Disappointed

California bishops on defeat of death penalty initiative

Orange represents counties where majority voted No on Prop 34; blue the counties where majority voted Yes.

The following comes from a November 8 press release issued by Ned Dolesji of the California Catholic Conference.

The Most Reverend Gerald Wilkerson, President of the California Catholic Conference, released a statement today regarding the defeat of Proposition 34.

The California Catholic Conference is disappointed that the voters of California narrowly rejected Proposition 34, thereby maintaining the use of the death penalty in our state. The pain and anguish of all victims of crimes remains of significant concern to the Church and to all good people of California. The California bishops continue to pray for true healing for these victims.

Rejecting Proposition 34 represents a missed opportunity for us as a people. The penalty of death is not necessary to protect ourselves, punish the offenders or bring legal finality for victims. The alternate—the sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole— would have respected the dignity of each human life, no matter how flawed.

We will continue to look for opportunities to end the use of the death penalty and work with others to be a voice for inviting society to respect human life.

The Bishops of California are so very appreciative of the thousands of Catholics who worked tirelessly on this campaign, the many donors, and volunteers who joined us in appealing to our sisters and brothers in California.

Buffer
To add a comment, click on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ icons OR go further down to the bottom of comments to the Post your comment box.

Comments

  1. Kenneth M. Fisher says:

    “Bishop Gerald Wilkerson” give us a break. Had your cabal placed half the interest in the “Parental Consent” Proposition, it would have passed.

    “The way to Hell is paved with the skull of bishops, priests, and religious”!

    God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
    Kenneth M. Fisher

  2. The Bishops of California should have written a letter expressing their keen disappointment in the re-election of Obama, whose policies stand in direct opposition to the the Church’s pro-life and marriage position. Oh, I forgot, the California Bishops don’t seem to have a policy regarding pro-abortion pro-gay marriage politicians, especially Catholic ones. That would be, well, unpastoral.

  3. Cole Thornton says:

    “The California Catholic Conference is disappointed that the voters of California narrowly rejected Proposition 34″. Do you think this statement will soon be followed by the following – “The California Catholic Conference is disappointed that the voters of California overwhelmingly voted for Barack Obama”?

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      Cole Thornton,

      You do believe in miracles, don’t you!

      My Traditional Pastor and his Associates have already in their homilies expressed great sorrow over the re-election of the monster!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Cole its amazing to me that this article says that the Bishops of California thank the people for helping out with this initiative. Did all the bishops really support this? Or was it just a few…..working with the ACLU.

  4. The Bishops harm their credibility when they do not follow the CCC 100%. 99% does not cut it.
    Without the death penalty there would be less plea bargaining for information regarding horrible horrible crimes.
    And there would be no protection for prison employees and other prisoners in some cases.
    Yes, the death penalty should be rare, and should never be used for vengence.
    Juries and Judges who hear all the evidence must make the decisions.

    CCC: ” 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. ”

    The death penalty in the USA is extremely rare. Those on death row, have more than 20 years to repent of their crimes if they are so inclined.

  5. The death penalty when applied as per the CCC is NOT a mortal sin.
    The Bishops need to spend more time and money fighting the murder of the innocent through abortion, and by teaching everyone that abortion IS a mortal sin.

    • Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

      Mortal sins are soooo pre Vatican II. The spirit of Vatican II freed us from such fear mongering.

      • The words MORTAL SIN is in the CCC in 21 separate paragraphs.
        The words GRAVE SIN is in the CCC in 23 separate paragraphs.
        Mortal Sin is Grave Sin.
        Venial Sin is in the CCC in 10 separate paragraphs.
        Pope Benedict said that the CCC is the most important fruit of Vatican II in Porta Fidei.

        Bishops who do not do their duty to teach (according to the CCC), and encourage Priests, Nuns and Laity to read the CCC are defying the request and instruction of Pope Benedict in Porta Fidei (paragraphs #11).

      • Abeca Christian says:

        What MKM wow your comments are something to be concerned about…I hope you are joking when you commented on fear mongering…I’m disappointed if that is how you really feel! Or are you being sarcastic? Just wanted clarity.

    • Catholic Joe says:

      Amen

  6. How many people have been put to death via capital punishment in California in the last 35 years? 13. How many unborn children have been murdered in California in that same time span? Thousands. Again the bishops in this state have their priorities misplaced. Again they side with the left wing agenda.

    • Clinton R.: Actually millions of babies have been abortion in the last 35 years, with only 13 non-innocent executions.

      • Clinton R. says:

        You are right, Lin. I should have put millions instead. Typing that makes me sick. May God have mercy upon this faithless and perverse generation.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      This came to me in prayer: I believe it was St. Augustin who stated :the path to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops, priests, and religious. I think he should have added: the road to Paradise is directed by good bishops, priests, and religious!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

      • Cole Thornton says:

        Kenneth – I googled the “hell is paved” and all of the results point to St. John Chrysostom.

        • This site spent some effort last year exploring the source of this saying … the results also including St Athenasius and maybe another saint or two. A lot of sayings originate and then are passed along but with history chiming in only after it is well underway.

        • Keep googling. You will find that quote cannot be sourced. It is attributed to both St. John Chrysostom and St. Athanasius
          and occasionally St. John Eudes. But no one can prove it. People love the quote because it demonizes the Catholic bishops.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            k no one loves to demonize anyone…the acts against Christ already do that!

          • Right. And in our time, to send a capital criminal to his death when other means are available to render him harmless is an “act against Christ.” Remember Matthew 25, “whatever you do for these least ones, you do for me.” And Jesus included prisoners in that list of “the least ones.” Ponder that.

          • k you are right on target — demonizing the bishops is an adolescent thing just like teenagers blaming their parents for everything.

            i don’t care if the road to hell is paved with whiskers of kittens — i just have no intention of following that road.

            (note to any kittens: i’m sure it’s not paved with your whiskers. we humans just get all huffy and puffy. pay no attention to us.)

          • Abeca Christian says:

            max when you change quotes to match your understanding of things, that is when man goes wrong…..whispers of kittens, that is stupid!

  7. Sue in soCal says:

    The bishops missed an opportunity. They chose to throw their weight behind this proposition instead of teaching their flocks about the intrinsic evils promoted and supported by the current administration in the White House and the Senate. The sense of proportion in this campaign against the death penalty is staggering. When was the last time we executed someone in this state? How does that number compare to the number of babies aborted daily in this state? The boat is sinking, the sails are in tatters and the captains are wondering if the decks are polished. This campaign was breath-takingly off the mark.

  8. We would be more successful in defeating intrinsic evils if our Shepards would stick to defeating intrinsic evils rather than matters of prudential judgement!

  9. Father Karl says:

    Unfortunately too many bishops and priests use their authority to scream and holler against the death penalty. St. Thomas Aquinas, and most theologians up until Vatican II were in favor of putting to death criminals guilty of heinous acts. Sure, it is better to let the ciriminal live, but it is not unjust, only more merciful. Instead of confusing the people by protecting the very guilty, the bishops should be spending their time, energy, and the laity’s money by trying to abolish abortion, which is murder of the innocent. They should also be preaching against birth control, and other MORTAL SINS which cry to God for vengence. Until priorities are put in place, and , enforced the laity will continue to be led astray by incompetent ecclesiastics.

    • Excellent post! Also, if anything should be in keeping with separation of Church and state, it is this issue. It is the gov’t’s duty to protect its citizens from harm. It is not the duty of bishops to define for the rest of society what the gov’t is required to do. It is so odd to me that they feel no apparent regret at neglecting us, their sheep, but they feel called to get in the political arena with an atheistic, anti-Catholic, amoral evil organization. How weird is that? Who are these bishops and what drives them? Unfortunately, it would seem, not the Holy Spirit, alas.

  10. Yet they’re silent on the reelection of President Obama. The bishops refuse to lead if there is even a hint of risk involved. They evidently hold their tax exemption as the highest value – sad, isn’t it ?

    • Yes, 58 million dead unborn babies equals 1 tax exemption-for the past 40 years. Tragic. Too bad the Catholic church did not lose that tax exemption 40 years ago-the Lord would have seen to it that we flourished, and perhaps millions of babies’ lives would have been saved because women would have been educated in the TRUTH.

  11. Prof.Helen McCaffrey says:

    As a former Criminal Defense Attorney I know first hand how often people are sentenced to death who are not guilty.
    I am with the Church on the morality of it but there is also the practicality of it. A condemned can sit o Death Row for 20 years and go through numerous appeals costing the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    Given the condition of our prisons Life Without the Possibility of Parole is a worse punishment.

    • Prof McCaffrey, you are not with the Catholic Church teaching on the death penalty.
      You merely support the positions of some Bishops who proport to be teaching the faith on the death penalty – yet not completely doing so.

      Please read your “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition” # 2267.
      For more info on the CCC on the net go to: ” What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE “.

      Bishops cause Scandal and Confusion when they take public positions that are not 100% in accord with our Faith.
      This is just one more example why the CCC is such a great gift from the Magisterium. We can look up the truth.

      • Sandy: Could you explain how Prof. McCaffrey is “not with the Catholic Church teaching on the death penalty”? Her comment seems completely consistent with CCC 2267.

        • Catholic teaching is not against the death penalty.
          Catholic teaching says the death penalty should be rare – NOT BANNED. Please re-read 2267.

          Note: Hope you are reading the
          “Catechism of the Catholic Church, SECOND EDITION” first printed in the USA in March, 2000 (copyright page); has a green cover not beige.
          The corrected version states on the cover:
          ” revised in accordance with the official Latin text promulgated by Pope John Paul II “.

          There were some errors in the original English translation, including in 2267.
          This is an exact quote and what your CCC should say.
          CCC: 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. “

          • Actually, there were out-and-out changes and deletions in the second edition of the Catechism regarding the death penalty, not “translation errors.”

            It is the FIRST edition (which is much more in line with traditional church teaching on the death penalty) which was declared by the Pope to be “a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion.” See the 1992 Apostolic Constitution FIDEI DEPOSITUM.

            From Archbishop Wilton Gregory:

            “The first edition of the Catechism states ‘(It is) 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.’

            The 1992 text then asserts that ‘the primary effect of punishment is to redress the disorder caused by the offense.’ Finally, it states, ‘If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority should limit itself to such means because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.’

            This earlier edition of the catechism RETAINS THE TRADITIONAL TEACHING OF THE CHURCH, permitting the use of capital punishment to defend life and protect public order, thereby redressing the disorder caused by the offense. The preference for the use of “bloodless means” is in line with the whole tradition of the church because, even in lawfully carrying out justice for the sake of society, Christians are called to show mercy and not vengeance.

            When the second edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church appeared in 1997, some readers were surprised to discover that the purpose of capital punishment as restitution of public order had been removed from the discussion.”

            ——
            Sure norms published in accordance with the Magisterium and with papal blessing don’t need a “second edition.”

          • Sandy is completely wrong. No where in the Catechism does it say that the death penalty should be rare. You are misreading the Catechism. JP2 and Benedict have called for the abolition of the death penalty. And this judgment of the Popes is entirely consistent with the teaching in the Catechism, 2267.

          • Archbishop Wilton Gregory is strongly against capital punishment. He has said that the current stand by the Popes and the bishops is not contrary to the traditional teaching of the Church. In the paper quoted by Dave N, he calls the 1992 CCC the “original” and the 1997 CCC the “official” version of the Catechism. He explains that the Pope’s encyclical “The Gospel of Life” is the cause for the advancement of understanding of the morality of the death penalty.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Sandy you are correct the Catholic Church is not against anyone who is against the death penalty, it never has been.

            Plus Prof.Helen McCaffrey, there are so few death penalty carried out in this state, that how can you state that you have seen many falsely accused? This is your quote “I know first hand how often people are sentenced to death who are not guilty.” Can you ame all the often cases?

            How can it often be if the number of death penalties carried are so low and they have been from truly hard core criminals who committed heinous crimes!

          • Prof.Helen McCaffrey says:

            I think ONE abortion is too “often”. How about you?

          • Abeca Christian says:

            The Truth will set us free and if man wanted the truth, then the death penalty would work the way it is meant to work as stated in the CCC, the bible and the way St. Thomas Aquinas has taught etc!

        • Sandy:

          Prof. McCaffrey wrote about her direct experience with “how often people are sentenced to death who are not guilty,” a comment completely aligned with the CCC’s conditional phrasing “Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined…”

          Somehow you’ve transmuted Prof. McCaffrey’s concern for protection of the innocent into dereliction of Magisterial authority. The CCC and the Church neither demand that the death penalty be banned nor imposed; rather the Church demands that civil authority carry out its responsibility bloodlessly whenever possible.

          I want to further point out that you can’t “look up the truth.” That is a Protestant concept. The CCC is a guide to form a conscience and help maintain personal moral conduct, not a wellspring of truth. If a Catholic thinks one edition right and another wrong, or likes one more than the other for anything other than stylistic reasons, something is wrong with the way he’s using the CCC. The idea that you can tell anyone “what your CCC should say” or that there’s any point in arguing which printed edition carries “truth” is obviously Protestant.

          • While hanging on the Cross in extreme pain, Jesus pretty much covered the death penalty by explaining about the two villains crucified next to him. He did not whine about capital punishment, not even when engaged in a discussion over it with Pontius Pilate. I don’t know why the bishops imagine they know something Jesus doesn’t know … it would be the influence of feminism on them … nah, they wouldn’t fall for that old line.

          • Francis, the CCC is not merely a ‘guide’. Who told you that? (Please provide the name if a Priest or Nun and the appropriate Diocese so he/she can be reported to the appropriate Bishop.)
            QUOTE: “ The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved … and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. “ – Pope John Paul II. (CCC pg 5)

            Dave N., with the language corrects in the English version, now the CCC is the same throughout the entire world.
            “The Catechism of the Catholic Church, lastly is offered to every individual who asks us to give an account of the hope that is in us (cf. 1 Pet 3:15) and who wants to know what the Catholic Church believes”. – Pope John Paul II (CCC pg 6)
            The English version now has on the cover: “revised in addition with the official Latin text promulgated by Pope John Paul II.

      • Prof McCafferty says she has seen where “often” the death sentence is given a person not guilty of the crime. “Often”? 13 death sentences carried out in the past 35 years in California … Are we being treated to New Math here? Or is it that scores or hundreds of death sentences have been handed down but only 13 executions? The problem then is not the death sentence but faulty verdicts. Why are the bishops not stumping for better court proceedings, better verdicts, instead of wasting their time on one execution every three years? I do not know how the bishops see themselves, but the way they look is preposterous.

        • When Bl John Paul II said executions should be rare, well, duh, of course they should. So why are the bishops barking at the moon instead of finding ways to move people to cut the crime rates that lead to death sentences? It is like the sage advice for anyone protecting themselves from an attacker: The focus is to stop the attacker, not to kill him or her. The bishops should focus on stopping the need for a death penalty instead of killing that penalty. Spend the time stopping the crime: That is how to make the death penalty rare. But ending the death penalty and not stopping the crimes is tantamount to enabling the criminals to kill and maim innocent victims … swallow that, you who imagine you know what you’re doing.

          • WRONG! JP2 NEVER said that executions should be rare. Rather he called that they should STOP! NO WHERE will you find the a quotation from Blessed John Paul II saying what you are falsely saying. He called the death penalty “cruel and unnecessary.” STOP erroneously revising history!

          • WRONG! JP2 NEVER said that executions should be rare. Rather he said that they should STOP! NO WHERE will you find a quotation from Blessed John Paul II saying what you falsely claim. He called the death penalty “cruel and unnecessary.” And that’s a fact. STOP erroneously revising history!

          • Abeca Christian says:

            looks like someone needs to wear their glasses when reading important church docs…..and not neglect the whole teachings of the church on such topics either.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          JLS glad you pointed out the lies from that supposedly professor…the word “often” gave it away as it being a false comment. God bless you JLS, glad you caught it!

          • Prof.Helen McCaffrey says:

            Please forgive the grammar mistake. The actual number that I have personal knowledge of is three. And they were not in California.. Are three mistakes not enough to qualify as “often”? What if it were you or your loved one? Would that be too “often”?

          • Mark from PA says:

            Professor Helen McCaffrey, I think most people are aware that sometimes mistakes are made and innocent people are executed. In 100 years there have probably been many innocent people executed. However, some people are big supporters of the death penalty and if some innocent people are executed it really doesn’t bother them because they feel that most of those that are executed deserved it and they are willing to accept that a certain of percentage of innocent people will pay the ultimate price. I wonder if some of the pro-death people think it is a mortal sin for a person to take part in executing another person. Is it a mortal sin if you take part in executing someone and you later find out that person was innocent?

          • Mark from PA, no. Executioners who are employed by the state are not held culpable and mortal sin requires full knowledge and full consent.

          • Mark from PA says:

            K, this is where I think a person’s employment could be an occasion of sin because being an executioner puts one in a position of taking a life which is a sin against the 5th Commandment. It is the “just following orders” excuse but in my mind there is still sin involved. If someone takes part in executing someone they are probably doing it with full knowledge and full consent. I think of how in Poland, 20% of the Catholic priests in that country died as a result of Nazi terror during World War II. Perhaps the soldiers, or executioners were just following orders when they killed some of these priests. I wonder if Pope Pius XII ever threatened soldiers with excommunication for killing a priest. I always wonder if a person takes a life that they must face those they killed after they die and atone for this (part of Purgatory). Just think of how abortionists would have to face all those lives they ended or also if someone was a bomber pilot and killed many people and had to face the souls of his victims after death.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Helen name them…we can’t judge without knowing the logistics of the cases…for all we know, you could be making it all up…wow, still doesn’t change the fact of the many well deserved ones….which are so few to begin with..

          • Prof.Helen McCaffrey says:

            Dear Miss Abeca, I’ll be happy to send you the case files. My fee is $100 per hour plus copying fees and FedEX costs. I accept credit card or cash – no checks. Let me know where to send them once I receive your cc or check. It will be my pleasure.

          • What is being exposed here is the callousness of those who go against the teachings of the Magisterium. For them the life of one prisoner counts for nothing. When will these folks allow the Word of God to touch their conscience by accepting a consistent ethic of life, respecting the dignity of all human beings, even flawed human beings. I dare say not only the bishops, but most fearfully God is also disappointed in these dissenters.

          • “Mark from PA, no. Executioners who are employed by the state are not held culpable and mortal sin requires full knowledge and full consent.”

            k, this is an interesting question, especially is one asks, “help culpable by whom?”

            even executioners in the bad old days (e.g. henry the eighth) would often ask pardon of the people whose heads they were about to lop off — which says the executioner’s conscience was working.

            the “public” may not hold executionars culpable for killing killers, but then again, the “public” sees nothing wrong with doctors killing babies in the womb.

            the bigger question is: what does GOD think about all this killing?

          • Abeca Christian says:

            PA speak for your self, what you expressed as if you were speaking for others (it’s absurd to think that people don’t care if some are falsely accused, that is foolish to say and disregards the real intentions of the saints as to why they were not against the death penalty.) is only your personal opinion!

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Well Prof.Helen McCaffrey you come on here defending your take on the death penalty, well expect to be questioned. Why on earth would I pay you to proof your case. Give me a break! read my comments from November 19, 2012 at 6:47 am. With all due respect but I completely see where you are in error to advocate the end of the death penalty to the faithful here because for those of us who do know the reasoning as to why it is not completely abolished, we honor St. Thomas Aquinas and other doctors of the church in their gift to reason on said subject.

            But you are entitled to your personal sentiments that is for sure and I can respect that…may not agree but can respect it!

          • max, since what the Church declares loosed is loosed in heaven, we can be sure that when the Church says that executioners are not guilty of sin for carrying out the sentence, then God also does not impute guilt to the executioner.

          • Mark from PA says:

            Abeca Christian, I am speaking for myself and giving my opinions, just as you give your opinions. I am telling you and others some of my thoughts on this matter.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            PA where you went wrong was from your post from November 16, 2012 at 7:54 pm. You may have stated your opinion but you were also speaking coldly thinking that most of us would support wrongful use of the death penalty. It is cruel to state “However, some people are big supporters of the death penalty and if some innocent people are executed it really doesn’t bother them”. You felt the need to speak for others by false assumptions that it “doesn’t bother them.”. That is why I said speak for yourself because that statement was inaccurate and cruel. It does bother us when there is injustice what we seek with zeal in Christ is for justice! Not only for the rightful criminal to be prosecuted but to also defend the innocent!

          • Mark from PA, yes, an occupation can be an occasion of sin or a sin. At this time, though, executioner is not sinful, because the responsible party is the state. However, an executioner could be sinful in his manner or thoughts concerning the execution.

          • Mark from PA says:

            Abeca Christian, perhaps I didn’t put that well. Is this a better way of putting it. “Over the past 100 years, many innocent people have been executed. If there is a death penalty, there always exists the chance of an innocent person being executed. If someone is a strong supporter of the death penalty, they are willing to allow a certain number of innocent people (who are not known to them) be executed so that a much greater number of evil criminals can be executed. I think that the death penalty should only be used if the person is so dangerous that by keeping them alive, the state is putting people in danger, and by giving them the death penalty innocent lives are being saved.” Jon has told us that Pope John Paul II has stated that such circumstances are very very rare and that modern society has better ways of protecting people from murders and other criminals than resorting to the death penalty.

    • “criminal defense attorney”: hmn, interesting phrase to reflect on.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      It’s interesting but in the cases where hard core criminals escaped the legal system….there were many more former Defense Attorney’s who can state that the legal system didn’t stop a serial killer or rapist from committing another heinous crime.

  12. Robert Lockwood says:

    The Bishops should be a lot more concerned about the re-election to the presidency of the the most anti-Catholic president ever in this country.

    • I am sure the bishops are concerned about Obama’s win too. But you should understand that they should be more concerned that their own flock, Catholics, voted against their teaching against the death penalty. Why worry about Obama when you’ve got dissenting Catholics like some folks here voting against their clear Magisterial teaching? Your concern is therefore a bit misplaced.

      • jon, what brand of bath salts are you snorting? You display no reasoning capacity at all; pure blind rage is your manner.

        • You are again wrong. It is those Catholic who knowingly dissent against the plain teaching of the Holy Father that will have to answer for their dissent. Bear that in mind.

          • So, if it’s not bath salts, jon, then what exactly leads you to your view? Certainly nothing the popes have said, because when I compare what you write to what they write, I see a categorical difference.

          • How hard of hearing are you? What leads me to my view is the Word of God, the teachings of Popes John Paul and Benedict. The Popes have been very clear in their condemnation of the death penalty in our time. They have been very clear in their call to abolish the death penalty NOW.

            Perhaps you need better spectacles in order to read clearly what the Popes have written, because the Popes have been clear that capital punishment in our time must end. NOW!

            Listen to the living Magisterium! Respect life!

          • “I greet the distinguished delegations from various countries taking part in the meeting promoted by the Community of Sant’Egidio on the theme: No Justice without Life. I express my hope that your deliberations will encourage the political and legislative initiatives being promoted in a growing number of countries to eliminate the death penalty and to continue the substantive progress made in conforming penal law both to the human dignity of prisoners and the effective maintenance of public order.” Pope Benedict XVI, November 30, 2011, at the General Audience

          • Well, Jon, if you’ve done nothing else on these posts, you’ve made it abundantly clear that saving the lives of murderers is pretty much all you care about. It’s your alpha and omega. You only occasionally show up on threads about other subjects–but let somebody toss the subject of capital punishment up in the air, and you go for it like an NBA player. You don’t much care about abortion, unisex marriage or anything else. Your thoughts are with the most brutal and callous of society’s murderers. It is they for whom you weep. It is they for whom you advocate and rage and rain down denunciations like an Old Testament prophet. You have so much compassion for them that there is none left for anyone else–certainly not for innocent babies in the womb. A pity.

          • Indeed Larry, it is for the prisoners I stand up for on this blog because THEY are precisely the ones being neglected by the people who visit this blog, as you can see from your and other people’s comments here.

          • Additionally Larry, I have stood up for in the past in the blog on the right interpretation of the Church’s teachings with regards to homosexuality, which was being distorted by the likes of Abeca and JLS. That would be too involved for me to go into details now.

            But yes, I will stand up for those being neglected on this blog, and I will stand up for the the Church’s and the Pope’s teachings when they are being distorted.

          • First, I’m not aware that JLS and Abeca are distorting Church teaching on homosexuality. Secondly, you don’t mention abortion, but you do make a very revealing pledge when you say: “I will stand up for those being neglected on this blog…” The humanity of unborn babies, the integrity of traditional marriage, the immorality of contraception, the evil nature of the Obama mandate–none of these topics or the people involved in them are among those “being neglected on this blog,” so you feel no compunction (or even desire) to defend them. Homosexuals and mass murderers ARE being “neglected” on this blog–or more to the point, are targets of rebuke–so them you will defend. You claim to be standing up for Magisterial teaching when in reality you are doing nothing of the sort, because anyone who can read the English language can see for themselves that you are falsifying your source documents–which is probably what alienates people more than anything about your posts. If you simply argued on prudential grounds on why you believe eliminating the death penalty would be a good idea, I can’t say that you would persuade anyone here–but you would at least be respected. Clearly, you have some deep personal motives driving you here–you’ve got “skin in the game,” so to speak–and it’s not possible to reason with you.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Larry your observations are accurate…jon is very passionate about protecting heinous criminals… I will never understand that. I don’t want to understand that…..so there must be an agenda of his, that many of us do not understand.

          • jon, I remember that. I also remember that you used to comment a lot more and that you were bullied.

          • The ways of God and His holy ones will always be unintelligible to the worldy and the profane.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            jon I am also for the prisoners to bring them to Jesus but what we are discussing here are the serial criminals who commit heinous crimes and not your ordinary prisoners…why are you not getting the difference sir!

            you cause so much division within the church, your blinded by your own personal passions that you neglect reasoning!

          • On the contrary, as I keep saying, and will say again: A consistent ethic of life, upholding the dignity of ALL human beings including prisoners, lends the Church a stronger voice AGAINST ABORTION!

          • Moreover Larry, adhering to the teachings of the Pope and the bishops in their call to abolish the death penalty IS EXACTLY THE PRUDENTIAL GROUND!

            There has been no misrepresentation of Church documents on my part. Rather, it is the pro-death crowd who continue to misread the CDF Letter, who disregard Lumen Gentium 25, who negate Donum Veritatis, who refuse to completely uphold the entirety of the Catechism 2267, and who disregard all of JP2′s and Benedict’s words and judgments on the death penalty.

          • Completely false.

          • Lastly Larry, get serious. I am more than confident that the unborn are NOT neglected on this blog. I see a lot of folks here defending the unborn and the cause of pro-life to my satisfaction.

            However, I do see here a disregard for the dignity of criminals, of all the members of the clergy, for homosexuals, and Catholics who belong to left of center. Try to defend them here in this blog in a Christian way, and you’ll find yourself demonized. Try it. I know I have.

          • Come to think of it, I can think of two more groups who are subject to a lot of attacks and scorn on this site–groups marginalized by the rest of us mean-spirited, “self-righteous” Catholics. Maybe you can lend your passionate voice to defending THEIR rights and dignity, too. Those groups are: priests who’ve raped little children and the bishops who covered up their crimes and enabled them to continue offending. I mean–the criminals whom YOU defend were even more brutal and heinous than the above groups. They could use someone like you to defend them.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            I would be concerned with a person here who keeps initiating thoughts such as bullying on this forum. When in reality it is a forum of people who dialogue and are free to disagree…no one is being bullied so stop with this nonsense, the only bully is the one who adds fear mongering techniques with accusations of bulling to intimate and stop dialogue!

            If that was the case…the only ones being bullied here are the faithful for standing up for the faith and the freedom to protect our society from hard core criminals….shame on the person who uses such words like bigot, bully etc against people who have formed their conscience in church teachings! Stop making a victim out of jon, he is no victim and I;m sure he is not so weak as you make him sound…how little you must think of him to assume such craziness.

          • Certainly Larry, I will defend the right of any criminal to life without recourse to the death penalty. And if God forbid you should find yourself on death row for some heinous crime, I’d be defending your right to life as well. NOW THAT is Christianity in action.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Larry you are correct…You have eye’s of wisdom…God bless you! My last post comments were in response to k with accusations of bullying, false and totally uncalled for. We are grown up adults, lets debate without adding that tone of victims here! Geeze.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Larry is a perfect gentleman and I can see why he won’t bother anymore with jon’s theological error. Also what Larry states here, is serious!

        • Any prisoner, no matter how flawed and no matter how heinous the crime, is endowed by God with dignity. And the Church is charged with preaching on the dignity of ALL human beings. THIS is a consistent ethic of life.

          Jesus gave no distinctions between human beings. HE DIED FOR ALL!

          Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life!

          • Mark from PA says:

            Jon, I agree with you as I also see lots of folks here defending the unborn and the cause of pro-life to my satisfaction.

      • Mark from PA says:

        Jon, I am learning from what you post. Thank you for sharing Church teachings with us.

        • Mark from PA says:

          An anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda would make homosexuality a crime punishable by death, punish same-sex Ugandan couple marrying abroad with lifetime prison sentences if they return home, and make it a crime to provide medical care or lodging to gay people. It will require citizens to report homosexual persons they know to the police; failure to report one’s gay friends, neighbors or family members will constitute a crime that carries a 7 year prison sentence. Among Christian leaders advocating for this bill are Uganda’s Catholic bishops, who initially opposed the bill but later joined with Protestant Christian groups in supporting it. Catholics are 42% of Uganda’s population and are the largest religious group in the country. If this bill passes then being a homosexual and considered less than human will cause some people to be executed. The Vatican has remained largely silent about this.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            now I get why homosexuals want the death penalty to end…wow! My suspicions are right..

          • Perhaps the Ugandan government and people understand how evil homosexuality is and what has happened to the Western nations…PA take an honest look at the US after “gay liberation” and the sexual revolution in general took place, tell me that the country is a more moral place, tell me there hasn’t been in an increase in divorces, tell me the family has not been attacked, tell me there is no problem with pornography, perhaps the Ugandan government and its Churches want to protect its people from what has happened to us..

          • Mark from PA says:

            Canisius, do you believe that any state has the right to execute people for having a homosexual orientation? The gay population is only 5% of the population and this is too small to be the cause of all the social ills that you mention. Jon, have you read of how the government of Uganda is considering criminalizing homosexuality and executing gay people for being gay?

          • ONE per cent of the population, Mark! One per cent. (At least we’ve talked you down from 10%. That’s progress.)

          • PA, the Ugandan proposal is being made for the purpose of surviving as a people. The problem of sodomites in society is far more than simply not replacing their own numbers. Sodomy in society acts destructively towards the entire society. Why do you suppose the Church is having so many grave problems in our era? Yes, as we’ve all seen, the Church hierarchy somehow became infiltrated with homosexuals and pedophiles. This living death needs to be gotten rid of, and in whatever way works best. The Ugandan proposal is no different from what many European/American nations have instituted in past times … and it worked. When they had those laws, they prospered. Now look, prosperity is falling as sodomy is more and more institutionalized. History shows that there really is only one way to resolve this life or death social issue.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Canisius don’t fall into his trap, don’t answer him…

          • Mark from PA says:

            “Whatever works best!!!” So executing people because of their sexual orientation will help the country of Uganda? JLS, from your comments I can tell that you are not really pro-life, as it is not pro-life when one can justify the killing of people who are considered less than fully human.

          • Mark from PA says:

            JLS, you say “History shows that there really is only one way to resolve this life or death social issue.” What exactly does that mean? You need to remember that most gay people have heterosexual parents. Homosexuality in males is often influenced by hormones from the mother that affect the child in utero, so most gay males are born with this predisposition. Because of this, a country can exterminate gay people but there will still be gay people in future generations because of the factors I have mentioned.

  13. The Bishops should be less concerned with convicted MURDERERS getting the just punishment they deserve (and permitted by the Catholic Catechism) and more concerned with the MURDER of totally innocent souls who’s only crime is their inconvenience to their “mother” and opposing the “Catholic” politicians that facilitate that murder!

  14. recent popes have repeatedly ask the american presidents to intervene and stop the killing of people in prison, but of course none of them listen to the vatican, about this, or about anything else, such as abortion.

    “how can you show people it’s wrong to kill people by killing people?” is the idea, but our normal, natural, very human, blood-thirty nature calls out for vengeance.

    and so it goes on…and on…

    • No max, you still have not read the CCC.
      Vengence is never an excuse for the death penalty, only to keep the unjust agressor from harming others.
      (Others include but are not limited to prison employees and other prisoners.)

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:

      max,

      Do you know the difference between “justice” and “vengeance”? I highly doubt it.

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

    • No, max, the popes have said that executions should be rare: The way is to stop the criminals before they qualify for execution.

      • For example, the bishops should preach and teach the Beattitudes, which would move the world towards fewer crimes. But, alas, the bishops prefer to beat their heads against the wall of capital punishment. What would they be doing at the time and place of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, I wonder. What would the bishops be doing at the event where God opened up the earth and it swallowed up Dathan and his 25,000 followers? The actions of God always serve to save people from evil … but in contrast the actions of many bishops serve to put many people in peril both in this world and in the next.

        • The Bishops do teach the beatitudes. Then they get criticized for being liberal. Blessed are the poor…the sorrowful…the meek…those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…the merciful…the pure in heart…the peacemakers…those persecuted for righteousness’ sake and you, when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on [account of Christ]

      • No the Church and the Popes teach the the conditions that necessitate the death penalty are rare or non-existent. The condition must be that there is no other way to protect society from an unjust agressor.

        • The popes who created the Church taught with more than their mouths, they taught with their lives.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            skai that was beautiful…..it’s worth repeating what YOU quoted “The popes who created the Church taught with more than their mouths, they taught with their lives.” AWESOME!

          • No pope created the Church, skai. Christ Jesus built the Church.

        • k, thousands of violent criminals exercise their violence on the public … how is it that other means have not been able to stop this? When most criminals see death as a consequence of their violence, then they back off. Take away this threat to them and they won’t. If you find a home invader beginning to slice up your family members, just remember to smile sweetly at him and be sure that he will go away … right, k? Isn’t that how you picture reality?

    • Both Blessed Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI asked every nation to abolish the death penalty.

      • k, Read each word carefully.
        Neither Pope would violate the teachings of the Magisterium in the CCC by saying ALWAYS or under ALL circumstances against the death penalty.

        Please provide us with the name of documents and paragraph numbers that you are speaking of that can be found on the Vatican web site (not by some mere reporter who puts on his own spin.)

        This would contrary to what Pope Benedict (Cardinal Ratzinger) wrote to the American Bishop in 2004.
        On the net search: “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion, General Principles”.

        QUOTE: ” 3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia.
        For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion.” UNQUOTE. – Pope Benedict (Cardinal Ratzinger).

        • PETE, you are correct that neither Pope would violate the teachings of the Magisterium. “May the death penalty, an unworthy punishment still used in some countries, be abolished throughout the world.” John Paul II July 9, 2000 (By the way, of the 194 nations in the UN, only 40 still use capital punishment, although it has not officially been abolished in many countries. In Europe, where the Popes reside, there is only one country-Belarus-which still makes use of the death penalty.) Pope Benedict XVI encouraged those who were working to end the death penalty in the remaining nations on Nov 30, 2011. Of course, they are not changing the churches teaching. They are speaking up for the dignity of human life.

          • Rulers wage war and sue for peace and build civilizations, according to Jesus, k. Why would you interpret pope’s sayings in ways that conflict with what Jesus says?

          • what does skai mean, JLS?

          • The Popes have never asked for the death penalty to be complete abolished in any official document.
            This means that it should never be used for revenge, but only to protect the lives of all others.

            Per the Magisterium which included Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict) – CCC 2267.

            Now also read in ENTIRETY on the Vatican web site: “EVANGELIUM VITAE” to the Bishops, Priests and Deacons, Men and Women religious, lay Faithful, and all the People of Good Will on the Value and Inviolability of Human Life.

            ” 55 …….Moreover, legitimate defence can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life, the common good of the family or of the State.
            Unfortunately it happens that the need to render the aggressor incapable of causing harm sometimes involves taking his life. In this case, the fatal outcome is attributable to the aggressor whose action brought it about, even though he may not be morally responsible because of a lack of the use of reason.”

            ” 56 …….In any event, the principle set forth in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church remains valid: “If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person. ”
            (Note: the word -”IF” – which does not mean abolish.)

            I don’t understand where people get their quotes, or take them out of context. The above are OFFICIAL, and verifiable on the Vatican web site. Official documents are not merely personal opinions.
            If anyone quotes a Pope, and it conflicts with the CCC, check out the exact wording in the official document. You will always find that the Pope has been misquoted in an article or important parts have been left out to suit someone else’s views.

      • There are four sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance. The death penalty is not one of them.

        • WRONG! The violation of the dignity of ANY human being cries out to heaven for vengeance. And as God says, “Vengeance is mine.” Imagine entrusting the life and death of any individual to the government.

          • jon, are you preaching that the Church is wrong when She says there are four sins which cry out to Heaven for vengeance (sodomy, cheating a worker of his wages, oppressing the widow or orphan, murder)?

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Skai you are correct, jon is the one incorrect and he is the one spreading his own agenda here.

          • jon, you are violating the dignity of each man, woman and child to defend themselves against those who would harm them. With God all things are possible, but so far you have not demonstrated that you are with God. A few of the great saints have shown that they can “tame the beast”, but similarly Jesus raised the dead to life. jon, give one example of this in your own life’s experience, because before you preach something for others to do, you ought to be able to do it yourself.

