Hattip to Pewsitter. Dudley Sharp, who has commented at TAC, has written a response to the editorial boards of Our Sunday Visitor, National Catholic Register, the Jesuit rag America and National Catholic
TO: the Editorial Boards of America magazine, National Catholic Register, National Catholic Reporter, and Our Sunday Visitor
One of the major problems with the Church’s newest teachings on the death penalty is that neither the Bishops, nor any other Catholics, opposed to the death penalty, appears to fact check anything the anti death penalty movement produces, resulting in error after error presented to the flock, undermining the truth. You must fact check and consider opposing facts (1) to find the truth. As a rule, on this topic, the Church will not do that.
The Bishops have accepted anti death penalty claims, as gospel (small “g”), even when they conflict with Church teachings, as described.
“NCR” is for quotes from the referenced op/ed, with my reply as “Sharp reply”.
NCR: “Next month, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) will hear arguments in Glossip v. Gross, a case out of Oklahoma that challenges the most widely used lethal injection protocol as being cruel and unusual punishment.”
Sharp reply: That is untrue. as found within Glossip, Oklahoma has adopted many new additional protocols, which are unique to Ok – not the most “widely used” and are those which will be the areas of contention at SCOTUS.
NCR: “Our hope is that (the Glossip v. Gross case) will hasten the end of the death penalty in the United States.
Sharp reply: SCOTUS will only look at the specific new protocols, within Glossip. All different protocols, of other jurisdiction will survive, be that alternate lethal injection methods, gas, hanging and firing squad, which exist in other states, the federal government and the military.
Based upon the facts, detailed within the 10th Circuit ruling (1/12/15), against the plaintiffs, it appears most likely that SCOTUS will reject their appeals, as well, and accept Ok new protocol.
In addition, it appears possible, if not likely, that Ok will adopt a nitrogen gas (NG) protocol, prior to the SCOTUS decision. NG has already been approved in an Ok legislative committee. NG has none of the downsides of any other method, NG is a completely painless execution method, as well as providing an endless supply, which cannot be withheld (1) and which may be adopted by all states, which wish to minimize delay, legal challenge and costs.
NCR: Archbishop Thomas Wenski, of Miami stated, “… 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.”
Sharp reply: For about 2000 years the Church has taught that the death penalty is based upon the value of innocent life and an abiding respect for the dignity of man (2).
What the Archbishop is, now saying, is that for 2000 years the Church supported that which devalued human life and that which diminished respect for human dignity, a claim which no knowledgeable Catholic can or should accept.
The Archbishop is just repeating standard anti death penalty nonsense which has no respect for Catholic teachings and tradition.
One wonders – why he raises false anti death penalty teachings above Catholic teachings, a common problem for many of the bishops.
The Archbishop states: “We bishops continue to say, ‘we cannot teach killing is wrong by killing’. ”
Sadly, they do.
The Bishops are just repeating, again, common anti death penalty nonsense.
We all know that murder is wrong, even if there is no sanction.
The Bishops are unaware that sanction doesn’t teach that murder is wrong – Church morality and tradition, as well as clear biblical texts teach that murder is wrong.
Sanction is the outcome of that moral teaching. Those are the rational and traditional teachings, which, somehow, the bishops have discarded and replaced with this anti death penalty nonsense. How and why?
Execution of murderers has never been declared immoral by the Church and never will be (2). The foundation for the death penalty is justice, just as with all sanctions for all crimes.
These inexplicable gaffs may cause good Catholics to wonder when reason and tradition vanished.
NCR: Boston Cardinal Seán O’Malley stated: “Society can protect itself in ways other than the use of the death penalty,”
Sharp reply: Cardinal, the proper standard is what sanction is most just for the crime committed, what the Church has called the primary consideration (CCC 1995, 2003) and what sanction provides greater protection for innocents.
The death penalty provides greater protection for innocents, in three ways, than does a life sentence (3).
There is no proof of an innocent executed in the US, at least since the 1930s (3).
Just since 1973, from 14,000 – 28,000 innocents have been murdered by those known murderers that we have allowed to murder, again – recidivist murderers ( two recidivism studies covering two different periods) (3)
My guess is that none of the Bishops are aware, because they haven’t looked, as with EV and CCC.
NCR: “the universal Catechism of the Catholic Church . . . include a de facto prohibition against capital punishment.”
Sharp reply: First, the de facto prohibition is based upon several errors (4).
Secondly, as the most recent death penalty teachings have been confirmed, by the Church, as being a prudential judgment, any Catholic may reject the Church’s latest teaching on the death penalty (4), honor the Church’s teachings of the previous 2000 years, and seek more executions, based within justice and the fact that executions offer greater protections for innocent lives (4).
1) Intro. Basic pro death penalty review:
The Death Penalty: Justice and Saving More Innocents
2) For more than 2000 years, there has been Catholic support for the death penalty, from Popes, Saints, Doctors and Fathers of the Church, church leadership, biblical scholars and theologians that, in breadth and depth, overwhelms any teachings to the contrary, particularly those wrongly dependent upon secular concerns such as defense of society and the poor standards of criminal justice systems in protecting the innocent.
The Death Penalty: Mercy, Expiation, Redemption & Salvation
See Catholic references within:
New Testament Death Penalty Support Overwhelming
3) The Death Penalty: Do Innocents Matter? A Review of All Innocence Issues http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-death-penalty-do-innocents-matter.html
4) Current Problems: Catholic Death Penalty Teaching: Most recent Catechism (last amended 2003)
One of the more distressing features of the Church being commandeered by anti-death penalty activists is that so much of their propaganda is mendacious as Mr. Sharp points out. Such mendacity permeates the section of the Catechism that deals with the death penalty:
2267 Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.
If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.
Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”
No State on earth has the capability of preventing any murderer, short of the death penalty, from killing again. Church teaching that rests on lies is simply worthless.