The priests who sexually abused children? Should they be executed?

What are your view on all the priests in Ireland who abused children for decades.
What is a just punishment? What does the bible say?
I think they should be executed:thumbsup:. What are your views?

If anything deserves capital punishment it would be rape.

I agree 100%. The priests that comitted these atrocities are going to be brought before a court and be tried as criminals. I think they should stone them to death.

Life without parole. They will have to face God on their judgement day and He will decide what is just.

I don’t think they should be executed, but they should receive a VERY harsh punishment!!

They are still humans therefore have human dignity and life being the most precious of God’s gifts we have no right to take it away as a punishment. I do agree that they should be locked up and heavily counseled for a long period of time but do not agree for death penalty.

It is God’s to avenge. And if we don’t forgive others than God won’t forgive us. Be merciful.

What is a just punishment? What does the bible say?

Though it wasn’t about a sin that caused so much harm, He said “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”, so execution is probably not the asnwer. That said, I support a life sentence for even one time pedophiles.

They should be tried in a court of law here on earth by the authorities in the country they live in and allegedly committed the crime in.
Why worry about what God will or will not do about it? How will that help anything?

The civil authorities will (hopefully) provide justice to the degree that they can. Beyond that it is not for us to judge, but to leave it to God to judge.

Life in prison.

Im pretty sure that forgiveness is a key part of Catholicism… you know, with that being why Christ died for us. Although im not saying that they should go unpunished, just saying that yall should stone them…

All life is sacred. Don’t kill these men. Life in prison? Sure. But lets avoid any more bloodshed.

Do you feel that way about all criminals? Are you opposed to the death penalty, and if so under what circumstances?
I think the catholic church has a pretty good answer on the death penalty, but it does make me wonder if there are other types of “death” that can be inflicted on a person as well.

Just thinking out loud here.

I’m pro capital punishment, but the US Supreme Court ruled that it was cruel and unusual punishment to put rapists to death. I put rapists and molesters in the same category.

I’m not sure what to do with such people.

I agree.

I seem to be in agreement with you here. While I am in agreement with the death penalty with provisos, and even knowing how flawed that process has proven to be over the years:(
I will not, and can not understand how to approach this one. Because this is different as we are talking about a trusted authority figure here.

It just stinks no matter how you look at it, and while I am not a believer, I do give my thoughts to all in this very hard situation to come to terms with.

As a believer, one must realize that the justice will come for eternity to anyone who is unrepentant.

In fact, I think the bible makes clear that an authority figure abusing or scandalizing anyone will be better off with a millstone around their neck.

That’s something to think about because it is very harsh and clear visuals being used there.

But, since we can only think in terms of here and now, regardless of eternity, we must hope that the law and justice system of the country in which all cases are heard, will handle this in the best way we can in the here and now. Which believers and non believers agree is not “perfect”.

I think both sides are in anguish on these kind of things.

No one who is sane, would like to see a child suffer. In fact, this is the one and most favorite thing Jesus said that I like most…

Let the little children come to me, and suffer them not, for theirs is the kingdom of God.

After anyone reads those words, and can not be moved by them… I don’t know what else there really is to say.


Tried and if found guilty, sentenced to life in prison where hopefully they can make some type of restitution and come to some type of repentence.

BUT. . .why are we only talking about the fraction of priests who did this?
What about the non-priests? You know, the fathers, mothers, brothers,sisters, relatives, friends, teachers, etc.?

More children are sexually abused by a relative than by a stranger. . .and more by a stranger than by an ‘authority figure’ like a priest. . .and even more by teachers and other ‘authority figures’ than a priest. . .

And while certainly rape of children is heinous, what about rape of ‘adults’? Is it somehow less ‘awful’ to be raped as an adult? As a old woman or man? I don’t think so. . .

So prepare yourselves. I think we’re talking of a fairly small number of priests here overall (since some have died, some are already in prison and some, believe it or not, are falsely accused themselves). . .but if we put the same amount of effort into chasing after the rapist family members and teachers etc., and started charging the same ‘price’ etc., we’d probably have to set aside a whole state and build a ginormous prison to hold all the guilty.

I agree with your basic premise that most criminals in this area are not catholic priests.
However, I don’t agree that we can even liken this to a case of an employee and supervisor relationship at work. Where, if one is in a supervisory capacity and commit sexual harrasment or worse, is even on par here.

Your boss, may cross the line and commit these crimes. But, you know your boss is not teaching you about your Eternal Salvation, or Eternal Damnation.

Big diff.

Nor does he have to hear your confessions.

ever wonder if that has any negative impact on these men? I sure do.

The Catholic Church’s teaching on the death penalty is very clear. In a society where other alternatives of punishment are available, the death penalty is rarely if ever justifiable.

Therefore, it is rarefly justifiable for any Catholic to be for the death penalty. This is not a pastoral comment on the part of the Church. This is a moral statement. The Church never errs on matters of morality. If the Church says that the purpose of the death penalty is to protect the innocent and that there are other viable options thus making the death penalty rarely if ever justifiable, we cannot change that teaching or go against it.

We would first have to proof that we cannot protect society against these persons who are found guilty, before we can use the death penalty justifiably. We have to be careful here that we do not use punishment for our pleasure, to satisfy our indignation. Punishment is rightful retribution or natural consequences for an wrongful action. It is not meant to satisfy our need for justice.

Our need for justice is insignificant for the Church. The only justice that needs to be satisfied is God’s justice. God does not ask for a life for a life. We see this very clearly in the Gospels. When God wants a life, he takes it on his own terms. He does not ask human beings to help him. As Jesus said to Pilate, “You have authority over me, because it has been given to you.” So that the authority to take a life has to be given by God, not claimed by man.

Now we have to positions that we have to explain here.

  1. Can we prove that there is no way to protect society from those who are found guilty other than execution?

  2. Can we prove that we have been given authority over the lives of these people?

Unless we can meet these two moral proofs, one from the Church and one from the Gospels, it is a contradiction for a Catholic to support the death penalty.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

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