          • jon, millions of people have created the Church, which continues to be created. Man and God in union are the Church, jon. Man in order to gain union with God has to work for it, despite what the false teachings of Calvin and Luther insist on. jon, your response to faith is work, and in so doing you are working with God to create your person. Man, in union with God through Jesus Christ, creates the Church, jon. You could also say, “God, in union with man through Jesus Christ, creates the Church. jon, you would do well to study the major heresies and false ideas … St Augustine covers the basics pretty well. But you have to work at reading it, because it requires you to learn, to understand, to change or transform more into the image and likeness of God, which was dinged by the effects of original sin.

          • jon, government exists whether you entrust anything to it or not. You have nothing to do with whether govt exists.

        • Sending a prisoner to his death when there are other means to stop him is tantamount to willful and malicious homicide. This is a violation of human dignity, and every human person is precious in God’s eyes, even the most flawed. Listen to the living Magisterium! Respect life!

          • jon, if there are other means to stop murders and rapes and child molestation, then why aren’t they stopping any of these violent crimes?

          • Abeca Christian says:

            jon re-read my comments from November 19, 2012 at 7:05 am. I hope you finally get it…

          • skai, you reveal yourself by your comment here that you persistently try to misunderstand and distort the teaching of the Church with regards to the death penalty. JP2′s judgment concerns the preservation of the human dignity of those now incarcerated. As for stopping crime: that’s for the laity, the clergy, and the rest of the Church to strive for through the preaching and the living out of the Gospel. And disregarding the dignity of prisoners DOES NOT constitute a living out of the Gospel of Christ.

          • What other means, jon? In your own words “other means”, you admit that the death sentence is one of the means that thwarts violent crime. A violent criminal needs to be stopped by any means that work. Some will only stop when faced with death, whether immediately or prospective. Would you let an attacker kill a child when the only way to stop the attacker would be to kill him or her? Or would you let the child be killed instead?

      • Well, yes, but the way they want it done is to first abolish the criminal behavior that warrants the death penalty. I mean, how hard can this concept be to grasp? And the irony is that what it takes is holy bishops, a rare thing today. Why aren’t bishops wandering around on battle fields and in inner cities?

  15. Rose Sweet says:

    I sincerely hope this last election serves as a giant wake-up call to Church leaders; many, if not the majority, of the faithful are ill-catechized and blinded by the culture. Even “good Catholics” believe that if the baby is not wanted, get rid of it…the marriage not working, end it…the prisoner not worth it, kill him/her. We need new ways to reach the minds and hearts of Catholics everywhere, and perhaps it begins with personal conversion and the Holy Spirit’s granting of major COURAGE to our clergy. Let’s all pray for that for one another.

    • The clergy have already been granted “major courage”, but most of them are afraid of it and thus reject it. What do you think the Sacrament of Confirmation consists of, what with its annointing by the bishop thus instituting the Holy Spirit in that person’s life. Courage is already given the clergy … They seldom accept this grace.

  16. Talk about disappointing!

    That 50 % of US Catholics–including a 2-1 rate for Hispanics–to re-elect to office of POTUS an individual whose policies are not only directly opposed to Catholic teaching on life and marriage, but whose very policies attack Catholic teaching (the HHS Mandate), points to a total failure of the US Catholic bishops to connect Catholics with a proper catechesis on life issues. This is especially true when talking of the grievous evil of abortion along with a proper defense of marriage.

    California bishops, why did you not include a bulletin insert on the five non-negotiables of voter responsibilities–abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, embryonic stem cells use and same sex marriage? Why did you not require your priests to preach or read a letter at Sunday Mass here?

    Your ‘approved-by-the-bishops-of- CA’ flyer for Prop 34, included in the Sunday Mass bulletin, decrying the death penalty, placed the death penalty issue on the same moral ground as abortion and euthanasia, which it is not. Not attempt was made to differentiate any hierarchy of moral evil, i.e. abortion as always evil.

    Yet, as the weeks went by before November 6th, not a word from the altar, and no bulletin flyer or mention of these five non-negotiables.

    The silence here was deafening and the lack of courage in the face of evil more than disheartening. I, for one, am saddened that the Catholic faithful were abandoned by their bishops, except for a few. Now we will all–including our unborn brothers and sisters– suffer the consequences.

    California bishops are you listening?

    • Mary, the Catholic Church does not put out any materials that include the words “the 5 non negotiables.” There are organizations of Catholics who do that. Some diocese put voter guides in their parish bulletinns listing the candidates stands on issues. You can see an example at Florida or Pennsylvania Catholic Conferences. I hope you will volunteer to help make it better next election. The Year of Faith is very important, because the underlying cause of all of our nation’s tragic choices on life issues, marriage and family concerns and the eroding of religious freedom is a lack of faith. May God bless you and strengthen you for your journey.

      • Non-negotiable’s are MORTAL SINS that are INTRINSIC EVILS that can never be approved under and circumstances.
        You can never vote for anyone who supports these intrinsic evils, or if both candidates do we must support the candidate most likey to do the least evil.
        Abortion, Euthanasia, Homo-sexual Marriage, and opposing Freedom of Relgion can all be found in the CCC.

        The education and formation of the Laity is critical in this Year of Faith.
        If your Diocese Bishop does not ask you to read the CCC, follow the instruction of Pope Benedict – read or re-read your CCC and share it with others.

        Give copies of the CCC as Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, graduation gifts, etc. – Even for non-catholics so they will know the truth of what we believe.

      • k, thanks for your comment, I agree about the importance of the Year of Faith. I have been involved in ‘making it better’ my entire adult life. Thanks and may God bless you too!

        Yes there is a lack of faith as you mention. At its source, however, this lack of faith has much to do with the lack of clear preaching from the pulpit.

        Catholics need catechesis based on correct knowledge of what is taught by the Church, not just to be generically told to live ‘gospel values’ or ‘be a person who follows Jesus” or to ‘practice social justice towards our sisters and brothers.’ Sadly, such generic messages are common homily material and the outcome of the election shows their superficial impact.

        Despite the fact that there are no such ‘[voter?] materials put out by the Church’, these five issues are taken directly from Church teachings, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Encyclicals of the Pope and the Office of the Doctrine of the Faith. So, it is not my point that there are no materials that use the words “the 5 non negotiables,’

        It is my point that there was/is a crucial need for preaching about the five issues that are non-negotiable because these issues do not allow for diversity of opinion as does the death penalty. It was most crucial to have preached about these five issues from the altar as we approached the November election.

        In October, while being urged by the bishops of California at the Sunday Mass homily to Vote for Prop 34 –the repeal of the death penalty– we were given zero catechesis, education or information from the pulpit on the grave evils of abortion, same sex marriage, human cloning or embryonic stem cell use. The two evils–abortion and same sex marriage–were (and now are) to be directly impacted by the Nov. election. This might have been different had the faithful received proper, specific catechesis from the altar before the election, but sadly, not a word. I just have to ask what were the California bishops thinking and who are their handlers?

        Oh Freedom! too late have we loved thee.

        • “what were the California bishops thinking and who are their handlers?” We should follow up on this question about the “handlers” of the bishops. Excellent perspective!!! Their strings are being pulled, so who is doing it? If it were God, then why would they be confused? Thus, their handlers are not God. Who then? During the 1930s in the Soviet Union, the govt got rid of thousands of bishops and abbots and replaced them with KGB agents, according to a history I once read. In other words, the Orthodox Church in that empire came under the handing of the Soviet government. Today by comparison in the USA, the bishops are tied in with govt money: through this means they are being handled by the government. Pretty much it is this way in the western world … to note, the plaguing custom in some places where the govt taxes the Catholics and gives a portion to the bishops. The system of having the laity collect and distribute money has a root in St Paul, but the custom has taken that root and blown it all out of proportion to the extent that the secular govt rules the Church, tells Her what to believe, and what to do and when to do it. Presently it is telling the bishops to work out a more reasonable set of beliefs, to ignore abortion and homosexual politics, and to wait til Kingdom Come before saving babies from abortion.

  17. How sad that the California bishops and their bureaucrats devoted most of their time and attention to working with the anti-Catholic American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to qualify the initiative to repeal the death penalty, and gave only a token nod to qualifying the parental notification initiative. Catholic Californians should think back to the one or two week-only effort that the California bishops allowed to collect signatures for parental notification even though there were several months available to gather signatures before the deadline. What is even virtually criminal is that the bishops told parishioners that they could not take the petitions home to get signatures from family and friends. Did the ACLU operate under such constraints? Of course not. Repeal of the death penalty is a “social justice” issue to them, more important than a “pro-life” (sic) issue. Since California reinstated the death penalty in 1978, there have been 13 executions in California. A rough estimate of the number of abortions in California since 1978 would broadly be 10,000,000. There have been close to 1,000,000 executions of innocent pre-natal babies per single execution of a person on death row. For whom is there justice? I believe that Parental Notification would have won if it had been on the 2012 ballot. Instead, thousands more girls under 18 will be “guided” by the monster that is Planned Parenthood and will suffer physical, mental, and spiritual pain and the death of their babies. The irony: Californians did not buy the propaganda of the ACLU and its cohort – the California bishops, and the death penalty was not repealed.

  18. How do you invite society to respect life when you jovially party with cold blooded baby murderers? The bishops and priests who still voted for Obama know who they are. They are really not that disappointed about the death penalty that they have inflicted upon the unborn. How duplicitous and arrogant of these California bishops to say that they are disappointed.

    They should be noticing how God is disappointed.

    “The most evident mark of God’s anger and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world are manifested when he permits His people to fall into the hands of clergy who are priests more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than the charity and affection of devoted shepherds.

    When God permits such things, it is very positive proof that he is thoroughly angry with His people, and is visiting His most dreadful anger upon them. That is why He cries unceasingly to Christians, Return O ye revolting children….and I will give you pastors according to my own heart (Jer 3:14-15) Thus irregularities in the lives of priests constitute a scourge upon the people in consequence of sin.”….St. John Eudes

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Catherine I think that there is an attack on the death penalty because those who are pro-abortion do not want people to think that an abortionist is an enemy and if we had the morals that made this country great, once in history, an abortionist would of been seen as a danger to society and especially to children, they would probably hang the abortionist for being so able to help women kill their unborn and if they harm women, they are not harshly punished because then it would mean that it is the act of abortion causes harm to women, and they don’t want anyone to see it as such.

      Unfortunately mankind changes and now we are faced with this division because many have bought into the lies of this culture of death society. I do believe that there is a connection between legalizing abortion, forcing acceptance of the sins of sodomy/same sex lifestyles and people so eagerly wanting to end the death penalty. There is a strong spiritual connection in which I find myself hard to explain but I know it exists. It’s all about desensitizing and adding false compassion to all sin without consequences.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Some of PA’s comments and as of jon’s have added to help understand why they have an agenda…

        • Mark from PA says:

          Abeca Christian, Jon has been telling you what the Church teaches and what Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have taught about the death penalty. Pope John Paul II considered the death penalty part of the culture of death. Jon is pro-life and part of being pro-life is being against the death penalty. Legalizing abortion has nothing to do with ending the death penalty and treating gay people with respect and compassion. There is no connect of abortion with those other things. Jon has said that he is against abortion, I have said that I am against abortion. I am more against abortion than I am against the death penalty.

          • PA, jon has not told anyone what the Church teaches. What he does is tell everyone what he teaches and then attempts to claim that it is what the Church teaches. The both of you are false teachers. First of all, you are false teachers because you claim to be teachers of the truth. Secondly, what you say contradicts what the Church proclaims.

          • So, PA from your post, you are somewhat against abortion and somewhat against the death penalty, but not totally against or for either one.

          • Wrong! Everything that I have said echo the teachings of the Blessed John Paul, Pope Benedict, and the rest of the bishops of the Universal Church, all of whom have taught that the use of the death penalty in our time must end.

            Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life!

          • “It cannot be over emphasized that the right to life must be recognized in all its fullness…In this context I joyfully greet the initiative by which Mexico abolished the death penalty in 2005, and the recent measures adopted by some Mexican states to protect human life from its beginnings. These resolute moves in such a fundamental question should be an emblem of your homeland, one of which it can be justly proud”. Pope Benedict XVI to the new Mexican ambassador to the Holy See on July 10, 2009.

            Listen to the living Magisterium! Respect life!

  19. Tom Barbarie says:

    It should be clear to all that the modern state is a vast criminal enterprise. It should also be clear that we don’t approve of criminals putting people to death. Those thoughts kept going through my mind as I marked my ballot in favor of keeping the death penalty. Why did I vote the way I did? Well, Catholic teaching through the ages has held that it is permissible to inflict the death penalty in certain cases. We all know that capital punishment is the big weapon in the state’s quiver. Sometimes we hear that life without parole is worse: don’t believe it. Why does a David Westerfield show the way to his victim’s grave — thus putting an end to any doubt about his guilt? Because he fears the state’s deadly needle more than he fears life without parole. The strongest argument I can think of for abolishing the death penalty is that an innocent person could be executed, but with DNA evidence, that becomes less likely. And let’s face it: there are cases where the perpetrator’s identity is beyond not just a reasonable doubt, but a shadow of a doubt. Case in point Richard Ramirez. All these thoughts came into play as I decided, but if I had hot bamboo shoots stuck into my fingernails, I think I’d have to confess that I voted as I did to send a message to the bishops, to tell the bishops to go cozy up to their ACLU buddies, I wanted no part of their urgings, given their record of gutlessness on the truly crucial matters currently facing society.

    • The bigger weapon in the state arsenal is a Hellfire missle fired by a drone. Capital punishment is virtually insignificant in its minimalist micro numbers. It may be safer to be on death row than to drive a car in Los Angeles.

    • Mark from PA says:

      Tom Barbie, if you think that the modern state is a vast criminal enterprise it doesn’t make logical sense that you think that the vast criminal enterprise should have the power to put people to death.

  20. Faithful Catholics can simply ignore the bad bishops. What do we need other than the Sacraments that they can deny us? And if they deny unjustly, then good, because it means they will be gone sooner than later. We are not obligated to listen to lousey bishopspeak, but to every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. We have the need to discern the difference.

  21. I am sure that God Himself is disappointed with this continued disregard for the sacredness and dignity of all human life, especially against the least among us: not only the unborn but also the criminal. Catholics who are called to adhere to the teachings of the Magisterium saw fit to dissent from the teachings of their spiritual shepherds. God is indeed disappointed.

    • Wow jon, Did you and God have a debrief after the election? Given you are now the spokesman for God himself, you need to call the Pope and give a full account.

      • The Pope, through his teaching that calls for the abolition of the death penalty, is definitely following the promptings and guidance of God through the Holy Spirit. I am not worried for the Holy Father. One should worry for the dissenters.

        • Abeca Christian,

          Thank you again for pointing out the truth that an unborn baby is the most defenseless victim who cannot ever once speak for himself or herself. When this tiny victim is being ripped apart in his or her mother’s womb, or being stabbed in the base of the skull to have his or her brains suctioned out, there is no death penalty appellate attorney standing by to halt this evil savage act. There are no visitors with hopeful messages as they are being murdered. There is no love.

          The kindest act that these most innocent and defenseless victims will ever receive before their brutal slaughtering is the prayers of those who are standing outside these killing centers. The praying voices of the pro-life workers are uniting the suffering of these helpless victims to Christ and entrusting them to God. This is the only act of human kindness that they will receive before their death penalty is carried out.

          Abeca, I am positive that if each of our bishops were ever ushered into a killing chamber to personally witness these bloody brutal slaughterings, then they would be overtaken in emotion, nausea and retching and they would leave weeping in personal disgust and sorrow for not having done more to stop this holocaust. They would be forced to reflect on their spiritual neglect as shepherds. They would not worry about being popular with society or their brother bishops. They would immediately KNOW in their hearts what they needed to do in action to be pleasing to God.

          Miracles do happen when the truth is taught and enforced. Look at Montana. Many of our priests have been told to be quiet by their superiors and to tone down their homilies on confession, artificial contraception and abortion. They do not want to make waves or make anyone feel a pinch of discomfort. This might affect the collection basket and attendance. The bishop of each diocese sets the standard and the tone. A good bishop knows and guides his priests to serve God, not the feelings of political interests. Bishops have been seduced into being politically vogue instead of being Catholic shepherds who are spiritually sound.

          Carla Faye Tucker was a convicted murderer who repented before she was executed for pickaxing two people to death. Carla would have surely told jon NOT to ever use her example of being given the gift of life, years of appellate hearings, numerous voices in support during her death penalty circumstances, on the same exact plane as the evil of tearing apart a defenseless baby, limb by limb before they have been given their right to be born.

          The Church has ALWAYS taught that all life is sacred. If pastors deliberately silence their priests by telling them to tone down the truth when preaching on confession, artificial contraception and abortion, these pastors will be ultimately signing their own spiritual death penalty.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Catherine thank you for your comments, I totally agree with you. God bless you sister in Christ! I felt chills reading about the innocent babies being tortured and with no attorney to represent them, praise God for the pro-lifers prayers but can you imagine in area’s where there are no pro-lifers there to pray…I can’t help but shed more tears.

            Catherine join me as I pray that God forgive us for the foolish actions of those who voted for Obama. As a human, I can’t find any reason for our Lord to forgive this country for the wickedness many have voted in….the innocent children are the ones being sacrificed!

          • Further, if priests are willing to “tone down” the truth, then how trustworthy in the Confessional could they be?

    • Abeca Christian says:

      I’m disgusted that this man would consider the criminal the least just like the “INTRINSTIC EVIL” of abortion….how disgusting…..there is no comparision abortion is an “INTRINSTIC EVIL”, the death penalty of severe criminals is not!

    • So, jon, go and stop the crimes and thus you stop the death sentences. Or would you prefer to keep the crimes going and stop one state execution every three years? Do you know of something called rational thought? If not, then seek it out, so as to become wise and not foolish.

      • California has had the death penalty since its inception as a state. Has crime stopped or been diminished with the death penalty?

        • Abeca Christian says:

          that’s because there are so very few death penalties, it is not a normal practice to put inmates on death row, that could explain why the crimes are higher too.

          • So your solution to stop death and violence is for the state to inflict more death and violence on its own subject. Yeah. Right. That makes sense. NOT.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            jon it’s not my solution but it is right to keep safe our children and all victims. Plus jon as it is, the death penalty is not carried out often…so don’t fret over this. I believe the debate here is the differences of sentiments over the death penalty. You are free to be against it jon, really. I just don’t agree with you, we can respect that and move on.

        • Well jon, Name me one person put to death who ever committed another crime? We are all fallen with free will; a combination which necessarily guarantees crime, death and destruction. The death penalty is foremost a punishment; deterrence is secondary. I’m waiting…

          • Do you hear how ludicrous your question is? I guess not. If a soul refuses to see how the death penalty is a violation of human dignity, all sense and logic and Christian love is lost in him.

          • Rick DeLano says:

            jon says: ” the death penalty is a violation of human dignity”

            The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

            “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”

            Looks like jon has a real problem distinguishing between intrinsic evils such as abortion, and matters of prudential judgement such as the death penalty.

            Wonder if he has some agenda here, to try and confuse the two?

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Rick telling from his zeal to always advocate the end of the death penalty through his personal notions already tell me that he has some agenda….after all it’s not the first time that he wrongfully has called the faithful “dissenters” if they were for the death penalty, he has also misquoted leading to his personal interpretation of what some of the popes have said and he has neglected the direct quotes from church doctors in support of the death penalty.

          • So Rick DeLano, you should quote Catechism 2267 in its entirely, instead of eliminating the part which will totally demolish your argument and which will support the Pope’s call to end the death penalty which is a violation of human dignity.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            jon I feel like we are going in circles but the Pope was only stating his sentiments on the subject, not ordering it as a dogma. Do you get that part?

          • Abeca: what the Pope expressed is his judgment, not mere “sentiment” or “opinon.” And his judgment is that the death penalty must be abolished in our time. This is very clear papal Magisterial teaching. Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life!

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Wow jon you are terribly wrong. I cant help you anymore…sorry.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            jon it’s not ludicrous. Maybe it is ludicrous to you because you are running out of answers to feed your agenda.

            In all fairness I appreciate your compassion for ordinary prisoners if its for their salvation, but I do not appreciate your ill misplaced compassion for hard core criminals especially on the ones who murder, rape and sodomize children and woman/men. Which is what we are speaking up for here!

        • Yes, jon, violent crime is mitigated by the death penalty. There are some people who will not stop their violent crime unless they think it will get them killed. That is why people carry guns sometimes, to get the violent criminal to stop … because lesser means will not stop such evil men and women. Ever been in a school yard fight as a child, jon? Did your opponent stop when you smiled at him? Or did he stop when either you or some adult get him to realize that he would suffer pain if he didn’t? Church teaches free will, jon; if men always did good, then there would be no need for free will, would there now, jon? God knows man will massacre man if not prevented from doing so. That is one of the functions of the state, to prevent man from destroying himself and society. Hell exists, jon, because it serves to punish evil souls eternally and to stop others from sinning. You anti-death sentence is anathema to Church doctrine. Your interpretation of what popes say is false.

          • Deterrence is NOT a justification for the continuation of the death penalty in our time. The Church, indeed all of the American bishops, have said so.

        • God prescribed the death sentence through Moses. jon, would God give us a serpent, as discussed by Jesus? Btw, the answer is “no, God would not give us a serpent”. Thus, the death sentence is acceptable to God, and of course it is to be used wisely.

        • Crime rises when it is not challenged.

      • Why not ask the same question of Pope Benedict, JLS? Tell him to “stop the crimes”. Accuse him of irrationality. For he too has called for the end of the death penalty – not in some future, crime-free day, but now.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          Brian S leave our precious Pope out of it! He never discounted the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas on such said subject nor from any of our other saints…your argument is irrelevant!

          • POPE BENEDICT XVI on nov. 30, 2011 — “I greet the distinguished delegations from various countries taking part in the meeting promoted by the Community of Sant’Egidio on the theme: ‘No Justice without Life.’ I express my hope that your deliberations will encourage the political and legislative initiatives being promoted in a growing number of countries to ELIMINATE THE DEATH PENALTY and to continue the substantive progress made in conforming penal law both to the human dignity of prisoners and the effective maintenance of public order.”

        • Abeca shows the flaw in her reasoning. As important as the teachings of St. Thomas and the saints are, when it comes to discerning how the eternal Gospel is to be applied IN OUR TIME, it is more meritorious to listen to the living Magisterium—the Pope and the bishops now living, they who are the successors to the Apostles.

          Why? For the simple reasons that they are likewise imbued by the Holy Spirit to apply the Gospel message specifically FOR OUR TIME. Abeca therefore is wrong.

          • jon, I have reviewed St. Thomas Aquinas’ teaching and it is exactly what the Church teaches now-that it is not unlawful but that it can be done for the protection of the innocent and not for retribution or revenge. When the Popes ask for governments to abolish capital punishment, it is because the protection of innocents no longer requires the death of the guilty. It is a duty of the state to protect innocents.

          • The moral law is eternal–it does NOT change over time.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            That is your opinion sir…I kindly remind you!

          • Abeca Christian says:

            k you have stated what we have always tried to jon but it doesn’t help when you use words as bullying on here when people are trying to get to the truth!

          • Abeca Christian says:

            my comments from November 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm were referring to jon. Just to be clear….jon is only stating his opinion.

        • Brian S, the Church has always called for peace and the end to violations of God’s law. What would you expect a pope to call for? Capital punishment will end when there is no more violent crime. This will not occur until the end of the world. Have you ever thought about thinking with your thinker instead of whatever pot of passions you work from?

          • “Abolition [of the death penalty] sends a message that we can break the cycle of violence, that we need not take life for life, that we can envisage more humane and more hopeful and effective responses to the growth of violent crime. It is a manifestation of our freedom as moral persons striving for a just society. It is also a challenge to us as a people to find ways of dealing with criminals that manifest intelligence and compassion rather than power and vengeance. We should feel such confidence in our civic order that we use no more force against those who violate it than is actually required.” Bishops’ Statement, November 1980.

        • So you say, Brian S.; however, note that the popes have always said that man should become perfect even as God is perfect (St Paul or Jesus, I forget which said it). Jesus also tells us that the poor shall always be with us. So, now some popes have said that the death penalty should end. They also say that we should repent of all our sins. Pope Benedict XVI has said that the bishops should become holy. Which of these requests, Brian S., has been done so far?

        • Sorry Brian, Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II have NOT stated that the Death Penalty should be completely abolished in ALL circumstances.
          If they did that they would violate the teachings of the Church.

          Read your “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” which was – - – ” revised in accordance with the official Latin text promulgated by Pope John Paul II ” (on the cover of the accurate CCC).
          (Now the CCC is correct and the same in ALL languages – since 2000.)

          “ The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved … and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. “ – Pope John Paul II. (pg 5)

          For those who want the same historical perspective they can read the “Catechism of the Council of Trent” – re the death penalty.

          • Anne, Popes John Paul and Benedict DO NOT violate the teachings of the Church when they call for the abolition of the death penalty IN OUR TIME.

            The quotations from the Catechism all support the Pope’s call for its abolition.

        • Easier to ask Jesus, Brian S., because He is more accessible than a pope.

    • jon, how can you say that the “least among us” includes heinous, viscious rapists, boy rapists, wanton murderers?

      • skai, Jesus says so. Straight up!

      • Abeca Christian says:

        skai there is obviously an agenda that this man wants to carry out.

        • Yes, I have an agenda in this thread. The agenda on this thread is to evangelize the Word of God to the self-righteous, to defend the teachings of the Church as articulated in 2267, to defend the teachings of the Pope concerning the death penalty.

          Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life!

          • Abeca Christian says:

            jon self righteous?

            Of course you would think others are self righteous for not agreeing with you…it’s like if you are calling the doctors of the church self righteous! My formed reasoning on this came from their teachings not yours…..I read up on the saints and I learn a lot from them. It’s not something I made up. Are you forgetting that I am a product of these times. The only thing is that I don’t think like these modern days have conditioned me to think because I chose to learn about Catholicism and read many church docs, saints etc. They formed my mind.

            The CCC has always encouraged us to imitate the saints! jon I don’t know how old you are but I grew up in these modern times….with all these subjects, as I didn’t understand them, I recall kneeling and asking God for His wisdom and knowledge…since I fear the Lord, I really and earnestly prayed and try to learn the faith. I learned it even more through my husband’ s conversion and also through my grand mum. Jon I just knelt and asked, sure enough, since I was really genuine in my asking….I was always lead into the answers….I loved reading a lot and found many answers not only through the saints but also through bible studies and CCC studies with some holy and devout priests who are faithful to the Magisterium. So how can I go with you, a non priest….when you come off as so proud and ignoring many pieces to the puzzle.

          • First, jon, before you can effectively evangelize, you have to learn what God teaches us. You are not the “living Magisterium”, and you have no clue that you do not know the difference between it and your agenda. You cannot even address an argument that you do not like … pathetic, jon. Maybe if you try evangelizing with a weapon, then people will pay attention to you.

          • The “weapon” I prefer to use is the sword of the Word of God, the Truth, as taught by the Pope and the bishops who are the living Magisterium. That “weapon” is sufficient to evangelize.

            Those who do not listen to the Magisterium on this important teaching will have to answer Christ’s words at the end of time: “What you did not do for these least ones, you did not do for me” (Matthew 25).

            You did not stand up for those on death row: You did not stand up for Christ.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Standing up for those in death row is to help them repent before they die……jon I have donated money to prisoners who have kids that can’t buy them what they need for Christmas, so we sponsor a dad in prison to help their child…I enjoyed that lovely Christian charity. These men who can be rehabilitated, we must help them for their children’s sake, many of them have repented and show remorse for their crimes, we are there for them as we stand up for Christ. Also standing up for Christ is honoring his role in why the death penalty is accepted….it is truly a just thing. Sorry you can’t see that.

            Standing up for Christ is understanding why we can not allow a serial murderer, rapist etc etc to re-commit another heinous crime against the innocent.

            We can not neglect our duty to the victims and any future victims that may be in harms way.

          • What you are saying here Abeca is that you “pick and choose” who you want to stand up for. If the person conforms to your idea of an ideal prisoner, then they deserve your every consideration and charity. THIS IS WRONG! You show partiality, your love and charity is not as expansive, inclusive, and grand as God’s.

            Rather, Jesus died for all, including the most hardened criminal. It is THEIR dignity too that the Church, Popes John Paul and Benedict wish to defend by calling for the abolition of the death penalty.

            Basically, what you are doing is NOT ENOUGH! You should really listen to the living Magisterium! Respect life!

    • jon, Jesus does not seem to have a beef with capital punishment, at least as we reflect on His words on the Cross between two criminals being executed, nor with the death penalty given Himself. Is there some Magisterial document that you’re hiding from us that over rides the Gospel account?

  22. May God Bless the many saintly defenders of the unborn, their mothers and grandparents. There were thousands of laymen, many good priests and deacons, a few brave religious women, and a few bishops who whole heartedly and valiantly attempted to put the Parents Right to Know (PRK) Initative on the California ballot.

    The effort was doomed by the insistence of the California Catholic Conference decision makers to tie it to the Death Penalty Initiative (DPI).

    DPI was largely funded by the ACLU and California Democratic Party, whose stakeholders stood to profit from the DPI provisions of taxpayer funding of the State Attorney General and an expanded client base for members of the ACLU.

    Paid signature gatherers had obtained an overwhelming majority of the required signatures before any significant number of volunteer signatures were gathered by the dioceses of California had begun. The DPI deadline was 2 months before the deadline for PRK.

    PRK was largely relying on volunteer signatures from the approximately 1000 Catholic Parishes in California. Funding was limited in that there was no stakeholder who stood to profit financially in any way. It was only attainable if each parish could average 500 signatures.

    The CCC decision maker’s stunning decisions to couple the two initiatives significantly diluted the ability of parishes to focus on the very few weeks of overlap of the two campaigns.

    Additionally, they promulgated “guidelines’ which severely limited the use of promotional material and conditions for volunteer signature gathering which discouraged parishioners from soliciting signatures from family, friends, and colleagues. Some of the guidelines were self contradictory. Many diocese published and strictly enforced them.

    The pity was that in similarly sized parishes with enthusiastic endorsement of the priest or deacon PRK achieved up to 1500 signatures, whereas, when given lip service, achieved a dozen. Interestingly, those same parishes yielded very few DPI signatures. In fact, it was difficult to even obtain DPI petition sheets since they were specifically designed for professional signature gatherers allowing publication of fewer sheets.

    May God have mercy on our nation for the sin of abortion.

  23. 2008 Parents Right to Know achieved 48.0% Yes while being out spent by at least 5 to 1.

    2012 Death Penalty Initiative achieved 47.4% Yes spending at least 17 to 1.

    California Catholic Conference advisors were consistently lukewarm to support Prop 73, 85 and 4 due to financial considerations.

    Seems financial considerations did not provide a victory for Prop 34 with overwhelming financial support.

    Isn’t it time to totally support a Parental Notification initiative regardless of financial support.

    We are not called to succeed, we are called to be faithful as I recall.

    • Robert, thanks so much for your input and clarifications on the behind the scenes activities here.

      At our parish we did have signatures collected for the parental notification initiative–though it did seem rushed and done on short notice. We never heard another thing about it–signature gathering was on just one Sunday, then it just disappeared off the radar screen.

      While I signed that petition and was 100% in support of parental notification for minors obtaining abortion, I was disappointed when I heard that the parental notification petition was going to be tied with DPI. I was not in favor of these two issues being tied together. I thought it was a serious mistake to do so. I am saddened that once again, parental notification was hijacked and by the Catholics or some the handlers at the level of the CCC.

      Again, I am forced to ask: What goes on at the CCC? Why do such people have sway over our Catholic faith in the public sphere? Why does the CCC wield such influence over our bishops and why are the bishops so beholden to this political lobby organization over their own specific teaching office as bishops for a particular diocese?

    • Bishops do not need any money to champion a cause. All they have to do is preach it. Oh, one slight detail, they have to be holy to accomplish anything at all by it. Since they aren’t, then their preaching doesn’t really amount to much, and so to make themselves look great, then they have to spend tons of money. But, after all, it comes from the govt, so they in a way really are not spending anything anyway. So why be holy to persuade people, when spending money to do so is easier?

  24. Regarding the CA Bishops teaming up with the ACLU – baby killers and supporters of homo-sexual marriage –

    CCC: ” 1759 An evil action cannot be justified by reference to a good intention” ( cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Dec. praec. 6). The end does not justify the means. “

  25. Roberta Genini says:

    I so wish the Bishops would, when expressing their preferences on legislation, distinguish between matters which are non-negotiable and those which fall under prudential judgment, so that the faithful are not wrongly burdened in conscience. By the way, the term non-negotiable has come out of the laity struggling with these issues, not from the Bishops, The laity want and need guidance, but the first thing they need to know is what is essential and what is morally open to more than one answer. The death penalty abolition act, Prop 34 in California, is a clear example. I voted against it, not because I like the death penalty or vengeance. or because I am unconcerned that an innocent person might sometime be put to death. No, I voted against it because law enforcement needs the threat of a death sentence to extract necessary information from subjects that often leads to crimes solved and innocent lives saved. Also, it was not clear whether the 700 plus persons on CA death row were going to be mixed with the rest of the prison population, which would have been a great danger to the latter as those on death row are often the worst of the worst.

    • I hope you realize that no Catholic is allowed in Canon Law to dissent against a clear teaching of the Magisterium. This “prudential judgment” business is a figment of many people’s imagination. It does not exist in the Catechism or in Canon Law. What Church documents have said with respect to prudential judgment is that Catholics must give submission of mind and will to the judgment of the Pontiff (Lumen Gentium 25). And the judgment of the Holy Father is that the death penalty must be abolished in our time. It will do people well not to delude themselves by rationalizing their dissent.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        The bishops who supported the ACLU to try to end the death penalty have only mislead more of the faithful away from real moral issues such as abortion and gay marriage! Those in bad will don’t have to look further to find bad willed leadership in the church, they cling together like flies and use that power to say that the church is such a such a way when in knowing the real faith, we look to the doctors of the church and find the real truth not what the modern ideologies of some of the bad willed of today!

        It is sad that some would use the personal words of some of our Popes to further their cause to end the death penalty…when we know the truth…why waste more ample time on this topic when we should use our energy for the greater good and that is to save more unborn babies from abortion, to protect the real dignity of marriage and to help elect more politicians who respect religious freedom and our values!

        • When will you learn that a consistent ethic in defense of the dignity of all human life, including those of capital criminals, lends the Church a stronger voice against abortion.

          • jon, why would anyone want to learn something that is not true? Where is your proof that your position is true?

          • Abeca Christian says:

            jon read my other comments because I don’t agree with you on it having a stronger voice against abortion….I see the opposite affect.

          • My position is the position of the Pope, all of the bishops of the Universal Church, the Gospels, all of Scripture, and the documents of the Church including the Catechism.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            jon no it’s not…again your opinion sir

          • “I commend the church in the Philippines for seeking to play its part in support of human life from conception until natural death…I also note with appreciation the church’s work to abolish the death penalty in your country.” Pope Benedict XVI to the Philippine bishops on November 29, 2010.

      • Rick DeLano says:

        jon is wrong here.

        Again.

        The death penalty is *precisely* a matter of prudential judgement. Cardinal Ratzinger Himself, while serving as the Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, explicitly affirmed this.

        There exists no magisterial teaching that binds Catholics to the proposition that “the death penalty must be abolished in our time.”

        This doctrine appears nowhere in the Catechism, and nowhere in the Council, and nowhere in any binding teaching of the papal magisterium.

        The death penalty is *not* intrinsically evil, and never let any dissenter hornswoggle you to the contrary.

        • As you have been told many times before, Lumen Gentium (25), Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church calls on the faithful to adhere to the judgment of the Pontiff in matters of faith and morals. This call is repeated in the CDF document Donum Veritatis. To the detriment to their salvation, I’m afraid Catholics are being led to believe that they may dissent on matters of faith and morals. There is no right to dissent on important matters of faith and morals in the Catholic Church. NONE. ZILCH. NADA.

        • Additionally, the CDF Letter DOES NOT excuse Catholics to dissent. It has been proven that you and other folks here have been misreading and misinterpreting the CDF Letter which does NOT even say that there “is” a legitimate diversity of opinion on this matter.

          Moreover, the Catechism (2267) articulates what has been the traditional teaching of the Church on this matter: that there is moral recourse to the death penalty, ONLY IF it is the only means to protect society.

          Well, the judgment of Popes John Paul and Benedict is that in fact there are now other means to protect society without recourse to the death penalty. And so the Popes and the rest of the Magisterium have called for its abolition. Per Lumen Gentium 25, this papal judgment is to be adhered to.

          The CDF Letter merely acknowledges that supporting the death penalty is not the same transgression as abortion which is an intrinsic evil. That’s all it says: it does not permit dissent on such an important issue that touches on the Gospel of Life.

          Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life!

          • jon, your ” the CDF Letter DOES NOT excuse Catholics to dissent” presumes the error that Catholics are somehow perfect and that they are not allowed to change from that state. You really do need to learn logic and how to put forth a formal argument. Or at least provide some else’s formal and rational argument.

          • skai, your comment here makes no sense. No one, least of all me, has said that “Catholics are somehow perfect.”

          • Abeca Christian says:

            jon you are incorrect Skai comments do make sense..

        • Abeca Christian says:

          Thank you Rick for posting what you just did because anyone who is ignorant of the church teachings might take jon’s comments as truth. Even my husband who is a convert once misunderstood this teaching until he looked deeper and now understands it…see how these bishops cause confusion and division….

          • It is jon causing confusion and division, in this case.

            The bishops have made a prudential decision to seek the repeal of the death penalty in California.

            This is a prudential decision.

            It is the bioshops’ right to make it, and it is the duty of Catholics to take it very seriously.

