Mark Shea's a-movin' to Patheos!

Well, that cat is out of the bag, so it’s time to ring the bell, call ya’ll around and make this announcement:

Mark-the-prolific; Mark-the-down-shouting; Mark-the-smart; Mark-the-serious; Mark-the-scathingly-funny; Mark-the-take-no-prisoners-passionately-Catholic-Shea is moving his blog here to the Catholic portal at Patheos!:

On Monday, God willin’ and the crick don’t rise, Catholic and Enjoying It will cast off the trappings of Blogger (to which I bid a fond farewell and say thank you) and take up residence at a link which we have yet to nail down, since web elves are still busy migrating my archives and other stuff over to Patheos. As soon as I know more, I will post it. The only difference you will notice is that the site will have a somewhat different look, as well as a lot of the same stuff on the rail and exactly the same stuff in the blog entries as here, cuz I’ll be writing it. I do hope you will traipse over there and join us for more scintillating chats, arguments and whimsy. I’m excited about the move and hopeful that this will not just continue to make youse guys informed, challenged and amused, but open up new audiences to this curious watering hole for gabbing about the Faith and its intersections and collisions with post-modern culture. Look for the launch Monday morning, October 3. Be there! Aloha!

Having been a fan of Mark’s for years (after I got past my terror of him; he is formidable when he’s passionate, but you know that!) I could not be more thrilled to welcome him aboard! His willingness to go against conventional wisdom — secular and church-wide — in order to remain true to the teachings of the church is inspiring to me. Quite frankly, when I was dithering on the fence about torture, Shea’s vehement condemnation of the practice was instrumental in my finally reasoning my way back into Catholic Orthodoxy on the matter. We need an instructive and fearless voice in these crazy times, and Shea brings us that sort of voice, in spades.

Welcome, Catholic and Enjoying It, to the Patheos line-up!

And we’ll be announcing a few more of your favorite bloggers and columnists jumping into the boat with him, very soon!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Matthew Bellisario

    So now Mr Shea, we have you rejecting a document given by the CDF presenting how we are to regard certain moral principles as faithful Catholics. You have now proclaimed that when the CDF speaks on proper application of moral matters, it really carries no weight. I wonder why the then Cardinal Ratzinger wasted his time in clarifying such an application if it is useless to the faithful? Remember, that was his job. Mr. Shea has accused me earlier of rejecting the Magisterium, but here we have a clear example of the CDF performing its mission to the Church, and it is Mr. Shea, not I, who is rejecting its voice. The CDF did not say we are to disregard any papal teaching, it has presented the proper application of this particular papal teaching as well as others. How you can fail to understand this is beyond me at this point. You are presenting a reductionist argument here, demonstrating that you do not have an adequate understanding of moral theology, or these particular texts.

    If we read EV, which the Catechism quotes in part regarding the death penalty, we see a clear reference to JPII’s thoughts on the prudence of its use. JPII uses a secondary principle regarding punishment to justify not killing the criminal, which is to stop a future crime by the guilty party. He calls this legitimate defense. It is important to note that this is not the same as self defense, so do not confuse the two. The primary reason for punishment however is to redress wrongdoing, or the disorder of a past crime, which the Catechism (2226) also refers to before it gets to the part you are using for your reductionist argument. This means that if and when the state punishes someone it is done always first and foremost in light of the crime that was committed in the past, not what may or may not happen in the future. This is known as retributive justice. It is retrospective in nature. It looks to the past first. So the principle JPII uses rests largely on future crimes that the criminal may or may not commit.

