Saturday, August 4, 2018

Pope Francis and Capital Punishment

by Steve Ray on August 4, 2018

Excellent article by Edward Feser in First Thing Magazine that puts Pope Francis misstep in perspective …

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“In a move that should surprise no one, Pope Francis has once again appeared to contradict two millennia of clear and consistent scriptural and Catholic teaching.

The Vatican has announced that the Catechism of the Catholic Church will be changed to declare the death penalty “inadmissible” given the “inviolability and dignity of the person” as understood “in the light of the Gospel.”

There has always been disagreement among Catholics about whether capital punishment is, in practice, the morally best way to uphold justice and social order.

However, the Church has always taught, clearly and consistently, that the death penalty is in principle consistent with both natural law and the Gospel. This is taught throughout scripture—from Genesis 9 to Romans 13 and many points in between—and the Church maintains that scripture cannot teach moral error.

It was taught by the Fathers of the Church, including those Fathers who opposed the application of capital punishment in practice.

It was taught by the Doctors of the Church, including St. Thomas Aquinas, the Church’s greatest theologian; St. Alphonsus Liguori, her greatest moral theologian; and St. Robert Bellarmine, who, more than any other Doctor, illuminated how Christian teaching applies to modern political circumstances…”

For the rest of this excellent analysis, click here.

Recommended book by Edward Feser published by Ignatius Press.

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