            As has been conclusively shown across many threads, jon ignores the difference between the death penalty (a prudential judgement) and abortion (an intrinsic evil).

            As Cardinal Ratzinger makes clear in his capacity as head of the CDF, Catholics can, *in good faith*, disagree over whether the prudential conditions exist for a repeal of the death penalty.

            No Catholic can support intended abortion under any circumstances.circumstances.

            Keeping the distinction between prudential judgement and intrinsic evil in mind always provides us with solid grounds upon which to see right through jon’s misleading posts on the question.

          • Dan Catholic says:

            Prove your assertion that this term “prudential judgment” exists in the Catechism and in Canon Law. It does not.

          • Rick DeLano’s reasoning is flawed. He gives a false dichotomy. This is not about intrinsic evil versus prudential judgment. This is wrong Catholic moral theology. If we were to believe him, then grave sins which the Church hasn’t declared to be “intrinsic evils” are within our “prudential judgment.” So the logical conclusion of Rick Delano’s and Anonymous’ argument is that sins like viewing pornography and masturbation are within their “prudential judgment.” That is ludicrous. Perhaps he wishes that were so.

            Rick DeLano should know that when the Magisterium has expressed a teaching on an issue, the prudential judgment that a Catholic should take is PRECISELY the teaching of the Magisterium! This is what prudential judgment is all about! The prudential judgment on an issue is the teaching of the Magisterium!

            So when can a Catholic use his prudential judgment? When it comes to choosing which politician to vote for, when it comes to deciding on an issue on which the Magisterium has left to the judgment of the laity, when it comes to matters on which the Magisterium has given no teaching.

            Therefore, when it comes to issue on which the Magisterium has expressed a judgment (such as the death penalty), the call to lay Catholics is unity, adherence, and obedience to the successors to the Apostles.

            I agree with you jon. Good work here.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Anonymous it’s good to read that more people get it and do not fall for that division that jon usually brings forth in regards to the death penalty. The proof is there but for some odd reason he just keep missing it or is it pride who makes him blinded to those very facts.

            Well anyhoo thanks for pointing out what you just posted.

        • Rick DeLano says:

          Dan Catholic hilariously asserts:

          “Prove your assertion that this term “prudential judgment” exists in the Catechism and in Canon Law. It does not.”

          Yes it does.

          “2309 The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:
          - the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;

          - all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;

          - there must be serious prospects of success;

          - the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modem means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.

          These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the “just war” doctrine.

          The evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the ********prudential judgment******* of those who have responsibility for the common good.

          Interestingly, “prudential judgement” is employed with respect to just war doctrine; exactly the other example Cardinal Ratzinger used, along with the death penalty, to differentiate prudential matters from intrinsic evils such as abortion and euthanasia.

          These folks- Dan, jon, Rose- are wrong, and the error seems to be quite obstinate.

          • Rick DeLano’s answer actually proves Rose’s point about the flaw in his reasoning. On matters on which the Magisterium has rendered no teaching or judgment, the Church leaves it to the judgment of the competent authority. Whereas on matters for which the Magisterium has defined a teaching, the prudential judgment is exactly the teaching of the Church.

            So, thank you Rick DeLano for proving our point for us. And for supplying a citation from the Catechism to buttress our point and refute yours.

          • Rose, your latest answer is SPOT ON!

          • Rick DeLano’s position moreover is riddled with contradictions and anomalies. Anyone who takes Rick DeLano’s position is saying that:

            1) Ratzinger contradicts himself as Cardinal when he penned the CDF Letter and as Pope when he calls for an end to the death penalty.

            2) That Lumen Gentium 25 does not really mean it when it says that the Pope’s judgments even when not given ex cathedra must be adhered to.

            3) That Pope John Paul II did not mean it when he preached in St. Louis in 1999 that the death penalty is “cruel and unnecessary.”

            4) That the Catechism 2267 is wrong when it says that the traditional teaching of the Church is that there is recourse to the death penalty only if it is the only means to protect society.

            5) That in the CDF Letter the verb “may be” really means “is.”

            6) That “prudential judgment” is a more acceptable way of saying “dissent” and “relativism.” “Prudential judgment” is license to dissent.

            Beware faithful Catholics from this slippery slope of dissent.
            Rather, listen to the living Magisterium! Respect life!

          • Abeca Christian says:

            jon you mean SPOT ON ridiculous and misleading. Yes siree bob and I don’t mean maybe.

          • We are getting a dose of “The Beast of the Apocalypse”: No matter what you truth you provide to a surly predatorial animal, especially those on bath salt highs, they yap the same sound over and over and over, seeking to lull you into exhaustion as their beastmates sneak up on you from the shadows. But it is good training for the faithful.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            JLS and training it is….tremendous…what a work out. LOL

          • The only beast you should be concerned of JLS is Satan himself who would love for the members of God’s Church to neglect an entire group of human beings for consideration. I daresay he has managed to sway many Catholics into disregarding the human dignity of the incarcerated.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            wow jon those are strong sentiments…forget the murder of the unborn, forget traditional marriage, forget the natural law etc…because jon thinks that all incarcerated are sent to the death…what a lie he has embraced…he does have an agenda! BINGO there you go!

          • Who said anything about forgetting the unborn, traditional marriage, natural law? If I may give you an advice Abeca about commenting here. To put up a straw man pretending that it’s the other side’s position is an invalid, fallacious argument.

      • jon, that is the good news; the bad news is that you are not demonstrating the ability to make such distinctions.

        • Did Jesus make any distinction?

          • jon, of course Jesus makes distinctions. Why don’t you read the accounts of Jesus … aka the Bible?

          • OK, prove your point. Show where Jesus says that the prisoners are included in the list of the least among us, but not certain prisoners. Quote your source.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          it seems that people have their own Jesus in mind one that is created in their own personal image…..I prefer the real Jesus.

          Skai God bless you for encouraging others to read their Bible. You are awesome!

          • You remind me of a woman I know who’s daughter was dating a married man and justified it by saying “The Church may say it is immoral, but I know God”

      • Then, jon, you’re saying that every word that proceeds out of the mouth of a pope is Magisterial …

        • WRONG! According to Lumen Gentium (25), when the Pontiff and the bishops in union with him teach in matters of faith and morals, their teachings are to be adhered to with a submission of mind and will.

          It will do you good to read Lumen Gentium.

          Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life!

          • We are bound to obey the pope’s COMMANDS, not his recommendations, suggestions or entreaties, no matter how fervently voiced. We must accept his TEACHINGS, not his opinions, no matter how forcefully argued. In order to command and teach, he must not only put forward a proposition–he must also declare the proposition to be settled dogma and the contrary proposition to be forbidden to be held by Catholics. We have excellent precedent for this–namely the actions of Pope John XXII in the 14th Century, who argued repeatedly in his homilies that the souls of the just will not enjoy the Beatific Vision until the Last Judgement. When theologians disputed him, John correctly pointed out that the topic was still a matter of debate (at that time) and that he was merely engaging in that debate, not making a dogmatic declaration. Before he died, he was persuaded to change his mind. His successor Benedict XII then settled the issue by dogmatically defining that the souls of the just who are not in Purgatory DO enjoy the Beatific Vision NOW. Here was an example of a pope preaching what we now know was an erroneous opinion, while not compromising the infallibility of the Church–i.e., because he did not declare his opinion to be normative and binding. So this powerfully and completely refutes your error that every opinion held and proclaimed by a pope must be regarded as binding and, in effect, infallible, Jon.

          • Larry, the truth and the fact is that, on certain matters of faith and morals calling for a “religious submission of mind and will” among the faithful, the Church does not have to declare those certain teachings as “dogma” or “binding.” This is true for the first level of assent. This is where the papal teaching on the abolition of the death penalty today falls under.

            What you are describing is the highest level of assent called theological faith, on which the Magisterium MUST solemnly declare as found in Revelation.

            Your point therefore is contradicted by Donum Veritatis where the above doctrine is also found.

            Moreover when the Pope preaches, delivers an official speech, writes an Encyclical, an Apostolic Letter, delivers a message, the Holy Father is NOT doing so as a private individual giving his “opinion” or “recommendation. WRONG. Lumen Gentium below refutes your point:

            “For then the Roman Pontiff is not pronouncing judgment as a private person, but as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the charism of infallibility of the Church itself is individually present, he is expounding or defending a doctrine of Catholic faith.” (25)

            JP2′s and Benedict’s teachings on the abolition of the death penalty are their judgments, binding judgments!

          • No, I’m sorry, Jon–your quotes are highly selective and your inferences regarding language are ludicrously defective. The example of Pope John XXII stands in stark refutation of everything you’re saying. We are forbidden to believe that every utterance of the pope is the Word of God–because that would be the sin of idolatry. Christ does not possess the pope in the same manner in which the devil possesses a demoniac. Your plenary devotion to the words and thoughts of the pope is truly touching–but I suspect that if the subject were, for example, Pope Benedict’s recent decision to bar homosexuals from the seminary and priesthood, or Pope John Paul II’s definitive ruling that the Sacrament of Holy Orders is forever reserved to men–then you MIGHT not be so unqualified in your attitude towards acceptance of the pope’s will. Just as you would take it upon yourself to make binding a papal utterance when the pope himself intends otherwise, I suspect you would also feel free to make UN-binding some other papal utterance, also in contravention to the pope’s wishes. But understand this, Jon–as soon as you do, a whole bunch of us will be waiting to pounce on you and throw your own words back at you–your words declaring that ALL opinions of the pope must be regarded as infallibly Divine–and how it is sinful and disloyal to the Church to disagree with the pope on ANY point, under ANY circumstance, no matter WHAT the supposed justification. Go ahead, Jon. Make our day. Make MY day. I’ll be eagerly waiting for a chance to catch you in contradiction.

          • As instructive as the story of John XXII may be, that is not the NORM in the Church. What you have described, if it is indeed true, is an exception.

            The norm in the Church is that the Holy Father and the bishops in union with him are guided by the Holy Spirit when they teach the faithful in matters of faith and morals.

            Our Church believes that the Holy Spirit protects the Church, the Magisterium, from error in matters of faith and morals.

          • It is indeed true, Jon and it completely demolishes your absurd thesis that a pope’s every opinion, preference and wish be granted the status of infallible Catholic teaching. The experience of John XXII and his successor on the issue of whether the souls of the just in heaven see God face to face right now, as opposed to having to wait until after the General Judgment, is on-point–it is definitive–and it refutes you utterly and completely.

          • Dan Catholic says:

            I agree jon. It is our faith as Catholics that the Holy Spirit preserves the Church and the Magisterium from error on matters of faith and morals. This means that the words of Pope John Paul II and benedict XVI calling for the end of the death penalty were guided by the Spirit.

            And I disagree with Larry’s point. The story of John XXII does not prove anything. It does not even address the moral issue at hand which is the death penalty. All is shows is an exception, not the norm as you point out.

          • This is called “being in denial.”

  26. John Feeney says:

    California Governor Jerry Brown just released many prisoners who had been sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. He released them if they had only served 25 years. Now these murderers are back on the streets. So much for life imprisonment without parole. Why are the bishops so concerned about not executing convicted murders when millions of innocent, unborn babies have been executed?

    • Boosts gun sales, though, which gives the anti-gun rights people more ammo to use to slow gun sales. This is exactly the type of politics that the bishops seem to love, and thus is very Catholic.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        JLS you may have stated something very hard to swallow and painfully to accept of what seems to be perceived about being Catholic. IF we look back in history, it wasn’t very Catholic to end the death penalty but now it seems that ignorance is what is causing this perception that being Catholic means the wrongful interpretation in regards to his topic at hand, many church leadership have probably been fruitful in this misconception! As you can see jon is the perfect example of the fruits of what they have reaped….and so thus this world is growing more wicked through the views of sodomy and such and we will continue to be at war with those within the church who only are there to destroy it and cause more scandal!

        God have mercy on us all! JLS you are a good man with God’s wisdom, may He always be your light and always keep you in His arms of protection. Keep on !

        • I appreciate your blessings, Abeca.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Likewise JLS. God bless you always. I am grateful that through this website I am able to connect with more good faithful souls!

        • WRONG! The Pope’s call to end the death penalty does NOT come from ignorace Abeca as you claim, but from the facts and the reality. The fact is that as JP2 judged and as Benedict has continued, there are now other means to render harmless a convict without recourse to the death penalty.

          Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life!

    • John:

      It is disturbing to hear about prisoners being released after they had been imprisoned “without possibility of parole” and I’m surprised that the governor would risk such an action. Can you point to a news story with details about this event?

      • Dear Francis,

        “Notably, Jerry Brown of California has been paroling a much higher proportion of lifers than his predecessors since returning to the governor’s mansion in 2011.” Prison Legal News article Nov 14, 2012.

        Robert

        • Abeca Christian says:

          God bless you Robert!

        • Robert:

          The article you refer to is about prisoners being paroled. This is not the same as someone being released after a conviction to life “without possibility of parole.” Sentences for lesser crimes, which leave parole open, are not relevant to the death penalty discussion, because the issue is whether California’s “life without possibility of parole” meets Pope JP II’s demand to spare convict lives and the CCC’s demand for “bloodless means.”

          Also, the article you cite does not mention the name of a single prisoner who has been “paroled” by Jerry Brown so it isn’t possible to follow up and find out what really happened. The article is furthermore clearly in error, since in California the Governor does not have authority to parole anyone (unless he happens to also sit on a prison parole board). The Governor can postpone an execution, commute a sentence (e.g. death to life imprisonment) or pardon a convict outright, but he can’t “parole” anyone.

          I can understand how you and John Feeney might be seriously confused by the subtle differences. In California, “life without possibility of parole” really means exactly that. Unless the Governor pardons or a court exonerates the convict, he remains in prison for life. It is unfortunate that John and others are so upset by this mis-reading of facts, and I do hope that setting them straight will lighten everyone’s burden.

          • Francis, have you, ever in your life, looked beneath the surface of anything? Or do you take everything for true from its outward appearance?

          • Abeca Christian says:

            JLS that is what I love about you….You always encourage others to look deeper. That in it self is a gift…you use your gift well, God bless you always!

  27. Reposting my comment without the links.

    Posting this about SB9, the Juvenile Second Chance Bill that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law in late Sept, shortly before the Nov 6 election where the people of California were to vote on Prop 34 Repeal of the Death Penalty.

    Maybe this is where some of the confusion about Brown and the possibility of parole comes in and I can see the reason why as there are issues about violent criminals –young ones and whether they should have a second chance. Below are quotes/more related to SB9

    According to a USA today story: “There are 309 inmates serving life-without-parole sentences in California for murders committed when they were younger than 18.

    Brown signed SB9 into law. It would let the inmates ask judges to reconsider their sentences after they serve at least 15 years in prison.

    Judges could then reduce the no-parole sentence to 25 years-to-life if the inmate shows remorse and is taking steps toward rehabilitation.”

    And this from another site: ” [CA] the Legislature passed and Governor Brown signed a law (SB9) allowing juvenile murderers previously sentenced to LWOP to petition a judge for parole despite their original sentence that was supposed to guarantee they would never be released.”

    In a Sept 21 article the LA Times quotes a family member whose husband was beaten and died as a result of juvenile crime.

    From the article:
    ‘But victims’ survivors say they trust that in every case of a juvenile sentenced to a life term, judges found a reason to reject the option of parole.

    “These are the worst of the worst,” said Maggie Elvey, a former San Diego County resident whose husband was bludgeoned during a robbery 19 years ago by boys ages 15 and 16 and died of the injuries.

    The youngest of his killers was released from prison after seven years and vanished from Maggie Elvey’s radar. The other, serving life without parole, eventually was convicted of trying to kill another inmate. Elvey attended the trial, taking pleasure in the shock on his face when he saw her there.

    “The state gave us a promise, that we would never have to see or hear this person again who killed our loved ones,” said Elvey, who now works in Sacramento as a crime victims’ advocate. “Now liberal-hearted lawmakers are saying, ‘These are just kids.’”

  28. Here’s the REAL PROBLEMS I have with the abolition of the death penalty in California or any other state, for that matter. It’s the “LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE.” part, among others. And I go through the numbers. 1) Can anyone on God’s green earth GUARANTEE us that that person in prison for “life without parole” WILL NEVER SUCCESSFULLY ESCAPE, and thereby go on to commit an even MORE HEINOUS CRIME than the one that put him or her in prison the first time? And if you can GUARANTEE that, PROVE IT!
    2) There are some CAPITAL CRIMES that cry out for the death penalty/ vengeance(?), and they’re ROUTINELY committed today, i.e., whole families have been BRUTALLY SLAIN by criminals while ON PAROLE; AND NO MERCY was shown to ANYONE, even the tiniest, most helpless of the family members. And crimes against women are ALSO ROUTINELY COMMITTED, like the one that Caryl Chessman committed (he didn’t even KILL her) that left his female victim pretty much a mindless vegetable for the rest of her traumatized life.But there are a whole lot of other crimes committed that of course left the victims VERY DEAD,and without recourse. Even in this female-liberationist society many people consider women in general especially vulnerable to homicidal rape, etc., NOT TO MENTION LITTLE CHILDREN assaulted and murdered in the most ATROCIOUS ways. Are we so addled in this current civilizational milieu by FALSE COMPASSION that we’re willing to entertain extravagant theories of a mendacious nature that “they didn’t really mean to be so mean,” it was their ‘vicious parents’ who made them (the perps) that way, etc., ad nauseum ?.
    3) I MAY change my (educated) conviction re the need to have the option to execute criminals who commit heinous crimes ONLY in the stipulation that ROE V. WADE is OVERTURNED, and that abortion murder is FINALLY by law forbidden with the criminal doctors and midwives, etc., who commit them facing REAL JAIL TIME up to and including EXECUTION for their crimes. ALL people who commit the crime of GENOCIDE, as these routine murderers of the most vulnerable among us,the preborn, are doing, the “little murders” enabled by big brother Obama, SHOULD merit execution after a fair trial.
    i.M DONE. MAY THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, KING OF KINGS, LORD OF LORDS, BLESS ALL WHO READ THIS MOST EXCELLENT OF VEHICLES OF CATHOLIC ACTION, CALIF. CATHOLIC DAILY. MARKRITE

  29. Where are the bishops on the incredible incidence of violent crime? Seems we only hear them blowing sweet air about the one execution every three years in California.

    • Where are you on the incredible incidence of violent crime? You are not exactly helping things by advocating more violence and more death being perpetrated by the state to its own citizens through the death penalty.

      • Hanging violent criminals in the public square at noon on Sundays would reduce violent crime in society, jon. You could maybe stand by them each and advise them of their need to repent before the Judgment.

        • That is what they already do in places like Iran and in other Islamic fundamentalist countries. If you like that so much, perhaps you should move there.

      • jon, I have dealt with violent criminals, face to face. Some prefer violence, and some prefer to change. No different from some souls rejecting God and some subjecting themselves to God. God condemns some souls; being that God is not distant from man, because of the grace of Jesus Christ, then man is saddled with making the same decisions. In God’s case it is not a decision making process, but with man it is because that is the best of our nature. With God united with man, then the call becomes greated than a decision. But the caveat is the union between God and the specific man. If God relieved man from life or death, eternal or temporal decisions, then there goes free will out the window. So, jon, your theology is not Catholic. You quote Catholic magisterial material but you spin it falsely. You also never personalize your addresses; they’re always abstract and deal with a concept of human beings that is used by socialists and was developed just over a century or so ago by non-Catholic “psychologists”. This whole schtueck that you launch from has been soundly defeated by Blessed John Paul II in his historic work on the nature of the person.

        • I most roundly reject your calling “schtuek” the teachings of Pope John Paul’s and Pope Benedict’s Magisterial teaching denouncing the death penalty for our time. Neither you nor anyone can dispute convincingly their plain teaching on the death penalty.

          Likewise neither you nor anyone can deny that Lumen Gentium (25) calls on Catholics to adhere to the judgments of the Pontiff.

          Finally, misreading the CDF Letter by falsely interpreting it to read that it is allowing dissent on this issue is WRONG!

          You have not put forth any convincing argument, proof, or Church document that upholds the death penalty.

          And so, listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life!

    • Every three years? It’s more like every 7-10 years. This is really silly that the bishops are so concerned about something that happens so rarely when they are virtually silent on abortion and the HHS mandate. I can’t even remember the last execution. I think it was stayed. how long has Richard Allen Harris been on Death Row since he was convicted for murdering Polly Klaas? It is used so infrequently, I can’t even fathom all the passion the bishops seemed to have about this. Compare that to the frequency of abortion.

      • The bishops have not been silent on either abortion or the HHS mandate.

        • Words are cheap, k. Actions cost dearly. The bishops have not acted, not at all to stop either the abortion or the govt tyranny. Their actions are always to accomodate or forward each issue. Why don’t you investigate the portion of sodomites in the Vatican … might shock you.

          • Dan Catholic says:

            The bishops JLS are there to teach, sanctify, and govern the Church. It is for the laity to ACT on the secular world based on the teachings of the Church. Your dumping on the clergy is getting old and tired.

            And with regards to your final point? It’s irrelevant, irreverent, and illogical.

      • Dan C, the bishops have to make internal acts of holiness, otherwise their words are empty. They also have to make external acts of holiness, otherwise they have no reason for being. The printed word of God’s Law did not work, nor do painted tombs filled with dead men’s bones work: a bishop has to be worth his salt, ie has to be holy. Most of us can read Magisterial documents … but the Church needs something more, namely holiness. It is pointless to harp on what God says unless our actions and His words are the same.

        • And as far as boring you with my “dumping on the clergy”, how can this be worse than a clergy dumping on both God and man? Clergy are called to excellence, Dan C., not go along to get along, not mediocrity, not sloth, not “we’re only human” … Clergy whining these sorts of things need to get out of God’s way or reform themselves in God’s way. Salt that loses its flavor is worthless, according to Jesus; wouldn’t you agree, Dan C.?

          • I agree with you Dan. To express a sentiment against the clergy on this particular debate on the death penalty is wrong. Why? Because the judgment of the clergy–that is the Pope, the bishops, and the priests—on this matter of ending the death penalty IS CORRECT and JUST!

  30. I am well pleased the death penalty stays in California. All other propositions came out the opposite of the way I voted. Call me Mr. Negative.

    A Bishop in Thr Vatican asked me if I was glad about the re-election of Baracka Hussein Obama, and I could not fake my sadness. He said, well, Obama’s election is good for Europe.

    • Is that bishop responding in any way to the Pope’s request for him to become holy?

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Gratias let me get this clear, a bishop from teh Vatican said that to you? Wow….that is very disturbing. All the poor innocent children, who will care for them…..

    • One more reason why the Pope has called bishops to become holy. They are supposed to be princes of the Church, but far too many of them are prancers of the Church.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Skai I agree….I like your description word ” prancers “. It seems to describe it well. May we offer up prayers for them and may our Lord remove that prancing issue….we are truly living wicked times. God have mercy on us all especially for our youth of today, they are being mislead by the elders who are suppose to be leading.

  31. BLESSED JOHN PAUL II ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT — During his 26 years as leader of the Roman Catholic Church, the late Pope John Paul II frequently called for an end to the death penalty. Among his statements on this issue were the following:

    “May the death penalty, an unworthy punishment still used in some countries, be abolished throughout the world.” (Prayer at the Papal Mass at Regina Coeli Prison in Rome, July 9, 2000).

    “A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform. I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary.” (Homily at the Papal Mass in the Trans World Dome, St. Louis, Missouri, January 27, 1999).

    • “increasing recognition”? As if Jesus before Pilate and on the Cross somehow could not recognize that He forgot to condemn the death penalty?!?!?!

      • Do you hear how ridiculous your statement is?

        It is better for you to meditate on the story of Jesus being confronted by the crowd who has just caught a woman in adultery.

        The crowd was pressing Jesus if they should execute her. And she was indeed guilty, deserving the death penalty.

        But what did Jesus do? What did Jesus say? Note that He did not tell the crowd to go ahead with the punishment of death.

        He forgave the woman, telling her to sin no more. It was Jesus who took the death penalty for her.

    • Max, many thanks for these quotations! They prove to doubting Catholics where the manifest mind and will of the Pontiffs are on this important issue.

      Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life!

  32. THE HOLY SEE AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY — from feb. 7, 2007

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The death penalty “is not only a refusal of the right to life, but it also is an affront to human dignity,” the Vatican said in a position paper.

    The paper was prepared for the Feb. 1-3 World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Paris and was released Feb. 7 by the Vatican press office.

    “The Holy See takes this occasion to welcome and affirm again its support for all initiatives aimed at defending the inherent and inviolable value of all human life from conception to natural death,” it said.

    Echoing the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the paper recognized the obligation of governments to protect their citizens, but it also said that “today it truly is difficult to justify” using the death penalty when other means of protection, including life imprisonment for murderers, are possible.

    • “Difficult to justify” does not mean the same as “impossible to justify.”

      • That which is difficult to justify especially when it comes to extinguishing another human life is in effect impossible to justify especially while there are other means to stop a convicted criminal.

        Thanks max for the quotations!

        • Well, that’s what you’re trying to ram down our throats, isn’t it, Jon? You want to bludgeon us into believing that “rare” is synonymous with “never”. When you get down to it, that’s the core of the dispute. You’re trying to assert that “rare” and “never” have exactly the same meaning. But the fact is they don’t–the rest of us know that they don’t–and this frustrates you to no end. No matter how much you scream and holler, you can’t get past that barrier. Which makes you scream and holler all the more–with the same lack of result. When all the dust has settled, you just can’t change the meaning of words.

          • Larry the fact remains that Popes John Paul and Benedict have not asked that the penalty be administered “rarely.” Rather, they’ve said that it should NEVER be done in our time when there are other means to render harmless a convicted criminal. The quotes from JP2 and Benedict saying this are plentiful.

            According to Lumen Gentium (25), papal judgments are to be adhered to by Catholics. This includes their judgment on the death penalty. So remove from your mind Larry that it is I who is “ramming something down your throats.” I am merely reminding Catholics here of the obligations placed on them by the Church in her documents.

            And frankly speaking Larry, I am not “frustrated” at all as you claim. Why? Because I am confident that, as indicated in Matthew 25, Christ will use what “we have done to the least of our brethren” as a measure to judge each one of us. He specifically included prisoners among the “least ones,” [although one can also name others that could be included].

            So Larry when your Savior asks you at the end of time, “what have you done to stand up for the dignity of one of the least of my brethren, those on death row,” ponder how you are going to respond.

          • We’ve been through this silly game before, Jon. The passage: “This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra…” does NOT mean “even when he says we do not have to obey him or agree with him on a particular point.” That same paragraph which you cite goes on to say that his judgments must be adhered to “according to his manifest mind and will,” which “may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.” On the particular topic of capital punishment, the “manifest mind and will” of both the current and former popes is that they are NOT issuing a binding declaration of faith and morals. Pope Benedict as Cardinal Ratzinger made it clear that Catholics are perfectly free to disagree with the opinion that society is absolutely safe without the death penalty. All of these things go to make up the “manifest mind and will” of the pontiff. I could admire your passionate commitment to the anti-death penalty cause Jon (although I do not agree with it)–were it not for the fact that you repeatedly lie about the “manifest mind and will” of papal speeches on the matter–and let’s not mince words–lying is what you are doing, and it is deeply offensive. For every passage you cite urging an end to the death penalty, the rest of us can cite other passages clearly saying this opinion does not have binding force upon Catholics, but is merely a suggestion. I censure you not for your passion–but for your dishonesty.

          • “Hats Off To Larry” for using the verbal finesse of the kindest special education instructor who is valiantly trying to reach and teach their challenged student. Once again, Larry brilliantly explains the perfect reason why you can’t fit that square peg into the round hole. How charitable of Larry to simplify facts.

          • Dan Catholic says:

            I don’t find Larry’s point convincing or brilliant at all. What did he say but put words in jon’s mouth which jon did not say at all? Is that brilliant? No.

            Instead, I find jon’s point more convincing.

          • Larry, I reject wholeheartedly your calling all this “a silly game.” The dignity of those in prison, indeed the dignity of all human beings, is not a matter of “silly gamesmanship.”

            Larry, the only folks who are lying are the dissenters who are lying to themselves. How? Well……

            1) There is NO official Church document where the Pope says that “we do not have to agree with him on this particular point.” THERE IS NO SUCH DOCUMENT. If you are going to use the CDF Letter as proof, then quote to me where it specifically says there that Catholics do “not have to agree or obey the Pope on this matter.” Instead the CDF Letter does NOT even say that there “is” a legitimate diversity of opinion. It uses the theoretical and hypothetical verb “may be.” Indeed there “may be” legitimate diversity of opinion if a society does not have the penal system found in most societies today in which there are other means to render a prisoner harmless short of the death penalty. The penal system is the one criterion used by JP2 in considering his judgment against the death penalty. But as it is, in most, if not all countries in the world, there are now other means to render a prisoner harmless short of the death penalty.

            2) NO WHERE will you find either Pope John Paul II or Benedict saying or writing that what they have judged with regards to the death penalty is “not binding” as you wrongly claim. NO WHERE will anyone find that. If you insist, then I challenge you to quote that document. Instead JP2 and Benedict have called for the end to the death penalty in their homilies, speeches, messages; they have expressed their teachings against it in an Encyclical and in Apostolic Exhortations. These are all valid instruments in disseminating BINDING Magisterial teachings.

            3) There is no statement anywhere from Pope Benedict saying that Catholics are “free to disagree with the opinion that society is absolutely safe without the death penalty.” NO WHERE is that found. Again, if you are going to cite the CDF Letter for this, that document nowhere says what you claim it says. If you’re going to insist on this, then you are also insisting that the verb “may be” really means “is.” For you to insist on that is ridiculous.

            4) Larry, all that the CDF Letter is saying is that supporting the death penalty is not the same transgression as supporting abortion which is an intrinsic evil. The fact alone that the CDF even had to write this document and compare death penalty with abortion indicates that supporting the death penalty is a deviation, a dissent from what the Magisterium is teaching. And NOWHERE in Canon Law is dissent allowed. NOWHERE.

            So Larry, the point of the Pope’s judgment on this lies in the Christian hope that we do not have to succumb to violence and vengeance, but that we can deal with crime with justice, compassion, and intelligence. We do not have to take life for life. We can break the cycle of violence. Therefore, the Pope’s position and judgment on this are laudatory and deserving the obedience of all the Catholic faithful.

          • “Larry, all that the CDF Letter is saying is that supporting the death penalty is not the same transgression as supporting abortion which is an intrinsic evil.” Well now, you’ve just contradicted your whole argument, Jon. You’ve just admitted that the death penalty is not an intrinsic evil. Something which is not intrinsically evil is something which can be justifiable–at least at times. As for the rest–you’ve got everything backwards. Strictly speaking, in order for a papal opinion to constitute binding teaching, the pope must not merely make the argument–he must also explicitly say that his proposition constitutes a teaching binding upon all Catholics under penalty of sin. The pope does not do that. It is YOU who cannot come up with a papal quote saying, ” I declare that no Catholic may ever support the death penalty.” The CDF document which you denigrate with your usual ridiculous quibbling says, “While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.” You’re trying to tell us that there CANNOT be a “legitimate diversity of opinions…about…applying the death penalty.” You’re telling us that we cannot take the opposite opinion of the popes on this issue–but the above quote says otherwise. That is what you are being dishonest about. That is where you are playing games. I for one am sick and tired of playing your game–and I don’t intend to join you at this ping-pong table anymore. We do indeed have a legitimate diversity of opinions on the death penalty right here on this thread. You’re opposed. We are in favor.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            There must be trolls that come on that we hardly see them on here before…wonder if it’s the same person with different names…well that doesn’t matter but I can’t stop my suspicions though

            ….Catherine I completely agree with you, Larry really knows the faith, I always admired his way of conveying, I think that he should of been or maybe he is an attorney because he sure knows how to respond well when defending the faith,. God bless him and you too! I also like Rick’s knowledge too, he is simple and down to the point as well, to give credit as well to JLS, Mr. Fisher, Skai and other faithful souls who do defend the faith, the wholeness of the faith, that includes you and other faithful ladies too! I have been blessed to have found this website and be connected with holy faithful folks…to me that is a blessing!

          • No, not an attorney, Abeca. I used to be in radio news before my health went south.

          • Larry and others: take my advice, you should all really read in full the CDF document “Donum Veritatis,” which explains the three levels of assent that Catholics are obligated to make to any Magisterial teaching.

            The lowest of assent is a “religious submission of mind and will” to any Magisterial and papal teaching, when the Magisterium “teaches a doctrine to aid a better understanding of Revelation and make explicit its contents, or to recall how some teaching is in conformity with the truths of faith, or finally to guard against ideas that are incompatible with these truths.” This is the assent to which Catholics are obligated to give with respect to JP2′s, Benedict’s, and the bishops’ teachings on the death penalty.

            The highest form of assent, that requiring theological faith, must be given “When the Magisterium of the Church makes an infallible pronouncement and solemnly declares that a teaching is found in Revelation.” THIS is what you are referring to Larry, and this is NOT where the teaching on the death penalty falls under.

            The level of assent called for with respect to the death penalty is the first one: a religious assent of mind and will, which is what Lumen Gentium (25) was referring to.

            The point is that there is no need for the Magisterium to claim a teaching as “binding” in order for the teaching to be adhered to.

          • And YOU, my friend, should read the 8th Commandment: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

          • Larry, with regards to your comment on the CDF Letter: again, nowhere does it permit dissent on this issue. You have just assumed that the verb “may be” used twice in the Letter has meant “is.” This is ridiculous, but a very common mistake as I will explain below.

            The Letter DOES NOT SAY that there “is” a legitimate diversity of opinion. The Letter DOES NOT SAY that it “is” permissible to have recourse to the death penalty.

            The problem with your reading of the CDF Letter is your refusal to admit that the Letter proposes a theoretical and hypothetical possibility. Your point is immediately demolished just by pointing out that you have misconstrued the meaning of the verb “may be.” This is usually how logical errors and misinterpretations of the law are committed: by the simple misreading and misinterpretation of “simple” words.

            If you are going to insist on your point, then you are saying that the Church and Pope Benedict have CONTRADICTED themselves. You are saying that the Church is confusing the matter; that the Church’s published documents say one thing and another set of documents say another. This is silly. The Magisterium speaks with one voice on this matter and that voice says that the death penalty must be abolished in our time.

            The right reading of the documents, which I have faithfully shown here, truly reveals the beauty, the harmony, the solidity, and the coherence in ALL Magisterial teachings on this matter.

            Plainly said: you are advocating confusion. Whereas I am saying that the Church is consistent.

            So, yes. At present, in societies with an adequate penal system that can render a convicted criminal harmless without recourse to the death penalty (JP2′s judgment), there is NO legitimate diversity of opinion.

            Otherwise, if you insist you’re right, you are negating Lumen Gentium 25, you are negating Donum Veritatis, you are disregarding JP2′s and Benedict’s homilies, Encyclicals, Apostolic Exhortations, messages, and speeches on this matter. If you insist you’re right, you are negating Catechism 2267.

          • Your alleged objection is absolute nonsense. In fact, the word “may” is permissive. Your mendacity is breathtaking.

          • By pursuing this matter, it is my wish that those who knowingly dissent from the Pontiff’s judgment on this issue would just plainly say so and be done with it.

            Be honest with yourselves for a change, instead of justifying your dissent on this issue by wrecking havoc to the coherence in Magisterial teachings.

            How are you wrecking havoc?

            1) By saying that the Pope’s judgments are not binding unless he explicitly declares so. This is simply not true, per Lumen Gentium and Donum Veritatis.

            2) By negating portions of Catechism 2267, namely the phrase “if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.”

            3) By saying that dissent is permitted. It is NOT permitted in Canon Law or in any document. And disguising dissent by calling it “prudential judgment” is disingenuous and wrong!

            4) By misconstruing the meaning of “prudential judgment.” Folks, if the Magisterium has expressed a teaching on an issue. such as on the death penalty, the prudential judgment that a faithful Catholic is obligated to take is PRECISELY the Magisterial teaching (thanks Rose for this point).

            5) By saying that the verb “may be” means “is.”

            Honestly and respectfully, there is no need to to rationalize your divergence and dissent from the Magisterium’s teaching on this by doing violence to Biblical hermeneutics, to the right interpretation of Church documents, and to the English language. Say you’re dissenting, and leave it at that.

            Be honest with yourselves. Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life!

        • Jesus, as you should recall, jon, tells us that anyone who harms a little child should be drowned in the sea with a millstone tied around his neck. I’d call that advocating the death sentence, jon. Why don’t you ask career criminals locked away for long periods, and who were abused as children, if they would recommend death for such abusers? Jesus speaks for the victims, jon, and says that they should be executed, such being better for them in the long run.

          • Well, you are free to hold that opinion as a citizen; you are admonished however as a Catholic to follow the teachings of the Pope and the rest of the Magisterium, per Lumen Gentium, Canon Law, and your baptismal calling.

          • No, Jesus did not say that anyone who harms a little child should be drowned in the sea with a millstone tied around his neck. See Matthew 18:6; Mark 9:42; Luke 17:2

    • “difficult to justify”: Maybe the Vatican can’t see it from there, but from here it looks like the elephant in the china shop. Thousands of murders each year in the USA, countless more violent and dehumanizing crimes … and there are other means available to the govt than the death sentence? Let the Church clean house starting with the Vatican … get rid of those who impose such dehumanizing and arrogant ideas on the rest of humanity. It is always the homosexuals who whine about the death penalty … why is this?

      • Dan Catholic says:

        Clean house starting with the Vatican? So you’re not satisfied with Pope Benedict XVI, just as you’re not satisfied with the majority of American bishops? This is not how an authentic Catholic approaches the leaders of the Church.

