The death penalty - right or wrong


#101

If your position is correct then no one in the church prior to Francis understood the moral law either. You comfortable with that?


#102

You need to connect the dots.

show us where the Church did not uphold the sanctity of human life, and see that as the end of the moral law.
Please be specific.
You will resort to statements of morality that addressed the states of affairs at various times, but that doesn’t support your accusation that the Church has changed essential moral teaching.
Keep in mind what morality is and what it is not. The CCC clearly expresses that as posted above.


#103

“the right and duty of legitimate 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.”

2267 Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”

So…technically the Church does still hold it is acceptable in certain situations…

Kind off a schizophrenic situation…but it boils down to a “bloodless” way to deal with the transgressor…


#104

And, the end point of all of it is the sacredness of human life.
I hope this makes sense to everyone.

Morality is not a set of prohibitions that serve themselves as an end.
“we have a right to kill murderers”. No, you don’t. The allowance for the death penalty points to the protection of human life. It’s simply not necessary anymore, practically speaking.


#105

Go to the point 3 you cited ( and you picked the Baltimore)
Now here is the definition of “ lawful”

Authorized, to which is not forbidden .( and there is more you can read)
So…there was an authorization, a permission…
Now , enough. What was admissible is inadmissible .
Why do you want to hold on to an authorization given forever?
When it is over , it is over…


#106

If your position is that capital punishment is now intrinsically immoral it would mean the church did not uphold the sanctity of human life until last year. You cannot claim that executions violate the sanctity of human life now without conceding that for over 2000 years what the church taught was in fact contrary to that position, and she obviously cannot be considered to have upheld the sanctity of human life.


#107

I think this was the biggest problem with the earlier version of 2267: it implied that protection was the primary end of punishment, but capital punishment was never justified because it provided protection, although that was recognized as an additional benefit. It was always accepted because it was just, a concept that has apparently been dismissed.


#108

“Lawful” as it was used meant not legally permitted, but morally permitted, and while civil laws can change moral ones do not. I used the Baltimore catechism as an example because it so clearly expressed church doctrine, but I could have cited any of the other half dozen that I’m familiar with. The language is different but the teaching is the same.


#109

Who said that?

You’re engaging in one giant confirmation bias. You have a conclusion that the Church is not consistent in it’s moral teaching and is therefore corrupt in some fashion, and you are fitting square pegs into round holes to prove your bias.


#110

Our prisons are over-crowded.
I believe that if we were to fine or to give home confinement to people who commit lesser crimes, there would be plenty of room to incarcerate the truly violent people who commit murder.
No need for the death penalty.


#111

It’s possible that Ender doesn’t fully grasp the scope of ‘intrinsically’ hence the inability to understand the Church’s stance. To use the phrase “is now intrinsically immoral”, demonstrates this deficiency of understanding.


#112

The death penalty is considered right in a society which advocates revenge for a life taken. And the end result is two or more lives are taken for the one (depending on a given legal system).


#113

I do not mind you chose the Baltimore…I meant that the explanation is in your own pick, not that I looked for anything else but what you presented
And yes, I got it didn’t t mean “ legal” . What is “ legal “ in a country may make the hair stand on end in another one.
I got that. The Church speaks to every person in every place in every corner around the world.
Lawful as permissible, justifiable, authorized in the eyes of the Church that informs every aspect of our lives…


#114

Then explain what your position is: is capital punishment intrinsically evil or not?

I’m trying to understand your position, and - as I understand it - explain what difficulties it creates. No, I do not believe the church has been inconsistent in her moral teaching, but then I believe the teaching is the same now as it has always been.


#115

Two relevant points in this regard
1.It is neither necessary nor is it of any use for the Church interfering in the amount of punishment for a crime prescribed by the laws of a country.
On the other hand church should be more concerned about the punishment after death for which it can do something.
2.Church did not have a view that death penalty is against God,nor Bible prohibit it.


#116

I adhere to the Church and it’s teaching. I don’t have a position. Nobody cares what my position is. It’s not the work of apologetics or catechesis to take positions, other than to get behind Christ and the Church. That is a position of obedience.

I’m trying to understand your position, and - as I understand it - explain what difficulties it creates. No, I do not believe the church has been inconsistent in her moral teaching, but then I believe the teaching is the same now as it has always been.

Ok, not sure what we are doing here then.


#117

The Church addressed that at the Council of Trent :On the 5th Commandment

Execution Of Criminals

Another kind of lawful slaying belongs to the civil authorities, to whom is entrusted power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of which they punish the guilty and protect the innocent. The just use of this power, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this Commandment which prohibits murder.

The end of the Commandment­ is the preservation and security of human life. Now the punishments inflicted by the civil authority, which is the legitimate avenger of crime, naturally tend to this end, since they give security to life by repressing outrage and violence. Hence these words of David: In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land, that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord.


#118

We both feel we are adhering to the church’s teaching on the matter. What we disagree on is what that teaching is, so let me rephrase my question: does the church now teach that capital punishment is intrinsically evil? (Clearly she did not teach this before, so I am asking if you think this teaching has changed.)


#119

Where do you see this language “intrinsically evil”?
The teaching is that human life is sacred. The practical application is that in this time, capital punishment is inadmissible pursuant to that good end.

This is not that difficult.


#120

I don’t see it and I don’t believe the church now teaches that it is.

I agree with this. That is, this is a prudential judgment about the advisability of using capital punishment at this time. What does this conclusion imply? First, if this is a prudential judgment then it does not require our assent; we may disagree with this conclusion without that being considered dissenting from the church.

Secondly and more significantly it means that nothing has really changed. This was essentially JPII’s position. He opposed the use of capital punishment as unwise, but he did not condemn it as immoral. That distinction exists today.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.