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…]

The Death Penalty Two Step

When those eager to kill defend the death penalty, one extremely common lie is “We’re just thinking of the victims. What about them? What about their need for closure? Bleeding heart liberals who oppose the death penalty never think of the victims!” But then, when the victims of capital crime come forward and beg the [Read More…]

Strange Bedfellows

Here’s a piece by a doctor arguing that doctors (who are, recall, sworn to “do no harm”) should be permitted to act as executioners. The logic of his argument is that if doctors don’t do it, then people less qualified may botch the execution, leading to the kind of agonies recently witnessed in the botched [Read More…]

Capital Punishment – A Study in the Development of Doctrine, Part I

Over at Catholic Weekly: A reading from an ancient manuscript found in Jerusalem authored by Micha-el ben Mattityahu: We’re all familiar with the story by now. A weak pope with a long history of dubious opinions and reckless public statements has fallen under the sway of a liberal cleric with radical ideas and is overturning [Read More…]

Next week, in Catholic Weekly, I will be starting a series on the Death Penalty

Here is Exhibit A on why: Man Executed in Arkansas Last Night Chose Communion for His Last Meal How was justice achieved against this guilty-as-sin fake penitent who richly deserved death?: [Ledell] Lee insisted upon his innocence from the day of his arrest through the night of his execution. He implored Arkansas to let him [Read More…]