        • Keep up the good work Abeca! There certainly is a case of lopsided priorities taking place with this obsessive preoccupation with the death penalty over everything else that is going to hell in a handbasket. Something is very, very wrong or should I say something is very fishy (as in stinky stench) about the whole thing. I certainly don’t remember any of these same posters being this passionate about the Parental Consent Bill. Can anyone think of another thread where these same individuals or (individual) carried on like this on numerous occasions for the record amount of posts in one thread on the topic of ending abortion? The ACLU has used a baited hook and the bishops bought into this agenda, hook, line and sinker. And now, look what is *sinking* for all of their united busy work. *Religious freedom!* Now we’re all prisoners and an important key to help unlock this prison door is for the Bishops to stop uniting with bad groups such as the ACLU and listen to Pope Benedict XVI and UNITE WITH GOD and become holy. If the full truth cannot be taught, jon and the bishops need not worry about the death penalty for criminals. We might all be facing martyrdom one day for simply saying, “Im a Catholic.”

          Abeca, Look who is really putting words in the mouth of others. Dan Catholic is! Skai never used the words Pope Benedict in his post. Skai said, “”Let the Church clean house starting with the Vatican,” Pope Benedict’s butler wasn’t a spy for nothing or because “everything’s coming up roses in the Vatican.” Dan Catholic either ignores or must not be very familiar with early Church History or many of the Saints like St. Cyprian, St. Augustine, St. Thomas, or St. Gregory. These Saints all agreed that at different times in Church history that “Superiors may be admonished by their subordinates in humility and charity so that the truth may be defended.” Dan needs to read Galatians 2:11-21 Peter’s Capitulation to Paul’s Correction.

          Dan Catholic also wrote..”This is not how an authentic Catholic approaches the leaders of the Church?”… Tell that to St. Catherine of Sienna! She told the Pope she could smell the “stench of sin” all of the way to the papal court. Dan may have even become unintentionally accustomed to the stinky smell of rotten three day old fish wrapped in a newspaper but the faithful will never be accustom to the stench because they know that this same ol’ stinky fish has been wrapped up in the same ol’ newspaper for well over forty years and now Dan it “STINKS NOT ONLY ALL THE WAY TO THE PAPAL COURT”, it also stinks to high heaven…

          “We’ve had enough of exhortations to be silent. Cry out with a hundred thousand tongues. I see the world is rotten because of SILENCE.”…St. Catherine of Sienna

          • Obsessive preoccupation with the death penalty? The concern for the dignity of any human being should indeed be a matter of preoccupation. One should ask you however why are you being so preoccupied with hanging onto something which John Paul II has judged “cruel and unnecessary”?

          • Abeca Christian says:

            That’s right Catherine…You are correct on everything you commented, that is why I am passionate now more than ever to speak up (of course there are moment of feeling discouraged too)…..even in my personal life, I have already told a few Catholics that they were the enemies of the faith because of their vote for Obama, I told them that they were warned and now I no longer associate with them. It time for backbone and time to act…we have a lot to lose right now…souls. God have mercy on us all.

      • Dan Catholic says:

        Just because you are going against the authentic teachings of the Church does not mean that the bishops, the Pope, and the Church is wrong. Consider instead that YOU are in the wrong.

        • Thank you Dan Catholic! Way to Go! Indeed, it is pride and hubris that’s keeping many folks from admitting that their views on this matters are contradictory to what the Holy Father teaches.

          Listen to the living Magisterium! Respect life!

      • Deterrence is NOT a justification to continue using the death penalty. The bishops have said so, the Church has said so.

      • Mark from PA says:

        Well, since some people in the world think that homosexuals should be put to death just for being homosexual it is only logical that most of them are against the death penalty.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          PA that was a stupid remark! We are discussing in the USA. Geeze. Your false argument is irrelevant and unrealistic here in the USA!

  33. The Priests for Life website has a page on which it says that it wishes to strongly echo the Holy Father’s call for the abolition of the death penalty. They have links to many resources. “The New Evangelization calls for followers of Christ who are unconditionally pro-life; who will proclaim, celebrate and serve the Gospel of Life in every situation.” (Blessed Pope John Paul II) The teaching that the state has the right to execute is infallible: the Church now teaches that the state would better serve humankind by not executing. While many people are afraid of violent criminals, the Pope is asking us to rise above that to show God’s love and mercy and to proclaim with our full selves that human life is sacred.

    • On ‘PRIESTS for LIFE’ web site see:
      ” WORTHINESS to RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION, General Principles ” – paragraph #3.
      by Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict), Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 2004.

  34. Abeca Christian says:

    ……..we must be smarter than the enemy….

  35. It is always wrong when anyone twists the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” or the earlier “Catechism of the Council of Trent” (1566 AD) for their own personal beliefs.
    Neither complete ban the death penalty to protect the innocent from unjust aggessors.

    QUOTE: – ” 3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia.
    For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion.
    While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment.
    There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia. ” UNQUOTE Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict), Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 2004. – “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion, General Principles”.

    • CCC: ” 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 .”

      It is strange that some folks can not read the word “RARE” in the quote from the CCC.
      I used the caps in the above quotes for those who wish to change Church teaching on their own.

      • No where in the Catechism or in the CDF Letter which Anne has just quoted does it contradict Popes John Paul’s and Benedict’s teaching which calls for an end to the death penalty in our time. No contradiction at all.

        • Jon, I wish you were as passionate about preventing the deaths of innocent babies as you were about the deaths of hardened criminals. I would ask why it is so important to you, when there are so many greater and more urgent concerns. If this is such a burden to you, you perhaps are being called to a prison ministry and should be working with these men in spreading the gospel to them and awakening in them them the hope of salvation? Don’t just argue with us. Do something about it if it’s that important to you! God bless you Jon, and I will put you on my prayer list, as well.

          • Before Jon is permitted to engage in any official ministry, much less ministry to prisoners, I would want him to be required to demonstrate that he can tell the difference between the truth and lies. So far, he’s been demonstrating the opposite.

          • Dana, I have been reflecting on one of the real reasons why our bishops and people like Jon, are more passionate about the death penalty more than abortion.

            Today, men are more fearful of the loss of human respect than they are of fearing the Lord.

            Speaking out passionately against abortion is not avant-garde. “The notion of the existence of the avant-garde is considered by some to be the hallmark of modernism.”

            When shepherds passionately teach about the evils of artificial contraception and abortion, they will not be popular. They avoid passionately teaching about these issues. So what DO they do? They appease their own conscience. They become more involved with talking about the death penalty and other social issues instead of making sure that the true faith is being taught. I do believe that they have convinced themselves that if they passionately scream loud enough about the death penalty it will somehow take the spotlight off of their own conscience. That undistracted conscience will remind them that they have not done their jobs in making sure that each individual Diocese that they are responsible for, is allowing or teaching the fulness of the truth to everyone and especially to the children.

            This terrible spiritual neglect is tantamount to the passionate activist mother who goes on national TV, radio and newspaper to condemn child endangerment and child abuse. Meanwhile this same mother’s own children are being left alone at home unattended for days, starving for food, left very vulnerable for others to harm them while mom has convinced herself that she must be doing good because she looks wonderful, caring and benevolent to the outside world. Soon her children start to pick up illness after illness, due to physical and spiritual neglect. This mother has horrifically neglected her primary vocation while she fools herself into believing that she is being a good mother. Dana you wrote earlier about sin permeating our reasoning and then it affects our actions and you could not have been more correct.

            A *faithful* Immaculate Heart sister once said, “When they show great signs of spiritual neglect it is from being being passionate social butterfly activists and when they are off doing everything else but their primary vocation and duty, then something is rotten at home.”

          • Dana you are wrong: what can be of greater and more urgent concern than the dignity of every human being, whether a fetus or a convicted criminal. FYI many people are involved in prison ministry. However, the posters here need folks like me to minister the Magisterium’s teaching on the death penalty.

          • Very true Larry, and Catherine, your reasoning as always is spot on (though the Brits hate our absconding with their pop expressions . haha) It’s good that Jon is so concerned with prisoner’s dignity, but how remiss of him to completely ignore the victims. It’s SO undignified to be murdered, and decidedly inconvenient to the victim’s family, especially if they are young children, wouldn’t you say Jon? It was most perceptive of Catherine to liken the neglect of bishops for their lambs to child abuse. I’m thoroughly disgusted with all this social justice nonsense and it’s a phrase Jesus would have despised. Social justice is a political term. We are called to charity and good works. oops. I digress. Anyway, thankyou Catherine for your good sense. If only a few bishops had the time to read what you wrote.

          • The Catholic bishops are the only group who speaks strongly and loudly against abortion, euthanasia, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, IVF and contraception in the US. They pay a price for it. Those who follow the Church pay a price too. Beware of those who commit the sin of calumny especially against a shepherd of Christ.

          • Catherine, did you participate in your bishop’s initiative several years ago to “learn, love and live the faith”? If you didn’t, they seem to be renewing it this year in the Year of Faith.

          • Do you hear how ridiculous you sound Dana? “It’s SO undignified to be murdered, and decidedly inconvenient to the victim’s family.”

            It’s a crime to be murdered and an injustice to those left behind.

            And excuse me, but this is about the dignity of human beings, not about politicizing “social justice,” which is indeed a legitimate and integral part of the Church’s social teachings. Just read Rerum Novarum.

          • Anybody who reads Rerum Novarum, Jon, can see that what the Church considers to be “social justice” is not what modern-day Democrats and leftists consider social justice to be.

          • Larry, as a Catholic pursuing what is good and what Our Lord commands, we shouldn’t really care how the “left” or even the “right” is using the term. We know what’s right, and we do it, regardless of what other people may be calling it.

        • “Larry, as a Catholic pursuing what is good and what Our Lord commands, we shouldn’t really care how the ‘left’ or even the ‘right’ is using the term.” I didn’t say anything about “left” and “right”, Jon. I contrasted the left’s view of “social justice” with that of the Catholic Church, as articulated by Pope Leo and subsequent popes. It does NOT include envy and class warfare. It rejects Socialism, Marxism and all forms of redistributionism. It rejects assaults on private property as well as big-government encroachment upon smaller, more localized organizations. We’re forgetting that Pope Leo wrote his encyclical as an answer to the revolutionaries of his day who were demanding the violent overthrow of the system as the remedy to the oppression of the working classes, which in the 19th Century was bitter and brutal. Perhaps you didn’t know that the title “Rerum Novarum,” literally “Of New Things,” is a declension of “Res Novae,” (“New Things”) which was an ancient Roman expression meaning “political revolution.” In Cicero’s day, if you said someone was “rerum novarum studiosus,” (literally “a fan of new things,”) you were calling him a seditionist–a traitor to the state–a criminal. Apparently this was the sense which Pope Leo intended, as is evidenced by his first paragraph. Basically, he was releasing a pronouncement on the idea of violent revolution on behalf of the working man. He wanted to denounce the errors of such rabble-rousing while at the same time declaring the legitimate rights of the workers, the duties of management towards the workers, and the rights of management as well.

          • Larry, you did mention the “left.” Did you forget you said that or are you lying? For someone who has accused me of lying, your blatant lying here is breathtaking.

          • But I did not mention the “right,” Jon. I contrasted the left with the actual Church teaching. I didn’t argue on behalf of the right wing.

  36. Rick DeLano says:

    “Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”—– Cardinal Ratzinger, 2004 Letter to US Bishops

    • There is absolutely no contradiction between the CDF Letter above and the binding teaching of Pope Benedict on the death penalty. The Letter above advances a theoretical possibility of a legitimate diversity of opinion, whereas the quote below shows the Pontiff’s binding judgment on the death penalty:

      “I rejoice that on 18 December last, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution calling upon States to institute a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, and I earnestly hope that this initiative will lead to public debate on the sacred character of human life.” Pope Benedict XVI to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, January 7, 2008.

      • The Pope is calling for conversation on the issue of human individual dignity, jon. He is not proclaiming the death sentence a sin. The Church has always moved to clarify the unique individual person intended by God; this issue has been highlighted in history now by Blessed John Paul II, and is being moved forward by Pope Benedict XVI. Neither has declared captial punishment to be a sin. What they have declared is the need for an open forum on discussion of personhood. As we find in Gospel, God calls each human being by name … yet God also condemns individuals by name, has prescribed death sentences to individuals by name, and even has subjected individuals by name to torture such as Herod for his abominable sin of infanticide (architect of The Slaughter of the Innocents).

        • Incorrect for the reason that your assertion is incomplete. JP2 and Benedict have declared the need to abolish the death penalty in our time, in addition to “an open forum on discussion on the dignity of human beings.”

  37. The defeat of the repeal of the death penalty in California goes hand-in-hand with the victory of gay marriage and the defeat of a pro-life presidential candidate. The trend of these election results points to hedonism, a rejection of the truth about marriage, a disregard for the dignity of human life in ALL its stages, a disregard for the Magisterium.

    This is indeed cause for concern for any person of faith. Catholics in California who voted against the repeal of the death penalty can be well-assured that they are merely “going with the grain,” that they are merely thinking alike with the crowd, that they are allowing themselves to be tossed to and fro by their own prejudices, whims, political ideology, and by whatever the “conventional wisdom” or “doctrine” may be out there.

    Voting along the lines of the Magisterium is indeed becoming more and more a counter-cultural vote, and this includes voting against the death penalty.

    • jon, The CCC and Cardinal Ratzinger’s statement is very clear.
      There is a difference between “rare” and “never” regarding the death penalty. You are not being honest.
      The Magisterium published the CCC.
      Abortion and homosexual marriage are ALWAYS wrong. The death penalty is NOT ALWAYS wrong.

      • Oscar, you like many here, are misreading the Catechism 2267.

        This part of the Catechism comes directly from Pope John Paul II’s Encyclical Evangelium Vitae (56). The Pope teaches that the punishment should NOT go to the extreme of executing the criminal, except when it is “absolutely necessary.” But because of the steady improvements in the penal system, the cases in which the death penalty is absolutely necessary “are VERY rare, if not practically non-existent.” He is not saying that executions should be rare, but that the cases in which it is absolutely necessary is very rare, if not non-existent.

        And then the Pope reiterates the PRINCIPLE that should govern WHEN the death penalty should be administered: “If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.”

        The Pope has identified the steady improvements in the penal system as the factor for his call to END the death penalty, which he expressed in 1999 in St. Louis: “The new evangelization calls for followers of Christ who are unconditionally pro-life: who will proclaim, celebrate and serve the Gospel of life in every situation. A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform. I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary.”

        Oscar, you have to take THE WHOLE of what John Paul has taught, for when you do so you will know that His Holiness had ONE CLEAR MESSAGE throughout his pontificate about the death penalty: that is should NEVER be used again in our time.

      • Oscar, you like many here, are misreading the Catechism 2267.

        This part of the Catechism comes directly from Pope John Paul II’s Encyclical Evangelium Vitae (56). The Pope teaches that the punishment should NOT go to the extreme of executing the criminal, except when it is “absolutely necessary.” But because of the steady improvements in the penal system, the cases in which the death penalty is absolutely necessary “are VERY rare, if not practically non-existent.” He is not saying that executions should be rare, but that the cases in which it is absolutely necessary is very rare, if not non-existent.

        And then the Pope reiterates the PRINCIPLE that should govern WHEN the death penalty should be administered: “If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.”

        The Pope has identified the steady improvements in the penal system as the factor for his call to END the death penalty, which he expressed in 1999 in St. Louis: “The new evangelization calls for followers of Christ who are unconditionally pro-life: who will proclaim, celebrate and serve the Gospel of life in every situation. A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform. I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary.”

        Oscar, you have to take THE WHOLE of what John Paul has taught, for when you do so you will know that His Holiness had ONE CLEAR MESSAGE throughout his pontificate about the death penalty: that is should NEVER be used again in our time.

  38. Only yesterday, Friday, the Holy Father Pope Benedict spoke at the Conference of Prison Directors for the Council of Europe. No where does he mention the need to maintain the death penalty as a way of addressing justice. Rather, the Holy Father spoke of reforming the prisoner from within, from within himself, as an integral part of practicing justice.

    “In order to “practice justice”, it is not enough that those found guilty of crimes be simply punished: it is necessary that in punishing them, everything possible be done to correct and improve them. When this does not happen, justice is not done in an integral sense.”

    The Holy Father has already moved beyond the need to inflict the death penalty and is now stressing the need to really address the need of prisoners by addressing their need to be reformed. You can’t do that if a society is still clinging to a vestige of the culture of death, namely the death penalty. NO MENTION WHATSOEVER from the Holy Father about the death penalty. NONE!

    Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.

  39. It seems to me that the Bishops should be more disappointed that:
    Obama and his (Party of Death per the own platform) got re-elected;
    That approx 1 million innocent babies are still murdered in the US each year, and that tax dollars are used;
    That if Court cases are lost, they will have to pay for aborafacient drugs, contraceptives and voluntary sterilization or pay a fine of $100 per day per employee or stop many charitable activities;
    That the OBAMA Administration actively supports homo-sexual marriage.

    Where is the CA BISHOPS’ statement of disappointment? What are their priorities?
    (This article speaks loud and clear.)

    • According to CDC, the number of abortions annually in USA is 3/4 million.

      • Skai – - All abortions are not reported.
        Abortions are not required to be reported via a registry as is all cancers, AIDS, etc.
        The CDC (government agency) would only have records of those that are paid at taxpayer expense or reported by an insurance company.

    • Hear, hear, max! One of your best posts and one that I can concur with on every point!

  40. Always follow the exact wording in the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” from the Magisterium to avoid confusion.

    Interestingly Catholics like jon, if called to jury duty on a death penalty case when asked under oath – could he vote to sentence someone to death – due to his answer, he would be immediately dismissed.
    While Catholics who follow the teaching in the CCC would have to give a qualified answer – not for revenge but only to protect others from an unjust aggressor – may or may not be dismissed.

    • Vengeance is part of the “penalty”. Vengeance is a good thing when it is the Lord’s vengeance. Which Catholic believes that the Lord is totally separate from all men? But Catholicism teaches Jesus, who unites men to the Lord; hence, man in union with the Lord owns part of the vengeance aspect. Thus, vengeance is a valid and good part of what we do.

      • Skai, – vengence is not part of the teaching of the Church on the death penalty. Please do not equate the Lord’s vengence to that of human vengence. Human vengence is not part of Church teaching.

        Please read: your CCC on the death penalty – only to protect from the unjust aggressor; and CCC 2302 – 2306.

        CCC: ” 2306 Those who renounce violence and bloodshed and, in order to safeguard human rights, make use of those means of defense available to the weakest, bear witness to evangelical charity, PROVIDED they do so WITHOUT HARMING the RIGHTS and OBLIGATIONS of other men and societies. They bear legitimate witness to the gravity of the physical and moral risks of recourse to violence, with all its destruction and death. ”
        (caps are mine so those who do not read carefully will not miss it)

  41. Watching the World War II series “Band of Brothers,” there was an episode where American soldiers shot some German prisoners because they had to keep moving forward in battle and couldn’t take care of prisoners, nor risk them taking up arms again if they let them live – such was the reality of that battlefield.

    I believe the Catechism sees the same kind of predicament when it does not declare that the death penalty is always forbidden – if you live in a primitive society where secure prisons don’t exist, you may indeed have to kill killers because there is no way to keep them locked up forever.

    The question for us becomes: do WE live in such primitive circumstances?

    Just recently family members of a murder victim declared they wanted the murderer to spend the rest of his life paying for his horrible crime, rather than getting the “easy way” out (execution) which he said he preferred.

    • I hope that it is not lost that what the fictionalization showed was a straight-forward, if relatively common, war-crime. In no way can killing surrendered soldiers be justified. And of course, the captured soldiers were not criminals.

    • Anon, – the Church does not qualify EXACTLY the situation for the death penalty. So we must take Church teaching exactly at its word without embelishment one way or the other.
      The CCC is from the Magisterium.

      CCC: ” 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. ”

      Murders are committed in Prison. Prison employees and other prisoners have the right to life also.

      • The State in the USA has a miserable record of ” rendering one who has committed an offense INCAPABLE of doing harm “.

        Murders, drugs, rapes, gang rule based upon race, etc all take place in Prisons across the County in the USA.
        (I don’t mean to imply these are ALL capital offenses.)

        Also in the USA, since there are many years from the time the death penalty is imposed until it actually takes place – the aggressor has plenty of time to repent if he so chooses.

      • Mark from PA says:

        Actually, Max, I can agree that murderers who murder other prisoners or prison employees should be subject to the death penalty. In such a case, lives may be saved by executing such a dangerous murderer. However, in cases where a prisoner is not a danger to others, I am not in favor of the death penalty. I do think that we should listen to what Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have said about this, as Jon has pointed out.

  42. Catechism of the Catholic Church
    2302 By recalling the commandment, “You shall not kill,” our Lord asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and hatred as immoral.

    Anger is a desire for revenge. “To desire vengeance in order to do evil to someone who should be punished is illicit,” but it is praiseworthy to impose restitution “to correct vices and maintain justice.” If anger reaches the point of a deliberate desire to kill or seriously wound a neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal sin. The Lord says, “Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.”

    • Mortal sin.

      Please note: not “bad idea” but mortal sin.

      The Magisterium has spoken clearly about our anger against criminals, an anger which leads us to keep the death penalty.

      Mortal sin.

      • You are not being accurate, Anon. You are being selective in Church teaching which is wrong.

        “This catechism is conceived as an organic presentation of the Catholic faith in its entirety.
        It should be seen therefore as a unified whole.” (CCC pg 11)

        The death penalty for vengeance is wrong (mortal sin).
        The death penalty to protect oneself or protect others from an unjust aggressor is NOT wrong.

        If the only reason you personally would vote for the death penalty is vengence then you personally would be wrong.

        • Max you are neglecting that the Magisterium has judged that for our time when there are other means to stop a convicted criminal, the death penalty is not morally permissible.

          • jon, this is the first time you admitted that the death penalty is NOT absolute; that it is not ALWAYS wrong.

            Unless you have first hand info about the CA prison system in entirety, or about any individual case (as seated on a jury, not merely reported in the press which can be innacurate or biased), you will also have to acknowledge that the answer of other means is not known to all the Bishops or to each of us.
            The Bishops made no recommendations nor did they address how to improve the prison system for safety of the other prisoners and employees.

            And certainly you must admit that you do not know the prison situtation in all the other 49 States.

          • What I know Mike is that the Magisterium is concerned for the dignity of all human beings, including the incarcerated. For our time, when there are other methods to stop a convicted criminal, the use of the death penalty is not morally permissible. For our time, it is WRONG! And this is the teaching of the Blessed John Paul, of Pope Benedict, and all the bishops of the Universal Church.

          • Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

            Jon, that is not true.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            What the church is concerned with is the salvation of mankind not an agenda that jon is trying to carry out. Lets pray for Jaycee Dugard and remember what the church has always taught about protecting the innocent and any future innocent victims, that is why the death penalty is allowed and I pray it continues to be there to protect the innocent and be used in accordance with church teachings! Justice be done for the innocent victims and their families!

  43. Abeca Christian says:

    I would like everyone to watch the TV special that they had on Jaycee Dugard. Her story tells us how this system went wrong and will continue due to man’s imperfections to protect innocent people. Diane Sawyer on ABC did a special interview with her, you can watch it on the Web. Dugard was kidnapped by Phillip and Nancy Garrido when she was just 11 years old in 1991 and held captive in a backyard compound.

    She was subjected to rape, manipulation and verbal abuse. She gave birth to two daughters fathered by her abductor in that backyard prison. Philip Garrido had already raped a woman and another child in the past, due to a faulty system he was set free to again rape and kidnap and this time it was Jaycee who was 11 at the time. This poor girl was subjected to a lot abuse. I think that anyone who protects these types of dangerous criminals are heartless and cruel to the poor victims or potential new victims. What is tragic to this whole thing is that several psychiatrist had named him harmless and changed right before he kidnapped Jaycee. It’s truly a tragic….

  44. jon, and others – are you using the correct version of the CCC ?
    The word “rare” is clearly in the CCC.

    On the cover it must state: “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” – “revised in accordance with the official Latin text promulgated by Pope John Paul II”.
    On the copyright page you will find the first printing in the USA was March 2000. (It has a dark green cover in the USA.)
    **** You will also find this correct version of the CCC on the Vatican web site.****
    The old ENGLISH version was not correctly translated, but now everything is the same throughout the world in the CCC.

    • Also jon and others when you quote Pope John Paul II what document are you using?
      What version of the CCC are you using?
      Pope John Paul II’s official document “Evangelium Vitae” contradicts your statements for absolute abolishment of the death penalty.
      Using the Vatican web site, please provide the documentation for your statements.
      Quotes without VERIFIABLE DOCUMENTATION are merely words in the wind.

  45. Scoll up and see that when I deliberately quote any source word for word, I include the source as I do here:

    “Nowadays, in America as elsewhere in the world, a model of society appears to be emerging in which the powerful predominate, setting aside and even eliminating the powerless: I am thinking here of unborn children, helpless victims of abortion; the elderly and incurably ill, subjected at times to euthanasia; and the many other people relegated to the margins of society by consumerism and materialism. Nor can I fail to mention the unnecessary recourse to the death penalty when other “bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons. Today, given the means at the State’s disposal to deal with crime and control those who commit it, without abandoning all hope of their redemption, the cases where it is absolutely necessary to do away with an offender ‘are now very rare, even non-existent practically’”. This model of society bears the stamp of the culture of death, and is therefore in opposition to the Gospel message. Faced with this distressing reality, the Church community intends to commit itself all the more to the defense of the culture of life.” Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, Ecclesia in America. January 1999.

    Listen to the living Magisterium! Respect life!

    • ” Nor can I fail to mention the UNNECESSRY recourse to the death penalty WHEN OTHER “bloodless means are SUFFICIENT to DEFEND human lives AGAINST an aggressor and to PROTECT public order and the SAFETY of persons.
      Today, given the means at the State’s disposal to deal with crime and control those who commit it, without abandoning all hope of their redemption, the cases where it is absolutely necessary to do away with an offender ‘are now very RARE, even non-existent PRACTICALLY”.
      (Jon, the quote you provided, caps are mine.)

      The quote you provided is in line with the CCC, and most of the posters on this site. Most agree that the death penalty should be rare, and in the USA, it is rare.

      The Church never has stated that the death penalty is ALWAYS and ABSOLUTELY wrong as they do with Abortion and Euthanasia.
      Therefor a complete BAN is not in line with Church teaching.

      The CA Bishops and even the Pope do not know the prison dangers in CA or the USA first hand. The Pope only knows what others have told him. And assuming that no prisoner is dangerous to employees or other prisoners, I would agree with him.
      Nor have Bishops made recommendations on how to make prisons safer, and using commutative justice which includes CA paying its debts – how to fix things from their point of view.

      Since everyone, including the Bishops need to make decisions on how to spend very scace funds in line with commutative justice (paying debts CCC 2411),
      they also have the option to donate CRS and CCHD funds to the prisons for the safety of everyone, rather than giving to the poor.
      CA is seriously in debt, the USA is seriously in debt – where do they want limited funds spent, and how ?

      • Also, as stated by JLS, the Bishops (and their Diocese Priests) need to get to the core of serious crime – the potential criminal.
        It is RARE indeed when we hear homilies about Mortal Sin, or on God’s 10 Commandments, or Hell.
        We RARELY hear anything about PERSONAL RESPONSIBLITY for our own sins and the consequenses thereof.

        It is also RARE for each Diocese Priest to encourage all his literate parishoneers to read the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition”, so that people can learn at home.

        This is from the same document that jon has left out of his quotes for whatever reason and can be viewed on the Vatican web site.
        This is why one must always ask for documentation (what is left out of a poster’s information can be misconstrued) –

        ” EVANGELIUM VITAE” to the Bishops, Priests and Deacons, Men and Women religious, lay Faithful, and all the People of Good Will on the Value and Inviolability of Human Life.

        ” 55 …….Moreover, legitimate defence can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life, the common good of the family or of the State.
        Unfortunately it happens that the need to render the aggressor incapable of causing harm sometimes involves taking his life.
        In this case, the fatal outcome is attributable to the aggressor whose action brought it about, even though he may not be morally responsible because of a lack of the use of reason.”

        ” 56 …….In any event, the principle set forth in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church remains valid:
        “If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person. ” – Pope John Paul II.
        (Note: the word -”IF” – which does not mean abolish at all times.)

    • If I may correct you Mike. JP2 has not called for the death penalty to be rare. He has called for the ending, the abolition, of the death penalty. Check the quote below.

      To second guess the Pope on this important moral teaching smacks of dissent. One can confidently lean on the teachings of the Holy Father as suitable and prudent for our time.

      “A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform. I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary.” (Homily at the Papal Mass in the Trans World Dome, St. Louis, Missouri, January 27, 1999).

  46. Dan Catholic says:

    I congratulate you jon for presenting the teaching of the Magisterium on this important issue. You have answered all of the important questions here adequately and faithfully.

    • jon left out much of “EVANGELIUM VITAE” from Pope John Paul II which contradicts that the death penalty must be banned becuase it is ALWAYS wrong.
      It is not honest to leave out important parts of the Pope
      s quote that states it is not ALWAYS wrong. (Not only a right but a duty…)

      ” EVANGELIUM VITAE” to the Bishops, Priests and Deacons, Men and Women religious, lay Faithful, and all the People of Good Will on the Value and Inviolability of Human Life. – - – -

      ” 55 …….Moreover, legitimate defence can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life, the common good of the family or of the State.
      Unfortunately it happens that the need to render the aggressor incapable of causing harm sometimes involves taking his life.
      In this case, the fatal outcome is attributable to the aggressor whose action brought it about, even though he may not be morally responsible because of a lack of the use of reason.”

      ” 56 …….In any event, the principle set forth in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church remains valid:
      “If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person. ” – Pope John Paul II.
      (Note: the word -”IF” – which does not mean abolish at all times.)

      • Mike, your comment is disturbing. Disturbing because you haven’t obviously read any of my comments, yet you presume to comment on my words. It’s also disturbing because your argument is a “straw man.” I’ll explain that below.

        Look, the death penalty IS WRONG IN OUR TIME, for the reason that John Paul II gave: that there are now other means to stop a criminal, short of imposing the death penalty. This is why the Pontiffs, JP2 and Benedict, have called for the abolition of the death penalty IN OUR TIME.

        Therefore for you to say that I or any of the Popes have been saying that the death penalty is “always” wrong is an invalid and fallacious argument called “straw man.”

        Additionally, nothing has been left out by me. I have already commented on Evangelium Vitae above. Scroll up.

        There is NO CONTRADICTION between what JP2 wrote in Evangelium Vitae and in his speeches, messages, and Exhortations calling for AN END to the death penalty. NONE!

        • Point of clarification, Jon–if the death penalty is wrong “in our time,” then how do you precisely define “our time?” When did this time begin–and more importantly, what circumstances could occur that might terminate the “our time” in which the death penalty is immoral, and usher in a new time in which it is NOT immoral? For example–I understand the CCC section on the death penalty was written in or about 1994. Might the subsequent 9/11 attacks and the War on Terror have altered “our time” to such a degree that the death penalty would no longer be wrong? Apparently you don’t believe so, because you continue to say it is wrong in “our time”–but this then demands the logical question: is “our time,” in which the death penalty is unneeded and therefore wrong, endless and forever–or could certain circumstances end it and, in a subsequent “time,” restore the rightness and need for the death penalty? Please explain and be specific.

          • Larry, you are asking the wrong question. Be guided by the words of the Holy Fathers, Pope John Paul II and Benedict. They have called for the END of the death penalty. NOW! Why? Because of the condition and the reality recognized by John Paul of the existence of other means of stopping a criminal without recourse to the death penalty.

            So, it is not about the time frame (“our time”). This is about the REALITY and the CONDITION of the existence of other means to render a capital criminal harmless, short of the death penalty. This condition is present NOW, in our time. And this is the basis of the judgment of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict to call for an end to the death penalty NOW in OUR TIME.

          • You are avoiding the question, Jon–so I will ask it one more time. If the death penalty must be abolished completely “in our time,” then delineate for me the circumstances which brought about this “time,” and explain for me the circumstances which might bring about an end to this “time” and a need to restore the death penalty in some future “time”. That question is simple and fundamental. You can’t wash your hands of it by sending me to the popes–because all they have said is that in our time, the death penalty should be seldom used–not that it should be banned completely. You are the one who says that the death penalty is immoral NOW. Well, then–define “now” for me, and how long “now” might last. Whenever you say that something is immoral under certain circumstances, you must specify what those circumstances are.

          • Dan Catholic says:

            Larry says—If the death penalty must be abolished completely “in our time,” then delineate for me the circumstances which brought about this “time,” and explain for me the circumstances which might bring about an end to this “time” and a need to restore the death penalty in some future “time”.

            Larry, jon has already answered that question.

            Good job, jon.

          • Jon hasn’t even tried to answer that question.

        • Jon seems to be unable to deal with the important question: “if the death penalty is immoral ‘in our time,’ then what is it about ‘our time’ which has brought about this change in thinking–when specifically did it occur and what might happen in the future which could bring about a change back to the earlier thinking?” This question is vital to understanding the concept of the death penalty being immoral right now, as opposed to some other time in the past or future. On September 13, 1952 Pope Pius XII, speaking to a medical convention, had this to say: “28. Aun en el caso de que se trate de la ejecución de un condenado a muerte, el Estado no dispone del derecho del individuo a la vida. Entonces está reservado al poder público privar al condenado del «bien» de la vida, en expiación de su falta, después de que, por su crimen, él se ha desposeído de su «derecho» a la vida.” The document is only available in Spanish on the Vatican website, so I assume that’s the language he used. I would translate it as follows: “Even in the case of the execution of one condemned to death, the State does not dispose of an individual’s right to life. Then it is reserved to public authority to deprive the condemned person of the benefit of life, in expiation of his fault, when he has, through his crime, forfeited his own right to life.” Here Pius offers no disapproval or limiting criteria regarding capital punishment. He’s simply okay with it. So in view of the opinion of Jon and others regarding the sanctity of every word of every pope, we can now know with certainty that God had no problem with the death penalty as recently as September 1952. So whatever happened to change that Divine approval, had to have happened SINCE 1952. If Jon can explain to us what events, since 1952, have changed the morality of capital punishment–then we can better know what events might happen in the future to change things back. How about it, Jon?

          • The events that caused the Pope to advance the understanding on the death penalty are abortion, IVF, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning. The death penalty is not immoral. States have the right to execute criminals. They are to limit themselves to bloodless means if possible. Anytime one uses more force than necessary in self-defense it is unlawful. John Paul II framed society as a Culture of Life or a Culture of Death and he desired to promote the former and move away from the latter. The death penalty is part of the Culture of Death. Therefore, as the Roman Pontiff and the Vicar of Christ he tried to teach that human beings are made in the image and likeness of God and need to be treated with respect and dignity at whatever stage of development they are. When you stand up for life, even thge lives of those who have done heinous things, because they are made in the image and likeness of God, you stand up for the right to life of every human being. In order for the Church to be taken seriously in its stance on the protection of the unborn and the ill and elderly, the Pope understood that there should be no conditions under which the Church approves of the taking of human life. Self-defense and defense of country are duties but,again, bloodless means should be used. If aggression is necessary, it should be no more than what is needed to secure the safety of the nation or the individuals involved. The issue is not the morality of the death penalty. It is the sanctity of human life.

          • “The events that caused the Pope to advance the understanding on the death penalty are abortion, IVF, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, human cloning…. In order for the Church to be taken seriously in its stance on the protection of the unborn and the ill and elderly, the Pope understood that there should be no conditions under which the Church approves of the taking of human life.” OH!!! I FINALLY GET IT! The pope made a PURELY POLITICAL decision to appease liberals worldwide. His pleadings are an attempt to make a deal with liberals: “you give us a ban on abortion, stem cell research, etc–we’ll give you a ban on the death penalty. You scratch our back. We’ll scratch yours.” Now, light begins to dawn–now Larry realizes how stupid and blind he has been. IT’S A POLITICAL MANEUVER! All praise to k for finally pulling the veil back and showing us the real motivation! Let me ask you k, Jon, etc: HAS IT WORKED? Let me answer you. NO, IT HASN’T! We’ve been bending over backwards to give the liberals their death penalty ban. They’ve told us to go take a hike on abortion, stem cell research, etc. Our “credibility” has not been enhanced ONE IOTA by this cave-in! The liberals will never cave on their principles. The deal has been rejected. I say we trash the deal and stick to the truth! And let me tell you guys: I am not about to blindly kneel down in veneration to any political strategy designed to appease liberals just because it’s advanced by a pope. He is not supposed to be teaching political strategy. He is supposed to be upholding Catholic doctrine.

          • Indeed this question of has been answered many times. But again, what is unique about our times is the reality and the condition that there are now other means to render harmless a capital criminal without having recourse to the death penalty. THIS is the judgment of Pope John Paul II as he articulated in Evangelium Vitae.

            John Paul II repeated this judgment at a homily in 1999 in St. Louis where he specifically stated that in our time “Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform. I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary.”

          • I think we can drop the saccharine pretense that this is anything like an earnest and sincere debate, Jon. I finally get it. The recent popes and the U.S. bishops decided on a political ploy to try and win the love of the radical left so that they would change their position on abortion, etc. Our strategy is: we will do our best to obfuscate, muddy up and paper over our death penalty and just war teachings (we can’t actually abrogate them in view of the infallibility of Catholic doctrine) and in return the hatred of you liberals will turn to love for us when you realize you have wrongly judged us all these years–and you will walk hand in hand with us as we all get rid of abortion, stem cell research, etc–and forestall gay marriage, etc. That’s the way our side sees it. The way YOUR side sees it, Jon, is that you will take advantage of our naivete and play us for suckers for all it’s worth. Meanwhile, you will NEVER give in on abortion and those other things. It was k who revealed it to me when she answered my simple question about just what exactly has brought about this new “time” in which the morality of something has changed. The answer was so ridiculously simple: we want to look good in front of the liberals so that they’ll (keep your fingers crossed!!!) love us in return. THAT’S what has happened since 1952. No dice, pal. I’m not going for it. Political strategies are not part of the Church’s magisterium. No way.

