Reblog: Some Quotations On Capital Punishment

Some Quotations On Capital Punishment


Posted on March 9, 2015, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. I read yesterday a blog article about the same theme :

    There is a video embedded, in fact a sermon of a priest, which is well worth to be listened to until the end. I did it twice and I suggest everyone thinking about the death sentence to view it. The priest quotes also some of the Church Fathers who are mentioned in the TIA article, and I must say this sermon has mostly changed my mind. Not completely yet, because I fear also human error and political executions, but it allows to have real arguments about the Capital punishment instead of some vague « feelings » about it.

    Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat !

    • Error is part of life. If you are afraid of error, there’s no point in allowing people to drive, fly, even cook.

      A pilot’s mistake can kill hundreds. I doubt the mistake in capital punishments can reach a dozen in two decades.


  2. I’m not easily afraid, I don’t know if you’ve noticed !


    P. S. Have you viewed the video?

    • Fine, but then there is no reason to be afraid of error in the matter of capital capital punishment.
      No, I have not seen the video.

  3. My father was a high ranking official in the police department of a major US city during a time when there was much crime and organized crime involving the Mafia in that city. My father, who was particularly skilled in solving crimes was a strong opponent to the death penalty in most cases. After his death I found a box of letters from rehabilitated prisoners whom he had arrested thanking him for helping them obtain jobs after they had served their sentences. His opinions on the death penalty seemed to be most like those of Saint Pope John Paul II, even though he died several years prior to John Paul II’s papacy.

    I do believe the death penalty could be used as St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, for heretics declared so by the Church, because of their great danger to souls…but instead, it seems that heretics seem to be promoted to high positions in the church even by popes who supported the death penalty for killing some of the most likely to be saved.

    • Pope JP II is at variance with the Church on the death penalty, and being canonised 300 times would not change a iota in that. There might be disagreements about the concrete sphere of application, but it is certainly not in line with Church praxis to limit the death penalty to extremely exceptional cases which then would not occur or are even difficult to conceive.

      On the death penalty, JP II embraced the world. Francis is just the continuation on the same slippery slope.

      The Papal States put to death for, say, murder. The approach wasn’t emotional.

      St Pius V gave homosexual priests to the civil authorities, to be put to death for sodomy. How’s that for a fresh perspective…


    • That’s about the same as the priest said in the video which contains many pictures and documents.. And he said much more very important things, for instance about the long preparation of the convicted to help his soul to go to heaven, even with much Holy Encens around him (which astonished me).


    • No time to see the video now. But yes, of course a good preparation is important. The capital punishment also focuses the mind uncommonly, as the condemned knows he is going to meet his Maker.

      In the Papal States, besides the priest being there it was customary that the condemned asked the public for forgiveness, and the public granted their forgiveness.


  4. The murderer of Italian St. Maria Goretti was released from prison after 27 years and attended her canonization along by Pope Pius XII which can be found on the youtube.
    Thereafter the murderer lived his last years as a Franciscan secular in a monastery. We now have more sophisticated prison systems than was previously the case, regretfully Alcatraz was closed. I saw a documentary interviewing former guards and former prisoners of Alcatraz who spoke of how the most hardened criminals were rehabilitated there by the very tough love and steady work approach. Those who where not releasable died there.

    • This is exactly the kind of thinking that goes brutally against Church teaching.
      We are not more sophisticated in absolutely anything. Prayer and repentance have always been the method, and they will always be.

      The idea that someone will eventually repent (actually, I think most do) is nothing to do with the matter. The murderer who repents dies a repentant, and probably gains purgatory. But justice demands that he be punished anyway, something the murderer himself fully understood in past times.

      Whether one repents or not is nothing to do with the matter of the execution, merely with the matter of his salvation. If this were not the case, no one would ever have to be executed, because you never know when he might repent, perhaps in 50 years’ time.

      But to come back to the original point: you must free yourself from this V II delusion that we have instruments at our disposal now the Church did not give us before. Prayer and repentance have always counted infinitely more than an army of social workers.

      The priest in the cell, and the scaffold outside. *This* is what saves souls.


  5. I wondered why you brought up this subject at this moment. Is there some big discussion somewhere in the world of which I don’t know ?

    Concerning France, you might be interested in the fact that the « Front National », with leader Marine Le Pen, will reinstaure the Death penalty should they come to power in 2017. That’s the reason why I participate in your debate, in order to make up my mind upon this subject because I had several opinions about it during my life time. In my teenage years, I was for the Capital punishment, having been brought up as a Catholic and the Church having never questioned this. But then came 1968, with the watering down of all morals, finishing in France, under the presidency of Mr. Mitterrand, in abolishing the Death penalty (1981), against a reluctant, and even hostile, public opinion.

    Though not a voter, I am interested in this issue. Before this discussion I thought that one could reopen the penal colony of French Guiana which seeems to have been hell on earth. But, first, the Human Rightlers would oppose to it and, second, the preparation of the condemned to Eternal life by the priest and all the rest you speak of is without doubt more charitable than the « bagne ».

    Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat !

    • Yes, there is a discussion in the US. There is a discussion, I mean, where no discussion should take place.

      But the issue is also a general one.

      We must come to terms with the fact that an orthodox Catholic does not mix and match what the Church has always believed and convictions we have grown to cherish. We must submit, in humility, to a wisdom higher than the emotions of our time.

      The capital punishment is a good test for that.


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