    This secondary principle that JPII cites can be used to help in determining a prudential use of the death penalty, but not for abolishing it completely, or binding a particular state to abolishing it unconditionally. The state must determine first and foremost if the punishment will redress the heinous crime committed by the criminal. I will let a real theologian speak. The great moral theologian Dr. Ralph McInerny once wrote,

    “Some have said that retribution is no longer part of the church’s view of punishment. This is false. Some will speak as if there is an equivalence to be made between the life of a guilty and condemned murderer and an unborn child, and seek, on that basis, to link opposition to abortion and opposition to the death penalty. This too is nonsense, incubated in a society which, permitting some citizens to take the lives of other innocent citizens, sees a moratorium on the death penalty as a moral imperative…But keep in mind that protecting society is only the secondary purpose of punishment. If, however rarely, the state’s right to take the criminal’s life is legitimately exercised, only recourse to the primary purpose of punishment–redressing the wrong–can justify it. It will not do to say that locking Adolph Eichmann up will prevent him from continuing with the Final Solution and give him a chance to repent. By his crimes, Adolph Eichmann had forfeited own life. One life compared with six million seems risibly disproportionate, but it is the most that could be exacted from Eichmann, and it justly was.”

    So if and when the state decides to use the death penalty for a punishment, it is for the crime that was committed in the past, not primarily for what someone may or may not do in the future. Would you punish your kids Mr. Shea for something they may do wrong in the future? Would you ground your child for a week to teach him or her a lesson for some wrong they may do next week? Or do you punish in light of a wrongdoing that they did in the past? This is the critical question. I also would like to point out that the state can always choose to show mercy towards the criminal, but using a determination based only on the likelihood that the criminal may or may not be able to commit another crime in the future is flawed, it can only be used as a secondary part of the equation. This is how I understand the application of this teaching after reading many moral theologians on the matter. It is not as simple as excommunicating anyone who does not share your reductionist interpretation of the one line you keep pushing all over the internet.

    As I pointed out already, it does not matter how may times you take a reductionist reading of one line from EV. I already pointed out that it was JPII’s personal view on the application of the death penalty in light of the secondary principle outlined above. I take it since you did not answer my question, that you did not read Dr. Long’s or Father Dewane’s material on this subject or any of the other moral theologians that I have presented in my other rebuttals on my blog to your position, otherwise you might understand all of this. At this point your argument in favor of me or anyone not for the abolishion of the death penalty as being dissenters is a grace error. Hopefully you will realize this a correct your earlier statement.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Re: Again from Cardinal Dulles

    “The Pope and the bishops, using their prudential judgment, have concluded that in contemporary society, at least in countries like our own, the death penalty ought not to be invoked, because, on balance, it does more harm than good. I personally support this position.”

    This is not a bad summary of the situation. There is really nothing much to fight about.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • kevin

    I agree with mr Bellisario. You can’t treat a letter from the CDF as having no weight. And retributive justice is the basis on which the state of Connecticut will execute the cheshire home invasion murders.

  • ChronicSinner

    Kevin…which statement from Cardinal Dulles seems persuasive? The one where he states the necessity of capital punishment is open to doubt or the one I posted from him that clearly states that Catholics may remain in good standing while disagreeing with a prudential judgement of the Holy Father? If it’s the former, then how can something that is open to doubt be considered persuasive dogma, which by definition, is a universally declared truth that must be accepted and is therefore not open to doubt or discussion?

    The only thing getting “muddier” here is the hole that Mr. Shea keeps digging for himself by refusing to acknowlege that he has constructed an untenable position that equates a prudential judgement with infallible doctine.

  • kevin

    I meant the latter statement.. I
    (I also meant to write ‘murderers’).

  • Greta

    As a 77 year old lifelong Catholic, I have always understood that we have to believe by settled Catholic teaching that which carries the weight of infallibility. JPII clearly made that type of statement when he said the Church now or at any time in the future cannot have women priests based on the fact that Jesus slected only males and also because we consider the Church the bride and thus need to have male priests. Not solid on exact wording, but this is close. That is to be considered infallible teaching, correct? Also the Catholic teaching on Mary, the infallibility of the Pope, and a few others. There are in fact very few things we “Must believe and/or accept and pray for belief.”

    Am I wrong on this fact? Old but not dead so educate me where I am clearly wrong. Not sure if there is a list of things we have to believe that are held up to this standard or from the Chair of Peter. Anyone know on this?

    then there are things like just war which we are allowed to make our judgement on with a well formed conscience. This would of course want to have what the Pope thinks about this, but we are not bound by his thoughts or those on economic issues.

