Monday, 22 February 2016

Capital Punishment is Catholic

The Church is in a grave crisis - a crisis of faith and the belief in the Real Presence, a crisis of vocations, education and family life and our Pope erring involves himself in an American election whilst shunning the Italian, propagates a lie about contraception and nuns and now tells us once again that we must stamp out capital punishment.

He states that the Commandment, "Thou shalt not kill" includes the "innocent and guilty" and that even criminals "maintain the inviolable right to life, the gift of God."

The Commandment refers to wilful murder. I have the right to kill any man to defend myself or my wife, if that is what is necessary. A nation, after proper jurisprudence, has a right to execute a man if the crime and the decision of the State deems it necessary and appropriate. The Catholic Church has always upheld this and the Catechism of the Catholic Church states it. 

Nothing can focus the mind more on ones sins and prospect of an eternity in Hell as knowing the exact time of ones death. How many might actually repent and convert knowing that tomorrow is the day rather than living old in prison and dying unrepentant in ones sleep? 

It can be argued that it is not necessary; that is a different debate. Yet, if one says that if we can lock up a notorious murderer, rapist or child molester for life (rarely in Canada, perhaps Clifford Olson and Paul Bernardo or the pig-farmer from B.C. might be exceptions), then that should be fine. But we don't! The man who chopped off the head of another on a bus in Saskatchewan is free today from his crime of less than a decade ago because he was not "criminally responsible." For Francis, any punishment is too much punishment.

Mercy for the criminal, none for the victim.

The Pope has also stated that a "life sentence is like a death sentence."

It is up to us to protect society. it is up to God to show mercy.


Anonymous said...

People who have been deemed by courts not to be criminally responsible for their actions can't be punished. Sanctions especially the death penalty or imprisonment are for those whose guilty actions are coupled with a guilty mind for which there is no lawful defence. The Saskatchewan guy is poor example of whatever message your post is trying to push. That wasn't mercy it was proper jurisprudence.

The ease with which you overlooked this betray a more sharia way of thinking (this isn't an insult just an observation) instead of catholic. Catholic church reserves the decision to execute/not execute a murderer or other criminal to the prudent decision of the state. Islam preaches that allah DEMANDS it for same reason you give:

"Nothing can focus the mind more on ones sins and prospect of an eternity in Hell as knowing the exact time of ones death. How many might actually repent and convert knowing that tomorrow is the day rather than living old in prison and dying unrepentant in ones sleep?"

They don't care if the man is crazy they just focus on the action.

But how can you focus your mind if you're crazy? How can you be guilty of sin if your mind and actions are disconnected? Even Cathoilc church says that for an action to be sin it has to be done knowingly and willingly.

Your argument is definitely legally flawed and from a moral theology standpoint very flawed too.

Vox Cantoris said...

I used the bus beheader as an example that nobody is in prison, or a mental hospital, for life. I did not suggest capital punishment. You missed my point. I wasn't suggesting he should be executed, which is not an option in Canada anyway.

Sharia? No, it is the State's choice, as you confirmed. Francis needs to concentrate on the issues of the Church and the crisis of the faith and leave the debate on capital punishment alone.

Francis said, at the link, that "life in prison is like a death sentence." Now do you get it? He doesn't even accept that!

Mark Thomas said...

Pope Francis said that "modern societies have the ability to deal with crime without removing permanently to the one who has committed a chance to redeem himself."

In 2014 A.D., Pope Francis said that the death penalty is "applied to persons whose current ability to cause harm is not current, as it has been neutralized -- they are already deprived of their liberty."

That echoes Pope Saint John Paul II who said that "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."

From the CCC, #2267: "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.'"

I have doubts about the notion the penal system protects us sufficiently from murderers. I refer only to the United States. I wonder how secure jails and prisons are in very poor parts of the world.

Anyway, I just performed a Google News Search...murderers, are just a few of the many stories of escaped murderers:

-- Man Convicted of Second Degree Murder Escapes from Jail

Amanda's cousin Paul Grice, escaped from the Dallas County Jail overnight. He was last seen ... Grice was convicted of second degree murder in the late 90's.

-- Man Charged In 1980 Murder Escapes From Hartford Halfway House

Hartford Courant-Feb 8, 2016

HARTFORD – A man charged with murder escaped from a halfway house on Washington Street, state police said. Timothy Fair, 59, was at ...

-- Teen serving time for stepfather's murder at-large from Cleveland ...