          • Well Larry, you have been told the truth of what prompted John Paul II to issue his judgment to call for a ban on the death penalty, namely that there are now other means to render a criminal harmless without recourse to the death penalty.

            Instead you prefer to believe this is all a “political ploy.”

            So be it: wallow in your error. But remember that he who does not listen to the Pope does not listen to Peter; he who does not listen to Peter, ignores Christ, and ignores the One who sent Christ.

          • I stand with Pope Pius XII on this matter.

          • Pius XII is not part of the living Magisterium. However, Pope Benedict XVI is, and moreover, Benedict has judged to continue the teaching of John Paul II calling for an end to the death penalty, not the teaching of Pius XII.

            And according to Lumen Gentium, it is the present Pope’s teaching that we must adhere to.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      lies all lies!

      • Abeca Christian says:

        from jon…..all lies and from Larry, God bless you, you do know the faith and I trust your words far more than jon and k’s because they are always the ones who call people names such as dissenters….when they are the ones who are!

    • Prove your words, Dan C.

  47. Odd that so many here who are horrified at the idea of killing a baby in the womb are delighted at the idea of killing an adult in the room.

    “Thou shalt not kill.”

    What part of “not” don’t we understand?

    We can lock up murderers for life, where they have the CHANCE to repent, find The Lord, apologize to the family of their victim, and tell messed up kids starting out on the wrong path: “don’t do what I did!”

    Or……..we can pull a Henry VIII and kill them all.

    And then go out to celebrate with a nice Martini.

    • Those on death row Death row inmates in the U.S. typically spend over a decade awaiting execution. Some prisoners have been on death row for well over 20 years with not much to do.
      They have time to repent if they so desire.

    • Evidently some people imagine prison to have wonderful facilities to house the inmates. If this were the case, then why is the State of Calif releasing many many convicts because of no room? One man I know spent 27 years in prisons. Much of that time is in a cage, a smal cage. Sometimes it is in solitary confinement with one hour per day outside. This man favors the death penalty.

  48. “All this social justice nonsense?”

    When people write such things, I wonder if they have ever listened to Sacred Scripture at Mass – or maybe they are planning where to go for brunch.

    Luckily, the Roman Catholic Church does not consider issues of social justice to be nonsense, as Papal Encyclicals, and of course the Catechism, reveal over and over again…

    Catechism of the Catholic Church
    “1928 Society ensures social justice when it provides the conditions that allow associations or individuals to obtain what is their due, according to their nature and their vocation. Social justice is linked to the common good and the exercise of authority.”

  49. jon, k, Brian S. = All for one myopic topic called the death penalty, none for commenting on the slaughter of millions of tiny voiceless human beings.

    Since the title above is disappointed, before you tell others to scroll up and focus on YOU, some more, please scroll over to yesterdays topic titled ‘The Evidence of the American Holocaust’.

    Do you post using many different names? Where were you all yesterday? Your complete absence of comments yesterday was not disappointing. It was predictable. Try to respect life by respecting the unborn as much as you respect Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer.

    Listen to the living truth! Abortion has stopped MORE beating hearts than the death penalty. If you don’t speak up as much and protect life in the womb, you will never be taken seriously about respecting all life. You should not be ashamed to use those same posting names to speak up against abortion, otherwise your other hidden agendas and ulterior motives are the only things that are brightly shining through.

    • Catherine, your post was just as offensive as you intended it to be.

      • Matthew 6:1

      • The death penalty saves lives. There is no condition in US prisons where violent men do not murder other men. The death penalty would spare some lives in prisions, and also many lives of innocent people. If the death penalty is outlawed, then the law will also go harder on cops who kill violent criminals in public. This will “trickle down” to people trying to defend their lives by killing attackers. The jons of this world make it a dangerous place for others including children. If you look at the FBI most wanted list, you find that the top three categories include murderers and child rapists. jon advocates putting the victims of these characters in more vulnerable situations. The way they want to make this terrible condition come about is to end the death penalty. These jons believe that man’s life is more important than God’s life and would replace innocent souls in God’s garden with brutal men of violence.

      • k, Don’t be disheartened or offended! Try not to resist the core truth. Ask God for help!

        Unless men are of good will, the truth will often be viewed as being offensive. Especially by those who like to resist its reality. It is often more tempting to pretend or make believe that facts do not exist. There is a simple solution for this type of ailment or blindness.

        The simple remedy lies in Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold on to the one and despise the other.”

        • Abeca Christian says:

          k is offended for the wrong reasons, I don’t think she can be helped…prepare to be her target.

          • I appreciate Catherine’s encouragement although I was befuddled by her post. I am not sure why she chose that quote. I certainly will not target her. She seems to have meant it as advice to purify which we all need to do daily.

        • k, she chose that quote because she is intelligent and insightful, and also meritoriously charitable. Catherine also displays considerable humility, which, k, is a great great virtue which you should look into one of these days.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Thank you Catherine. Let us not forget also Jaycee Dugard, who was blessed to have not been murdered by her abuser who is also a repeat offender and his wife too who helped him. God have mercy on us all.

      • abeca, you have made it abundantly clear that you do not stand with Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, the bishops of the the world, Fr. John Hardon (see his catechism on the Gospel of Life or his writing “Re-christianize America to Build the Culture of Life), nor with Saint Maria Goretti, St. Ambrose and that you hold in utter disdain those who do. You have been asked to do something. You were asked by the vicar of Christ-therefore, by Christ himself. You have not agreed to do it and you demean those who have. “Whoever attacks human life, attacks God himself.” John Paul II Evangelium Vitae.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          k I don’t care how ill you so much interpret the real faith but what bothers me is the error you spread and you are definitely wrong, refuse to take your word to heart since you are in complete error…I find it repulsive your comments to me….

          • I do not agree that the Popes have erred. However, you are supposed to follow your conscience and if you believe that the Pope has erred, I suppose you should act on that. But teaching others that the Popes have erred and persecuting those who follow the Pope is pretty risky business for your soul.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            k you are now crossing the line…and so is jon…calling people dissenters…you are both that!

          • Abeca Christian says:

            k these posts are your very own words and false interpretations…so it is you who is misusing their words to bash other fellow Catholics…God have mercy on your soul! Bearing false witness is what you are doing…

          • abeca, first of all, I don’t call you dissenters. It is not a term that is used officially by the church. All it means is people who do not assent. You disagree, therefore you dissent. It is kind of a loaded word here because so many people use it for “progressive” Catholics and people who dissent on the moral teaching of the church on sexuality and who is admitted to sacraments. So if you disagree with the CCC that says that the death penalty is only to be used to protect the innocent (you have mentioned several times heinous crimes and said the people deserve the death penalty so I would think that you do) you dissent. If you disagree with the Pope in his saying that the conditions in which the death penalty should be used are rare or practically non-existent, you dissent. If you disagree with the Pope that the death penalty should be abolished (see todays story from Zimbabwe in which it states that the Pope, before a meeting of delegates from 20 countries who still use capital punishment, encouraged the delegates to promote the abolition of the death penalty), you dissent. jon and I are not dissenters. We have assented to the teaching of the CCC and the Pope. And lest you say we dissent from the traditional teaching on the death penalty-no, we don’t. We accept that states have this right and sometimes duty, but we have been asked to work to end the culture of death and the abolition of the death penalty is a step toward building the culture of life. We work to end all attacks on life. (And if the Church continued to teach that it is an act of justice to kill those who kill then I would assent to that.) I have been criticized for my post to you, Catherine said it was over the top and unchristian. Reading it back…I don’t see it, but maybe it was the “you” statements. It does appear that you found the comment offensive. I am sorry but I did want to point out to you that if you choose not to assent, not to agree, with the CCC and the Pope-well OK, but to say things like liar and false theology and homosexual to those who have assented is wrong. I know you don’t want my instruction and I wish those who you do respect would have pointed that out to you. There are a lot of people here who disagree with the current teaching on the death penalty and even more who disagree with the Pope and the Vatican promoting the universal abolition of it. These discussions always get heated. You gave the appearance of believing that those who are following the Pope are doing something sinful or are siding with criminals and murderers and care not for the lives of innocents and those who work in the criminal justice system. That is false. This is a program instituted by the Popes who are trying to save all human lives and teach respect for the human person from natural conception to natural death. This is being unconditionally pro-life which Blessed Pope John Paul said is necessary for the New Evangelization which is an attempt by the church to reach those who formerly believed and have ceased believing and those who are lukewarm or ignorant in the Faith. This is of great importance, but you did not seem to understand the bigger picture which is why I wrote the post. If you, in good conscience, cannot assent to the Church’s teaching, then no one can force you to accept it. And you should not be criticized for it. But you should not criticize those who assent to it and demonize them. And you should be able to accurately state what the Church teaches. A lot of people acknowledge the CCC teaching and assent to it up to the point where it says that the conditions for the death penalty are rare. They make their points and that is OK. This is a discussion.

          • As for myself, k, I do NOT stand with Pope’s JPII and Benedict XVI on their call to completely abandon the death penalty. On the death penalty, I stand firmly with Pius XII. Do you want to call HIM a dissenter?

          • Larry, no I do not call him a dissenter. I respect you because you admit you do not stand with Pope John Paul II or Benideict XVI. I have studied this a lot because I desire to be in conformity with the Church and I did not understand why the doctrine seemed to change. I was familiar with the teaching that the death penalty was an exception to the 5th commandment. I discovered that the teaching has advanced because of the need to stand up for the sanctity of human life and because of the increased sense even among the secular that it is unneccesary. It took a long time to sort it out and I do still have questions. So much of the information concerning the level of assent necessary is written by pro-death penalty writers and they are more interested in justifying their position than in explaining the changes. For me, it is about seeking God’s will. And may His Will be done. The following was written in 1968 when the bishops were defending the Pope on contraception and it applies to all life issues. “In her defense of human life the Church in our day makes her own, as did Moses, the words by which God Himself reduced our perplexities to a clear, inescapable choice, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death…therefore, choose life so that you and your decendents may live…”(Dt 30:19) God bless you and may you continue to grow closer to Christ in this Year of Faith.

          • The Lord, through the lips of Moses, prescribed the death penalty among the Israelites for certain offenses.

          • Larry, you are correct. There were many offenses that were punished by death in the Old Testament. But Peter was given the keys to the kingdom and what he declares bound is bound in heaven and what he declares loosed is loosed in heaven. However he is not free to do whatever he chooses. He is to be the Vicar of Christ. When St. Peter would not eat the unclean animals in the vision he was told “What God has declared clean you are not to call unclean.” Do you accept the CCC? Mindful of Christ’s words to his apostles, “He who hears you, hears me,” the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms. 87 There are a lot of people who struggle with various teachings of the Magisterium. It is rare for them to change their mind, even when it is something intrinsically evil. I don’t understand it. I really don’t. But I remember when I did not know who to trust and that was an agonizing time so I hope you do not suffer much with this.

        • “You have been asked to do something. You were asked by the vicar of Christ-therefore, by Christ himself.” Is it your position then, k, that upon a bishop’s election to the See of Peter, Christ abolishes that man’s free will and substitutes His Own–in such a manner so that, whether he realizes it or not, the pope’s every utterance is the Word of God–his every gesture a gesture of God–his every action an act of God? If the pope orders Rice Krispies for breakfast, it is Christ ordering Rice Krispies? Christ then possesses the pope in an identical manner to how Satan possesses a demoniac victim? I must tell you that this theory of the plenary infallibility of the pope radically contradicts everything I was taught, starting in Catholic school in 1961 and extending through 1969, about Papal Infallibility being very limited and specific. We were forbidden to believe that every wish and opinion of the pope is Divine.

          • This argument from Larry is invalid. It’s called a “red-herring.” Did any of us here say that if the Pontiff tells you to eat rice crispies then you should? Of course not, except Larry. That’s why this argument is a red-herring.

            I have often written that when the Pontiff speaks in matters of faith and morals as the visible head of the Church, then his judgments are to be adhered to (Lumen Gentium 25).

            So who said anything about Rice Krispies or the Pontiff being possessed? NO ONE ON OUR SIDE! This is Larry drawing a red-herring, a straw-man.

            And who said anything about God trampling on our moral freedom upon the election of a Pope? Again, no one on our side, except Larry.

            Larry, you are totally free to dissent or not to dissent from the teachings of Christ as articulated by the Magisterium, by the Pope. You’re totally FREE, no one’s forcing you to obey the Magisterium and Lumen Gentium. In fact, you should be grateful that there are fellow Catholics on this blog such as as myself who are encouraging fellow Catholics to do what is right—to adhere to the prudential judgment and teaching of the Magisterium on the death penalty, as is called for in Lumen Gentium.

            Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.

          • On the contrary, I have correctly taken your own argument to its logical conclusion, and have shown the absurdity of it. You are demanding obedience to the pope even when he expresses an opinion or a mere wish–even when he does not declare that obedience is required. This is ridiculous, and furthermore I’d almost be willing to bet that you don’t really believe it yourself. Are you willing to grant such reverence to Pope Benedict’s order that homosexuals be refused entrance to the seminary–or to Pope John Paul II’s definitive declaration that Holy Orders may never be granted to women?

          • Larry, your ideas are very extreme. No one has suggested such a thing. The argument you make is so ridiculous. You know that the Pope is the vicar of Christ. You know that you can trust him. A thing does not have to be infallible. If he says “Pray the Rosary’ it’s not infallible but it still good advice. I understand that people (most Catholics) are in favor of the death penalty. The Pope opposes it and has asked nations to abolish it. Pope John Paul II said that the New Evangelization requires people who are unconditionally pro-life. OK, you are not there yet. Maybe you don’t want to go there. That’s your business. It’s between you and God. If you choose not to believe the Popes, there is nothing I can say that is going to change that. You have free will. The issue is where some posters try to demonize the people who are following the Popes.

          • It is your idea that is extreme and ridiculous. Had this or any pope ever said “I hearby declare and teach that no Catholic may ever support use of the death penalty under any circumstances” then we would be obliged to obey and oppose the death penalty. But no pope has because he knows as well as the rest of us that the constant teaching of the Church as well as Sacred Scripture is that the death penalty is sometimes needed–and no teaching can ever be overthrown. When a pope says, however, “I hope that you will decide to stop using it,” he is not invoking his magisterium–he is expressing nothing more than a personal preference, and we are NOT obliged to grant the pope’s every whim a kind of Divine status.

          • The Church is infalliable, and its teachings come to us infalliably through its ordinary magisterium. The church teaches that executions are to be rare, and limited to the extremely uncommon situations where the safety of society cannot otherwise be maintained. It is for us, as Catholics, to conform our will to that of the Church. Many catholics find that difficult on this as well as other issues.

            I would hope that the crude anti-Catholic slanders concerning Rice Krispies and demonic possession would really be out of place here. We have all be tought that “religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra” and that we are to regard his supreme magisterium with reverence and that we are to sincerely adhere to his judgments .

          • “I would hope that the crude anti-Catholic slanders concerning Rice Krispies and demonic possession would really be out of place here.” Oh, get off your high horse, huh? And your call to obey the pope even when he does not command obedience goes well beyond his “supreme magisterium” and his “judgments.” His supreme magisterium does not cover each and every opinion he may ever give voice to.

          • Larry of course not. Stop being silly. We have been asked to be unconditionally pro-life. We are not states. We do not have the right to kill except in self-defense or as a soldier in a just war. You are just not understanding this at all. The pope does not order the states around. He urges them to respect all life.

          • And “urging” is not the same as “commanding”!

          • Good clarification, Larry. Hopefully it will get through to the Calvinist fatalism lodged in jon and k.

          • Larry, men with deep seated homosexual tendencies are not candidates for the priesthood and the sacrament of Holy Orders may not be given to women. Taking another’s argument to its extreme is a logical fallacy. You cannot disprove the other’s point by doing that since it is not what they have said. It is a form of straw man argument where you are creating a false position that your opponent is not presenting. So you have not even argued the real issue.

          • “Taking another’s argument to its extreme is a logical fallacy.” On the contrary–taking the fallacy to its LOGICAL extreme is one of the best ways of demonstrating its absurdity.

          • Dan Catholic says:

            The problem Larry is that you brought to an extreme an argument that was never made here.

            The point which jon has been making is that “when the Pope speaks on matters of faith and morals.” I do not understand why you keep missing this.

            However, if I get a rare invitation from the Vatican to have breakfast with the Pope, I would be so overjoyed I will go.

            If at the breakfast table the Pope tells me, “Dan you must eat your Rice Crispies,” guess what, I’d be so overjoyed, I’d eat them!

          • Jon began this by accusing myself and others of dissenting from the clear teaching of the Catholic Church–which would make us heretics and, of course, grave sinners. The problem is that his version of “Church teaching” is anything BUT clear. It is hopelessly vague and muddled. He contends that it is NOW immoral to support the death penalty. Even he must admit that it was perfectly moral at one point. The evidence is overwhelming. But he cannot–and doesn’t even try to–identify exactly when it went from one to the other–and whether the process might ever reverse. So even if I accept his error, all I know is that I am a sinner NOW for supporting the death penalty–but I don’t know when I first became a sinner–and I have no way of knowing whether my sin will one day cease to be a sin without my ever repenting. Using Jon’s own reasoning, I have been able to establish that it was not yet sinful in 1952–because God told us that through the lips of Pius XII, and Jon has warned us that every word of every pope must be held in strict reverence as the Will of God. So we can now establish that God changed His mind sometime between 1952 and about twenty years ago, which is when He began to say something completely different through the lips of the recent popes. Now the question is–what was that something which changed God’s mind? It is Jon’s thesis. Let him roll with it. Let him explain it.

          • Ha! Ha! Great retort, Dan!

            THAT is the way to show the absurdity in their position–through humor.

        • I totally agree k. These dissenters do not stand with the Popes, the Magisterium, or the Gospel of Life on this particular issue. They don’t. They should just admit it to themselves and stop rationalizing their dissent.

          • jon, you and a few other people claim to be standing with the Pope. But you have not proved this claim. You need proof. Find a bishop or cardinal who will vouch for you, that indeed you are one with the Pope. Until you can do this, you’re nothing but straw whistling in the wind.

        • k, You have made it abundantly clear on more than one occasion that you are abundantly challenged when it comes to accepting the full truth or prioritizing facts.

          “Whoever attacks human life attacks God himself.”….Well, then shame on you k for knowing that yet YOU still attempted to take revenge and attack and demean Abeca with an abundance of false and nonsensical accusations. I wrote attempted because your attack failed. Your latest accusations aimed at Abeca are the most ludicrous of all.

          First of all, Pope Benedict XVI talked about removing the filth within the Church. That particular statement has always really bothered you. On several occasions you have tried to alter the meaning or soft sell what the Vicar of Christ meant by that statement. Next, Father John Hardon would have NEVER run interference to make excuses for the drag queen show at USD or the lesbian play Stop Kiss. YOU ran interference in both cases. YOU are supporting the culture of death when you protect dissenters who are undermining the teachings of Christ’s Church. You were asked by the Vicar of Christ to uphold Church teaching not uphold dissenting drag queens and clergy.

          So k, before you attack Christ by attacking his faithful servant Abeca, go back and reread the many times you ran interference for those who disdain Church teaching. No wonder you are so preoccupied with the myopic topic focus of the death penalty. You must have fooled yourself into believing that if you yell loud enough about this topic it will somehow compensate for the many times YOU were silent or not listening to the Vicar of Christ by means of employing a passive-aggressive style of support for dissenters. “The term passive-aggressive is thought to have originated in World War II. Soldiers were found to be shirking their duties, but in ways that were not openly disobedient.”

          Perhaps it would be fitting k, since YOU are the one who mentioned her holy name, if St. Maria Goretti appeared to you in a dream and told you to read Matthew 6:24 and that she forgives you for using her holy name as a weapon of attack against the good. Maybe then your heart will be moved as it was in the case of Alessandro Serenelli to repent and finally see the error of your ways.

          • Catherine, well here we go again. I did not attack abeca or accuse her. I described her posts and not falsely. Have you read them? It is not only on this article but whenever this subject comes up. I have always agreed with the Pope’s statement about removing the filth from the church but I have always pointed out that you seem to be the only person who interprets it to mean gays or gay priests. The interpretation at the time he said it was pedophiles or particulary the founder of the Legionaires of Christ- Marcel Maciel. You can google it if you don’t believe me. I did not run interference in the two cases that you bring up over and over again. Neither Father John Hardon nor God is going to judge me based on your false allegations. I oppose all things with inappropriate content at Catholic schools. I have tried to post things that did not get posted both here at CCD and on websites which grade schools. I never support dissenters. I will not judge how well you know the Faith. You seem to know it better than the person you are standing up for and I wonder why you do not correct her when she errs. You and she call things errors that are not errors so it makes me wonder how well you know the faith. Why do you not support church teaching? Why do you not correct people? Matthew 6:24 is about not serving God and mammon. You work in interior design. I chose not to work and to only do unpaid and charity work because of Matthew 6:24-34. I did not attack abeca. I pointed out that her attitude was not that desired by the Popes and the saints that I listed. I would very much appreciate when I am corrected in my errors. I desire this It does not take a vision. If you tell me what it is I will correct it. I stand fully with the Church on everything as far as I know. The only thing would be that the Church does not stand up for the veracity of Genesis 1 and I believe in it. I do not have a myopic focus on the death penalty. I am unconditionally pro-life. So tell me-what is the error you want St. Maria Goretti to correct?

          • “I have always agreed with the Pope’s statement about removing the filth from the church but I have always pointed out that you [Catherine] seem to be the only person who interprets it to mean gays or gay priests.” The pope’s subsequent order declaring homosexuals unfit for the seminary and priesthood I believe tells us exactly where he stands there. “You [Catherine] work in interior design. I chose not to work and to only do unpaid and charity work because of Matthew 6:24-34.” I assume, then, that someone else is supporting you and that therefore you have no need of earning a living. Otherwise, you wouldn’t eat. Catherine may not have that luxury. “The only thing would be that the Church does not stand up for the veracity of Genesis 1 and I believe in it.” Incorrect. The Church does not demand that the language in the early chapters of Genesis be taken at exact face value–but neither does it dismiss the accounts of the Garden of Eden, the immense age of some of the patriarchs, etc as simple fiction. Those chapters are the inspired Word of God–they do impart truth, but in a manner not easily understandable to us.

        • k – you do not stand with the Bishops of the world.
          Don’t believe everything that jon (or anyone else wrote) unless you check it out.

          The TRUE quote (without cutting out important parts) from EVANGELIUM VITAE by Pope John Paul II, and can be found on the Vatican web site is as follows:

          QUOTE
          ” 55 …….Moreover, “legitimate defence can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life, the common good of the family or of the State”.
          Unfortunately it happens that the need to render the aggressor incapable of causing harm sometimes involves taking his life.
          In this case, the fatal outcome is attributable to the aggressor whose action brought it about, even though he may not be morally responsible because of a lack of the use of reason.

          56. This is the context in which to place the problem of the death penalty.
          On this matter there is a growing tendency, both in the Church and in civil society, to demand that it be applied in a very limited way or even that it be abolished completely.
          The problem must be viewed in the context of a system of penal justice ever more in line with human dignity and thus, in the end, with God’s plan for man and society. The primary purpose of the punishment which society inflicts is “to redress the disorder caused by the offence”. Public authority must redress the violation of personal and social rights by imposing on the offender an adequate punishment for the crime, as a condition for the offender to regain the exercise of his or her freedom. In this way authority also fulfils the purpose of defending public order and ensuring people’s safety, while at the same time offering the offender an incentive and help to change his or her behaviour and be rehabilitated.
          It is clear that, for these purposes to be achieved, the nature and extent of the punishment must be carefully evaluated and decided upon, and ought not go to the extreme of executing the offender except in cases of absolute necessity: in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today however, as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent.
          In any event, t he principle set forth in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church remains valid: “If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person”. …” UNQUOTE

          Neither Pope John Paul II, nor Pope Benedict has asked for a complete BAN of the death penalty.
          Both Popes completely agree with what is written in the CCC.
          Limits yes, Ban no.

          Neither of our Popes are heretics.

          • TED, Yes, thank you. You are correct on all you posted and thank you for posting it. In addition to those teaching-which are the True Teachings of the Church, the last two popes have urged (not ordered) the universal abolition of the death penalty, just as Pope John Paul II cried “Never again war!” It does not change the teaching of the church that self defense and defense of family and country are duties. But the death of the aggressor is not willed. You are correct that states have the right to wage just war and to execute criminals. But the popes are asking us to go further toward Christ, to become unconditionally pro-life. It is the same as the Church saying that we have the right to own property but people give up that right to give everything to God and join orders that do not allow possessions. They are not disobeying the Church by doing that. I don’t believe that jon denies the Church’s teaching. But he is telling those who believe it is an error or even immoral to oppose the death penalty that it is now the position of the church that because of the state of human affairs where human life is not respected even in its most vulnerable form-like in the womb or the ill and elderly-the teaching that all human life is sacred needs to be taught without exception. It is not heresy nor error nor changing the Church’s teaching.

          • Well, now–this is a very strange post. K seemingly recognizes the difference between a command and a request–but then goes back and forth repeatedly, conflating and co-mingling the two concepts until they are hopelessly confused and confusing. Let me try to un-confuse her. Nothing is immoral unless God COMMANDS us through Revelation and the Church to avoid it. The Church recommends devotion to Our Lady of Fatima–but cannot COMMAND it, because it took place long after the close of Public Revelation. Therefore, one is not REQUIRED to be devoted to the Fatima cause in order to be saved. The Church strongly RECOMMENDS the Rosary–but it is not required, because it was given to us long after Public Revelation ended. It was not available to the Apostles, for example–who, of course, had their own forms of private prayer which they inherited from their Jewish faith. On the other hand, mass, the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, etc–these ARE required for Catholics. Obedience to the moral law is required of all people.

          • Dan Catholic says:

            Yes TED, Pope John Paul and Benedict have called for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty. This is fact. This has been proven here.

          • A. “while at the same time offering the offender an incentive and help to change his or her behaviour and be rehabilitated”: Life without parole does not match this requirement. jon stumps for life without parole but this violates what the Pope says. Life without parole has nothing to do with rehabilitating prisoners. Prison does not rehabilitate prisoners. Rather prison both punishes them and restricts them and keeps them away from society. B. ” as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent.
            In any event,”: This well worn clause makes no sense at all, and the Pope follows it with “in any event”, a phrase used to place a quality on what it refers to, a quality that is vague and begs to be reasonable. So the Pope, who wrote it, knew that the idea he said put forth is arguable.

          • Indeed, one should not believe what one reads on these comments. Believe rather the words of the Popes themselves on this matter, such as this:

            “”A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform. I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary.” (Homily at the Papal Mass in the Trans World Dome, St. Louis, Missouri, January 27, 1999).

        • Nonsense, k. Who appointed you judge of who does or does not stand with the Pope? Have you ever heard of the Commandment that forbids bearing of false witness against one’s neighbor? Or do you not consider Catholics like Abeca as your neighbor? It is moreover interesting that you and jon both declare to be one with the Pope … and you violently protest anyone who does not believe you: Every heard of psychosis, especially paranoid schizophrenia? It is really rather common in light doses, so you shouldn’t really worry too much. Just a heads up is all. It is characterized often by the scenario of an insane asylum where two of the members claim to be Jesus Christ. They both know that there cannot be two Christs, and so they constantly fight and dispute over which of them is the real Jesus. This is what you and jon are doing in this debate over the death penalty. Neither one of you is the Pope, but you both de facto claim to be.

          • You have totally mischaracterized my posts. My saying that they do not stand with the pope is limited to the current discussion on the death penalty, not on any other. Neither jon nor I have declared ourseves to be one with the Pope. We do not claim to be Pope We have submitted to his judgement on this issue. Other posters have said that they do not. jon declares them dissenters. I do not. They represent correctly what was taught by the church up until the 2nd edition of the CCC. They are still learning, as am I. All of this is an advancement in the understanding of God’s will that has come with the Church’s need to defend human life in all it’s forms. The question became if human life is sacred and should not be destroyed, why does the church support war and capital punishment? The answer is explained in the post which TED wrote with the quote from Evangelium Vitae.

    • I post only under this name, Catherine. And I have posted exactly once in this thread.

      As for how much and where I post or how consistent or I am, I have never defended or minimized the sin of abortion, an abomination against which I stand in full agreement with the Pope. Unlike you, I do not abandon him on this issue.

      • Instead, Brian S., you falsify the Pope on this issue, as has been shown to you over and over.

        • “Falsify the Pope”? Are you saying I’ve misrepresented his statements? Nonsense.

          Our pontiffs have told us that advanced societies should give up the death penalty and seek alternative methods to protect society. I desire to conform my mind to theirs and after some work, I have. You might give it a try.

          • “Our pontiffs have told us that advanced societies should give up the death penalty and seek alternative methods to protect society. I desire to conform my mind to theirs…” No, Brian S. What you desire is that the rest of us conform our minds to your liberal strategy to play us for suckers on your pet issues, while holding out the illusory hope that you will then join us in doing away with abortion and other immoralities. You’ve convinced the pope and the U.S. bishops that they can win the approval of you liberals in this manner, and that you just might repay us in kind. But you have no love for the pope’s words, much less Catholic teaching–and you have no intention of granting us our wishes. I’m not falling for it, Brian–even if the current pope and his predecessor and half the U.S. bishops have.

  50. If I may correct you Mike. JP2 has not called for the death penalty to be rare. He has called for the ending, the abolition, of the death penalty. Check the quote below.

    To second guess the Pope on this important moral teaching smacks of dissent. One can confidently lean on the teachings of the Holy Father as suitable and prudent for our time.

    “A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform. I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary.” (Homily at the Papal Mass in the Trans World Dome, St. Louis, Missouri, January 27, 1999).

    • Abeca Christian says:

      how silly to start of a sentence with “If I may correct you MIKE.”……give me a break….trying to sound polite but in reality it is not at all, when you ask if you may correct….why not wait till the person gives you permission because it will mostly be a NO because what you call correction it is not! You sir are in error and it is MIKE who corrected you. MIKE is polite, and not sounding off silly just like you just did.

      • Dan Catholic says:

        Abeca, you should be corrected. Jon is not in error. You are in error for going against the teachings of the Magisterium on this important issue.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          Dan it is you who is in error! I spend years with a holy priest learning the faith, also from my grandmum (through the saints, CCC etc) and also through my husband’s conversion…

          • Dan Catholic says:

            Apparently you were not taught to follow the Pope’s teachings when he speaks on faith and moral issues like on this issue of the death penalty.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Dan it is not apparently, it is what you perceive and you are the one who is wrong…

          • I agree Dan. I get that sense too. It’s very apparent, isn’t it?

        • Dan Catholic, why are you imitating a groupie? Are you a groupie? You incessantly say people are right or wrong and you always fail to provide any proof of what you say. You do not even provide any reasonable argument. You provide nothing at all. Nothing but what the crowd who chanted “Crucify Him” over and over provided.

          • Dan Catholic says:

            The arguments have been provided by other people here like jon. I am providing a testimony that there are people like me who follow the Pope’s teachings unlike many here.

            Those who disagree with the Pope on this are exactly like that crowd chanting for Jesus’ execution, “execute them! execute them!” It’s bloodlust.

    • Why hasn’t this Pope included the Gospel account where Jesus converses with the two condemned thieves hanging next to Him? Jesus, per this Gospel, does not seem troubled about the death penalty, but expresses concern about the spiritual state of each of the thieves. St John tells us that with God a thousand years is as a year and a year is as a thousand years: Thus, it is reasonable to believe that the time between conviction and execution is not a significant factor. After all, the good thief did not have a minister teaching him to repent of his sins, and yet he did.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Skai you have good wisdom, God bless you.

      • Holy Scripture states that the condemnation to execution of Christ was a sin. John 19:11 obviously.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          what a faulty interpretation of scripture you seem convey….you again are in error! God is the Alpha and the Omega….if he didn’t want to die for our sins He would have not done it in the way He did…so stop with false interpretation k, I know my scripture enough to know how dead wrong you are…

          • abeca, you don’t think it was a sin to kill Jesus? Of course he wanted to die for our sins, it was why he came. He submitted to the worst sin ever committed-deicide. And through his obedience He expiated our sins.

    • An appeal and a homily is not the same as an Encyclical such as “EVANGELIUM VITAE”, or the CCC from the Magisterium that you quoted above.

      While we are at it, Pope Benedict made the following written statement to US Bishops in 2004 – “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion, General Principles” by Cardinal Ratzinger as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – - – -

      QUOTE:
      ” 3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia.
      For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion.
      While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment.
      There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia. ” UNQUOTE.

      So jon, you think you know more than Pope Benedict ?

      • TED, I think you have made the points very well. I think what the problem is that some posters deny the legitimacy of the opinion of abolishing the death penalty and that it is the desire of the Holy Father. Some of the things that are said to those who have conformed to the program of the Pope have been sinful.

        • Some people, k, ignore the view that crime should be abolished so that there is no need for the death penalty. And these same people ignore the fact that violent crime is rampant and the governments of this nation have no means to reduce it much. This fact blows the entire argument that capital enforcement of laws against violence should be eliminated.

          • Skai, you are correct that violent crime is rampant. Crime is illegal but it has not abated-the means of reduction the Church has it, Christians have it; and it does not take the death penalty. The violence and the crime are caused by the same crisis in faith that causes all of our other social ills.

        • “Some of the things that are said to those who have conformed to the program of the Pope are sinful.”

          Reread what YOU wrote to Abeca. k. You’re outrageous post to Abeca was over the top and unchristian….. In other words, while you are out condemning the speech of others your own words don’t exactly sound like Melanie from Gone With The Wind.

          “TED I think you have made the points very well.” Yes k, TED did state the facts so why are you still going off on the same tangent about those who have not “Conformed to the program?”

          Is that the same program where Jon said, “Had “they” put me in charge, there would be no death penalty in California,”

          k, Let Jon answer that question. Jon was asked by Larry and I also asked Jon to tell us what he meant. What was Jon not put in charge of? and “Who is “they”? jon has never answered those questions and now you are either running interference for Jon OR do you also post as Jon?

          What are you hiding? Who is they? And what were you not put in charge of?

          • Yes, indeed Catherine, if the folks in charge of the campaign to abolish of the death penalty had placed somebody like me in charge, undoubtedly the death penalty in California would now be history. I hope that answers your questions.

            “Dear brothers and sisters, the time has come to banish once and for all from the continent every attack against life. No more violence, terrorism and drug-trafficking! No more torture or other forms of abuse! There must be an end to the unnecessary recourse to the death penalty! No more exploitation of the weak, racial discrimination or ghettoes of poverty! Never again!” Pope John Paul II’s homily at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City on Saturday, 23 January 1999.

            Listen to the living Magisterium! Respect life

          • The “…unnecessary recourse to the death penalty” may simply refer to executions carried out against a dictator’s political opponents–or executions of Christians for alleged “blasphemy” against Islam, or so forth. Strange that you should not notice the qualifying phrase “unnecessary recourse,” which clearly implies that there CAN be “necessary recourse” to the death penalty.

          • Catherine, you said that jon, Brian S. and I could not be taken seriously on this issue because we hadn’t spoken out enough about abortion. I assumed that meant that you were pro-life. Now it seems like it is all about the personalities involved amd some more petty grudges. So are you unconditionally pro-life? My post to abeca must read more aggressive than I felt when I typed it. I was pointing out the she has chosen not to follow the Pope on this issue and that she was attacking the people who chose to follow him. She rightly points to the teaching of the Church prior to Pope Paul II and wants to stick with that. Lots of people do. But to call the people who conformed to the Popes teaching (small t) liars, having an agenda, neglecting reason, theological error, and saying that she was suspicious of homosexuality indicated to me that she did not understand that it was HER choice not to advance with the Church. It is like a parent who would not permit their child to receive Holy Communion because prior to Pope Pius X children were not allowed to receive and calling the people who present their children in obedience to the Pope sacriligious. She and others have chosen to stay where they are rather than walk the path the Holy Father has asked us to. Now on that subject, are you following the path that he put us on this Year of Faith by learning the Catechism the V2 documents and Church History? Are you praying an act of faith? You are going to be left behind if you don’t. This Year of Faith is about the New Evangelization and John Paul II said that it requires people who are unconditionally pro-life. I don’t see many lay people understanding the seriousness of this. Have you been keeping up with the Pope’s Wednesday catechesis? I think you will like them and find them inspiring. With love, k.

          • NO Larry, you’re wrong. At Pope John Paul II’s homily in 1999 in St. Louis he called the death penalty “cruel and unnecessary.” Check it out!

        • k, every time a community reduces its security, then crime rises. Modern civilization does not have the means to end violent crime, other than by increasing its police forces against it. But, of course, every man has the means … which is faith. That is what the pope means, because it is the only truth. But as Jesus tells us, and what you should automatically know, is that crime is not going to stop. The poor are not going to end … until the end, k. In the meantime we should all exercise the Great Commission, which the bishops have forgotten about, and become holy. Holiness is what catches the world on fire for Jesus … not rolling over for the enemy. Turn your cheek … well, k, Jesus did not always do this, but when it was the right thing to do He did, and that was rare.

