Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Monday, March 30, 2009

"The right road for a civilized society . . . "

". . . is to abolish the death penalty altogether."  So says that right-wing, partisan, shallow, one-dimensional, in-the-pocket-of-the-GOP Archbishop Charles Chaput:

Capital punishment, euthanasia, abortion and war:  All these issues raise profound questions for Catholics as we reflect on the sanctity of human life.  But while they all touch on human dignity, they don’t all have the same moral content.

Euthanasia and abortion are always, intrinsically wrong because they always involve an intentional killing of innocent human life.  War and capital punishment, in contrast, can sometimes be morally acceptable as an expression of society’s right to self-defense.

Both Scripture and a long tradition of Catholic thought support the legitimacy of the death penalty under certain limited circumstances.  But as Pope John Paul II argued so eloquently, the conditions that require the death penalty for society’s self-defense and the discharge of justice in modern, developed nations almost never exist.  As a result, the right road for a civilized society is to abolish the death penalty altogether.


Garnett, Rick | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference "The right road for a civilized society . . . " :