Skip to comments.Is the Death Penalty Morally Equal to Abortion? Bishops Preach Politics Rather than Gospel Truth
Posted on 12/18/2003 10:38:18 AM PST by ckca
click here to read article
Point 1 is true. Point 2 is only a personal opinion of the pope which he has no right to impose on any of the faithful. More prudent popes of the past did not go around confusing the faithful by making their private opinions seem comparable to Church doctrine.
How after all could a statement referring to "modern society" enter Church doctrine? Will it still be "modern society" in 100 years? Will it still be necessary for the death penalty to be rare at that time? Or will we have entered post-modern society? And will it be appropriate for the death penalty to be "common" in post-modern society?
The absurdity of confusing prudential opinions with doctrine is evident.
But recourse to the death penalty is not intrinsically evil. A Catholic who supports the death penalty commits no sin. To compare the two is disingenuous at best, and a direct attack upon conservative pro-life Catholic politicians and activists at worst. It would seem that certain factions within the USCCB are upset that lay Catholic activists and faithful Catholic politicians have forced them into addressing an issue they would much rather continue to ignore.
(Furthermore, Catholics in the pro-life movement tend to share a 95% crossover identity with "orthodox" or conservative Catholics. Certain bishops may see these orthodox lay Catholics as a real threat to their overall liberal agenda. This Jesuit bishops comment may also have been intended as a shot across the bow, i.e "push us on this too hard and we might excommunicate your political heroes --like Santorum and Scalia-- also.")
I'm convinced the author is on to the real agenda here.
Unfortunately, this is true. One more example where post-conciliar catechism has led to mass confusion.
You are clearly correct. That was the entire purpose of Cardinal Bernadin's "seamless garment" -- to make it seem that you weren't truly pro-life unless you supported a range of left-wing causes such as opposition to the death penalty and more welfare payments. "Pro-life is not about abortion" was the 1-sentence summary, as though the slaughter of tens of millions of innocent, defenseless unborn children was somehow equivalent to the righteous execution of duly convicted murderers.
This quote regarding Scalia shows that it was not just the known leftists like Bernadin who were supporting this agenda, it was also the supposed conservatives like Chaput. I heard a priest from "Priests for Life" give a presentation at a communion breakfast in which the entire talk was focused on the "seamless garment" which he mentioned by name, and Cardinal Bernadin by name also. So the moral confusion has penetrated everywhere.
I would also suggest that anyone who says Cardinal Avery Dulles is on the same page as "Father Rutler" should read the article in FIRST THINGS to which Cicero alluded.
What we have in this thread is a good example of right-wing "cafeteria Catholics" exactly like those Archbishop Chaput cricitized in the remarks I cited. They even claim the Holy Father is taking a stand against Church teachings! And they ignore the very clear sense of Scripture when it suits them--the very thing they denounce the Episcopalians for doing!
And the issue of guild, of whether there is Good and Evil, defined by a power higher than us mortals, is at the heart of this strange result.
Those who believe in a Higher Power understand that we should use the power vested in us by that Higher Power, to further Good and fight Evil. There are crimes worthy of the death penalty, and surely if anyone is guilty of such crimes, Saddam is.
Those who don't so believe, the secularists and amoral atheists, conclude that it is Wrong to make such Moral Judgements. Taking the life of an unborn child is acceptable, because it is simply an act of convenience for the mother, not a moral judgement on the child. Taking the life of Saddam is wrong, for the very reason that it is being justified on Moral grounds.
Strange - one side finds that the more guilty the victim, the more justified the murder, while the other side finds that the more innocent the victim, the more acceptable the murder.
Spin it however you like, Rutler (and this author) is correct. You have not refuted the excerpt of Rutler's that I posted.
It is this "Father Rutler" (whoever he is)
You're just a little bit out of touch with important Catholic commentators in our age.
Catholics believe that, right?
It would be if we executed two million people a year for being an hindrance to our lifestyle and a drag on society:
"That nitwit cut me off in traffic, hang him! This guy is collecting unemployement, off with his head! That single mom is getting welfare for her 4 kids. To the oven with all of 'em!"
Or to put it another way, I would never agree to give the government a power that I wouldn't agree to give to Hillary Clinton. Hitler creatively applied many laws that had been put into place by previous administrations with the best of intentions because no one thought someone like Hitler would end up in power to abuse them. You never know what bizarre political circumstance the future holds; if future history was predictable, history wouldn't be as interesting as it is.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.