Sometimes torture works. Sometimes the death penalty saves innocent lives.
But so what?
Continue reading at the National Catholic Register>>>
May 18, 2011
Catholic, death penalty, morality, national catholic register, torture
May 18, 2011 at 3:33 am
I have such a hard time deciding where firm questioning or manhandling/getting right up in their face etc. turns into enhanced interrogations. I too am against torture but who decides where the line is drawn?
I know we need to give persons their dignity, but I don't think that some things that are called "torture" are devoid of just respect for their person.
May 18, 2011 at 6:20 am
I oppose capital punishment, too, Matthew. But NOT because it is “morally wrong”. It most certainly is not.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, while weighing in against the death penalty in most instances, NO WHERE refers to it as being “morally wrong”. Why would CCC 2267 say that the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to an action that is “morally wrong”?
I believe we should oppose capital punishment in order to build a culture of life. That is, my opposition to the death penalty is an opposition as a matter of prudence. But Catholics of good will can differ over the prudence of the death penalty and still remain perfectly good Catholics (unlike intrinsic evils such as abortion or torture).
May 18, 2011 at 6:40 am
Also, contrary to the assertion that saving lives does not justify the use of the death penalty, the CCC explicitly says that the death penalty IS appropriate where it is the only means to protect lives (i.e. protecting lives may very well be a justification for capital punishment under certain circumstances).
By contrast, saving lives can NEVER be a valid justification for intrinsic evils such as torture or abortion.
May 18, 2011 at 12:14 pm
Mr. Archbold, I don't see how you can oppose that which Christ Himself and the Church do not condemn when you have neither watertight argument and proper authority. (Referring to capital punishment of course and not torture)
Your argument concerning capital punishment just does not hold water. First, that execution works–effectively removing a danger to society–is nothing to sneer at. Second, if it was administered more justly then it would work even better as a deterrent. Tangible punishments do that. That's why a spanking is better than a time-out.
A man who raped, tortured, and murdered a six-year old girl in my old state was executed promptly for it–thus removing an insidious malefactor from society and sending a message to other such evildoers that, in TN at least, such crimes will not be countenanced. What's more, the gravity of his punishment may have done more good for him spiritually than stewing in prison a few decades on the taxpayer's dime. It is a pity that you, a father and a decent man, see such justice as 'ruthless.'
Would you have gone with the 'pro-choice' nurse at my old parish to protest outside the governor's house about the 'murder being committed in my name'?
I advise against taking on Church Tradition and Doctrine in the future with naught but the opinions of one Pontiff as support. It lessens one's credibility.
May 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm
While he may not have been specific, I believe Matthew meant the death penalty as typically imposed in the US. I know for a fact that Matthew does not oppose the death penalty in ALL cases, his thinking is in line with the Church here.
That said, Matthew’s point is that you don’t not need to argue the death penalty does not work in order to oppose it in most circumstances.
May 18, 2011 at 2:21 pm
Genesis 9:5-6 requires the shedding of a mans blood if he sheds another man's blood, for man was made to the image of God. As I understand it, if we fail to execute a murderer, we're showing no respect for the image of God in the murder victim. It's sad that so many Catholics like you and Mark Shea whine about the cruelity of the death penalty, but show no consideration for the victims who had an unjust death penalty imposed upon them by their murderers.
May 18, 2011 at 5:08 pm
In addition the law states that one can break any law to save a life. Torture at this point becomes self-defense, for yourself, you may choose not, but for your neighbor it is imperative. If we are truly a sovereign nation, we must protect innocence and freedom at all costs, including the cost of our likes and dislikes
May 19, 2011 at 12:42 am
Pat, I understand Matt's point, but he fails to answer the following question:
If the Church allows the State to take the life of a person who is a proven danger to society in order to save more lives (as in capital punishment), how can it condemn as intrinsically immoral practices on people who are proven dangers to society who do not threaten to permanently and seriously damage them in order to save more lives?
May 20, 2011 at 12:44 am
I'm always curious where guys like scotju think they can find the documentation for those times I or Matt have said, "Murder victims? Who cares! I *laugh* at murder victims!" The notion that opposition to the death penalty ipso facto means contempt for the suffering of victims is one of the most baseless and cheap rhetorical stunts in the lexicon of DP defenders.
Oh and that passage from Genesis "requires" nothing. It permits the DP. If God *required* the death penalty then God sinned against his own law by not requiring the death of David and Moses, both murderers.
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