      • Dan Catholic says:

        Ted, all of the words and writings of the Pope matter. This is what jon has been pointing out ad infinitum here. You cannot just pull out these quotes and ignore the other words the Pope has given which calls for the abolition of the death penalty.

        • “Ted, all of the words and writings of the Pope matter.” Well, now–there’s the heart of your error, isn’t it? If by “matter” you mean “carry binding weight worldwide,”–that is more than a fallacy–it is a heresy, as I’ve pointed out.

          • Larry, you persist in your error. When the Pope speaks on matters of faith and morals, his words are to be adhered to with a religious submission of mind and will, as Lumen Gentium 25 calls for.

            “I commend the church in the Philippines for seeking to play its part in support of human life from conception until natural death…I also note with appreciation the church’s work to abolish the death penalty in your country.” Pope Benedict XVI to the Philippine bishops, Nov. 29, 2010.

          • Dan Catholic says:

            Larry, there is no error on my part. You’re putting words in our mouths. Jon has been telling you for the umpteenth time that when the Pope speaks on matters of faith and morals, those words matter and are to be followed, to be “adhered to.”

          • You folks are twisting the meaning of documents like Lumen Gentium, such as the phrase: “This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra…” But: “Even when he is not speaking ex cathedra” does not mean “all the time.” It does not mean we are required to act as mind-numbed robots, asking “how high?” whenever the pope says “jump.” As for the infallibility of the College of Bishops, they must be “in agreement [with the pope] on one position as definitively to be held.” Note that it does NOT simply say “they must be in agreement on one position.” But their agreement must stress that the one position is “DEFINITIVELY TO BE HELD.” Not one of you can quote the bishops as saying that Catholics MUST HOLD THE SAME POSITION AS THE CURRENT POPE on the abolition of the death penalty.

          • Larry, when the California bishops taught that Catholics in the state ought to repeal the death penalty in the November ballot, they have in effect expressed the call to adhere with the Pope’s judgment to end the death penalty. Straight up!

            As for your persistent misunderstanding about having to obey the Pope “all the time,” none on my side has even said that, yet you persist in accusing us of making that argument.

            Well then go ahead and continue believing that we are saying that when the Pope tells you to eat your Rice Crispies that it’s a matter of faith and morals. Ridiculous!

        • Popes speak in many ways and on many topics and this includes faith and morals. Jesus guarantees the Church, not every word that proceeds from the mouth of a pope. In fact to believe that every word a pope speaks is the Word of God is idolatry. Jesus tells us that we live not by bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. So, jon, Dan C, and others attempt to deceive people into believing that the pope is God. But the Church teaches specifically that only at certain times is a pope “in persona cristi” (or a priest as well). Thus obvious to anyone not given over to Marxist propaganda, the pope is infallible only at times. History shows us that these times of infallibility can be rare in a pope’s reign. Not all popes have been canonized. But if jon were correct, then a pope would immediately without process, upon his death, declared a Saint. jon, have you ever heard the term “wet behind the ears”? I’m guessing the licence plate on your car reads, “LILDEEM”.

      • Sorry TED, but you are glaringly mistaken. Homilies and official speeches of the Pontiff are just as important as Encyclicals and Exhortations because they all express the “manifest mind and will” of the Pope. And THAT is exactly what a faithful Catholic MUST determine from the Holy Father—what his “manifest mind and will” is on an issue.

        According to Lumen Gentium (25): “This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.”

        The documents, the Pope’s manner of speaking, and the repitition of the same teaching manifest his mind and will.

        The Blessed John Paul is KNOWN throughout his pontificate as being against the death penalty (I mean, this is so well-known around the world, were you paying attention?).

        Again, for the benefit of folks like Larry, this submission of mind and will is given to the Pope’s words when he speaks as Pontiff on matters of faith and morals—NOT when he tells you to eat Rice Crispies.

        • Pope John XXII’s example refutes your distorted so-called interpretation of Church doctrine.

          • Actually Larry, your story about John XXII refutes nothing of what I’ve said. The norm within the Church still stands: that the Magisterium, the Church, is protected by the Holy Spirit from error when it teaches on matters of faith and morals. The Magisterium is guided by the Spirit when it now teaches that the death penalty must end.

            That NORM still holds, your story on John XXII notwithstanding.

        • jon, you’ve gotta be kiddin’, right? But, alas, you actually believe you are a super pope. You really come across more like a Scientologist, or some other type of tyrant. And, jon, you continue to evade my question, which asylum do you reside in? You certainly don’t work for a living, right? Maybe you’re a paid shill for some foundation that receives money from political henchmen of those opposed to the Church. You constantly paint popes and bishops in fantastic caricatures … The devil does this, as can be noted by reading the Gospel account called “The Temptations of Christ”. Yep, depict the popes as creatures that exist only in your bizarre, twisted realm, and then try to foist off these counterfeits as if they were real … a wolf in sheep’s clothing, jon, is your game.

          • It is also the AntiChrist that will rise as if miraculously from a seeming fatal event: But, jon, this is what you are attempting to do with violent criminals, paint them as harmless pussycats, cute little puppies who society should hold in especial esteem, and give benefits to. jon and other tyrants all eventually demand favors in exchange for protection, which is a mark of the AntiChrist, whom all the world (save the faithful) shall adore for bringing peace on earth. jon, while Catholics pray for peace on earth, you antichrists create phony charades of peace on earth. The faithful will never, jon,never be deceived by your game … because of the living God and not your phony “living magisterium”. Your days of deceit are numbered, jon.

          • Read this from Lumen Gentium (25). It proves that you are wrong. It shows that the Holy Spirit guides the Magisterium, especially the Pope when the Holy Father teaches on matters of faith and morals. And because it is the Spirit that guides the Magisterium, God therefore preserves it from error.

            “And therefore his [the Pope's] definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly styled irreformable, since they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, promised to him in blessed Peter, and therefore they need no approval of others, nor do they allow an appeal to any other judgment.”

    • Actually, jon, the guy who invented the typewriter said it first, “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country”, or put into other terms by later rhetoric, “It is high time we on earth stop all violence”, or yet, ” … ” (what you always quote one of the popes saying, ie something about death should be rare).

      • May these words below from the Blessed John Paul set you right:

        “May the death penalty, an unworthy punishment still used in some countries, be abolished throughout the world.” Pope John Paul II at the Papal Mass in the Regina Coeli Prison, Rome, July 9, 2000. Respect life!

  51. Wow.

    Bloodlust is alive and well in here.

    Kill them.

    Execute them.

    Get rid of them so they can’t do any more harm.

    These notions must come from some peculiar Gnostic gospels or something, because they certainly are NOT from Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John.

    • I so agree. This is what happens to souls when they disregard the teachings on the Pope on this issue which touches on the Gospel of Life.

      Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Anonymous don’t use your tone of propaganda on here as if you were speaking of the unborn being tortured during an abortion, as if there was blood and torture…you are one sick unknown person to speak of that way about the very criminals who killed innocent victims, raped and some even chopped up their body parts…you have no common decency to even type those comments here in comparison to keeping society safe…..the person on death row is given a lot of time to repent and even treated way better than they treated their victims so please stop with your propaganda.

      • Contrary to Abeca, there is no propaganda in Anonymous’ words, he is not “sick,” he is not lacking in common decency.

        Abeca you have to realize that your love for your fellow human beings is just not as expansive, unconditional, lavish, and welcoming as God’s. He calls us to love the very people we do not like, our enemies, in this case the enemy of society (criminals).

        It’s so easy to love babies, and especially the unborn. Who wouldn’t have compassion for them? I know I do and abortion stings my heart as much as any believer.

        But to love a hardened criminal? Such a person is exactly the person Christ is calling us to love and have compassion for, even the most flawed of them. It is no mistake that Our Savior included prisoners as among the least ones in Matthew 25. Our Savior knew that people like you will have no love, no compassion for them.

        So, basically, realize that your love for your fellow human beings is deficient. Be converted Abeca. Repent.

        Listen to the living Magisterium! Respect life!

        • Jon, you care nothing about abortion or same-sex marriage. Don’t you remember what you posted on another thread, on November 11 at 4:02 p.m.? Let me refresh your memory. You said, “Abeca’s and Canisius’ words point to why it is difficult for the Church and for all people of goodwill to persuade our fellow Americans from believing and supporting the truth about marriage…These folks actually harm the cause of the truth of marriage; they do not help at all.” There you are, telling us conservatives that we lost on our issues because we’ve been too loudmouthed and boorish about them–using the wrong language, and so on. We need to tone it down. But you rejected any suggestion that YOU ruined the anti-death penalty measure by being too loudmouthed. You even claimed that you yourself could have successfully gotten it approved in California. Now you say, “abortion stings my heart as much as any believer.” No, it doesn’t, Jon. Right after the election, you were telling us conservatives that we needed to shut up on our issues and join you in abolishing the death penalty. Then when the death penalty is gone, you will think about giving us some concession on abortion some day in the future. But you NEVER will! That’s part of the whole liberal political scam, isn’t it? You want to take advantage of our naivete by convincing us that we can gain liberals’ approval by joining them on the death penalty issue. And it has frustrated you to no end that you can’t seem to get through to us.

          • Thank you Larry for revealing to us more of why you are dissenting from the Magisterium’s teaching on this issue of adhering to the Magisterium’s teaching against the death penalty. Let me explain something that will perhaps help you follow more closely the Church’s teachings.

            You see Larry…..

            This is NOT about liberals versus conservatives.
            This is NOT about Democrats versus Republicans.
            This is NOT about left versus right.

            That’s wrong! Rather….

            This is about right versus wrong.
            This is about Good versus Evil.
            This is about the the Culture of Life vs. the culture of death.
            This is about adherence/obedience versus dissent.
            This is about mercy versus vengeance.

            You either join the bark of St. Peter (Magisterium) in helping usher in God’s Kingdom, God’s Life into the world by upholding the dignity of every human being, including those on death row…….

            OR……..you stay in the fringes of the Body of Christ, at periphery of Life Himself, while still clinging to a rotting and passing relic of the culture of death that is the death penalty.

          • It’s about everything that you say it’s NOT about, Jon–and thank God I’m finally able to see you and your liberal allies so clearly that I can see right through you and your ploys.

          • And Larry, yes, I continue to stand behind the comment I made that certain careless and hateful words uttered by Abeca and Canisium to describe other people (words like “dumb,” “stupid,” “sodomites”) DO MUCH HARM to the holy pro-life cause of the Church. Such words are hateful, and have no place among those who call themselves Christians.

            As for you assertion that I want pro-life people to shut up? I never made such a point. That’s a lie on your part

          • A lie on my part? Is it, Jon? You not only made the point back then–you just made it again. You’ve made your contempt for the pro-life cause and its people obvious time and again. When pressed, you occasionally mutter that you are pro-life–then you can’t wait to change the subject to your favorite cause–saving people who, in Pius XII’s own words, have forfeited their own right to live. You’ve lied repeatedly about the nature of the present pope’s appeals along with those of his predecessor–but the biggest lie is the notion that you and your fellow liberal ideologues even CARE about the words of the popes–or about the popes themselves. It isn’t about them at all. I’m not going to waste my time debating this on your terms anymore. I’m calling it like it is. You’re trying to play the rest of us for useful idiots in getting your political agenda through. And you will succeed with a lot of Catholics–but not with myself and most of the other folks here. Speaking strictly for myself, you’ve made my opposition to banning the death penalty even stronger than it was before.

          • Well said, Larry.

          • Larry, Fabulous detective work! .

          • On the contrary Larry, anyone can check out the words of Popes John Paul and Benedict concerning the death penalty online. No one has to take my word for it that the Holy Fathers really called for the end to the death penalty, and that this judgment of their is BINDING in accord with Lumen Gentium 25.

            This is plain fact that is irrefutable and which will stand NO MATTER what you say.

            “This evening a demonstration will be held at the Colosseum as part of the world campaign for a moratorium on the death penalty. The Great Jubilee is an excellent opportunity to promote in the world ever more mature forms of respect for the life and dignity of every person. I therefore renew my appeal to all leaders to reach an international consensus on the abolition of the death penalty…..”Pope John Paul II’s Angelus Message on December 12, 1999.

          • And Larry, be honest with yourself for a change. I, and no one here, has “made your opposition to banning the death penalty even stronger than it was before.” Get over yourself.

            Just read your comments. Based on your comments, you think that this is all about politics and not about the morality of the death penalty.

            Larry, be under no illusion. You have hardened your heart and closed yourself to the words of Our Savior as articulated by the Pope and the bishops. Repent. There is still time and hope.

            Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.

          • And Larry, be honest with yourself for a change. No one here and least of all myself has “made your opposition to banning the death penalty even stronger than it was before.” Get over yourself.

            Just read your comments. Based on your comments, you think that this is all about politics and not about the morality of the death penalty.

            Larry, be under no illusion. You have hardened your heart and closed yourself to the words of Our Savior as articulated by the Pope and the bishops. Repent. There is still time and hope.

            Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.

          • I just think it’s strange, Jon, that when faced with the accusation that you want conservatives to shut up, you answered: “I never made such a point.” That’s an oddly half-hearted sounding “denial”–more like what Woodward & Bernstein would call a “non-denial denial.” I find something else funny: when I asked you why you yourself never stand up for the unborn, you answered that the unborn were already well-represented here–that you wanted to stick up for criminals because they get no respect on this site. But then you accuse conservatives of damaging their own causes by the kind of language they use. If your charge is true, then the unborn are certainly NOT well-represented here–and it would perhaps behoove you to join the debate against abortion with at least as much fervor as you display towards murderers. Because if you don’t, then you’re only leaving the fate of the babies in the hands of a bunch of what you consider to be incompetent fools who do more harm than good. How can you live with yourself if you do that?

          • Abeca Christian says:

            I didn’t utter a word, I just type,,,but I don’t recall using the word sodomite…..hmmm it’s not a word I use often so I don’t know where he got that…dumb or stupid? hmmm what ever….go cry to your mum jon…

          • Welcome to the not good enough because you didn’t post something club

          • Abeca Christian says:

            jon if you want hugs, go to your mum for that….I’m too young to be your mum, I bet you are older than 40 or 50 or 60. You lost this one so bad because you are running out of ideas so now you are using other silly remarks. Larry I really enjoyed your comments, you are an excellent debater. We have friends over for a BBQ, one of them voted for the end of the death penalty, she has allowed me to tell you that she is no longer in agreement to end the death penalty, she read your comments here just now. Elisabeth R thanks you…she is now a new reader of this website too. : )

          • Well, golly gosh! Please tell Elisabeth R., “you’re welcome” and “thank you” from me also! Here I am sitting in this lonely basement in the Chicago suburbs and I never even realized that I was also attending a barbecue in California, thanks to the miracle of electronic communication! (I wish I could have eaten some of that barbecue food–but that’s beside the point!) And thank YOU very much for this mailing!

          • Larry , that is scandal. “When there is question of theological dissent from non-infallible doctrine, we must recall that there is always a presumption in favor of the magisterium. Even noninfallible authentic doctrine, though it may admit of development or call for clarification or revision, remains binding and carries with it a moral certitude, especially when it is addressed to the Universal Church, without ambiguity, in response to urgent questions bound up with faith and crucial to morals The expression of theological dissent from the magisterium is in order only if the reasons are serious and well-founded, if the manner of dissent does not question nor impugn the teaching authority of the Church and is such as not to give scandal. ..Even responsible dissent does not excuse one from faithful presentation of the authentic doctrine of the Church when one is performing a pastoral ministry in her name.” Now obviously you are not performing a pastoral ministry in her name. But this is a case where, presuming the woman was Catholic, she was in obedience and now has been led astray. Remember the letter from the Pope when he was head of the CDF “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion which said “Were a Catholic to be AT ODDS with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment…he would not be for that reason to be considered unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion.” Now someone who was in comformity with the Holy Father on this issue is now at odds with him. That is scandal.

        • jon, you’ve fallen lock, stock and barrel into the rhetorical trap of assigning “hate” to various words. You’d call St Paul a hate filled man for the content of many of his letters. And how you must see Jesus as filled with hate by calling the pharisees “sons of the devil, liars, etc). And what about the Law given Moses by God, jon? The prescription of death was meted out plenty for many sins. You’ll make a useless defense of the Gospel account of Jesus telling the men stoning the ho to back off because they also have sinned: But, jon, Jesus did not cancel the death sentence, but rather pointed out the sinful state of those who had responsibility for administering the Law. It was not the Law with death sentences, jon, that Jesus condemned but those hypocrites who managed that Law. But since you display no familiarity with people, but only with ideas, then you will not be able to understand this point of fact.

          • Wrong! Jesus Himself ascribed hate and anger to certain words. As Our Lord has said: “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

            So based on the teaching of Jesus above, words bandied about here from you and others like “idiot,” “stupid,” and “dumb,” are hateful words.

            YOU are very MISTAKEN!

            “Well done!” Pope Benedict XVI to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when she presented to the Holy Father a copy of the new law outlawing the death penalty in the Philippines, June 26, 2006.

          • Jon, I don’t recall EVER seeing a post by you congratulating someone for a well-written defense of the unborn–and saying, “keep up the good work!” But you have plenty of condemnation for conservatives whom you feel are doing a lousy job.

          • jon, “hate” is a hate word. Jesus used it, although not in English language. Jesus also congratulated the Centurion who commanded many soldiers who killed people, both for his being a soldier and for his exemplary exercise of faith. Too bad you, jon, are incapable of reconciling all the things said by Jesus Himself and through His apostles and popes. You must be studying the magisterium on one of those matchbook universities.

          • Rather, it is you who are incapable of reconciling all the things said by Christ.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          okay jon I love them enough to stop them from killing more people…hows that..

    • Anonymous and other stock Leninist useful idiots can do little more than mime the same sad cliches from their various manifestos … over and over and over ad infinitum. My English 1 teacher made sure we did not finish his course with even one residual cliche hidden in our minds. But read the rhetoric of Marxists and you find nothing other than tired cliches. Ideas worn thin by the devil himself as he continues prancing about … some people find these evil ideas like fetishes and harp them constantly. They can never stand up against good reason, for good reason, or by good reason, for by good reason are the Marxist cliches sapped of their strange elixir that the jons of this world lap up with unquenchible thirst.

      • But you have not advanced one iota of good reason to defend your point that it is allowed to dissent from the Holy Father’s teaching on this matter. You have not!

        • jon, use your brain; why would I support dissent? If you mean that I dissent from what you say, no, you are wrong about that. You are not saying anything that one can dissent from, although you do claim to be the true font of God’s voice … I simply do not believe that you are. I think you suffer from a mental disorder of such nature that you actually believe that you are the true prophet of God, perhaps even the counterpart to Mohammed, because your view on the death penalty is opposite his. Have you started up your personality cult yet? If so, how many members do you sport so far?

          • Dan Catholic says:

            Skai you are dissenting against the Pope when you say you will not adhere to his words calling an end to the death penalty. Jon’s comments do not at all show any disorder. Instead those who display their disagreement with the Pope on this issue should check their sanity.

  52. Folks, when the Pope speaks on matters of faith and morals, as JP2 did many times against the death penalty, and so did Benedict, their words manifest their mind and will, which according to Lumen Gentium are to be adhered to. This does not include Their Holiness’ words uttered in private at the breakfast table (ok Larry?).

    The assent called for with the death penalty does not necessitate the Magisterium having to declare this as binding because the assent called for is a religious submission of mind and will.

    If the assent called for were to be theological faith, then yes, the Magisterium will have to definitively declare this as definitive. But as it is, the assent called for on the death penalty is the first level: a religious submission of mind and will. This is all in Donum Veritatis.

    THEREFORE, when JP2 and Benedict in their official speeches, homilies, writings call for an end to the death penalty—all in harmony with the Catechism and the CDF “Worthiness To receive Communion,” their words are to be adhered to.

    Listen to the Living Magisterium. Respect life.

    • “The assent called for with the death penalty does not necessitate the Magisterium having to declare this as binding…” Absolutely false.

      • Yes it’s true Larry. Everything I’ve said is true. But hey, you don’t have to believe me. You can read about these three levels of assent in the CDF Instruction “Donum Veritatis.” Look it up!

        It’s interesting that I am arguing and debating with a bunch of Catholics who have a modicum of knowledge about their own Church’s documents. And when they get to hear about stuff like this, they’re all “hey, you’re lying.” Not surprising I suppose.

        But folks, this is the Year of Faith, read up on the Church’s rich treasury of documents. Donum Veritatis is one of them.

        Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life!

        • The City of San Bernardino, now in bankruptcy, has dropped 80 police officers from its force. The City Attorney told the public to “lock your doors and load your guns”. The crime in that city is escalating, and the funds for police to stop that crime is dwindling. Point: Without using potential or actual deadly force to stop crime, then the crime will escalate, and this means the victims will include more murders, rapes, child molestations, assaults, home invasions. It also means that the police will be more trigger happy than if they had more back up available; thus, more perpetrators will die and be maimed by police bullets. jon, you theories are simply stupid … no other word to accurately describe them.

          • Well, on second thought, there is at least one more word, and that, jon, is psychotic fantasy, a term that aptly describes your advocation of stripping the public of its means of self defense.

        • jon, you may have read many Church documents, but you have no wisdom; you have no experience with reality.

          • WRONG! When a faithful Catholic relies upon the teachings of Christ as taught by His vicar on earth, the Pope, and by the successors of the Apostles, the bishops of today, then he is truly relying on teaching that is wise and guided by the Spirit.

            As Jesus had said, “Whoever listens to you (the Apostles, into whose office the bishops have succeeded) listens to me, whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me, rejects the One who sent me.”

            In other words, to lean upon the teachings of the Pope and his bishops on this matter of abolishing the death penalty is to rely on a teaching that is indeed wise, for it is teaching that comes from Wisdom Himself.

            “May Christmas help to strengthen and renew, throughout the world, the consensus concerning the need for urgent and adequate measures to halt the production and sale of arms, to defend human life, to end the death penalty…” Pope John Paul II’s message “Urbi et Orbi”, Christmas 1998.

            Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life!

          • Jon on the matter of the death penalty, I prefer to say that I stand wholeheartedly and firmly with Pope Pius XII. Would you like to call HIM a dissenter?

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Skai excellent observations!

          • Larry, it is funny that you are standing with the Pope that you used as an example to show that Popes can err. Larry, you are of course bound to your conscience on this matter. I hope you will keep studying the subject. Are you one of the posters who is suspicious of the Church after VII? I have to tell you though that I am disappointed because it seems that this was really just a political discussion for you and not one of discernment of Truth. Oh well!

          • “Are you one of the posters who is suspicious of the Church after VII?” Not at all. I am highly suspicious of people who harp on the “Spirit of Vatican II” and the “Living Magisterium,” as if there could be such a thing as the “Dead Magisterium.” “…it seems that this was really just a political discussion for you and not one of discernment of Truth.” It was BOTH, Jon. It was both!

          • Larry thank you for your answer. I am glad that you are OK with the Church.

        • To instruct the ignorant is an act of mercy. You are rewarded even if they refuse to hear. If they don’t listen to Peter, they will not listen to you. Go in peace with God’s blessing.

    • jon and Larry, you should read an article by Cardinal Avery Dulles called Authority and Conscience. It doesn’t have an answer to your argument but it does discuss assent and dissent when it comes to non-infallible teachings of the Magisterium.

  53. Larry – It was Pope John Paul II who, in 1999, traveled to Missouri specifically to plead for the life of a man who, after lying in wait, ambushed and killed his former drug crime partner, the partner’s wife, and their parapalegic grandson. It was the Pope’s “liberal agenda”, as you insist on describing it, not mine.

    At the time, I criticized John Paul for doing it, I was not the least in support of it. Since, the fact that he chose to focus his attention on such a henious crime and for such an unsympathetic criminal still amazes me as powerful testimony that will echo through centuries.

    No, Larry, it is hardly I who have “convinced the pope and the U.S. bishops” of anything. If they cannot be welcomed, the well-considered teachings of John Paul and Benedict should be regarded as difficult tasks, not ridiculed as if they came from one undeserving of your respect.

    • Blessed John Paul the Great also signed off on quite a few bishops who have turned out to be duds. He did not magisterially forbid the death sentence.

      • You are mistaken. JP2 most certainly called the death penalty “cruel and unnecessary.” And by judging it so, he has effectively forbidden any reasonable consideration that its continued use in our time is morally permissible.

        • Jesus says in the Gospel that it is better that a child molester have a millstone tied to his neck and tossed into the sea … jon, is this account no longer in the “living magisterium”?

    • Then who convinced YOU, Brian–and how did they do it?

      • John Paul II convinced me. How? The same way natural fathers convince their children, and the same way I was converted. He, and the Church showed me that they were truth-tellers.

        Its about that simple – but I did ask why I would I want to reject such counsel. Because my insight to the human condition is better than his? Because I understand the needs of the world and the needs of the Church better than he? I decided rejection would be stubborn pride.

        • How did he “show” you that he is a truth teller, after you had criticized him?

          • No need to ironize the word “show”, Larry. That is what he did, through his life and his example.

            Was there a particular moment when you determined your natural father was looking for your best interests, or was it a gradual realization of your maturity and not limited to a particular moment?

            But in my defense, even in my criticism, I didn’t assume that he was wrong. I decided I needed to contemplate it further.

          • You were dead set against his actions at one point–and then you all of a sudden decided to do an about-face on the matter. No particular reason. You just realized he was your father. Now, why do I find that so hard to believe? Perhaps because it sounds like it was ripped from the pages of some romanticized biography of a saint.

          • See. Comments like this from Larry and Skai/JLS genuinely worry me about them. Seriously. They have begun to think that white is black, that good is bad, and that whatever is black is blacker than it really is.

            Many spiritual writers have written about this condition, including C.S. Lewis. It is a sign that the Evil One has so warped their soul. This is Lewis now, not me. This is where the Evil One had also wrought into the souls of Jesus’ enemies, such as the Pharisees and the scribes. Nothing Jesus said, no matter how laudatory and holy convinced them because they have allowed themselves to be blinded by Evil.

            Take my advice Larry, Skai/JLS: get spiritual counseling and help.

          • I really must have hit a nerve, Jon. You’re starting to sound unhinged.

          • On the contrary it is your comments that display contempt and the state of being unhinged. I mean, you couldn’t distinguish the difference between the times of Pius XII and Benedict XVI? And the other more recent questions you’re asking are from a thinking uninformed and unstable.

          • “I mean, you couldn’t distinguish the difference between the times of Pius XII and Benedict XVI?” It is you who cannot distinguish the common bond between the two men.

    • Mark from PA says:

      It is interesting that Jon is one of the most pro-life people on here and others criticize him for it. He speaks out constantly against the culture of death and continues to say “Respect life.” It amazes me that some people continue to be so angered by what he says. Being pro-life is more than just being anti-abortion.

      • MarkPA, their reaction is actually rather predictable. I expected it. How?

        Look, what I have done is to successfully reveal to them and to others that they are no different from Catholics who “pick and choose” whatever they want to believe from the Church’s deposit of faith; that they are no different from the “liberal Catholics” who dissent and whom they call dissenters; that they are cut from the same cloth as those cafeteria Catholics whom they so despise.

        My aim is to really show them the hubris into which the Evil One has worked into them so successfully. The aim is to show them the hypocrisy into which they have so lulled themselves.

        Another aim, for which I know none of them will have the humility to thank me, is to show them how they can be more perfect, as the Father is perfect.

        Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.

        • “My aim is to really show them the hubris into which the Evil One has worked into them so successfully. The aim is to show them the hypocrisy into which they have so lulled themselves”: Noble intention, jon; too bad you do not have anything worth aiming though.

      • Didn’t you say, Mark, that you could favor the death penalty for the crime of murder committed by an inmate in prison? Jon wouldn’t approve of that.

        • Mark from PA says:

          Yes, I did say that, Larry. That was my opinion. But I am also saying that I respect what Jon is saying and also what Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have said about this. I find the anger that some here feel towards Jon to be troubling. It appears that he is too pro-life for some of the posters here.

          • No, what’s “troubling” Mark, is that he is too dishonest for some of the posters here, myself included. You are free to stand with JPII and Benedict XVI on the death penalty. I stand with Pius XII. You want to call him a dissenter?

          • PA, holding all opinions as equals is tantamount to being a slave of the Enlightenment movement of philosophy. Are you also a member of the Masonic Lodge?

          • Pius XII was right not to call for the abolition of the death penalty IN HIS TIME.

            It is in our time that the penal system in our society has so improved that other means are available to render harmless a criminal without putting him to death. This condition in our more recent times was recognized by John Paul II.

            Nice try Larry, but this new line of reasoning of yours is flawed.

  54. Those who want to engage in bloodlust should, instead of promoting the death penalty, just rent movies like Mel Gibson’s film about the Aztecs or Mayans, or maybe see on the big screen what the Borgias and Henry VIII did to their enemies.

    If that’s not enough, view the movie with Sister Helen Prejean and similar books and films, which humanize even the worst criminals and make even people like me think twice about wanting people executed.

    And if all that doesn’t move your hearts away from the desire to kill, peruse what today’s popes and bishops are urging us to consider as good Christian people – then check the Bible references they use in their writings.

    If all that still leaves you desiring blood – God loves you and understands much better than anyone on this site why you have your convictions.

    Pax et bonum…

    • Abeca Christian says:

      No comparison…all irrelevant….foolish comments

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Anonymous don’t use your tone of propaganda on here as if you were speaking of the unborn being tortured during an abortion, as if there was blood and torture…you are one sick unknown person to speak of that way about the very criminals who killed innocent victims, raped and some even chopped up their body parts…you have no common decency to even type those comments here in comparison to keeping society safe…..the person on death row is given a lot of time to repent and even treated way better than they treated their victims so please stop with your propaganda.

      • Mark from PA says:

        So Abeca Christian, if the person on death row repented, accepted Christ and no longer was a danger to anyone, would you say that they should then be taken off death row?

        • Abeca Christian says:

          PA what can guarantee us that a person on death row (especially since it is very rare with people who are actually in death row, takes years and years before it is even taken action on, in the first place) truly is reformed?

          So(with what you are trying to say) the second they were told that they were told that they were on death row, that they magically were healed and promise not to murder, chop up people anymore? hmmm.

          In Jaycee Duggards case, her kidnapper and rapist, he was let out because he had several therapist that reported that he has changed and won’t recommit any more molestations or raping anyone else, they wrote excellent reports about him. Watch the documentary. But as soon as he was let out, his wife helped him kidnap Jaycee, they kept her in their backyard as his sex slave for 18 years, she was pregnant with his two children. It’s pretty sick! Before he kidnapped Jaycee (which she was the youngest he raped) his last two victims, was a woman, whom he raped and he also molested a teenager too. The faulty legal system let him out even after those two occasions, fortunately he never killed anyone, not that we know off but he sure killed their spirits, that poor girl will live with that fear forever….The report shows how the legal system failed at protecting little Jaycee, which she is now an adult.

    • Just curious: would you favor forbidding police officers to carry and use deadly weapons in the line of duty?

      • Abeca Christian says:

        I find it very sick when people would rather defend any hard core criminal more than care for the innocent. There are many comments here who are offensive and hurtful. I would not want jon or any other supporter of jon’s views, to protect me nor my family because we would not be safe. God have mercy….as I watch the real 911 stories on TV, I couldn’t believe that people who have the audacity to think it was OK to defend those offenders. The real stories of those 911 calls were so horrific….praise God the ones I saw actually show the innocent victims survived but there are many who weren’t so lucky….

    • Anonymous, you know not of much Catholicism at all. Why don’t you begin your journey into the Church by finding out what Jesus has said. You’ll find most of it in the Gospel accounts, and a great deal of it elsewhere in both Old and New Testaments. But if your religious tradition is one of those secret knowledge constructs, then you may need more than simple knowledge of what the Church is all about … you may actually need the Church Herself.

      • It may shock you to know Skai/JLS that if John Paul II had lived during the first century in Palestine, he would NOT have called for an end to the death penalty. Neither did Christ. Why?

        Their penal system then is not to the standard we have now in our society in which capital criminals can be stopped without having to put them to death. And THIS (the steady improvements in the modern penal system) is precisely the condition that prompted JP2 to call for an end to the death penalty.

    • Anonymous, you ought to get your in toto life experience out of books and movies and go engage some violent criminals in conversation. Then go and engage some victims of violent crimes in conversations. Then go visit Jerry Sandusky and also visit the men at Gitmo. Then report back on how great Prejean is.

    • Which repentent criminals have apologized to their victims or to the people close to the victims?

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Skai even if it does happen….justice still needs to be done. Sometimes people seem like they repented but what they really feel is fear and sorry that they have gotten caught….Only God knows if they truly repented but when it comes to keeping safe our children…I don’t want to take the risk of placing them in harms way due to false compassion.

        I think that people are becoming more desensitized….I see it when people speak to rape victims coldly, or when they hear that someone’s body was found dismantled in a bag…or when they hear about a child that was found dead and tests show that they were sodomized….they don’t realize that it takes a greatly disturbed person to commit these heinous crimes. Usually they are without a conscience and rarely feel remorse. They have no idea with what they are dealing with, those hard core criminals are very clever and manipulative. If a victim for example in Jaycee’s case, can endure what she endured, she found a way of survival, well same can be for person who has no conscience about committing the heinous act on a child, they in their own survival skills as well as how to escape the system so they can recommit those evil acts.

        • St Paul teaches us that the consciences of some men become extremely deformed, deadened. There is also the Catholic doctrine of the “unforgiveable sin”. And further, Jesus teaches us that there are some men who are better off being executed (the millstone around the neck and tossed into the sea verse): And since Jesus is all about redemption, then my guess is that the death penalty sometimes brings about a better eternal end for a soul than otherwise. Thus, the hypothesis that more time in a prison gives a soul more time to repent is faulty. I mean to say, who has more authority, the Gospel or some speculation by a pope?

          • Skai:

            The “unforgivable sin” is not relevant to this discussion because murder and other felonies are not the “unforgivable sin.” See CCC 1864. Furthermore, Christ’s phrase “millstone around his neck” is obviously not advocacy for capital punishment, but rather expresses the grave sin of spiritual leaders who mislead others.

            The idea that the death penalty is justified because it “sometimes brings about a better eternal end for a soul than otherwise” is a poster-child case of “consequentialist thinking.” This is a belief that the consequences of one’s conduct determine the rightness of that conduct. It is completely aligned with the rationale for aborting babies with chromosomal disorders.

            Finally, do you seriously think your own exegesis based on irrelevant Gospel snippets has more weight than “speculation by a pope?”

          • Francis, you’re spinning the millstone Scripture into thin air, a cute trick used by “airy” philosophers even predating Christianity. A man who gains his view of reality from books alone would tend to do just that, namely hypothesize instead of realize.

          • Papal speculation is just that, a pope’s mind doing what non-papal minds can do. The fact, Francis, that a pope speculates on a topic means that God has not provided him with the truth of the matter, or that he does not understand the truth that God has already revealed. Speculation, Francis, is to philosophy as hypothesis is to science. The speculation on the death penalty has not even reached the stage analogous to theory. It remains simply an idea that many are concerned with. If it is so important, then why has God not spoken through a pope and his bishops to render it inarguable?

          • This is the main argument between jon and Larry. jon says God has spoken through a Pope and his bishops to render it inarguable. Larry says He hasn’t. jon has made a good case for it. Larry has some points too. It can’t be settled at the level of the laity; it will have to be decided in Rome.

      • Skai:

        If you have an interest in repentent criminals, look up “Life After Murder”. It’s a web site, and there was a recent radio program on City Arts and Lectures.

        • Francis, I’ve already done the leg work … so why read a book when I can refer to my own personal meetings with people? The problem with theory, Francis, is that it is usually an arm chair game. Go visit hardened criminals both inside and outside prison instead or reading books on the topic. After all, many of them have read all those books … what did you think they do in their cages?

          • Skai:

            Tell us about your “leg work.” Who are the people you met with? Are these anecdotal accounts and meetings, or systematic studies with a meaningful number of independent sources?

            Life After Murder is more than a book. It was also the subject of the radio story Anonymous refers to above. The author of the book and the web site doesn’t do her work from an arm chair. And by the way, is your “game” anything other than arm chair “work”? If you did some real leg work, I’d be interested to hear about it.

            You are correct: I have never visited with lifers in prison. I have several friends who regularly do exactly that; they go and pray together with the prisoners, and help the prisoners maintain prayer and meditation groups inside the prison. What they tell me is completely consistent with Life After Murder, and completely contrary to what apparently came out of your “personal meetings with people.”

            Regarding murders in prison, the issue isn’t whether felons commit additional crimes and murders. Many of them do. The real issue is whether parole boards reliably identify prisoners who can be paroled without endangering the public. Recidivism among paroled lifers is dramatically lower than in the general parolee population (read, for example, the report from Stanford Law School, “Life in Limbo”).

            Now’s your chance: Show us some verifiable facts, and you will change my opinion.

          • I’m not interested in providing you with another book, Francis. Go and find out for yourself what is real.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            good answer Skai……I don’t blame you!

          • Francis, I’ve discussed my “leg work” several times on this site; it consists of running, walking, hiking up and down canyon walls and little mountains. You are welcome to join me if you’d like. It is excellent exercise for the cardiovascular system, and a whole lot more exciting than working a treadmill while reading a book. Get out into “nature” and you then can read God’s book.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hmm…I heard this very sort of apology just last night on NPR.

        It was a piece that included convicted killers apologizing to victims, and to society, for the harm they had done.

        I also heard these same convicted killers say that they were AGAINST gun control laws, because such laws would prevent the innocent from protecting themselves against criminals like the killers.

        As the convicts pointed out, criminals will ALWAYS find a way to get guns.

