Why the revised CCC 2267 is NOT a condemnation or contradiction of the historical Church’s teaching


#41

The quote you referenced doesn’t make mention of the implementation of these systems. It simply says they have been developed. Which is true. We have prisons with doors which are controlled with biometrics, and secured by electromagnetic locks. While these are certainly not universal features of prisons, the fact remains that they have been developed, and should be more widely implemented.

As I said before, I’m against the change, because, as you say, all of the world’s prisons aren’t up to the challenge, and as I pointed out there may come a time when none of them do. But at the same time I submit myself to the teaching and recognize the truth in it: that the death penalty is inadmissible where better alternatives exist, which there are in today’s world. We just have to implement them


#42

Not at all. And this is the blind adherence to this letter that concerns me (I mean no disrespect). The world today is not remotely perfect or even adequate in restraining murderous and career criminals. The letter does nothing to prove this. It is an unfounded statement. There have been hundreds of incidents were prison inmates kill guards, or go on to escape, or then commit more crime or kill others after escaping or being released. Not only that, but keeping hold of all these vicious repeat offender criminals creates a very dangerous environment for the staff there. Is their human dignity not worth protecting also? Is it okay to put the human dignity of guards in more peril and more risks by keeping these vicious criminals housed there, who have no sign of reform? Like I said before, this situation gets much worse in third world countries today, where they are nowhere near in constraining the dangerous elements even within their prisons, much less the outside. Perfect examples of how much prisons fail today is El Salvador, Mexico, Brazil, and countless others around the world. This letter just seems wholly fact-less and baseless to me.


#43

See some of my previous comments, specifically the one directly under the initial post.


#44

If this was all it said, yes, but the sentence that seems to present a problem is this:

"the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”

The letter does a good job of explaining that the current situation in society no longer necessitates the acceptance of the death penalty, but the above quoted sentence then changes direction and says that it is also inadmissible because it attacks human dignity.

This sentence does not have to do with societal change and seems incongruent.


#45

The phrase I am referring to is

that is not accuarte even in well developed prison systems.


#46

That’ll just have to be a point of disagreement between us then, but that’s alright :slight_smile:


#47

The death penalty is not in itself immoral, in my view. Neither is it “inadmissible.” I agree, however, that it is best avoided, on the whole. The most convincing argument adduced in this document is this one: “Furthermore, it is to be rejected due to the defective selectivity of the criminal justice system and in the face of the possibility of judicial error.”


#48

If only the letter had said that instead of going off on a tangent about human dignity this whole mess might have been avoided.


#49

[quote=“leocor, post:42, topic:501431, full:true”]

Not at all. And this is the blind adherence to this letter that concerns me (I mean no disrespect). The world today is not remotely perfect or even adequate in restraining murderous and career criminals. The letter does nothing to prove this. It is an unfounded statement.

The letter is not initiating an innovation but reflecting where the world is with regards to recognising the dignity of the person. The US is the last (excluding Belarus) of the Christian based developed societies to retain the death penalty. Over the last century the death penalty has been abandoned as unnecessary and unjust in modern civilisations. A significant problem with it is the over representation of minorities and the disenfranchised in the statistics. That points to a cultural cancer that needs addressing. This is what the letter is basing its stance on. The already demonstrated progress in recognising the dignity of the person.

There have been hundreds of incidents were prison inmates kill guards, or go on to escape, or then commit more crime or kill others after escaping or being released. Not only that, but keeping hold of all these vicious repeat offender criminals creates a very dangerous environment for the staff there. Is their human dignity not worth protecting also? Is it okay to put the human dignity of guards in more peril and more risks by keeping these vicious criminals housed there, who have no sign of reform?

Are you advocating for expanding the death penalty to all crimes? The fact is that prisoner and staff safety is premium in the maximum security units. Prisoner interaction is limited and monitored and the staff are specially selected and trained. The prisons are purpose made to contain this type of high risk offender. The general population is where the majority of inmate crime occurs and these convicts are there because of a range of crimes not traditionally considered worthy of death. Your objections aren’t based on the reality.

Like I said before, this situation gets much worse in third world countries today, where they are nowhere near in constraining the dangerous elements even within their prisons, much less the outside. Perfect examples of how much prisons fail today is El Salvador, Mexico, Brazil, and countless others around the world. This letter just seems wholly fact-less and baseless to me.

And yet these countries more than most recognise the inhumanity of the death penalty in politically unstable environments where it has been used based more on the ‘crime’ of political affiliation, prejudice, racism, bias, than for indiscriminate justice. It would be pure insanity to reinstate the death penalty in that sort of environment.


#50

I fail to see where the letter addressed the racism or disenfranchisement of minorities in enforcing the death penalty. While a nice argument, that is not what the letter addressed.

Are you advocating for expanding the death penalty to all crimes? The fact is that prisoner and staff safety is premium in the maximum security units.

Not at all, and nowhere did I imply such a thing. The fact that prisons contain maximum security standards does not make void the fact the inmates have been able to break those standards and cause great bodily harm and death to others, many times in today’s world. My objections are absolutely based on reality. Do you not know of any instances of inmates killing others in prison? Or harming others? Or breaking out of prison? If you don’t, I suggest you google it. There are bound to show up hundreds of such results.

And yet these countries more than most recognise the inhumanity of the death penalty in politically unstable environments where it has been used based more on the ‘crime’ of political affiliation, prejudice, racism, bias, than for indiscriminate justice. It would be pure insanity to reinstate the death penalty in that sort of environment.

