Monday, December 12, 2005

Timely Topic

Lots of airtime is being dedicated to the death penalty today. It's a topic I wrestle with, I must admit. I was curious to know the Catholic Church's most recent thoughts on the topic. Thanks to Boston Globe Columnist Jeff Jacoby, my thirst for knowledge has been quenched.
Last month, by a vote of 237-4, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops adopted a pastoral statement calling for an end to the death penalty. The 11-page document makes a number of claims. Among them: that the execution of murderers ''violates respect for human life and dignity," that it fuels a ''cycle of violence [that] diminishes us all," and that ''we have other ways to punish criminals and protect society." The bishops acknowledge in passing that Catholic teaching has never banned the death penalty outright or declared it ''intrinsically evil." Nevertheless, they insist, since the modern state ''has other nonlethal means to protect its citizens, the state should not use the death penalty."
Now, I know.


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