        • They want parole. Did they say whether they prefer life without parole or death? Remember, Anon, that Charles Manson has periodic parole meetings, but they’ve always been denied. Also, on the convicts wanting the public to have less gun control, they figure they’ve got a better shot against the public with guns than against the police with guns.

          • Also, Anon, did these convicts talk about how many other convicts die in prison from murder?

          • Skai:

            Charles Manson is not relevant to the present discussion. Nobody has suggested that he is ready for parole.

            And I don’t get the “logic” behind your statement “they’ve got a better shot against the public with guns than against the police with guns.” Any police officer is a better shot than I am and most on-duty officers are armed. But I’m still way more dangerous to a criminal if I have a loaded weapon in my hand, than if I have none.

            The point made during the broadcast is that the parolees don’t want younger men to follow their path. They want potential felons to realize that the consequences of crime are grave, even if they aren’t caught. Three of the five men interviewed work as counselors for the prison system or as volunteers.

          • Charles Manson’s parole reviews come up periodically, Francis. This means that he has people in his corner trying to get him sprung. Are you really incapable of intuiting the point I made with this example?

          • Skai:

            Yes, I do have intuitions and judgements about your thoughts and intentions, but you probably would feel insulted if I stated them. Instead, I’ve offered you an opportunity to explain what it is you really mean.

            I like hiking an bicycling very much as well, and today we have fine weather for it. Perhaps some day we’ll walk together. But for now, it seems if we do walk together, God’s Kingdom will be better served if we don’t discuss these matters, so I will just leave it at that.

          • Manson’s parole reviews are automatically generated. They mean nothing, Skai. No one is advocating for his release. You are obviously just guessing and hoping – as you are with doctrine, to the peril of your soul.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            who cares Manson is only one case and he may not be released but there are many who have escaped the legal system, cases that are not as big as the Manson case. No one should ever forget what happened to Jaycee Duggard. Brian S the more you judge Skai soul, the more you are illogical….such tragedy in your part. You are so confident with your doctrine believes, its silly for you to judge Skai when you are the one who is in error!

          • Abeca, I’ll answer you your post of Dec 7 in which you accused me of “complete ignorance”, and being being “blinded by (my) agenda”.
            here.

            You complained that I “mention the death penalty with abortion, gay marriage etc”. What I actually did was defend my orthodoxy on those matters in direct response to Canius’ flippant and nasty accusation against me. Obviously you did not bother to read the post to which I was responding.

            You then quoted various catechism paragraphs to assert that the
            death penalty is just “if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.”.

            Of course, neither I, nor the Pope, nor anybody else has suggested otherwise. The point of John Paul II, and of Benedict, is that in the West, at least, alternative means of protection exist.

            Finally you resort to capital letters to insist that I be shamed for “TRYING TO DEBATE SOMETHING THAT SHOULD NOT BE DEBATED”. Quite a rich statement, after over 900 debating posts, a good many of which are yours, have been logged.

            As I have said from the beginning, you are arguing against our two most recent Popes, not with me. What will you do when the next Pope echos their position and within a few decades, the Church’s position against capital punishment is as undeniable as its position against chattel slavery?

            Remember that the Magisterium does not speak only in infallible statements but through its ordinary, but supernatural, teaching office. It is doing so now, and you need to heed the call to obedience.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Disgusting to suggest that Charles Mansion is not relevant. There is no logic in Francis thinking.

  55. The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living, teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus. This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the bishop of Rome.

  56. Abeca Christian says:

    Anon watches too many movies and is far from reality…such comments are repulsive and inconsiderate to the innocent victims who died and suffered at the hands of those hard core criminals…his or his comments are hurtful to even the victims families.

    • Do you think John Paul and Benedict were uninformed or unfamiliar with horrible crimes or with the depravity men are capable? Do they live in some dream world or ivory tower? I have heard others, usually protestants, say that is so but I find that assumption seriously at odds with the nature of their calling as well as their personal history.

      It is simply true that John Paul called for us to disavow the call for blood, including for the worst criminals. Review the case of Darrell Mease, for whom His Holiness pleaded in 1999, and determine if he left us any wiggle room for particularly ugly crimes.

    • abeca, I don’t know which anonymous you are referring to but you should realize that by posting such a comment you show your judgementalism and hard heartedness and your stubborness. You may have whatever opinion you choose-right or wrong; Catholc or non-Catholic. But anyone can see by this post that you have no fear to speak of things you know not of.

      • Well, Anonymous, if you don’t like people identifying you with confusion, then you should find out what to do to clarify it.

    • Dan Catholic says:

      Just the opposite. The Church has in mind prisoners and victims. It is the dignity of all people that the Church upholds, including when the Church teaches to abandon the death penalty.

      • False, Dan Cath., the Church contrary to your vapid rant does not teach that the death penalty is wrong. The Church teaches that the death penalty is right and that there is a need for it. Note how Jesus dealt with the question, and then explain how Jesus could be so wrong as you de facto claim.

        • You reveal how much you still do not understand how John Paul II and Benedict have judged that the death penalty must end in our time.

          To put it bluntly to you Skai/JLS: during the first century, in Palestine, there would have been NO OTHER MEANS to protect that society against capital criminals except the death penalty. Their penal system would have been primitive, inadequate, unlike the modern penal system in which other means can render harmless a criminal.

          It is the steady improvements of the modern penal system that JP2 had recognized and which Benedict does as well, prompting them to call for an end to the death penalty.

      • The Church does not teach abandoning the death penalty. Why do you people keep bearing false witness against the Church? The only issue Jesus said would be changed would be marriage, away from more than one wife to only one wife. You railers aim to use this idea first on the death penalty and then on marriage of one man and one woman. Your demonic strategy is to do away with all commandments, and conquer God.

        • WRONG. The Church, through JP2 and Benedict and the rest of the living Magisterium is calling for the abandonment of the death penalty for our time.

  57. jon, how do you integrate both “respect life” and “God is no respecter of men” in your so-called living magisterium? Also, you keep saying “listen to the living magisterium”, and I wonder if you’ve been graced by God to personally deliver true prophesy to the world perhaps in the stead of St John the Baptist, or Elijah or Daniel. Do you hold meetings that all may attend? Or do you simply sit with your laptop on a mountain top and post away?

  58. Anonymous says:

    Bloodthirsty people will always be among us – and sometimes we ourselves fall into this sinful desire to kill.

    If my family were murdered, I would probably become bloodthirsty and want the criminal killed, thus closing my heart to what The Living Magisterium of our Church preaches loud and clear, over and over again – this is why recent Popes often call recent Presidents of the United States, asking them to stop a scheduled execution. (They won’t, of course, fearing voter backlash.)

    If my best friend got pregnant due to rape, she might be tempted to abort the baby out of rage against the rapist.

    If my grandfather saw his wife dying in agony with cancer, he might consider euthanasia to end her suffering.

    And yet the Vicar Of Christ on earth (Pope John Paul, Pope Benedict, etc.) keeps telling us to avoid such temptations toward evil and killing, because we are not God and imperil our soul when we play God.

    Thank God Jesus intercedes for us even when we DO ask for bloody revenge, as He did on the cross: “forgive them, Father, they know not what they do…”

    • “If my best friend got pregnant due to rape, she might be tempted to abort the baby out of rage against the rapist.” If on the other hand, either she or a police officer had aborted the RAPIST during the act of rape–I’d be okay with that. Obviously the child is blameless.

    • “because we are not God”: Anon, apparently you have never heard of the Holy Eucharist.

    • Abeca Christian says:

      Larry and Skai it is appalling that these dissenters call us blood thirsty people? Where is the logic there, we are not the ones who rape, murder. molest etc etc, we are for keeping society safe under logical and fair trials, especially for hard core criminals who have proven who can not repair themselfes. It is a sick mentality, their examples are extremely cruel and have no respect for the victims and their families nor for the safety of others.

      As I have pointed out from my other comments, the death penalty is already very rare, they are given plenty of time to repent and their death is merciful, which is totally not what they did to their victims. The thought of allowing monsters out to commit another heinous crime on another unsuspecting innocent soul, just makes me feel chills. Evidence has shown us that the legal system is faulty and imperfect….there is no guarantee that the next victim won’t be one of our own.

      • Dan Catholic says:

        There’s something you’re not understanding Abeca. No one is saying that we allow convicts of capital crimes to go out. The Church is recommending life without the possibility of parole as a more suitable punishment befitting a human being.

  59. Abeca Christian says:

    I was watching a reality show that told stories of real 911 Emergency calls. It was really scary to watch a 911 call from a single mum and her 8 years old hiding inside her bedroom as an intruder broke in, the 911 operator told her to put her gun down (big mistake), as soon as she did the intruder broke in her room and tried raping her in front of her child. I think that her mistake was putting the gun down, she should of shot him before he wrestled her on the floor and hurt her badly in front of her son. The cops finally arrived a the scene soon after she was attacked. He only got a few years of jail time but with the way the laws are, if he shows good behavior, he may be released sooner. He is no different than the repeat offender Phillip Garrido, who was released early from molesting a teenager and also raping a woman, but was released early.

    • Hopefully the woman sued the 911 operator and the agency she/he worked for. That 911 operator should be sharing a prison cell with the rapist. Not a few 911 operators fail at their responsibilities on the calls. Jesus did not oppose the death penalty; a. He recommended a millstone around the neck of a child molester and then tossed overboard into the deep sea, and b. Jesus commended the Roman centurian (leader of a onehundred man death machine) for his faith. Also John the Baptist answered a soldier who wondered if becoming a Christian meant giving up being a soldier … The Saint of Saints told him to stay in the army and simply not to complain about low wages. That comparison kind of is a way of saying that being a soldier is not in contrast to the Gospel, and in fact is not even much of an issue.

      • Anonymous says:

        John the Baptist was dead before Christ began his Gospel mission.

        • Hmn, Anon, did you know that John the Baptist baptized Jesus? How can a dead man baptize someone? Do you also believe John the Baptist lied? … Even though Jesus called him the greatest among men born of women? Anon, you reflect neither a Protestant nor a Catholic background. Are you Jewish?

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Skai I agree, I kept saying the same thing. The 911 operator told her to put the gun down so the cops won’t confuse her as being the intruder(it didn’t seem like logic there) but they took too long to find her apartment. The man was trying to rape her in front of her son, he ripped her clothes and beat on her, then the police finally arrived at the scene, the reality show did not go into details of how far the intruder went with violating the poor mum in front of her child. All I could think was, grab the gun, grab the gun to the mum. I couldn’t believe the operator told her to put the gun down. That sure was a big mistake.

        I always pray that God keeps my family safe. I often get concerned and I pray that God will protect us from those things.

  60. When Pope John Paul II recognized that the penal system in our societies have other means to render harmless a capital criminal short of putting him to death, the late Holy Father judged that the death penalty must end.

    This judgment is in keeping with the principle laid out in the Catechism: “If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.”

    John Paul’s judgment is also in keeping with his words from Evangelium Vitae that “Today however, as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases [of the absolute necessity of the death penalty] are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”

    These words from Evangelium Vitae, as in the Catechism, express reality, not his wish: the reality that steady improvements in the penal system is making the absolute necessity of the death penalty rare if not non-existent.

    Moreover, because of the continued improvements in our society’s penal system, John Paul subsequently called for the abolition of the death penalty. All of this is in keeping with the Catechism and his earlier words in Evangelium Vitae.

    The Holy Father articulated this judgment calling for an end to the death penalty most clearly in 1999 in St. Louis, Missouri at a homily: “A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform. I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary.”

    We Catholics must be grateful that the Holy Spirit has so moved John Paul to articulate a teaching that promotes the dignity of all human beings, in this case those of capital criminals.

    We must also be grateful that John Paul was open to the Holy Spirit’s prompting.

    We can only hope that more and more of our Catholic brothers and sisters will likewise allow the Spirit to move them to work for and to pray for the END OF THE DEATH PENALTY IN OUR TIME!

    • Some day, jon, this Pope will die, and there will be another … what if the next pope never discusses the death penalty? Then where do you take it, jon?

      • Do you hear how lacking in faith you are? Popes and bishops come and go, but God is eternal, and the Holy Spirit will continue to move the Magisterium to teach, without error, the inviolable dignity of all human beings, including those on death row.

        Your questions are becoming odder and odder, sillier and sillier. You may be sitting on your computer too long reading my comments. Do not forget to take your medication.

      • In another place and time, people then living will be called according to the teachings of their shepherds – just as we are called to join with ours, now.

    • The means in question are holiness, jon. There are no utilitarian means so far in any large society which can make the death penalty unnessessary. These popes are speaking of the same hope that the Church has always spoken of, namely the time when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. When that happens, then the death penalty will not be needed, or rather will be sent to Hell.

      • Wrong! Pope Benedict, as John Paul before him, called for the end of the penalty NOW! IN OUR TIME!

        And contrary to your point, there are means to make the death penalty unnecessary, one of which is life without the possibility of parole. JP2 has judged the death penalty cruel and unnecessary because of the existence of these other means and other improvements in the penal system.

  61. The CDF Instruction, “Worthiness To Receive Communion,” was issued as a response from the CDF to a specific question: “May those Catholic politicians who dissent from the Magisterium’s teaching on the death penalty and on war be allowed to receive Communion.”

    The answer of the CDF is plain: Yes they may. Why? Because “Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia.” In other words, supporting the death penalty is not the same transgression as supporting abortion which is an intrinsic evil.

    Note, that nowhere in the CDF Instruction is dissent allowed. Nowhere does it say that there “is” a legitimate diversity of opinion on this matter. Where the Instruction reads: “There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia”, the CDF is proposing the hypothetical possibility of a legitimate diversity of opinion.

    This legitimate diversity of opinion can only conceivably come about when societies no longer have other means to render a criminal harmless that it must absolutely need the death penalty. This is in keeping with Pope John Paul II’s judgment.

    Be under no illusion. The CDF Letter NOWHERE excuses dissent on this or on any issue.

  62. An additional note to the above comment on the CDF Instruction.

    Note that the CDF allows Communion due to the disparity in the moral weight and gravity between support for abortion and support for the death penalty. Allowing Communion is NOT DUE to the fact that there “is” a legitimate diversity of opinion. The CDF Letter nowhere says that there “is” a legitimate diversity.

    Note this fine distinction well.

    • It says there “may” be a legitimate diversity of opinion, and communion is allowed exactly because of that.

      • You’re incorrect Larry. Read the CDF Instruction again.

        It says that if a person were to be at odds (to dissent) from the Pope on this issue, he would not “for that reason” be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. FOR WHAT REASON? For the reason mentioned in the previous sentence: “Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia.”

        Such a person may receive Communion NOT because there “is” a legitimate diversity of opinion (which there isn’t), rather such a person may receive Communion because the transgression is not of the same moral gravity as abortion which is an intrinsic evil.

        The point is that dissent on this or on any issue is not countenanced by the Church in any of her documents.

        • There is no “transgression” at all, Jon. “Legitimate” means permissible–allowable–perfectly okay. It’s not even a venial sin.

          • It is dissent, which is NOT allowed or permitted.
            Persistence in this transgression, this sin, when the evidence is overwhelming that there are other means to render harmless a criminal without putting him to death, is a serious offense against the dignity of human beings.

          • Really? Then how could it possibly NOT be a bar to Holy Communion? If it is serious, then anyone in favor of the death penalty would be barred from Holy Communion. You cannot receive in a state of mortal sin.

          • The CDF has already answered this question. The answer is that supporting the death penalty is not the same type of transgression as abortion, which is an intrinsic evil.

            It remains a transgression, and a serious one, serious enough for certain Catholics to ask the CDF about this, and for the CDF to compare it with abortion. There are many sins out there, not officially considered “mortal,” but yet are serious and corrosive to the soul.

            Personally for me, that dissenters on this issue are allowed to receive Communion shows the immense mercy of the Church. You should be eternally grateful.

            Therefore, the question begs to be asked: how come you couldn’t show the same kind of mercy to those on death row?

          • “Personally for me, that dissenters on this issue are allowed to receive Communion shows the immense mercy of the Church.” Not all all! It shows that these particular “dissenters” as you say, are not sinning in the least. Otherwise it would be sacrilege to encourage them to go to Communion instead of repent.

        • So let me see if I get your argument, Jon. You’re saying that supporting the death penalty is not a bar to Holy Communion because it’s a VENIAL, not mortal sin? It’s really no more serious than cussing out the valet parker because he dinged up your car? Well now this is a very novel argument! I was taught that the unlawful taking of human life can ONLY be materially grave. A person who kills MIGHT be in venial sin only because of certain extenuating circumstances which could diminish his responsibility–but nonetheless, the sin is OBJECTIVELY grave. But YOU’RE saying in the case of the death penalty–as per the CDF statement–it is a materially MINOR sin? That certainly doesn’t comport with your fiery passion on the subject, or your acrimonious denunciations of those who, like myself, disagree with you. If this is your premise, you must follow up with a treatise, citing your sources, of why unlawful homicide can be objectively venial. I cannot go along with such an argument simply on the basis of your bald assertion.

          • Dissent from the words of the Pope is not as light a transgression as you have imagined. I can already see the effects of such an offense in your soul through your comments:

            You have insulted people here, you have despised clergy, you have expressed hubris and pride in your own “opinions” negating the words of the Vicar of Christ.

            Are these “light” sins therefore? The Evil One can take venial sins, and through habit and the deleterious effects it can have on the soul, gradually it turns you into a monster.

            So, NO Larry, it is NOT a light sin at all, and considering the fact that lives of human beings are involved, it’s a serious one for folks like you.

          • But if it’s serious, then why would Cardinal Ratzinger have said that we CAN receive Communion? YOU were the one who said that it’s not as serious as supporting abortion, which is why we can receive Communion. YOU were the one who indicated it must be a venial sin–if it were mortal, it WOULD be a bar to Holy Communion. Why would Cardinal Ratzinger’s guidelines say that it is NOT a bar? You’re not making sense at all, Jon.

          • Additionally, you should be eternally grateful that the Church, in her mercy, continues to allow dissenters on this issue to receive Communion.

            The question then becomes: how come you, in turn, couldn’t show the least, the modicum amount of mercy to those on death row.

            This question “may” very well be what your Savior “may” ask you at the end of time, at your judgment.

          • In other words, you’re completely stumped by my question. You’ve tried to contend that supporting the death penalty constitutes a venial sin under CDF guidelines–then you can’t defend that absurd proposition. I thought so.

          • On the contrary, the truth remains that dissent is a serious transgression, worthy enough for people to ask the CDF about it. And the fact that the CDF compared support for the death penalty with abortion should raise red flags for you that this IS a serious transgression.

            Dissent is not a “light” transgression. However, what you have shown by your subsequent comments is that you are a “minimalist” Catholic. You’re only interested in the “minimum requirements” of the faith—what is the minimum thing one can do to get by.

            Well, Larry, Christ calls you to be perfect as the Father is perfect. The Church calls us to unity, unity with the Vicar of Christ in matters of faith and morals, not to be at the fringes of the Body of Christ.

            You and everybody else here are warned not to lull yourselves into thinking that because the Church has been merciful to me by allowing me to receive Communion, that I can use this as a license to keep on dissenting, EVEN THOUGH YOU NOW KNOW BETTER. This is how one deceives oneself.

          • Additionally, remember Matthew 25. The very criteria Jesus used to judge is “what have you done for these least ones.” Our Lord deliberately included prisoners in that list.

            So how are you going to respond to our Savior when he asks you: “You had a chance to stand up for these least ones–those prisoners on death row. Did you, Larry?”

            However you’re going to respond, you cannot say “well, I did not know.”

            You’ve been told here. By me.

            Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life.

          • To make it even simpler for you Larry: There are many sins one may commit, not officially considered “intrinsic evil” and mortal but yet are serious and are gradually corrosive to the soul overtime. The sin of dissent, dissent on the issue concerning the dignity of other human beings, is ONE OF THEM!

            But one should ask you: Why are you so passionate about clinging to a sin, a transgression, in favor of a penalty which Pope John Paul II judged “cruel and unnecessary”?

          • “There are many sins one may commit, not officially considered ‘intrinsic evil’ and mortal but yet are serious…” That is not correct, Jon. “Mortal” and “serious” are one and the same regarding sins. All serious sins are mortal sins, and all mortal (that is, serious) sins bar the sinner from Holy Communion until he has repented. In order for an action to not be a bar to Holy Communion, it would either have to be a venial sin or no sin at all. Cardinal Ratzinger’s use of the word “legitimate” in his discussion about differences of opinion regarding application of the death penalty, just war, etc means that such differences are morally innocent. That is, they are not sins at all, contrary to your gratuitous and unfounded assertions.

          • Somewhere in these comments someone asked for refernces on the vatican website. Here are a couple. “Declaration of the Holy See to the First World Congress on the Death Penalty” “Intevention by HE Archbishop Renato R Martino” You can search on their website and get many others.

      • Additionally, the context in which the verb “may be” is used here is to express something theoretical and hypothetical, not to express permissibility. Notice how the same paragraph uses “if”. THe entire meaning and thrust of the paragraph is to propose a hypothetical possibility.

        Otherwise, if you’re going to insist you’re right, you’re saying that this document contradicts Lumen Gentium and other documents of the Church, as well as the call to unity within the Church.

        You would therefore be advocating confusion. Rather the right reading of that verb–that it is theoretical—is in harmony with the rest of the documents and teachings of the Church.

        • It endorses the theoretical possibility that people may disagree with the death penalty stand of Benedict & JP without sinning. It denies there is ANY “theoretical” possibility of disagreement on abortion, etc–without the dissenter being in mortal sin.

          • Then your reading of the text DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE to any rational, thinking person. It is VERY CLEAR as the text says that the reason for Communion is the disparity in the gravity between support for abortion and support for the death penalty. The phrase “for that reason” proves my point and DISCOUNTS yours.

          • My questions are one-thousand per cent clearer than your answers. If supporting the death penalty is seriously wrong, that would make it a mortal sin and a bar to Communion. If it is wrong, but NOT a bar to Holy Communion, that would make it a venial sin–something minor. You can’t have it both ways. Either it’s one or the other.

          • The sin is incredulity. Because there are circumstances where the death penalty may be permissible, it is not an intrinsic evil so you can still receive communion if you are “at odds with the Holy Father.”

          • Larry, your knowledge of Catholic spirituality is truly lacking and it shows in this question. Don’t you know that there are sins for a soul, albeit may not considered “mortal” but for that individual soul is nonetheless serious and corrosive?

            This particular sin/transgression of dissent is one of the most pernicious and corrosive sins out there. It leads a person to say as you have, “Ah well, I can still receive Communion anyway, so why bother.” But gradually such an attitude of dissent seeps into the soul, corroding one’s reverence for the clergy, soon one’s respect for other people, insulting and disregarding people and things revered by the faithful, disregarding certain holy teachings of the Church that you might find “unpalatable.”

            It can grow into contempt for the Body of Christ, and for holy things. And I can tell you, this sin has grown so much in many folks here that I can sense it in your comments.

            The end result is an attitude that disregards the dignity of human beings—precisely the attitude of the Evil One who has nothing but contempt for us humans, and who wants all of us DEAD, eternally, as he is.

            If you wish to cling to this rotting relic of the culture of death, by all means. All I have done here is warn people of the deadly effects this type of seemingly “minor” sin can have on people like you.

          • “All I have done here is warn people of the deadly effects this type of seemingly ‘minor’ sin can have on people like you.” So, you are changing your story? You now admit that you DO call it a venial sin, to dissent from the current popes’ on the death penalty? But how can the unlawful taking of a human life involve anything BUT grave matter, which would necessarily make it a mortal sin–which in turn would necessarily bar one from Holy Communion? And so far you haven’t even tried to explain away Cardinal Ratzinger’s use of the word “legitimate.” My Webster’s Third New International Dictionary says: “accordant with law or with established legal forms and requirements” or “conforming to recognized principles or accepted rules and practices.” In other words, “legitimate” disagreement means disagreement that is entirely innocent–not sinful to any degree whatsoever–not even venially sinful.

          • I haven’t even commented directly on whether or not the dissent on the death penalty is a venial or mortal sin, and yet you say I am changing my story? Yeah. Right. Another example of Larry jumping the gun, putting words in one’s mouth.

            I laugh at your attitude that says: “Oh, so this is just a venial sin? Really?” I will partly answer your question on the veniality or mortality of this sin through a quote from the Catechism (1863): “Venial sin weakens charity; it manifests a disordered affection for created goods; it impedes the soul’s progress in the exercise of the virtues and the practice of the moral good; it merits temporal punishment. Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin.”

            I daresay this particular “venial” sin of dissent against the death penalty has turned into a mortal sin for some folks here who have expressed contempt for the Catholic clergy, a disregard for the ministry of the Holy Father, a contempt for your own Catholic brothers and sisters whom you have insulted here, and a suspicion of the intent of the Church concerning this teaching, viewing it as all political.

            So, yes Larry, judging from your comments here, and weighing where your soul is based on your comments, for you and many here, this sin of dissent has turned mortal. Repent and listen to the living Magisterium!

      • The verb “may be” does not mean “is.” To say that it is so, is very Clintonesque. And you would be doing violence to the English language.

        • It is you who is doing violence to the English language here.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Larry I agree with you…

          • That makes you Larry, and Abeca, fans of the tactic employed by President Clinton. You’re both Clintonites therefore.

            “It all depends on what ‘is’ means—Bill Clinton.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            jon that is disgusting…the silly example of Clinton…how low can you YOU GO! Its interesting how you brought him up….you seem to resemble him in how he interprets things…..You brought him up so I gave me an opportunity to use it against you.

            “I did not have sex with that woman” Clinton on the Monica L scandal.

    • jon, nothing about Holy Communion is up to you; you have nothing whatsoever to do with ministering Holy Communion.

    • What “fine distinction”, jon? The document does not discuss “dissent” because that is not the issue.

  63. Some folks here have made the incorrect point that because the Pontiff never declared definitively that the death penalty must be abolished, that this judgment is not binding. Totally wrong!

    For the level of assent called for regarding the Church’s teaching on the death penalty—namely a “religious submission of mind and will”—the Magisterium DOES NOT have to declare the teaching as definitive.

    Rather, all that the Pontiff needs to do, as mentioned in Lumen Gentium 25, is to manifest his mind and will on the issue. And his mind and will is made manifest through documents, his manner of speaking, and the repetition of the same teaching.

    John Paul II repeated the teaching that the death penalty be abolished enough times—in homilies, in official speeches, in addresses, in his writings—that the whole world KNEW HIM to be against the death penalty. There is no question where his manifest mind and will was on this issue, and this judgment of his is in complete harmony with the principles in Evangelium Vitae and the Catechism.

    Pope Benedict has repeated this same teaching enough times since his election in 2005 that he too is known as calling for an end to the death penalty.

    The manifest mind and will of the present Pontiff is well-known on this issue, and per Lumen Gentium it is to be adhered to “with a religious submission of mind and will.”

    If the level of assent called for were higher–that of “theological faith”—then the Magisterium needs to define this teaching as definitive. But as it is, it does not have to.

    Additionally some folks have said laughingly argued that we are saying that every word of the Pope needs to be adhered to.

    WRONG!

    Our adherence to the mind and will of the Pontiff is on matters of faith and morals. When the Pope delivers his homily, gives an official address or speech, writes and Exhortation, he is usually touches on matters of faith and morals. These are not “personal opinions” of the Pope, but rather his teachings based on Scriptures and Tradition.

    • I gladly adhere to the “mind and will” of Pope Pius XII.

      • Larry, are you a sedevacantist?

        • I asked this before you answer my question about Vatican II. So I know you are not.

        • Not at all. Are YOU one of these “Spirit of Vatican II” people who insist that everything before Pope John XXIII has been thrown out?

          • No. I am not. I asked that because of the Pius XII thing. Why would you give submission of mind and will to Pius XII and not to our current Pope?

          • “Why would you give submission of mind and will to Pius XII and not to our current Pope?” I’m doing both, K. Benedict XVI as Cardinal Ratzinger gave me permission to disagree with him on the applicability of the death penalty, in his “Worthiness to Receive Communion”–a document which as Pope Benedict, he has NOT repudiated. Previous popes, such as Pius XII have taught that the death penalty is not intrinsically evil–Pius XII said that the condemned man has in fact forfeited his own right to live by his crime. No subsequent pope has any right or power to reverse the infallible teachings of any previous pope or Magisterium and substitute some new law of morality or faith.

          • Good move, Larry.

          • Larry, no one has said the death penalty is intrinsically evil. Cardinal Ratzinger said that you could be at odds with the Holy Father and still receive communion. He said there was a legitimate diversity of opinion on the application of the death penalty. Pius XII did say that. He said it in an address-the same kind of address that you have said is not infallible. And I am not arguing with you. I want you and all of us to understand the issues of conformity with the Church. And living magisterium is a term that means the teaching office of the Church. It does not mean only those members of the Magisterium who are currently alive. It is the idea, as opposed to the Protestant idea that authority ended with the death of the Apostles, that the Pope is the Successor of Peter and the bishops are the successors to the Apostles and they maintain the same authority throughout the centuries. There seemed to be some confusion on that term.

          • “And I am not arguing with you.” Then what in blazes ARE you doing? “Larry, no one has said the death penalty is intrinsically evil.” Then why do you take issue with me? What exactly is it that we DISagree on, in your opinion? “Cardinal Ratzinger said that you could be at odds with the Holy Father and still receive communion. He said there was a legitimate diversity of opinion on the application of the death penalty.” That is correct, k, but that is NOT Jon’s position. His position is that “diversity of opinion” on the death penalty is NOT allowed. Do you agree with him or not? “Pius XII did say that. He said it in an address-the same kind of address that you have said is not infallible.” It’s also the same kind of address that Jon indicated IS infallible, or must be treated as such–that is, until Jon qualified that by saying that the words of dead popes no longer possess such status–until he qualified that further by saying unless the current pope re-grants them infallibility, in which they once again do. Pius XII was in fact articulating the infallible teaching of the Church in his 1958 address, and that teaching cannot change. “I want you and all of us to understand the issues of conformity with the Church.” First YOU must start understanding that “issue.” Obviously, you do not. “And living magisterium is a term that means the teaching office of the Church. It does not mean only those members of the Magisterium who are currently alive.” You’d better tell that to Jon! He says that it DOES mean only the living members. You’ve got a problem with HIM, not me. “There seemed to be some confusion on that term.” And there seems to be “some confusion” within your own mind, k, as to exactly what you believe and with exactly whom you find agreement-disagreement.

          • Larry, the word “living” is very simple. I can’t believe I’d have to define that word for you. It means that which is alive! The phrase living Magisterium is the teaching office now living—the present Pope and his bishops! It does not include popes and saints who have gone before. They are however part of the Tradition of the Church.

            Every teaching of the living Magisterium takes into account Tradition and Scripture. The Magisterium does NOT “throw them out,” as you falsely claim I am saying.

            In the teaching of the death penalty, be assured that the living Magisterium has weighed all of Tradition and Scripture when it rendered the judgment that the death penalty must end.

            Additionally, k is also wrong. The CDF DOES NOT say that there “is” a legitimate diversity of opinion. Rather, it proposes a hypothetical possibility of one, contingent upon the condition recognized by John Paul II—namely the existence of other means that can render harmless a prisoner short of the death penalty.

            Those dissenting against the Pope are allowed Communion, not because there “is” a legitimate diversity of opinion, but because support for the death penalty is not an intrinsic evil, like abortion.

            This however still means that dissent on this and on any issue, is a SIN!

            Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life!

          • “The phrase living Magisterium is the teaching office now living—the present Pope and his bishops! It does not include popes and saints who have gone before.” First of all, it does not include “saints” at all, unless those saints were bishops and/or popes. Secondly, as to your contention that it does not include deceased popes, the true answer is: YES IT DOES! And you have produced nothing backing up your erroneous explanation of the word “living,” which describes the quality of the Magisterium itself, not the circumstances of its members.

          • And Larry, stop lying to yourself. Pope Benedict never gave you or anyone permission to dissent from the Church’s teaching on any issue. Dissent is a sin in the eyes of the Church.

            It has been proven in past threads that folks here who cling to the death penalty are misreading the CDF Instruction “Worthiness To Receive.” Nowhere does it say that there “is” a legitimate diversity of opinion. There is indeed a “diversity of opinion” but are they “legitimate”? NO.

            Why not? Because JP2 recognized the changed circumstances (third font of morality CCC 1750) of the penal system which now has other means to make harmless a convict without having to put him to death. As long as this judgment is not refuted by a subsequent Pontiff, it stands. Why does it stand? Because of Lumen Gentium 25 which binds Catholics to the judgments of the Pontiff.

            Folks, read the CDF fairly please, and do the same with the rest of the documents of the Church on this Year of Faith. If you read the CDF Letter fairly, without your agenda but rather in light of the words of Benedict and JP2, you will really hear what the CDF means. There “may be” the possibility of a legitimate diversity of opinion. But as it there, there is none.

            More to the point, I have not heard from Larry any opinion on behalf of the death penalty that is remotely legitimate.

          • “As long as this judgment is not refuted by a subsequent Pontiff, it stands.” “Judgments” of the pope in faith or morals–if they are published as definitive–cannot be “refuted” by future popes. Once again, you’re revealing your “Holy Roman Banana Republic” view of Church authority. The judgments of Innocents I & III and Pius V & XII cannot be “refuted” by anyone, including JPII and Benedict XVI. The current popes cannot make the death penalty immoral any more than Paul VI could make contraception moral (in case you’re also waiting for that “judgment” to be “refuted” in the future.) “More to the point, I have not heard from Larry any opinion on behalf of the death penalty that is remotely legitimate.” That is even less to the point. The debate here is about your spurious claim that Catholic teaching on the death penalty has been reversed–and your erroneous concept of the “living Magisterium” as consisting of the plenipotentiary overlords of all Catholic teaching, moral and dogmatic. On the contrary, the popes and the bishops in union with him are the judges and expositors of doctrine, NOT its lords.

          • Larry and jon, I am not trying to change you or jon. I am trying to give you the information. You two are debating. I am not. I am trying to put things into the discussion that are relevant to it. For myself, I am unconditionally pro-life. We were asked to be by John Paul II. He said that the New Evangelization required Catholics who were unconditionally pro-life. The New Evangelization is according to Pope Benedict the re-evangelization of those who have lost the faith. Pope John Paul II gave his reasons in Evanglium Vitae for his opposition to the death penalty. A Pope can not change dogma or infallible doctrine. I trust that John Paul II was extrememly careful about that. I have been studying this to see the reasons that the doctrine appeared to change. I still am not satisfied with the answers I have read but I trust John Paul II. I have read but I cannot find the source that the Pope convened a committee to study what the dogma or official doctrine of the Church was on the death penalty. They found that there was none. I do not think that you are correct when you say that you will submit to Pope Pius XII and not Pope Benedict if that is your reason for supporting the death penalty. (But you said there were political reasons for your stand.) I do not think that jon is correct when he is saying that there is no difference of opinion allowed. I think we are in a phase where the Church has not officially pronounced that and that jon is holding you to a level of obedience that the Church does not hold you to. Eventually, the Pope will clarify things. Remember in the ’80s when people were talking about ordaining women and Pope John Paul II declared that the Church did not have the authority to ordain women? Most people submitted but some did not. The Pope did say that it should no longer be debated and a Bishop in Australia was recently removed because he discussed it. They have not issued any kind of statement like that on the death penalty. All we have is the letter that says if you are at odds with the Pope on the death penalty you can still receive communion. And that there may be legitimate diversity on the application of the death penalty. (I would think that would mean in individual cases, not in the morality of it.) It also does not say what opinions are legitimate or illegitimate. You are right in saying that Pope Pius and the previous tradition of the Church is a part of the living Magisterium and that the current Magisterium are stewards of Tradition. Jon is right in encouraging you to obey the Holy Father. Your debate is highlighting an area of thought on this that needs to be directly addressed by the Vatican and the laity cannot resolve by itself.

          • Larry, you really must read Lumen Gentium and the Catechism because your questions and wrong assertions in your comment above (December 6, 2012 at 6:48 am) are all answered there. But let me point out again your errors:

            1) There is only ONE Pope presently and he is Benedict XVI. When Lumen Gentium and the Catechism calls Catholics to adhere to the judgments of the Pope, the documents MEAN the present Pontiff, not Pius XII, not John XXIII, not Paul VI, or any other previous pope, but the PRESENT ONE!

            2) The word Magisterium by itself refers to the living Pope and his bishops. The word itself means the “teaching office,” more precisely the people occupying those offices now, namely Benedict and the bishops. The adjective “living” stresses that fact!

            3) Not adhering to Benedict XVI and the bishops MEANS in effect that YOU ARE NOT ADHERING TO PIUS XII. Pope Pius would have commended you to obey his successors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Pius would NOT be been happy that you are disregarding the words of his successor Benedict because Benedict and today’s bishops are the official interpreters FOR OUR TIME the words of Tradition (of which Pius is part) and the Bible.

            4) Again, the morality of an action is determined by 3 constitutive elements (CCC 1750). John Paul recognized the change in the third element (circumstance) and therefore has declared that the death penalty must end because of the change in circumstance (namely that there are now other means to make harmless a convict without recourse to the death penalty). He, and Benedict after him, have in effect “REFUTED” the necessity of the death penalty “for our time”—a necessity which may have been the judgment of previous popes “in their time.”

            5) Because of this change in circumstance by ALL MEANS the Pontiff may judge an action morally wrong, and this judgment is binding. And the Pontiff in making this judgment will have been guided by Tradition (Pius, St. Thomas, et al), by Scriptures, by the Spirit.