CLEVELAND-- A 17-year-old who left a Cleveland facility on Wednesday was found at a McDonald's in Marion, Ohio, at 5 p.m. Thursday.

-- Three inmates with history of torture, murder rappel from roof to escape ...

Chicago Tribune-Jan 23, 2016

Three inmates with history of torture, murder rappel from roof to escape...

-- Sex offender on parole for murder, kidnapping, escaping, now ...

WCYB-Feb 1, 2016

-- Report: Man charged with attempted murder for stabbing escaped ...

KBOI-TV-Feb 9, 2016

ONTARIO, Ore., (KBOI) -- A man suspected of stabbing an inmate who recently escaped the Canyon County jail has been charged with ...

-- Police Hunt Murderer Who Escaped Custody

Bahamas Tribune-Feb 3, 2016

Police Hunt Murderer Who Escaped Custody ... a Supreme Court hearing where he was told he would be sentenced for murder in two weeks.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

That is correct. From 2014 A.D.

Pope Francis called for abolition of the death penalty as well as life imprisonment, and denounced what he called a "penal populism" that promises to solve society's problems by punishing crime instead of pursuing social justice.

"It is impossible to imagine that states today cannot make use of another means than capital punishment to defend peoples' lives from an unjust aggressor," the pope said Thursday in a meeting with representatives of the International Association of Penal Law.

"All Christians and people of good will are thus called today to struggle not only for abolition of the death penalty..."Life imprisonment is a hidden death penalty."

"The pope said criminal penalties should not apply to children, and should be waived or limited for the elderly, who "on the basis of their very errors can offer lessons to the rest of society."


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Imagine if His Holiness Pope Francis exhorted Catholics to abstain from eating meat on Fridays...or exhorted women to wear chapel veils...or exhorted parishes to offer Latin Masses and sing Gregorian Chant...or Mass ad orientem...

We never hear such exhortations anymore from our Popes. Interesting.


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Please allow me Mr. Vox just for precision sake.

"I used the bus beheader as an example that nobody is in prison, or a mental hospital, for life."


"The man who chopped off the head of another on a bus in Saskatchewan is free today from his crime of less than a decade ago because he was not "criminally responsible.""

Point is that because man has been found not criminally responsible by the competent court, he is not guilty of a crime. He is placed under the care and treatment of a mental institution and is released by the court after supervising medical authority gives assurances of successful treatment. i.e. He's not crazy.

To keep him in mental hospital when he is no longer sick would be illegal. Remember he is not guilty of a crime according to law. If we were ruled by lynch mobs then different standards could be applied.

As for nobody staying in jail for life this is not true. I know personally many who have died in jail after serving decades and as very old men. Clifford Olson who you mentioned died in jail.

Pope Frances commenting on death penalty is legitimate if Catholic church have something to say on the matter which it does. If he asks secular authority to consider mercy over strict punishment within the bounds of their prudential judgment. Nobody have to listen though anymore than if he or some other pope say the state should execute all murderers without discretion. Point is Catholic church never says that such and such crime = execution, no choice. Saying death penalty is catholic give that impression. That is sharia not catholic.

On personal note I very much enjoy your blog and the good work you do. Thank you for giving space for debate. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

I wish C.Jorge would just shut up, he babbles absolute rubbish, he has no idea what his talking about, it is now becoming such an embarrassment for the Catholic Church. The liberal media call him the peoples Pope.. They may have a point as he certainly isn't God's Pope! What are the good Bishops and Cardinals waiting for? They must Defend the faith, they must cry out before its too late.. Why have our true leaders gone silent?. I try and avoid prophecies from the Saints regarding our times, yet it is they that are crying out from above, for there is hardly a voice left on earth crying out in the wilderness. May the saints in heaven, St Micheal and our most Holy Mother intercede for the "ONE" true Holy Catholic Church!

Felix M said...

One small mercy is that Pope Borgoglio isn't coherent or consistent. If he were, his fatwa against capital punishment would appear to also prevent Christians from killing the enemy, ie he would be implying that there can't be such a thing as a just war.

But, of course, Pope Borgoglio is quite unpredictable. If a passing journalist asks him about killing in war, who knows what nonsense he might spout.

Is the Pope Catholic? Is Pope Borgoglio nuts? As somebody said, "Who am I to judge?"

Maudie N Mandeville said...