    Mr Shea used the phrase “Our first duty as Catholics is to be docile to that teaching.” I have a question on where this is stated in regard to following Catholic teaching and what Catholic teaching (infallible or that which we can form our own opinion?) I know that in the Cathecism 2216 Filial respect is shown by true docility and obedience. “My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. . . . When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you.”20 “A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

    This is in the section on family and would come under a commandment of honor your father and mother..But where is this in Catholic teaching. Maybe Mark believes that this is required of Catholics, but I wold kind of like to know where it comes from in actual writing.

    As to Capital punishment, either Pope JPII or Benedict XVI could easily make this a statement from the chair of Peter and make it infallible and one that must be believed and as a Catholic, I would be bound to believe and accept it as settled teaching. Why do they not do so? A Papal encyclical is a method of teaching, but not infallible and settled. Proof of this is the wide dissent even by bishops and priests in regard to birth control in Humane Vitae. I believe it is covered by the ten commandments and so accept Humane Vitae based on my pro life position and understanding that birth control has given us everything Paul VI predicted in that wonderful document.

    Personally, I believe that the death penalty should be used much the way we do today with exhaustive legal wrangling most often exceeding 10 years. I believe in it not for the retribution or as a deterent. 10 years is to long to make a dent in those areas. I have an issue with removing the death penalty based on the fact that it leaves those sent to jail for life with no possible rememdy for further acts of violence to the guards or other prisoners. In for life with nothing to lose and endless days and years to plan certainly is a dangerious sitution. Coupled with the never ending calls by the ACLU and progressives for ever better treatment and benefits, it even makes the situation more volatile. I do not believe that in the current environment that these folks do not present a danger to the life of others. To do so would mean putting them in a cell for life and never letting them out which would be cruel and inhumane treatment. I had a long talk with a friend of my father who worked at a maximum prison. He said by far the most danger to everyone was the ones in for life with minimal if any possibility of parole and therefore nothing to lose. He lost several friends to these type of prisoners and the progressives were always placing you at even more risk. The Pope clearly said that if there is danger and society cannot insure that they will not harm others, that the death penalty was OK in Catholic teaching.

    Not looking to bash anyone, but would love to learn ever more about the Church I love.

  • ChronicSinner

    Greta….you raise some very good issues and questions, so God bless you. Your search can be distilled, IMO, down to what “Infallibility” means and, hence, to how a faithful Catholic must orient his will and intellect. The link below may help answer your questions. I, at one time, had questions similar to yours and this link helped me form my conscience. I hope it helps you, too. Peace.

  • Matthew Bellisario

    Hi Greta. A doctrine or dogma can carry an irreformable weight to them without the Pope making an infallible proclamation. The Church can teach over a period of time a consistent moral line with the weight of the ordinary Magisterium. So in the instance of contraception and Humanae Vitae, the doctrine concerning contraception was already a defined in an irreformable manner long before it was penned. This teaching, although condemned in Genesis 38, is also rooted in the natural law, to which the Church uses to scrutinize acts themselves, what they are ordered towards, as well as the means to obtain their end, to determine their moral validity. To learn more on the topic of moral theology there are some great Thomistic scholars you can read. To get started I recommend reading anything by Dr. Steven Long of Ave Maria, Fr. Romanus Cessario OP, Dr. Ralph McInerny and Fr. Lawrence Dewan OP.

    A great book to start with is Dr. Long’s ‘Teleological Grammar of the Moral Act.’ You can get it on Amazon. I have a book review of it on my blog.

  • Matthew Bellisario

    I would also like to add two other accessible books on moral theology.
    1. Right and Reason- Fr. Austin Fagothey (TAN books has it)
    2. Introduction to Moral Theology- Fr. Romanus Cessario (Amazon)
    These two books are great resources.
    Have fun reading!

  • Mark P. Shea


    Are we talking about the same document? What I have in mind is Cdl. Ratzinger’s private letter, which is not a “CDF document” and does not carry magisterial weight (though I agree with every word of it). What document do you have in mind?

