For Catholics, commitment to the dignity of human life is a core value. Full stop. The emphasis is always on saving life (even guilty human life) wherever possible. So the question is not “When do we *get* to torture and kill?” but “How can we strive to save even the sinner?” For the Faith, this is a non-negotiable.
Of course, it is obvious that the Left has abandoned this when it comes to the sanctity of unborn human life. Abortion is a core value of the Left. Euthanasia nearly stands in the same place as a core value now.
But before conservatives get too excited about the mote in the Lefty eye, they need to face the fact that, if you pay attention to the actions and not the rhetoric of Movement Conservatives in America, torture is now one of the real non-negotiables of the Thing that Used to Be Conservatism. How do I know? Because when a Romney runs for president and transparently does not care about abortion but commits himself to torture, Movement Conservatives cheer. They tell you that God himself demands that you vote for him. They declare you have blood on your hands if you don’t.
But when a prolife person condemns torture along with abortion on the grounds that the Church condemns both as grave intrinsic evil, he is told that he is neither prolife, nor “really a Christian” by the anti-abortion-but-not-prolife Christian stooges of Movement Conservatism. (Go ahead, ask me how I know that and I will tell you about the bales of mail I’ve gotten from “faithful conservative” Christians informing me of this fact.) In short, commitment to torture, not opposition to abortion is what really matters to people who make that charge. By their fruits you will know them.
The insanity of “faithful conservative” Catholicism that is defined, not by belief in the faith and morals of the Church, but by commitment to making excuses for beloved conservative mortal sins is a stain on the witness of the Church. It is long past time for Catholics to listen to the Church first and judge party by it, rather than vice versa.