It is a heresy to say Capital Punishment is immoral, or can be abolished

When Christ stood before Pilate, no one stood with Him:  will you stand at His side?

When Christ stood before Pilate, no one stood with Him: will you stand at His side?

Rome, March 6, 2015:  The agenda of Communism* to disarm Christendom more and more has reached fever pitch this week with pronouncements by the Vatican Observer at the United Nations, the Pope, and several media outlets in the United States against the death penalty.

Patheos a left-wing, source for news and opinion for Catholics in the English speaking world, is running a story today about this, entitled, “Catholic Media Unite in Opposition to the Death Penalty“.  That article in part reads:

‘Capital Punishment Must End.’  That’s the bold headline in the National Catholic Register this morning.  The Register, in a groundbreaking collaboration with three other Catholic journals, published a strong statement opposing capital punishment.

The editorial boards of the Register, the National Catholic Reporter, Our Sunday Visitor and America joined in opposition to the death penalty, as the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments in Glossip v. Gross, a case out of Oklahoma that challenges the most widely used lethal injection protocol as being cruel and unusual punishment.

The title of their article is more than misleading, it is implicitly heretical

For this simple reason, that it is de fide, that is a truth of Divine Revelation itself, that the State has the authority to punish wicked doers with capital punishment.

This is the teaching of Our Lord during His very Passion, when to Pontius Pilate, the Roman Procurator of Judea, insisting that He not be silent but answer his questions, He replied to him, declaring:

You would have no power over Me if it were not given you from above (John 19:11).

This truth was taught by St. Paul in other words, when he said,

1 LET every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God. 2 Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. And they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation. 3 For princes are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good: and thou shalt have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to thee, for good. But if thou do that which is evil, fear: for he beareth not the sword in vain. For he is God’s minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil. 5 Wherefore be subject of necessity, not only for wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For therefore also you pay tribute. For they are the ministers of God, serving unto this purpose. 7 Render therefore to all men their dues. Tribute, to whom tribute is due: custom, to whom custom: fear, to whom fear: honour, to whom honour.

Therefore, the Catholic Faith has ever held that the state has the authority from God to punish criminals with capital punishment, since the metaphor “power of the sword” in St. Paul’s day referred to the punishment of beheading which was inflicted upon citizens of the empire for grave crimes.

The State, thus, has the moral right and the duty to impose this punishment in appropriate cases, the propriety of which arises not from the subjective dispositions of the individual, but from the objective transgression of the moral law committed by the evil doer.

This truth of the faith is intimately associated with another truth, namely that the Moral Law — which says what is right and wrong, which has God as its author and which is legible in the works of His creation — is superior in dignity to the individual human person, inasmuch as every human person is a creature of God Who is the Author of the moral law. For every law shares in the dignity of the one who issues it.

For these reasons it is not only an error, but a heresy against the Faith of Christ, to say that capital punishment is evil, un-useful or inappropriate, either in itself, or in its application. It is always useful and necessary to the state, because there will always be in this world, individuals who gravely offend the particular or common good in such wise as to merit the supreme temporal punishment, the loss of their own life.  That is a fact of original sin.

The Roman Catechism, which summarized the Faith of the Catholic Church at the time of the Council of Trent had this to say on capital punishment:

Capital Punishment

That Pope John Paul II said that there exists other means to remediate the criminal does not mean that capital punishment is evil in itself or to be entirely abolished.  He spoke about the remediation of the individual, not the duty of the state or the right of the state  nor of the greater common good.  And if he meant anything contrary to the teaching of Christ, it is obvious, that he erred and is not to be followed in that, since Vatican I required that Popes teach nothing contrary to Christ and His Apostles, and exhorted Catholics not to follow them if they do so.

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* Marx held that the way to social justice was through class revolution, and that capital punishment was the tool of the rulers to suppress the masses: this error promoted through liberation theology has spread from Europe to most of Latin America.

° Inasmuch as it says that such pronouncements are Catholic.

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One comment on “It is a heresy to say Capital Punishment is immoral, or can be abolished

  1. John Horvat says:

    There is no doubt that the Church allows the death penalty. The best article I have seen about the subject is found here: http://www.tfp.org/tfp-home/news-commentary/is-the-church-against-both-abortion-and-the-death-penalty.html

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