    You still don’t seem to be distinguishing between the doctrinal statement embedded in EV (to which we are bound to be docile) and the prudential application of that doctrinal statement (which we disagree about). I would appreciate it if you would deal with Kreitzberg’s point.

  • Jeff Culbreath

    First, it needs to be emphasized that the death penalty and all punishment is primarily a matter of retributive justice. Protecting society is a secondary consideration. I believe that qualifies as Catholic doctrine.

    Second, when the CCC states “If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority must limit itself to such means …”, well, we can just stop right there.

    A few minutes with a search engine reveals that 356 people were murdered *in prison*, by other prisoners, between 2001 and 2007. in the United States. More than 70,000 prisoners are sexually assaulted in prison every year. In New York state alone there were 675 assaults by prisoners against other prisoners, and 576 assaults by prisoners against staff, in 2010.

    So much for the great success of modern prisons in defending human lives, protecting the safety of persons, etc. It just isn’t true that modern technology has rendered the death penalty obsolete by making prisons safe. As long as violent men are around other human beings, there will be violence.

    Oh, let’s not forget the violent prisoners who are paroled and released, 70% of whom end up back in prison within 3 years, often because they have hurt or killed someone else.

    Here in California there are 20,000 men in solitary confinement, with no windows, let out for one hour every day to go for a walk by themselves in a tiny courtyard with high walls. Some have been in solitary for 10 years. They are now on a massive hunger strike. It’s true that these men don’t hurt anybody, but the cost is immense, and in my opinion it borders on cruel and unusual punishment, or even torture.

  • Jeff Culbreath

    Mark Shea, you wrote:

    “I believe the current Magisterium is in continuity with previous magisteria …”

    No you don’t, Mark: you believe the old teaching is false and the new teaching is true. If I am wrong about this, then please explain how the old teaching is also true:

    “Far from being guilty of breaking this commandment, such an execution of justice is precisely an act of *obedience* to it. For the purpose of the law is to protect and foster human life. This purpose is fulfilled when the legitimate authority of the state is exercised by taking the guilty lives of those who have taken innocent life.”

  • Matthew Bellisario

    Mark I did deal with Kreitzberg’s point. He is incorrect in giving JPII’s view on the prudence of using the death penalty such doctrinal weight, for the same reasons I presented above. I have now gone to great length to explain to you in detail what the proper teaching is. I also demonstrated the fact that you cannot accuse those not in favor of abolishing the death penalty as being dissenters. JPII did not define a doctrinal teaching concerning the death penalty, he referred to a secondary principle in regard to punishment to present his view regarding the prudence of using capital punishment. I presented to you the primary reason for punishment, which may still justify the state in using capital punishment.

    Second, if you now agree with Cardinal Ratzinger, writing as the head of the CDF when he said, “if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion” and “There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty…” then you must also agree that I am not dissenting from the Church when I propose that the secondary reason given by JPII is not always binding in regard to capital punishment.

    Now, I would appreciate it if you deal with the many moral theologians such Dr. Long, Dr. McInerny, Dr. Fesser, Fr. Dewan, etc, whom I have presented to you, which you apparently refuse to read. For a guy who is hellbent on proclaiming this anathema, I would assume you would want to investigate their views, no? You are the one now speaking for the Church telling all of us what is binding on our consciences and what is not. This is serious since if you are wrong, and at this point there is really not much of a doubt about that, then you are going to be accountable for making such a false public proclamation. The burden of proof is again on you.

    I have cited the then Cardinal Ratizinger writing as the head of the CDF telling a Cardinal whom inquired about this very moral dilemma in regards to Catholics and voting. I hope that you know that just because it was a private correspondence that it still carries the weight of his office as the head of the CDF. He signed the memorandum as head of the CDF. As you should know, most of the time the CDF responds by memorandums addressing specific questions of bishops or theologians regarding how statements and documents of the Church apply in practice. In this particular case it dealt with moral issues which would put a Catholic at odds with the Church. The prudential use of capital punishment was not one of the moral teachings which does. Which is going to be? At first you said the letter is worth nothing, and has no weight, and now you are saying that you agree with every word of it. Why first call into question this particular document and its authority, and then later act as if you now agree with it? I find this behavior quite odd.

