instance, if a parent takes anothers life, because the aggressor is about to murder their child…then it is acceptable. Also, law enforcement personel may take anothers life in the line of duty…correct?
[/quote]

To be honest, I really don’t know. You’d have to check with a moral theologian in all the above cases. I just know that the CCC allows for causing a death while defending oneself. I extended the reasoning to include just war, since that is also recognized by the Church. Considering that the Church also allows for capital punishment as a last resort to protect society, my guess is that your scenarios are valid as well. That being said, this is just my guess, I could very well be wrong.


#10

[quote=Catholic4aReasn]The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Would I be wrong in assuming that you’re not Catholic? If not, which Christian tradition do you embrace? How is it you’ve come to take a Roman Catholicism class? It’s really interesting that a class on Roman Catholicism wouldn’t make metion of the CCC!!

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Hey Nancy,

Yes, I am Catholic, just not practicing, only go on holidays or special occasions. I’m taking the class because it’s a Gordon Rule requirement class. I heard of The Catechism of the Catholic Church, but I just haven’t heard it referred to as the CCC. I’ve heard of CCD though :slight_smile: Thanks for the info though.


#11

[quote=pipman]Hey Nancy,

Yes, I am Catholic, just not practicing, only go on holidays or special occasions. I’m taking the class because it’s a Gordon Rule requirement class. I heard of The Catechism of the Catholic Church, but I just haven’t heard it referred to as the CCC. I’ve heard of CCD though :slight_smile: Thanks for the info though.
[/quote]

Well, I pray that you’re on your way to a deep relationship with the Lord through his body, the Church! You’re always welcome!!

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:


#12

I recently explored this topic while having a discussion with one of my younger brothers. We understand the teaching but came up with a question we couldn’t answer. Does killing in true self-defense still result in a venial sin? We got bogged down by some of the CCC wording and my searches on the web haven’t resulted in a clear answer. Sorry for the partial hijack.


#13

Where is an Apologist when we need one LOL…We need to know.

[quote=mtr01]To be honest, I really don’t know. You’d have to check with a moral theologian in all the above cases. I just know that the CCC allows for causing a death while defending oneself. I extended the reasoning to include just war, since that is also recognized by the Church. Considering that the Church also allows for capital punishment as a last resort to protect society, my guess is that your scenarios are valid as well. That being said, this is just my guess, I could very well be wrong.
[/quote]


#14

[quote=dumspirospero]Where is an Apologist when we need one LOL…We need to know.
[/quote]

HaHa! Good question! Just makes me realize how lacking my apologetic skills are :o

Fortunately for us, though, someone posed a similar question to Fr. Torraco on EWTN’s Q&A page, and it looks like we were right. You can check out the answer here.


#15

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