The New and Improved Catholic Church writes, "Whosoever shall shed man's blood, his blood shall be shed; unless you've got a modern 'escape proof' prison complete with ACLU provided pornography, rampant homosexual activity, and Islamic outreach; for man was made to the image of God."

David L. Gray (Yoseph M. Daviyd) said...

"Nothing can focus the mind more on ones sins and prospect of an eternity in Hell as knowing the exact time of ones death. How many might actually repent and convert knowing that tomorrow is the day rather than living old in prison and dying unrepentant in ones sleep?"

That's the best you can do? That's the heights of your logic in regards why is it better to kill someone than allowing them time to encounter Jesus? Have you ever even visited a person in prison? Do you really think this is how it works?

I hate to use the word stupid, but this whole article is pathetic. You know nothing about the mercy and love of God. You know nothing about suffering. You need to spend less time on arguing why people in prison should be killed and, rather, focus on the ONE TIME Jesus said to do with people in prison - VISIT THEM!

Anonymous said...

As a convert from Protestantism to the Catholic faith, primarily thru the study of Holy Scripture and the Magesterium, I see a pattern.

It is a pattern shared by this Pope and many others in high leadership. I find it utterly exasperating and defeatist, and worse yet, flat out evil, that is, if the doctrines of the Church matter at all.

The pattern is this:

1} "Officially" affirm the "paper doctrines" of the Church.

2} Then on your plane rides and gallivants around town rebut the official teaching by saying what you really think and seed the faith with chaos and "changed teaching".

And BANK on your ability to continue to do so due to the effeminacy of Catholic leaders who have no guts to call you out on it.

Anonymous said...


The improved quote from Genesis is cute but we should remember we're Catholics not Bible thumping Protestants steeped in error or pre-70 A.D. Jews.

We read the Old Testament through the light of the Gospel. If the Church didn't do that, we would have very different teaching and practice on divorce, diet, an eye for an eye and Redemption itself.

I've been in prison and I can tell you that it is hell on earth. The picture you paint is not true.

The Lord Jesus Christ himself made visiting the prisoner a corporal work of mercy. Our very souls depend our actions and dispositions towards those who are there whatever their culpability may be.

"Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, in everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink. I was a stranger, and you took me not in; naked, and you covered me not; sick and in prison, and you did not visit me."

If you want to take a scriptural quote literally, take that one as such with fear and trepidation.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am curious about what you make of Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Emeritus Benedict arguing that, in the modern west, capital punishment is not a moral option because we have other effective ways of protecting the public from an unjust aggressor.

There is a difference between saying that capital punishment is always immoral, and saying that in certain cases in our modern world, capital punishment can be immoral.

I do agree that if we have other effective ways of protecting the public - such as imprisonment - then we should use those instead of killing. That does not invalidate the Church's teaching that capital punishment can be a viable moral option.

Anonymous said...

You say, "It is up to us to protect society. it is up to God to show mercy."


Christ said, "Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect."

Our Lord said, "For with what judgment you judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again."

He said, "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy."

St. James says, "For judgment is without mercy to him that hath showed no mercy: mercy glorieth against judgment."

Proverbs says, "A merciful man doth good to his own soul: But he that is cruel casteth off even his own kindred."

We VISIT THE PRISONER for love of the Lord. Be the face of God's mercy. Whatever he's done, don't scream like the mob, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"

"Then shall they also answer saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungering, or thirsting, or a stranger, or naked, or ill, or in prison, and have not ministered to thee? Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me. And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting."

Anonymous said...

The Church has always supported capital punishment as a permissible and necessary act. Right up until Paul VI and JPII, who despite their opposition to it being nothing more than a personal opinion, has since been transformed into a virtual dogma of the Church now, continuing with Francis.

People used to be executed for all sorts of crimes, both civil and ecclesiastical, and Vox is right that one major reason for the Church supporting this was the conversion effect it tended to have on hardened criminals and sinners. Protection of society from a dangerous criminal escaping prison was NOT the only permissible reason for the death penalty, as is commonly asserted today.

NOBODY, I repeat nobody, including a Pope or anyone here can oppose capital punishment as something against Scripture or doctrinal teachings. The most you can say is that you personally wish it wasn't necessary or something along those lines. The entire tradition and history of the Church and Christian civilization strongly supported the use of the death penalty for a variety of reasons. It was and always will be a legitimate option according to Catholic teaching. The fact that the West has all but abandoned the death penalty is indeed just another illustration of "mercy for the criminal, none for the victims" and is an evil result of liberalism.