    Finally, we have another theologian, Cardinal Dulles, who although agrees with JPII’s view, also agrees that Catholics are not bound to this view. (Mentioned in comment #45 above.) Dulles addressed judge Scalia’s view, “As to the Pope’s assertion that the DP should today be rare, I would affirm, against Justice Scalia, that this is to be understood as an exercise of the Pope’s prudential judgement…. Their prudential judgement, while it is to be respected, is not a matter of binding Catholic doctrine. To differ from such a judgement, therefore, is not dissent from Catholic teaching.”

    Dulles also points out that the Pope was only expressing a prudential view on the matter and was not making a doctrinal change in his statement in EV regarding this. He even speaks of the problem of using a one liner as a reductionist argument.

    “If the Pope were to deny that the death penalty could be an exercise of retributive justice, he would be overthrowing the tradition of two millennia of Catholic thought, denying the teaching of several previous popes, and contradicting the teaching of Scripture (notably in Genesis 9:5-6 and Romans 13:1-4).

    I doubt whether the tradition is reversible at all, but even if it were, the reversal could hardly be accomplished by an incidental section in a long encyclical focused primarily on the defense of innocent human life. If the Pope were contradicting the tradition, one could legitimately question whether his statement outweighed the established teaching of so many past centuries.

    I believe that the Pope, without contradicting the tradition, is exercising his prudential judgment…”

    So do you agree with Dulles here or not? No he is not head of the CDF, but that doesn’t seem to matter to you anyway? Hopefully you are learning a hard lesson here. Think before you proclaim anthemas against your fellow Catholics.

  • Jeff Culbreath

    And let’s be clear: the Catechism of Trent is not just any catechism, but that mandated by an ecumenical council of an explicitly doctrinal orientation, and confirmed repeatedly by subsequent popes.

  • Mark P. Shea


    Given that Benedict is in favor of abolishing the death penalty, it appears that he does not buy your theory that retributive justice is the main rationale for the death penalty. And though you want to put your words in my mouth, I nonetheless politely decline to be press-ganged into a Two Magisteria theory which splits the pre and post Vatican 2 Church apart and pits them against one another.


    I appreciate your patience with me. It’s hard for unserious Catholics like me to grasp why I need to ignore the obvious and clear teaching of EV and the Catechism in favor of the theories of Some Guy with a Keyboard. It was kind of you to stoop down to my level. I will try to do better.

  • Deacon Jim Russell

    Jeff wrote:

    “And let’s be clear: the Catechism of Trent is not just any catechism, but that mandated by an ecumenical council of an explicitly doctrinal orientation, and confirmed repeatedly by subsequent popes.”

    Guess I’ll help Mark out a bit here.

    Let’s do be clear. The Roman Catechism is a “universal” catechism. It contains everything from absolute de fide dogma to “sententia communis”–the common teaching of Catholic theology.

    That “common teaching,” just as the common teaching found in the *current* universal catechism, the CCC, can indeed be modified over time.

    As such, Jeff, you don’t have the magisterial “high ground” on this issue, as it seems the Trent catechism captured the “common teaching of Catholic theology” on this issue. But, this teaching does not compare in certitude to what is found in the papal magisterium of John Paul II….

  • Matthew Bellisario

    As usual Mark, I do not appreciate the sarcasm and arrogance that you repeatedly use when you know you have no tenable argument. Hence my assessment stands that you are in the wrong business. How you can continue to hold to a position that you have been shown to be incorrect is simply amazing. You had a chance to own up to your mistake here and now it is plain to all that you refuse to do so.

    I have demonstrated that the teaching of EV on this particular matter is a prudential judgement by JPII. It is not doctrinal or dogmatic in nature. I have given you the primary reason for the act of punishment, which cannot change. Otherwise you turn the act of punishment into an act which primarily focuses on only stopping a future crime which may or may not happen, which makes no sense. I gave you the part of the Catechism as well as several moral theologians, which also make this point clear. I have given you the opinion of another moral theologian, Dulles as well as a memorandum by the head of the CDF who all both concluded that those who oppose your reductionist reading are not in dissent, yet you continue to read these one liners in isolation as a reductionist. I have repeatedly asked you to read the many moral theologians that I presented to you material and reasons supporting my position and you have not one time answered any of what I have given you on the subject. I have done this in a straight forward manner here, and now all I get in return is a sarcastic remark? At this point you don’t have much ground to stand on Mark. You have made an anathematizing proclamation that you simply can’t back up.

