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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Killing Capital Punishment: Francis vs. the Catholic Church

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The Latest Addition to the Bergoglian Pseudo-Magisterium...


For the past five years the Church has suffered under a Pope who actually believes that the Magisterium is literally whatever he thinks. To quote his own admission in this regard, made during one of his infamous interviews: “I’m constantly making statements, giving homilies. That’s magisterium. That’s what I think, not what the media say that I think. Check it out; it’s very clear.” 


It occurs to me that a “magisterium” one is urged to “check out” might have a rather ephemeral quality quite inconsistent with the concept of the Magisterium rightly understood. And now the ephemeral, which is to say fake, magisterium of Jorge Mario Bergoglio—the name he insisted must still appear on his passport—has expanded again. This time Bergoglio tells us what he thinks about capital punishment. And what he thinks is that the death penalty is per se immoral.

So, as the press happily reported, Bergoglio decided he would “change Church teaching” to suit his view—just as he pronounced “authentic Magisterium” his view that certain public adulterers should be granted absolution and admitted to Holy Communion while continuing to engage in sexual relations outside of marriage.

Accordingly, today the Vatican published an announcement that Francis has approved a “new text” for § 2267 of the Catechism of John Paul II. It reads as follows:

The Death Penalty:

  1. Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.

Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.

Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”, [1] and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide."

Notice how the constant teaching of Magisterium on the moral legitimacy of the death penalty is deliberately concealed behind the vague phrase “long considered an appropriate response” to capital crimes, as if a Catholic teaching rooted in Revelation were some sort of passing popular sentiment.

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In order to dress up his personal opinion, by which he purports to declare immoral what the Church has always defended as morally licit, Bergoglio’s text offers the feeblest of rationales amounting to little more than a few empty phrases: “an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes… a new understanding… of the significance of penal sanctions…more effective systems of detention…”

First of all, the Church did not lack an awareness of the relation between human dignity and crime before Bergoglio’s arrival from Buenos Aires. In fact, God Almighty seems to have been under the impression that human dignity actually requires capital punishment for the crime of murder: “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: For in the image of God made he man (Gen 9:6).” And God evidently had human dignity in mind when, in the 20th chapter of Leviticus, He dictated to Moses the death penalty for human sacrifice and other grave offenses against the divine and natural law.

Then too there is Christ’s own affirmation to Pilate that he had authority from above to impose capital punishment, as well as the Good Thief’s recognition that his punishment was just—precisely a sign of the humility and repentance that saved his soul.

But then, what God has revealed seems to have little impact on the thinking of Jorge Bergoglio. Check it out!

Unlike Bergoglio, the Magisterium adheres to the will of God in defending capital punishment. Thus, for example, the Catechism of the Council of Trent, echoing Genesis 9, declared: “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.” Four centuries later, Ven. Pope Pius XII reaffirmed this invariant teaching: “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.” (AAS, 1952, pp. 779 et. seq).

As to the supposed “new understanding… of the significance of penal sanctions,” what is gratuitously asserted without the least explanation may be just as gratuitously rejected. We have no idea what this means, nor should we care.

The contention that “more effective systems of detention” somehow render capital punishment immoral is about as firm a foundation for a purported “new” moral teaching as a slab of wet pound cake, and just as easily demolished. The mere civil capacity for detention of convicted killers does not eliminate just retribution and expiation as legitimate aims of penal law, as Pius XII makes clear in the teaching cited above.

Moreover, what of the many places where “systems of detention” are inadequate to ensure public safety? Is the death penalty inadmissible even in such places, where murderers­— by paying bribes, for example—can rather easily escape and claim more victims? And what would Bergoglio have to say about prisoners who kill guards or inmates even in the most modern “systems of detention”? How has the State “ensured the due protection of citizens” when killers are able to kill again? What nonsense.

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The notion that modern “systems of detention” provide means of “redemption” more consistent with human dignity is laughable. The maximum-security prisons in which murderers, including serial killers, must be confined are generally sinkholes of violence and sexual depravity—literally hell on earth.

Finally, based on nothing but a single address by Bergoglio to a meeting of the Pontifical Academy for the New Evangelization, constituting the one and only footnote, the new text concludes: “Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that ‘the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person’, [1] and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.”

“The Church” teaches nothing of the kind. Only Bergoglio does. According to his novel opinion, for nearly 2,000 years the Magisterium, in fidelity to the word of God, has defended as morally licit what he now denounces as “an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.” This absurd claim cannot be treated as if it were really Church teaching. If it were, there would be no Magisterium as such but only the views of whoever happens to occupy the Chair of Peter at a given moment in history. As Rorate Caeli observes: “If such a certain doctrine of the Church (of the possibility of the death penalty at least in some situations), affirmed by Christ Himself… can be changed, then anything can be changed.”

Meanwhile, the same Pope who calls for the worldwide abolition of capital punishment for the guilty has never called for the worldwide abolition of capital punishment for innocents in the womb, who are not afforded even the most minimal due process before their lives are snuffed out by the millions. Bergoglio remained silent even when mass murder of the unborn was about to be legalized in Ireland. That tells us all we need to know about Bergoglio and his fake magisterium.

May God soon deliver the Church from the clutches of this man and send us the holy and courageous Pope who will consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart and make a beginning to the end of this insanity.


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Last modified on Thursday, August 2, 2018
Christopher A. Ferrara

Christopher A. Ferrara: President and lead counsel for the American Catholic Lawyers Inc., Mr. Ferrara has been at the forefront of the legal defense of pro-lifers for the better part of a quarter century. Having served with the legal team for high profile victims of the culture of death such as Terri Schiavo, he has long since distinguished him a premier civil rights Catholic lawyer.  Mr. Ferrara has been a lead columnist for The Remnant since 2000 and has authored several books published by The Remnant Press, including the bestseller The Great Façade. Together with his children and wife, Wendy, he lives in Richmond, Virginia.