The fact that the most violent and most often repeated crimes, and the highest rate of crime, happens in these countries where the death penalty has not been in place for several decades now, shows that eliminating the death penalty in fact has had no significant effect in containing and restricting further crime. So the basis that it should be eliminated because alternatives exist that can better handle these criminals is historically and factually false.


#51

[quote=“leocor, post:50, topic:501431, full:true”]

I fail to see where the letter addressed the racism or disenfranchisement of minorities in enforcing the death penalty. While a nice argument, that is not what the letter addressed.

The letter is reflecting the movement away from the death penalty that has already happened in the world over the last century. That movement is a response to the unjustness of the death penalty in those countries.

Are you advocating for expanding the death penalty to all crimes? The fact is that prisoner and staff safety is premium in the maximum security units.

Not at all, and nowhere did I imply such a thing. The fact that prisons contain maximum security standards does not make void the fact the inmates have been able to break those standards and cause great bodily harm and death to others, many times in today’s world. My objections are absolutely based on reality. Do you not know of any instances of inmates killing others in prison? Or harming others? Or breaking out of prison? If you don’t, I suggest you google it. There are bound to show up hundreds of such results.

Those crimes and murders committed in prison are not by maximum security prisoners. The statistics are made up of general population prisoners. The general population prisoners involved in these incidences are in there for all sorts of crimes. How do you propose to catch those prisoners by the death penalty when they are convicted? You’d need a crystal ball to know which criminal was going to go on to commit crime inside.

And yet these countries more than most recognise the inhumanity of the death penalty in politically unstable environments where it has been used based more on the ‘crime’ of political affiliation, prejudice, racism, bias, than for indiscriminate justice. It would be pure insanity to reinstate the death penalty in that sort of environment.

The fact that the most violent and most often repeated crimes, and the highest rate of crime, happens in these countries where the death penalty has not been in place for several decades now, shows that eliminating the death penalty in fact has had no significant effect in containing and restricting further crime. So the basis that it should be eliminated because alternatives exist that can better handle these criminals is historically and factually false.

You seem to know little of South American history. Catholics around the world became familiar with it when 25 Mexican martyrs were canonised by the Church in May 2000. It references Mexican Priests executed for carrying out their ministry disobeying their suppression under the anti-clerical laws of Plutarco Elías Calles after the revolution in the 1920s.

Do you consider those men worthy of state execution? Don’t you recognise how unjust the death penalty is when prejudice, racism or bias are in any way a factor? Mexicans don’t want the death penalty in that environment.


#52

What country is that ? I hope it is not Romania.


#53

You would think that these things only happen in obscure cultures but no, this was an English law. An example of how prejudice can make the death penalty evil and unjust.


#54

Seems to allow the death penalty.


#55

There are many people campaigning against solitary confinement, especially when used against young people.


#56

Has the Catholic Church changed its teaching on religious liberty?


#57

“Inadmissible” is a term that speaks more to a society’s internal political discourse than to principles of moral theology. It seems that the intent here is to write in a way that essentially attempts to morally bind to a particular position of prudential judgement.

This is something that is not without precedent. When the church establishes a disciplinary practice, such as a fasting rule, it is not in itself an exact statement of revealed truth. Instead it is a practice that the entire Body of Christ is asked to adopt as a family in response to a particular revealed truth.

In this case, the revealed truth is the principle of human dignity. The Church through Peter is essentially saying that:

  1. We are in a society that has lost respect for human dignity
  2. Over the past century, the overwhelming majority of cases in which capital punishment has been applied have been unjust and/or unnecessary
  3. It is critical that respect for human dignity be championed above other considerations
  4. As a family, we should stop considering this issue on a case by case basis, and for the sake of the broader goal of promoting human dignity that has been put forward consider the option of capital punishment off limits as we enter the discussion of how to handle a particular case

Unfortunately, as is often the case with the present Holy Father, the language that is chosen is polarizing within the church in a way that is not beneficial. In this case (and many others), there is this air of progressive superiority, i.e. that somehow today’s society better understands the human condition than in the ages of our faithful forefathers. Rephrasing in a way that points to the deficiencies of the present era would have provided a way to bring the more traditionally minded on board.


#58

It did, but that does not mean throughout all time and ages, in all circumstances. I am hoping everyone read the first post. It explains why Pope Francis is not contradicting Church teaching of the past. The death penalty is not inherently immoral. It can be moral, as in the time Israel implemented the Mosaic law, or it can be immoral, think of ISIS beheading infidels. Yet what the Pope is not trying to teach us is that our understanding of human dignity makes the death penalty an immoral act for this day and time, in this society. I would not worry about the zombie apocalypse or the de-evolution of society. This teaching does not foresee or consider future speculation.


#59

Would it be permissible to keep murderers in a separate facility?


#60

What I say here might be cross posting since this is being discussed in other threads. Perhaps it would be better to combine the threads on this into one thread.
Response to your (pnewton) comment follows:
The article in First Things says differently: " to say, as the pope does, that the death penalty conflicts with “the inviolability and dignity of the person” insinuates that the practice is intrinsically contrary to natural law. And to say, as the pope does, that “the light of the Gospel” rules out capital punishment insinuates that it is intrinsically contrary to Christian morality.

To say either of these things is precisely to contradict past teaching. "


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