    I must make this final point. When you write these types of articles condemning people with these types of proclamations you are responsible for the people who are going to read your material. That means that you are going to be held accountable to God for what you write. I am not being facetious here, I am serious. Written material stays around a long time even if it is on the internet, and people will read your material long after you are gone. If you make a rash judgment on something and you are wrong, that error goes on a long time. It circulates for years and years. Keep this in mind as you engage in your new blogging venture here, and I pray that I can do the same in the future. I would not want anyone to be mislead by what I have written, and if you can prove me wrong then I will be the first to come over here and tell everyone that I was.

    I will end with a story that I heard just last night when listening to an online lecture which pertained to this.

    There was an author who died and went to hell. He wakes up in a caldron of boiling water. He looks down and sees these demons dropping some fresh logs off to keep the fire burning under it nice and hot. He looks over in agony and sees this other guy sitting in his cauldron reclining back with the fire barely going. He asks the guy what he did to merit hell. The guy says he killed his nagging wife. The author sits in dismay watching the demons coming back over with yet another set of logs. He then asks the demon, why do you keep picking on me with all of these logs, my cauldron is burning hot. That guy over there killed his wife and his cauldron is barely warm. The demons laughed and said, “Yes he killed his wife, but she forgave him for his act, you on the other hand have written many books which are misleading people, and every time someone buys one and reads another, we get another set of logs to throw on the fire. Your books are now on the bestseller list, so you can expect more logs for a long time coming.”

  • kevin

    Austin Fagothey was a great Jesuit. I read Right and Reason in high school, handed down from my father. I have sadly since misplaced it but it was the ‘bible’ of moral theologians for a long time i believe.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Re: Mr. Shea ia a bad Hobbit.

    “Hence my assessment stands that you are in the wrong business.”

    He certainly is. I suggest he go into the marijuana plant growing business in his backyard like everyone else on the Left Coast.

    “How you can continue to hold to a position that you have been shown to be incorrect is simply amazing.”

    And you showed him that his position was incorrect so clearly!

    “You had a chance to own up to your mistake here and now it is plain to all that you refuse to do so.”

    And he is a moral coward to boot!

    “I will end with a story that I heard just last night when listening to an online lecture which pertained to this.”

    Gee. I thought you made that up just for Mr. Shea?

    I say we get out the torches and pitchfork,s hunt Mr. Shea down, and water board him 183 times.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Matthew Bellisario

    Richard, your sarcastic responses do not uphold your position very well, and in fact clearly demonstrate that you have no real argument. Why bother with such responses, do you actually think anyone takes such remarks seriously? I don’t. If you cannot add anything substantive, then why bother?

  • Richard W Comerford

    “your sarcastic responses do not uphold your position very well”

    My position is that of the Church. See the link to the article by Cardinal Dulles above.

    “in fact clearly demonstrate that you have no real argument”

    I do not have an argument because there is nothing to argue about. Again see the link above.

    “Why bother with such responses, do you actually think anyone takes such remarks seriously?”

    From my e-mail yes. Thanks to the internet a remarkable number of people read and think themselves into the Church.

    “I don’t”

    Then why the post?

    “If you cannot add anything substantive, then why bother?”

    Because folks reading and thinking their way into the Church can be put off by bores who take themselves far too seriously.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • kevin

    That was rude, come on

  • Kevin

    I think Mr. Bellisario has provided several well reasoned and at times brilliant entries which probably qualify him to be a Patheos blogger at this point.

    For Mark Shea I have the question: is it sinful for the State of Connecticut to execute the Cheshire home invasion murderers? Are Catholics involved in that process, i.e., prosecutors, sinning when they argue for the death penalty?

