[quote=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.
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.