Trust the Church’s Prudence over Man’s

Particularly when the men in question have been so wrong about so much so many times for so long that only a fool would trust their prudence over that of a cocker spaniel’s, much less the Church’s. The last of my series on the Death Penalty at The Catholic Weekly. [Read more…]

Part 8 of my series on the Death Penalty

…over at the Catholic Weekly Wherein we learn that Prudential Judgment does not mean “Feel free to ignore the Church.” [Read more…]

What about retributive justice?

The latest in my series on the death penalty for Catholic Weekly. [Read more…]

The Unquiet Conscience of Christian Civilization

Part 6 of my series on the Death Penalty over at The Catholic Weekly. But slowly and surely the Spirit presses on the conscience of Christian civilisation. The practices they inherited from their ancestors (and the cruelties they devised on their own) – evisceration, hanging, drawing, quartering, skinning alive, burning at the stake, drowning, pressing [Read More…]

Blunting Caesar’s Sword

A brief look at the history of the Church’s conflicted relationship with Caesar’s power to kill, aka Part V of my series on the death penalty at The Catholic Weekly. [Read more…]

Mercy for Murderers in Scripture

Part 4 of my series on the death penalty in the Catholic Weekly. Some varieties of Christianity see in the Crucifixion a kind of weird divine child abuse. In that telling, God the Father wanted to slaughter the human race, but then God the Son distracted him by offering himself as the target for the [Read More…]

A reader writes me about the death penalty

Sez he: Would it be a sin if I sat on a jury and voted for the death penalty? Why are you asking me to sit in judgment of your soul?  If so, is it a subject of grave matter, or would the maximum offense be of a venial nature? Do you think killing people [Read More…]

I hate being right all the time

Pope Francis just upped the ante on the “debate” (so-called) over the death penalty. I use scare quotes and say “so-called” because in reality the “debate” consists of three popes, all the bishops of the world, and the rest of the civilized world vs. Communist China, North Korea, a smattering of backward Islamic Bronze Age [Read More…]

The god who wants an eye for an eye doesn’t exist

The God who conceded to our weakness and *permitted* an eye for an eye (as he also permitted divorce in the Old Testament) does. Part III of my discussion of the Death Penalty is here. Bottom line, the death penalty is, even in the Old Testament, a concession, not an ideal. [Read more…]

Yes, Virginia. The Church Wants the Death Penalty Abolished

Part II of my series on the Death Penalty at Catholic Weekly. The problem is this in a nutshell: For centuries, the Church affirmed the power of Caesar to execute capital criminals. But since Evangelium Vitae, the Church has called for the abolition of the death penalty. Ergo (say traditionalists) the post-concilliar Magisterium is contradicting [Read More…]