  • Richard W Comerford

    Re: Rudenss and Revenge

    “That was rude, come on”

    Are you not the guy above who is crying for the execution of among two, one Joshua A. Komisarjevsky, for the his alleged role in the murder of Jenifer, Haley and Michaela Haley – even though Mr. Komisarjevsky has not yet even been found guilty of said crime?

    In the article cited above Cardinal Dulles writes:

    “Another objection observes that the death penalty often has the effect of whetting an inordinate appetite for revenge rather than satisfying an authentic zeal for justice. By giving in to a perverse spirit of vindictiveness or a morbid attraction to the gruesome, the courts contribute to the degradation of the culture, replicating the worst features of the Roman Empire in its period of decline.”

    You make Mr. Shea’s point for him. I am constantly amazed that the same folks who cry so loudly for blood are also so very thin skinned when their demands are opposed.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Kevin

    “Crying for the execution”? Are you kidding. Mr. Comerford you are engaging in the same kind of overheated rhetoric and ad homimen nonsense to which Mr. Shea is no stranger. I asked a simple, serious question about it, and you say I am “crying” for the execution. Disgraceful

    For your information, Hayes has already been sentenced to death. Komisarjevsky will without question be found guilty given his blood-curdling confession to the murders, and will receive the same sentence.

    why don’t you try answering my question instead of running interference for shea.

  • Kevin

    And what of Cardinal Dulles’s remark about “an authentic zeal for justice,” or are you just going to ignore that part of his comment. Their last name, by the way, was Pettit, not Haley.

  • Richard W Comerford

    “I asked a simple, serious question about it, and you say I am “crying” for the execution. Disgraceful”

    It is indeed disgraceful to call for the execution of a man not yet found guilty of a crime. Indeed Mr. Komisarjevsky’s attorneys have moved for a change in venue because of what they describe as a “mob mentality”.

    “For your information, Hayes has already been sentenced to death.”

    As I indicated above.

    “Komisarjevsky will without question be found guilty given his blood-curdling confession to the murders”

    He has not entered a confession.

    “and will receive the same sentence”

    Again you make Mr. Shea’s point. He has, according to insiders, a 50/50 chance of escaping the death penalty.

    “why don’t you try answering my question”

    I have. See above.

    “instead of running interference for shea.”

    I am running interference, so to speak, for the Church. One of the reason the Church discourages executions is people like you who call for the death penalty for a man not yet found guilty of any crime.

    Do I hear the faint echo of people shouting “crucify Him, crucify Him” floating down the centuries.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Kevin

    Oh you have really lost it. He has confessed to the murders, it is all on audio tape. It was so chilling and disturbing that the jury had to be excused yesterday. You are not answering my question, which is whether Catholics involved in the process who are arguing for death penalty (and by implication the ones who already successfully argued for the death penalty for Hayes) are sinning? Can you read?

  • Kevin

    In case you have trouble, here is the question again:

    “For Mark Shea I have the question: is it sinful for the State of Connecticut to execute the Cheshire home invasion murderers? Are Catholics involved in that process, i.e., prosecutors, sinning when they argue for the death penalty?”

    why don’t you try to answer the question I actually asked rather than erect straw men and histrionically tear them down.

  • Richard W Comerford

    “Oh you have really lost it. He has confessed to the murders, it is all on audio tape.”

    Again you make Mr. Shea’s point for him. Gossips purport that Mr. K. confessed to murder. However the actual transcripts (found online. Consult Mr. Google) show that he did not. Passion overrules reason in your call for his death.

    “the jury had to be excused yesterday”

    Yet again you make Mr. Shea’s point for him.The jury had to be excused because a woman member became ill when she heard Mr. K admit on audio tape to an alleged sex act with then 11 you Michaela.

    “You are not answering my question”

    As I previously pointed out I answered your question at length above. Yet again you make Mr. Shea’s point for him. You simply do not read. Here you are calling for a man’s death yet you cannot be bothered to to learn the simplest of facts surrounding the case.

    Folks like you are the best argument against Capital punishment.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford