The Latest Nonsense from the Incredible Pseudo-Magisterium:
Capital Punishment Is Now “Immoral”
by Christopher A. Ferrara
March 10, 2015
From St. Dismas on the cross — the thief who recognized the justice of his penalty and entered immediately into Paradise after making expiation for his sins on that famous day — to the Epistles of Saint Paul to the Council of Trent and the teaching of Pius XII, the Catholic Church has always recognized that civil authority has the right and even the duty to impose the death penalty for murder and other very grave crimes.
As the Catechism of the Council of Trent teaches, capital punishment not only does not violate the Fifth Commandment, it obeys the Commandment by defending the sanctity of life against those who willfully take it from the innocent:
Again, this prohibition [against killing] does not apply to the civil magistrate, to whom is entrusted the power of life and death [a reference to Saint Paul’s teaching in Romans 13:14], by the legal and judicious exercise of which he punishes the guilty and protects the innocent.
The use of the civil sword, when wielded by the hand of justice, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this commandment which prohibits murder.
The end of the commandment is the preservation and sanctity of human life, and to the attainment of this end, the punishments inflicted by the civil magistrate, who is the legitimate avenger of crime, naturally tend, giving security to life by repressing outrage and violence.
But in the post-conciliar epoch we have witnessed the human element of the Church, swayed by the spirit of the age, running away from one unpopular teaching of the Church after another, yet without any official repudiation from the authentic Magisterium. As the Phony Synod gears up for another attack on the Church’s infallible teaching and related discipline on the indissolubility of sacramental marriage, the always useful “Catholic press” has joined forces with liberal bishops in beating the drum for the total abolition of the death penalty.
The National Catholic Register, the National Catholic Reporter, Our Sunday Visitor and America have jointly called for abolition of the death penalty in recent days as the case of Glossip v. Gross, challenging lethal injection as being cruel and unusual punishment, comes before the Supreme Court on a petition for certiorari (a request that the Supreme Court accept the case for review). This nonsensical turn of events is exemplified by the declaration of Archbishop Thomas Wenski, of Miami, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development: “The use of the death penalty devalues human life and diminishes respect for human dignity. We bishops continue to say: We cannot teach killing is wrong by killing.”
An intelligent fifth grader could dismantle that argument. First of all, if the death penalty “devalues human life and diminishes respect for human dignity” then the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, including the Council of Trent, would have been guilty of devaluing human life and diminishing respect for human dignity for well nigh 2,000 years. The implication is nothing short of blasphemous as it implies that the Church founded by God Incarnate has been deceiving the faithful about this matter until now and that the Gospel account of the Good Thief accepting his just punishment is itself a lie.
Secondly, the imposition of capital punishment is not “killing,” but rather, as Trent teaches, a just defense of the sanctity of life against those who do kill in violation of the Fifth Commandment. As Pope Pius XII declared in 1955 in a papal address to Catholic jurists:
Even when it is a question of someone condemned to death, the state does not dispose of an individual’s right to life. It is then the task of public authority to deprive the condemned man of the good of life, in expiation of his fault, after he has already deprived himself of the right to life by his crime.
Indeed, God Himself imposes the death penalty — an eternal death penalty in the fires of Hell — upon unrepentant murderers and other grave sinners who die in a state of final impenitence. The avoidance of that fate, infinitely worse than mere physical death, is precisely why Our Lady came to Fatima: “You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart.” But then, modern churchmen don’t like to speak of such things as the fires of Hell. No need to upset the customers.
It was precisely in light of the Message of Fatima that the future Pius XII foresaw the “diabolical disorientation” at work in one capitulation after another to the liberal spirit of the day. With the aid of Our Lady, Pius could see fast approaching a time when the Church would waver in her fidelity to Catholic truth, when attempts would be made to change her liturgy, her theology and even the very doctrines she has taught for two millennia. Warned the future Pope in 1931:
I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in Her liturgy, Her theology and Her soul … A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God."
That is exactly what has come to pass since Vatican II. It is in this context that we now see churchmen — ignoring all prior Church teaching to the contrary — demanding that guilty murderers be spared from death. Yet, at the same time, they refuse to discipline “Catholic” politicians who insist that innocent children may be put to death (by abortion) at the whim of their mothers. This is the moment Pius XII foresaw; and it will end — as it surely will — only when the imperatives of the Message of Fatima have been heeded and the prophetic warnings of the Third Secret fully revealed.