            6) John Paul and Benedict, contrary to your claim, has never “reversed” the Catholic teaching on the necessity to punish those who are guilty. Rather, if nations were to use the death penalty while there are other means available to make harmless a criminal without use of the death penalty (circumstance), it will NOT BE MORALLY RIGHT AND PERMISSIBLE due to the change in circumstance. Its continued use becomes a violation of human dignity.

            Larry, take my advice, read Lumen Gentium. It will set your thinking right. Of course, if you are a sedevacantist and you do not believe in Vatican II at all, you’re totally wrong, and that’s a whole other matter altogether.

          • Dan Catholic says:

            Larry says, “And you have produced nothing backing up your erroneous explanation of the word “living,” which describes the quality of the Magisterium itself, not the circumstances of its members.”

            Larry, Jon does not have to produce anything for you because it is universally understood what “living” means. It means that which is alive. It is you who will have to prove your spurious interpretation of the word because you are now “spiritualizing” it, or adding a new interpretation to the word. If the Magisterium includes previous popes, then why are they also included in the Tradition? This demonstrates that your assertion makes no sense. No sense.

            Larry, when the documents say we must adhere to the Pope’s words whom do you think the documents mean? Whoever present Pope is, of course!

            Your entire point here then is nonsense. We adhere to the Pope now living, the bishops now living, who are all the living Magisterium.

          • K’s comment from December 6, 2012 at 9:24 am is wrong. K says that “I do not think that jon is correct when he is saying that there is no difference of opinion allowed. I think we are in a phase where the Church has not officially pronounced that and that jon is holding you to a level of obedience that the Church does not hold you to.”

            The Church has most definitely said that one must obey, adhere, submit to the judgments of the Pontiff in Lumen Gentium 25. Lumen Gentium is holding Larry and all Catholics to a level of obedience. It says it plainly there in Lumen Gentium!

            The CDF Instructions does NOT say that there “is” a legitimate diversity of opinion. It is not saying that diversity of opinion is not allowed (that is Larry’s attempt to set up a straw man). By golly, there is indeed a lot of opinions out there on this.

            Rather, the CDF is proposing a theoretical possibility of a legitimate diversity of opinion. This is evident in the verb “may be” found in the CDF document. “May be” does not mean “is”; the CDF does NOT say that there “is” a legitimate diversity of opinion.

            Again, there is indeed a diversity of opinion out there, but are they “legitimate”? NO! Why not? Because of the reality that there are now other means to protect society from capital criminals without having to put them to death. This is the judgment of John Paul II, which in accord with Lumen Gentium is BINDING!

      • Sorry to tell you Larry, but what matters as articulated in Lumen Gentium 25 is adhering to the mind and will of the living Magisterium, the present and living Pope whose ministry is to apply the Gospel TO OUR TIME.

        As much as I admire Pius XII and as much as you are inordinately attached to him, he is no longer part of the living Magisterium.

        But Pope Benedict XVI is, and so are all the bishops now living—and they all teach an end to the death penalty, a judgment Catholics are called to adhere to per Lumen Gentium.

        • “As much as I admire Pius XII and as much as you are inordinately attached to him, he is no longer part of the living Magisterium.” You mean because he’s passed on? But so has JPII–he’s been gone for 7 years now, but that doesn’t stop you from quoting him incessantly on the death penalty. (And you are not “inordinately attached” to JPII?) Are you saying that Pius XII is deader than JPII? Because–let me guess–you were born well after 1958? Well, mister, I was born and baptized in 1955. Pius was my first pope. I was one of his sheep, although I didn’t know it yet. And let me tell you something–my “Living Magisterium” consists not only of Benedict XVI and Pius XII–it goes all the way back to Pope Peter I. I don’t have a “Dead Magisterium.” Apparently you do.

          • Again, you’re wrong Larry. I have made a point of quoting from JP2 because it is from him that this binding judgment on the death penalty commenced. In fact, one can consider that JP’2 teachings on this is now part of Catholic tradition, inasmuch as it is still the current Magisterial teaching, something that you cannot say about Pius XII.

            What is more apropos for you to remember is that JP2′s successor, Pope Benedict, has continued JP2′s Magisterium on this issue, not Pius XII’s.

            It is the living Magisterium’s voice that interprets the Gospel FOR OUR TIME, not Pius XII.

            Listen to the living Magisterium. Respect life!

          • The fact remains that by your own logic, Jon, you must cease and desist quoting JPII and confine yourself to quoting Benedict. Otherwise you are guilty of the most blatant hypocrisy.

        • On the night Pope Pius XII died, we in the United States had coast-to-coast network television. In the weekly lineup were shows like “Perry Mason” with Raymond Burr, “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “The Lawrence Welk Show,” “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” “Dragnet,” “To Tell the Truth,” and many others. Videotape was already in wide professional use. Color videotape was being introduced in the studio, and recordings of shows then still exist. Pius had spoken over radio and television. He had called for creation of what later became the European Union. (The European Economic Community already existed by the time he died.) He was most certainly a pope of the modern age, and does not deserve to be dismissed as a horse-and-buggy era man, as though his teachings can have no relevance to us 21st Century folks.

          • The truth Larry is that you’re wrong. Pius XII is not with us now to be able to interpret the Gospel FOR OUR TIME. He is not part of the living Magisterium. Now I now some of you will erroneously misconstrue that as dissing Pope Pius, but it isn’t. It is fact! The living Magisterium is the present Pope and the bishops now living.

            Pius XII’s successor, Pope Benedict XVI is with us, and the present Holy Father has judged to continue the teachings of Pope John Paul II who called for an end to the death penalty.

          • In the case of infallible teaching on faith and morals, Jon, once a pope has clarified the teaching, no future pope is free to reverse it.

          • Larry you reveal your ignorance. No pope has declared his teaching on the death penalty officially infallible. Infallibility of the pope was expressed twice: to define the teachings of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her glorious Assumption.

        • Why, jon, do you not believe in eternal life and union with God through the Holy Eucharist?

        • jon – please provide the exact document and numbered pargraph which can be found on the Vatican web site for verification – that states we should ONLY adhere to the teaching of the “LIVING Magisterium”.

          According to you, we should throw out Matthew, Mark , Luke, John, St. Paul, and St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine.

          Your position is heretical and schismatic.

          • It’s amazing how people here are wont to do their own legwork. The Catechism teaches plainly and clearly that “By a ‘supernatural sense of faith’ the People of God, under the guidance of the Church’s living Magisterium, ‘unfailingly adheres to this faith.’” (889). Note that it is under the guide of the living Magisterium that the faithful adhere to the faith.

            This is also shown in the Conciliar document Dei Verbum makes it even more plain that the task of interpreting the Scriptures to us, the Gospel, belongs exclusively to the living Magisterium (10): “But the task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.”

            For OUR TIME, the interpretation of Scripture belongs to the living Magisterium.

          • CCC 86 “Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from a single deposit of faith.”

          • And Pete, don’t put words in my mouth. NOWHERE have I said that we throw out the Tradition. You should be reminded that by adhering to the teachings of the living Magisterium we are at the same time adhering to Tradition (the writings of the saints for instance) and the right application of the Scriptures FOR OUR TIME.

            The living Magisterium is guided by Scripture and Tradition in their judgments.

          • “NOWHERE have I said that we throw out the Tradition.” We can see that you are certainly a man of the moment, Jon. By that I mean that the concepts of clarity and consistency are unknown to you–and not even cognizable by you. It’s been very entertaining watching your arguments shift like the sands of the seashore in high waves. You started out by preaching to us how we must receive every word from the mouth of the pope as being Divinely inspired–so that even what he puts forth as mere suggestion must be regarded as a command. Then you qualified that by saying that the moment a pope drops dead, we can take those Divinely-inspired words and throw them straight into the trash, because dead popes don’t matter anymore. (They’re not part of the “Living Magisterium.”) But wait!–If a dearly departed pope’s living successor publicly re-affirms his predecessor’s teaching, then we can grope through the landfill, retrieve and finally rehabilitate the first man’s preachings back into Divinely inspired Holy Writ. Then after telling us that Pius XII is no good to us now because he’s cold and stiff in the tomb, you turn right around and assure us: “Nowhere have I said that we throw out the Tradition.” No, just the dead popes, I guess. You try to explain away the Ratzinger CDF letter by saying that not all serious sins are a bar to Holy Communion–or perhaps not all grave sins are mortal–or perhaps not all serious sins are not venial–or some venial sins are really serious even though they’re not mortal–or–whatever–at this point, I’m not real sure what you said. And finally you completely ignore Ratzinger’s use of the word “legitimate” to describe differences of opinion on the death penalty, just war, etc. “Legitimate” means “allowed”. It means “permitted.” It means “perfectly okay.” But you refuse to even acknowledge the existence of that little inconvenience. As I said–you’ve been very entertaining, Jon. And very enlightening, but not the way you think. You’ve taught us all just what kind of an enemy we face when we are assaulted by liberal ideologues who have no respect for the truth whatsoever–and no respect for the intelligence or perceptiveness of the listener. It has been VERY interesting.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Thank you PETE. I noticed that there is a growing group like jon’s that are heretical and schismatic and usually preach using that language “LIVING Magisterium.” Many have used the CCC’s teachings and twisted them, they were actually good at doing so especially on persons who are not well in knowledge of the wholeness of the faith, they preach against the death penalty, even set a tone to protect gay rights but actually try to be very sneaky about it by sounding like they are faithful but in actuality they are preaching against the natural law with false compassion.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            what a hypocrite! jon you are the one putting words in the teachings of the church and also on the faithful here who disagree with your personal views!

          • Great response, jon. The term living Magisterium is certainly found in the documents of the Church. They betray and display their ignorance, those who have doubted your argument. Great job!

          • Larry, there is no use lying to yourself concerning my words.
            By adhering to the living Magisterium–to the living Pope and bishops–one is adhering to the Tradition of the Church (which includes Pius XII and JP2) and the Scriptures, for the Magisterium is guided by both as it is guided by the Holy Spirit on matters of faith and morals.
            So, contrary to your claim, one is not “throwing away” Tradition when one adheres to the living Magisterium to abolish the death penalty, for the Magisterium is the guardian of the deposit of faith. Be assured that the Magisterium has taken into account St. Thomas, St. Augustine, the writings of the Saints, the Bible, and even Pius XII in calling for the end to the death penalty.
            The living Magisterium has continued Pope John Paul II’s teaching that the death penalty for our time is “cruel and unnecessary” and MUST BE abolished.
            And why did JP2 teach this? Because IN OUR TIME (not in Pius XII’s time nor in St. Peter’s time, nor any other pope’s time, but in OUR TIME), society now has the means to render harmless a capital criminal without recourse to the death penalty. This teaching does not negate Pius XII. In fact……..
            Pope Pius XII was very right to uphold the death penalty IN HIS TIME, because it was the only punishment that guarantees protection for society.
            Your error is that you do not apply the third “fount” in determining the “morality” of any action, the third font of Circumstance (Catechism 1750). John Paul II and Benedict recognized the changed circumstance in the penal system (namely, its steady improvement), and therefore has called for an end to the death penalty.
            Now, if the circumstances were to change again and society loses the ability to contain capital criminals and absolutely needs the death penalty, then the argument to uphold the death penalty may become “legitimate.”
            “Legitimate” does not mean “allowed,” Larry. Check your dictionary please. An argument that is legitimate is one that is “valid,” “logical”, and “based on reality.” Your argument is NOT “legitimate” because the reality is that society now has the means to stop a convict from harming others without using the death penalty. THIS is the living Magisterium’s judgment, coming from John Paul II.
            The fact that the CDF allows Communion is because unlike abortion, support for the death penalty is not an intrinsic evil. There was a time, and there “may be” in the future, when the death penalty was the only means to protect society. But not in our time.

          • I don’t think there have been that many advances in the penal system since 1952. Many of today’s prisons have been operating far longer than that. You have the right to the opinion that the death penalty is no longer needed today. You certainly have the right to that opinion. And I have the right to the opinion that your opinion is completely wrong. You have no moral right to say that I don’t. You have no moral right to say that I am a heretic, or I am disobedient to the pope or that I am even a sinner because of that. You have no moral right to try and redefine the Church as a Holy Banana Republic whose adherents must fawn over the pope in some sort of personality cult. I stand on precedent. I stand with Pius XII, Pius V, the Catechism of the Council of Trent, Innocent III, Innocent I and St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans 13: 1-4, which was interpreted by none other than Pope Innocent I as endorsing the death penalty. I stand with Benedict XVI in that I am doing nothing that he has forbidden me to do. He says I MAY disagree with him on application of the death penalty. I DO disagree. I hold in contempt you and all your dishonest attempts to deny the FACT that I am as much entitled to my opinion as you are to yours, and we BOTH may be called good Catholics notwithstanding. Had you admitted that fact, I would not change my mind on the death penalty. But I would have had a vastly different opinion of what kind of person and what kind of Catholic you are.

          • Pius XII, Pius V, Trent, Innocents I and III, and St. Paul WERE ALL MORALLY CORRECT to support the death penalty, because “in their time” it was morally permissible, for the penal system then absolutely needed the death penalty to protect society.

            It is NOT morally permissible NOW, in our time because as JP2 has judged there are other means now to render a capital criminal harmless without use of the death penalty. And you are living in our time, Larry, sorry to have to remind you of that inconvenient fact.

            And secondly Larry, concerning your “litany” of your rights. May I remind you: there is NO RIGHT TO DISSENT in the Catholic Church. You are free to dissent, by all means. And it would be a sin. But that “right” is found nowhere in the Catechism or in Canon Law. Stop deceiving yourself.

            As for your statement that “I hold in contempt you and all your dishonest attempts to deny the FACT that I am as much entitled to my opinion as you are to yours,” hey, Larry, get a grip now….of course you’re entitled to YOUR opinions. I mean, I haven’t forbidden you from expressing them.

            However, you are not entitled within Canon Law to dissent from the expressed teachings of the Pope; you are not entitled to tell other Catholics that they may dissent with you; and you are not entitled to say that dissent is not a sin, because it is.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Larry you are a faithful soul, these dissenters who attack your faithful words, they will have to answer to God for their misleading others into error. God bless you Larry…always!

    • jon, you are wrong again. The Pope is right. Too bad you have no idea at all what any of the popes say. You only quote various documents and then tell the readers what these say … problem is that you change all the words. And, again, jon, which asylum are you posting from?

      • jon, are you that blogger who used to post similar stuff on this site about five years ago?

      • You know you have won the argument and the debate when the other side starts spewing insults and ridicules (“so which asylum are you posting from”). They are no longer advancing legitimate arguments and have instead resorted to insults. They have basically GIVEN UP!

  64. Anonymous says:

    When someone speaks out against capital punishment, there are a few who bring in abortion as if it were either/or – you may be against the death penalty, OR against abortion, but not both.

    This is a false dichotomy.

    The Supreme Pontiffs of the Catholic Church have spoken clearly on these issues, and they have remained consistent and crystal clear:

    – no to euthanasia.
    – no to murder.
    – no to capital punishment.
    – no to abortion.
    – no to infanticide (e.g., I gave birth to a girl but only want a boy).

    Today, we still see countries that commit all of the above, often in the name of religion.

    • As far as the supreme pontiffs, Pius XII said otherwise on the death penalty. I stand with him.

      • Mark from PA says:

        I think Pope Pius XII should have spoken out more strongly against the death penalty. I am Polish and know the history of how tens of thousands of Poles, including many children and even priests, got the death penalty under the Germans in World War II. It would have been a blessing if Pope Pius XII would have spoken up against the death penalty. Of course the Polish people, along with Jews, Russians, gypsies, gays, etc. were considered less than fully human by some Nazis.

        • Now you’re trying to rescue a floundering Jon by changing the subject to the false allegations that Pius XII did nothing at all and said nothing at all about the mass murder of the Jews during World War II. In fact he denounced the Nazi murder machine fulsomely and repeatedly and tirelessly worked behind the scenes to save Jews. Even the New York Times (during the war) praised him editorially as the only leader in Europe who still had the courage to speak out on behalf of the Nazi victims. This transparent ploy by you won’t work, Mark.

        • Why, PA, are people always referring to Hitler as the most evil tyrant in history for killing six million Jews, six million Catholics, and having started a war that killed many more millions, when the Soviets killed far more people, and the Chinese under Mao killed multiple times the number of millions done in by these other dictators? It doesn’t have anything to do with Jews, does it, PA, or sodomites, does it? No, of course not. But then why always refer to the Nazis when more were killed by Stalin and Mao?

          • Catherine, is Pope Benedict deliberately working to change the Church from within? Is he deceiving in order to destroy? Is he a slithering snake?

            Apparently Skai believes he is. Benedict does oppose the death penalty. Would you speak to him as you do to us?

          • Mark from PA says:

            Skai, I took two courses in Russian History in college. I am aware of Stalin’s terror. He was responsible for the man-made famine in the early 1930′s that was responsible for the deaths of millions of Ukrainians and Russians. In the late 1930′s hundreds of thousands of people, including many top communists were shot and imprisoned during the purges. Under Mao, millions also were starved and killed. However, Hitler and the Nazis started World War II which caused the death of tens of millions of persons. The Pope really could do nothing about Stalin and Mao as there were few Catholics in these countries. The Pope could influence Germans and Italians as many of them were Catholics and the Church had influence in those countries. Pope Pius XII actually saved the lives of many Italian Jews in World War II. Sadly, many of the German bishops and most German Catholics supported Hitler.

          • I tell you why Skai, there is a leftist biased in academia, there are some professors who claim Stalin killed no one…

        • California Catholic Daily is doing a very good job. We know this because the devil never uses his minions to assail mediocrity with such consistency or voracity. The homosexual activist or individual who uses the name Mark from Pa, wrote, “I think that Pope Pius XII should have spoken out more strongly against the death penalty.”

          This activist and others are attacking Christ’s Church from within. This particular homosexual activist and many other individuals who call themselves Catholic did everything they could possibly do to ensure the death penalty for the unborn by privately bragging or informing the entire Catholic blogoshere that they gave Obama that initial *yes* vote.

          This is all about a selfish thumbs up for the homosexual agenda and a cold indifferent thumbs down to those babies who have been murdered in the past and who are being murdered today at THIS very moment. Do not sit back and accept this attack on the Mystical Body of Christ. The purpose of the Church Militant is to immediately strike that devouring snout so it returns to the mirky depths of darkness from where it came. You don’t pet a Great White shark especially when he exposes his open jaws and claims to be a sweet and harmless Great White shark.”

          That comment is an example of a politically motivated slam to undermine another one of “those men in Rome.” This poster’s statement about Pope Pius XII is even more of an attack and just as revealing as his previous post that mocked “those men in Rome.”

          What a conniving, weasel worded, devious, fraudulent and cunning attack on Pope Pius XII. This activist will do anything to make homosexuals out to be a bunch of helpless victims. That post was a serious attack on the Church and should be seen for what it is.

          Great white sharks rarely surface to warn you before they bite. They wait for a vulnerable time to strike from underneath. They troll the oceans currents looking for prime opportunities to attack and devour unsuspecting victims. Another Carcharodon Carcharias just surfaced and attacked Christ’s Church.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Catherine thank you for pointing out their dissent.

          • Mark from PA says:

            Catherine, excuse me, but your insults are over the top. Yes, I must admit that I am Polish and it still upsets me that the Church didn’t speak out more against Hitler and his murder of millions of Polish people. These murders could not have been carried out without the assistance of German Catholics. My mother had 2 cousins who were slave laborers in Germany during the war and thankfully escaped with their lives. My mother’s uncle spent most of the war in the Polish underground and in hiding for fear of the Germans. My father, his father and his brother served in Europe in World War II and my mother had 5 brothers who also served in World War II. So you my call me conniving, devious, fraudulent, cunning, etc. but I have strong feeling and opinions about World War II. This is part of my family’s history. My family and I are not sharks but human being. However, under Hitler we would have been considered “Untermenschen.”

          • I repeat, Mark: the contention that Pius XII did nothing on behalf of Hitler’s victims is a lie, and one which has been proved false by mountains of evidence.

          • Mark from PA says:

            Larry, read what I wrote. I never said he did nothing. I wrote that Pope Pius XII did help Italian Jews. He also helped save the lives of Hungarian Jews. It is too bad that he couldn’t do much to help the Jews in Germany and Poland. Pope Pius XII tried to be careful and preserve neutrality so much that was done was behind the scenes. He didn’t really want to alienate German Catholics so he was relatively quiet in that regard. When it comes to World War II, I am not neutral, I have strong opinions about the War as it was a major part of the lives of several of my family members.

          • You’re not special in that regard, Mark. My father was a veteran of the 1944 Invasion of Saipan. Throughout my childhood, the man who lived across the street was a paralyzed veteran of the Battle of the Bulge. Do you think any of us can read the accounts of Hitler’s dealings with his own and other peoples and not be filled with righteous rage?

          • Mark from PA says:

            Well, Larry, read Catherine’s post of 12/3, 10:52 AM. I don’t think her rage is directed at Hitler’s dealings. Rather it seems to be anger at my views on World War II.

      • It will profit your soul more if you stand with the living Magisterium who can interpret the Gospel FOR OUR TIME! Pius XII, RIP, cannot do that.

        • Says who, Jon? Pius XII was very much a member of “our time”–as I’ve described already. Upon what authority do you contend that dead popes are useless popes–and by what authority do you apparently exempt the late John Paul II from that rule? Pius XII is with the Lord, and you say for that reason he can’t help us understand modern issues. JPII is with the Lord, and you quote him constantly on the death penalty. Why the inconsistency? But more to the point, Jon–what will become of your argument if–God forbid!–we should wake up some morning soon to the news that Benedict XVI has joined his predecessor? By your own reasoning, your entire argument would be destroyed. You would no longer be able to quote Benedict XVI on the death penalty (or anything else, I suppose) because he would then no longer be part of your “Living Magisterium.” You would have to keep quiet not only until there is a new pope–but until that new pope delivers his own speech on the death penalty. Didn’t any of this occur to you before you came up with your preposterous “Living Magisterium” theory?

          • Abeca Christian says:

            the more jon comments, the more he sounds ignorant! Its like saying that God is not with our times…give me a break! jon’s comments are very prideful, conveying a tone that he is proud and self righteous. I’m getting disgusted by his error and misleading comments used against our Lord and His church.

          • I agree with you jon. Pope Pius XII is no longer part of the living Magisterium. It is the words of the living Pope and the living bishops that interpret the Gospel for us “in our time”, not Pius XII. The circumstances in which Pius XII lived are no longer with us, the penal system he experienced has improved, according to John Paul II.

            I agree jon. They’re arguments are getting weaker and weaker, sillier and sillier.

          • The Rose: You offer no authority whatsoever for your spurious contention that dead popes don’t matter. Bald assertion is not the same thing as arguing. It is an inadequate substitute.

          • Dan Catholic says:

            I agree jon. Larry, jon is conveying accurately the Church’s teaching on Magisterium versus Tradition here. You say “Pius XII is with the Lord, and you (jon) say for that reason he can’t help us understand modern issues.”

            Unless you channel Pius through a medium (which would be another sin for you), he cannot give you a judgment if the death penalty is moral in our time. No he can’t Larry. That’s simply what jon is saying here. Pius is not living in our time.

            But we have a Pope (Benedict) who is living in our time and can judge in accordance with Tradition and the Bible if the death penalty is moral for us today.

            Larry, you put words in people’s mouths, I have been noticing. Nowhere did Jon say dead popes are useless popes. C’mon. He has said, which is what the Church has also said, the Magisterium interprets and guards Tradition.

            Jon, great job!

        • By your logic (illogic), jon, Jesus can’t do it either since He is dead. Evidently you do not believe the Magisterial doctrine that the faithful both die and rise with Christ.

          • On the contrary, Jesus is Risen! Alleluia! And it is the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus to his Church, to his servant John Paul II, that moved the late Holy Father to recognize that while there are other means to render a criminal harmless without recourse to the death penalty, this punishment therefore must end!

            Jesus is definitely alive Skai, and He has sent his Spirit to Peter’s successors, John Paul and Benedict.

  65. Anonymous says:

    Mother Teresa: “what you do to these men (on California’s death row), you do to God.” Words spoken to a guard a San Quentin Prison after she visited those scheduled for execution.

    • Precisely, Anonymous. By executing extremely violent criminals, one saves souls for God, souls which might die by the hands of such horrible human beings.

      • False! By executing criminals, according to JP2, you are depriving them of an opportunity to reform themselves.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          what a stupid comment! There are hard core criminals who can never reform themselves. Some even said that when given the opportunity they would rape and kill again….

        • False, two criminals died right next to Jesus, and both had time to reform themselves. One did and one did not. Jesus had no problem with that. Of course according to jon Jesus is not part of the “living magisterium” because He died.

  66. Anonymous says:

    “Capital punishment is the most premeditated of murders.” Albert Camus

    • Camus was a Trotskyite, member of the Communist Party, later an anarchist, married a heroin addict, divorced due to mutual adultery, married again, yet argued against the institution of marriage, and was a Pacifist. Anonymous apparently finds such a dead author to be more authentic than the Catholic Church Magisterium.

  67. Anonymous says:

    “How dangerous it is to adopt the Mosaical traditions (an eye for an eye). Laws might have been proper for a tribe of ancient barbarians wandering through the sands of Arabia which are wholly unfit for an enlightened people of civilized and gentle manners.” Attorney General of Pennsylvania in the 1770s

    • Moses received the Law from God, and Jesus says in the Gospel that He is “the fulfillment of the Law”, and that “not a jot nor a tittle of the Law shall change”. Anonymous, was God a tribalist? Is Jesus His rebellious son who started a new religion having cast off His Father’s? Is that how you see it, Anonymous?

    • So, Anonymous, you prefer the Enlightenment philosophy over the Church Magisterium. Good to hear you admit it.

  68. Anonymous says:

    “What says the law? You will not kill. How does it say this? By killing!” Victor Hugo (author of Les Miserables)

    • You are falsely interpreting the Decalog, anonymous, and in another post you dismiss the Decalog. Also, you quote anti-Catholic authors such as Camus and Hugo, who fell away from the Church and got involved in occult spiritism and later identified himself as a Free Thinker.

  69. An impassioned and vocal foe of capital punishment, Mother Teresa regularly pleaded with U.S. governors to spare the lives of death row inmates whose appeals had run out..

    (Saturday, September 6, 1997- Washington Post obituary for Blessed Teresa of Calcutta)

    • No one is disputing the sanctity of life. How ugly and transparent to say, “It’s easy to love unborn babies.” The motivation behind the making of such a statement is criminally cold. I do not believe that you sincerely care about either issue. You have an agenda and you are siphoning bits and pieces of truth but you are not in the least as benevolent as you are trying to appear. The “FULL” truth never calls itself Anonymous or remains Anonymous, that is unless you have something to hide (such as myopically focusing only on this topic to gain en route by piggybacking this political hot topic to benefit your real hidden agenda)” Mother Teresa also said that the downfall of America would come through the sin of abortion. She did not sat the downfall of America would come through the use of the death penalty.

      • Abeca Christian says:

        Catherine your words are noble and deserve that recognition. I am grateful for them, sometimes these bad willed people who come on here with an agenda, it can be sad to see the reality that in our church we have so much division and so much stupid distractions that take us away from the real issues that truly matter.

      • Catherine is totally wrong. It is not criminally cold to say that it’s easy to love babies. Get a grip. It’s fact! It’s easier to love a baby than to love an unrepentant criminal convicted of murder.

        But both—a baby and a criminal–our Lord calls us to love, equally. If you love only those who are loveable, what recompense will you have, as our Lord has asked. You are no different from a godless atheist.

        However, it is by loving one’s enemies, in this case criminals, that we become children of our heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good.

        • “It’s easier to love a baby than to love an unrepentant criminal convicted of murder.” But not, apparently, for you Jon.

          • I am passionate for the death penalty precisely because I am passionate for the pro-life cause of the Church, the primary issue of which in our time is abortion. I am firm in my belief that a consistent ethic supporting the dignity of all human life, including the unborn and including the criminal—GIVES THE CHURCH A STRONGER VOICE AGAINST ABORTION!

            A consistent ethic for life shows the consistency and the integrity of the Church. If you’re an enemy of the Church, and I sense some of you are, you wouldn’t care for her integrity and her cause. But many of us, like me, do care!

            If you care for the unborn, you should care for the criminal as well, for they are all human beings endowed by God with dignity and with His image.

            Straight up!

          • “I am passionate for the death penalty precisely because I am passionate for the pro-life cause of the Church, the primary issue of which in our time is abortion.” Bull, Jon. If you really were passionate about saving the babies, you wouldn’t leave that mission up to people whom you have denounced as incompetents who are allegedly driving people away from the message with their foolish language.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            jon yours is not a pro-life cause….as it is, the death penalty is very rare…why make suck comments, they don’t make you look smart dude!

          • Abeca Christian says:

            I find it repulsive when someone would compare a hard core criminal to the unborn, both in the same sentence does not go! It is sick….where is the logic here…none what so ever and that is a huge giveaway where this person’s logic is blinded….

          • Not repulsive at all Abeca—both are human beings endowed by God with His Image. If you are repulsed, it’s Christ’s words you are repulsed with because he counted prisoners as among “the least ones.”

          • Abeca Christian says:

            The Rose repulsive…Dark Rose fits better

        • Catherine says:

          jon/k/anonymous… I do have a grip! A grip on comprehending the smoke and mirrors you are using to promote another hidden agenda. I recognize your hiss!

          First we had our electioneering monitor. No need for him to hang around anymore. Got what they worked for and wanted. The re-election of Barack Obama. For many years, infiltrators and dissenters crammed and disguised every political agenda into a social justice smokescreen. This method worked with many Catholics and now you are moving on to unconquered pastures to do the same.

          I would request that you completely go away and work on another website to promote your agenda but that will never happen. You are deliberately working to change the Church from within. You realize that in order to destroy, you must first deceive. Dialoguing with you is the same or as productive as dialoguing with a slithering snake who has two heads.

          • Actually Catherine this comment further proves that you need to take my advice to get a grip. You think this is about Democrats versus Republicans, liberals versus conservatives.

            By your flawed logic John Paul II and Benedict took their cue from the Democrats’ political platform when they called for the end to the death penalty. Yeah. Right.

            This is about the morality of the death penalty. About Good versus Evil, the culture of Life vs. the culture of death. Take my advice, get a grip.

          • Abeca Christian says:

            Catherine I am in agreement with you and I hope they leave too. They are disturbing and cause so much division with their bad will. I feel for any uninformed soul who crosses their path for they may teach their error to them and thus growing the issues that cause havoc, to grow more with so much false information going around. We need someone from a higher authority to correct them and admonish them personally! Lets pray for them in that regards. God have mercy!

          • Catherine, you caught us. Our agenda is that people learn the Catholic faith and obey the Holy Father. We are working to change, not the Church, but the disobedience and ignorance of those who belong to the Church. Catherine, do you realize that 50-60 per cent of Catholics do not even believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, are in favor of gay marriage, use birth control? There are some who even are pro-choice on abortion. They even procure abortions. Catherine, the Pope has said the Catholics do not even know the Creed. That is why he has declared this Year of Faith. I know the death penalty thing is confusing, but if you just study and learn the rest of the Faith it wil all come into focus. We have to stand up for the Pope and for the Faith. Every problem society is facing is because of the crisis of Faith. Jesus Chirst is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. I am sorry for the language that you used in your post because it makes you look really bad and I know you are not bad. I hope you can advance in faith, hope and love. Be faithful. If you disagree with the Pope, go before the Blessed Sacrament and ask Jesus to help you. It is really silly to live in fear when the King of all Creation, the All-powerful Lord Jesus Christ remains 24/7 in the tablernacle waiting for you and all of us to listen to Him and ask Him questions. Then you will be obedient as He was to His earthly Mother and Father. Her Immaculate Heart is pierced with the swords of our indifference and self-righteousness. Please, I implore you, do the Christmas Novena asking for success for the Year of Faith and the New Evangelization.

          • Catherine, you’re so right. This site is a microcosm of the real threats to the Church and to our society. Wouldn’t it be great if these people who spend countless hours debating this issue on behalf of individuals who had fair trials under due process and found guilty!! would feel as passionately about children being raised in abusive homes with no one to guide them or care for them, or that they would remonstrate with the reprobates at the so-called “Catholic” Reporter, or a whole host of injustices in the schools and at every level of our fragmenting society. But, oh no, they have to side with the ACLU to ban the death penalty. This is the last thing I have to say on the matter, for I think this whole argument is an incredible waste of time. I just wanted to support Catherine and others who see this as a side issue. No one wants to see the innocent die for crimes they didn’t commit…so why not support those tiny little bits of humanity who don’t get expensive legal help, filling the courts with endless, endless arguments…no, they’re condemned for being inconvenient. I’m frankly shocked at the callousness about what is really at stake…the future of our nation and our Church and the heinous crimes against our children and their future is what’s at stake!

          • abeca, you don’t accept the authority of the Pope. We do. You have a belief system that is a do-it-yourself mishmash of Catholicism, Fundamentalism, Charismatica, and emotionalism (with a little New Age thrown in).. You have set yourself and your beliefs up as the ultimate authority. You have become your own magisterium. You lead people astray and you lie about the Holy Father, who Christ has chosen to lead the nations. You seem unaware that the phrases you use give you away. You are very disobedient. You are guilty of knowing the Truth and rejecting it. I am sure that God will have mercy on you if you obey the Pope and learn the faith during this year of grace. Repent of your errors before you lead more people astray.

          • K, you and Jon seem to describe the Church as a kind of Holy Banana Republic ruled by a smiling, prayerful tyrant who has the absolute right and power to rewrite the history of salvation, Public Revelation and the moral law to suit himself–and who may impose his every whim, preference and sentiment as required thinking among his subjects. But when he dies, his legacy is completely at the mercy of his living successor, who may–as it may please his whims–either venerate or discredit it. No–this is not the Church I belong to. What you describe is a Church of the moment, by the moment and for the moment. It is complete anathema to a true understanding of the Catholic Church. The pope and Jon’s so-called “Living Magisterium” are stewards of two-thousand years of Tradition. When the living members of the Magisterium stand together, they stand in the presence of all the bishops and popes of the ages. Together, the living and deceased Magisterium teach as one, because it is the Holy Spirit teaching through them. The pope’s latitude to bind and loose is restricted to a certain class of mandate: what we term “disciplinary” matters–those directly relating to the liturgical life of the faithful. He may not substantively change moral doctrine and faith dogma. He may only contribute to its understanding. The moral doctrine of the Church is clear and cannot change: the death penalty is a moral option to the state.

          • Larry, yes all that you say of the church is true. Jon and I have never denied the nature of the Church? Why did you lie about jon and I? The nations have the right to use the death penalty. As a Catholic, we stand with the Pope who calls for the abolition of the death penalty. There is no change in doctrine. There is a change in application. You are at odds with the Pope if you support the continued use of the death penalty when bloodless means of keeping society safe are available.

          • “There is no change in doctrine. There is a change in application.” And “Worthiness to Receive Communion” explicitly says we may legitimately disagree on the application. That’s exactly what I’m doing.

          • WRONG! The CDF Instruction never said you may disagree with the Pope. You have just displayed your capacity to deceive yourselves. It says “there may be a legitimate diversity of opinion,” which proposes a theoretical possibility of such a diversity. It doesn’t mean that dissent is being allowed. There is NO RIGHT to dissent in the Catholic Church. The verb “may be” does NOT mean “is.”

        • jon, what is your opinion of the late Rasputin? Was he for or against the death penalty?

          • Also, jon, consider that neither Stalin, Hitler, or Mao, all of whom killed tens of millions, were not give the death penalty for their crimes.

  70. “I greet the distinguished delegations from various countries taking part in the meeting promoted by the Community of Sant’Egidio on the theme: No Justice without Life. I express my hope that your deliberations will encourage the political and legislative initiatives being promoted in a growing number of countries to ELIMINATE the death penalty and to continue the substantive progress made in conforming penal law both to the human dignity of prisoners and the effective maintenance of public order.”

    Pope Benedict XVI, Vicar Of Christ On Earth

    November 30, 2011

    • Which countries, Anonymous? You omit these. Are you worried about anyone examining exactly what context the Pope had in mind? Monaco might fall into such a category, also … well there’s got to be other countries where crime does not exist and thus no need to execute people there. Could you name one or several for us, anonymous?

      • Skai/JLS, you should begin to answer your own questions.

        • Abeca Christian says:

          jon you are not a person to take advice from, I warn others against your personal teachings….I warn them!

        • jon, have you never heard of “rhetorical questions”? Like I’ve pointed out before, you simply do not have the hardware to match your ferocity. Your religion is not Catholicism but it is some kind of ideology, the mad kind. The Stalinist type … as soon as you’d disarm those opposed to you, then you’d kill them.

      • They were countries from Africa and Asia.. I know Zimbabwe, Central African Republic, Mongolia, Mozambique and Tanzania were among them.

    • And by the way, anonymous, who feeds the popes the information they have in mind when they make such speeches? Names please, if you don’t mind.

      • Oh, while I’m at it, something said by Jesus or an apostle in Gospel or Revelation … having to do with even the elect being deceived: Thus, anonymous, it is possible and likely, according to Jesus, that popes can be deceived. Of course you or jon never thought about that … and I wonder why.

    • Interestng that this Pope uses personal terms to describe violent criminals and abstract, almost vague terms to refer to the victims.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you are so in love with Pope Pius XII, who’s been gone a long time, why don’t you elect a new one to your own liking?

        One who would embrace your desire to kill other human beings?

        • According to God, who has on occasion killed tens of thousands of people in one shot, killing people is not inherently sinful, Anonymous. So, whatever you are preaching, it is not Catholicism. It is likely born out of a morbid fear of dying. Well, Anonymous, you will die some day; get used to it.

          • Mark from PA says: