Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Where Does The Church Stand on the Question of Capital Punishment? Tradition May Surprise You

Amy Barrett, Catholic nominee for Federal Court Judge
and Al Franken, Democrat Senator
Amy Coney Barrett, a widely published professor of law at the University of Notre Dame has been nominated by President Donald Trump for the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and was featured in an article published by the National Catholic Register on September 22.  A Senate hearing was held and several liberal Senators including Al Franken and Diane Feinstein gave her a brutal grilling.  The You Tube video of the Franken exchange is particularly disgusting.  

The Catholic Register article referred to an article Barrett wrote years ago as the subject of Feinstein’s questions, stating,    
“…it was Feinstein who mischaracterized the article’s conclusion, thus raising questions about Barrett’s fitness for the appellate bench.   Truth be told, the 1998 law review article in question, co-authored by Catholic constitutional scholar John Garvey, now the president of The Catholic University of America, reached a very different conclusion about the religious and professional responsibilities of Catholic jurists on the federal bench.  In their paper, Barrett and Garvey posed this question: Must judges who accept Church teaching on capital punishment recuse themselves in federal death-penalty cases? After exploring this question, the authors concluded that such cases were far from common, and when they did arise, Catholic judges should recuse themselves if necessary.” (My emphasis added)

When I read this, I was more than a little troubled and I think we all should be.  How many of us actually KNOW what the Church teaches on the subject of capital punishment?  Mary Ann Krietzer is the only person I know who has stated it accurately and without hesitation.  Most Catholics assume we should advocate for the abolishment of the death penalty, but let’s take a look at why they think that. 

When most of us want to know what the Church teaches on any subject we go to the shelf and take down the Catechism of the Catholic Church we all bought in 1994.  It is that big fat book we think is used in case we ever needed to “look something up.”  This past January I decided it was time I started at page one and read it through, beginning to end.  I fully intended to do that; however, it wasn’t long before I found myself “at odds” with the wording of the text and feeling badly for not being able to swallow it whole without doubt.  I truly WANT to believe all the Church teaches.

I did not grow up in the Catholic Church and so I was not a beneficiary of the Baltimore Catechism, which is, sadly, derided by so many today, but I felt I needed to know how it compared to the CCC on the same issue.  Eventually I collected and read not only the Baltimore Catechism, but also the Catechism of St. Pius X, the Catechism of St. Robert Bellarmine, and most recently the Catechism of the Council of Trent.  What I discovered is that ALL these older catechisms are in full agreement with each other and their teaching is clear and concise, briefly expressed in the most unambiguous terms and referenced by Holy Scripture.  The new post Vatican II CCC on the other hand, in many areas is a mixture of truth, or confession of what has always been taught, plus added commentary and what I might call “an adventure in modernist wishful thinking.” 

Using the paragraphs on capital punishment for an example, I discovered that the CCC spells out very clearly what the Church has ALWAYS taught---no denials, but then spends the next 150 words or so telling you why this is no longer a good idea. 

It is the addition of this text beyond doctrine that should have us worried, and remind us of the danger of believing we can subtract from or add to the truth without harming the faith.  As it is, this going beyond truth is what many have come to accept as the truth itself, when it is not. 

Below is the text of various catechisms on this subject, which I will let you read for yourself, ending with the very drawn out text of the CCC that ends with the suggestion we should see “today’s world” in a different light.  It wants you to believe, I suppose, that we have “progressed” from this barbaric notion that people should suffer death for their crimes.  The danger in this is that we will come to think punishment is wrong and that no one should be punished for anything, only “rehabilitated” or dealt with in a more merciful manner perhaps.  That is very tempting.  All the worst temptations as a matter of fact must be attractive.  Why would we ever fall for them if they were not?  Nevertheless, justice in this world has its place as has always been the teaching of the Catholic Church.  Those who cannot accept that here and promote only a "more merciful approach" are not likely to understand the reality of the four last things---death, judgment, heaven, and hell. 

We should never set aside the fact that truth is unchangeable and we should be wary of anyone who tells us otherwise.

Quotes from the teaching of the Fifth Commandment---thou shalt not kill, in each of the catechisms follows.

Catechism of the Council of Trent, pub. 1566
…this prohibition does not apply to the civil magistrate to whom is entrusted power of life and death, 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 security 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.  Hence these words of David:  ‘In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land; that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord.’  In like manner, the soldier is guiltless who, actuated not by motives of ambition or cruelty, but by a pure desire of serving the interests of his country, takes away the life of an enemy in a just war.  There are on record instances of carnage executed by the special command of God himself:  the sons of Levi, who had put to death so many thousands in one day, were guilty of no sin:  when the slaughter had ceased, they were addressed by Moses in these words: ‘you have consecrated your hands this day to the Lord.’ “(141 words)
Catechism of St. Robert Bellarmine, pub. 1747
Princes and Magistrates are provided with public authority and so kill evildoers, but not as the masters of their lives, but as ministers of God, as St. Paul witnesses. (Romans 13:4)  God willed and commanded for evildoers to be punished, and –if they were to merit the penalty---be killed so that the good could abide securely and peacefully.  For that reason God gave Princes and Magistrates a sword in their hand to exercise justice, defend the good but punish the wicked.  Thus when a criminal is killed at the command of a public authority of this sort, it is not said to be murder, but an act of justice.  Therefore, one ought to avoid understanding the proper authority [of the commonwealth] in the Commandment ‘thou shalt not kill.’ “(127 words)

Catechism of Pope Pius X, pub. 1880

“It is lawful to kill when fighting in a just war; when carrying out by order of the Supreme Authority a sentence of death in punishment of a crime; and, finally, in cases of necessary and lawful defense of one’s own life against an unjust aggressor.” (46 words)

Baltimore Catechism, pub. 1885

“Human life may be lawfully taken 1) in self-defense….. 2) In a just war, ….. 3) by the lawful execution of a criminal, fairly tried and found guilty of a crime punishable by death, when the preservation of law and order and the good of the community require such execution.”  (71 words)

Catechism of the Catholic Church promulgated by Pope John Paul II, pub. 1994

“2266 The efforts of the state to curb the spread of behavior harmful to people’s rights and to the basic rules of civil society correspond to the requirement of safeguarding the common good.  Legitimate public authority has the right and the duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offense.  Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offense.  When it is willingly accepted by the guilty party, it assumes the value of expiation.  Punishment then, in addition to defending public order and protecting people’s safety, has a medicinal purpose: as far as possible, it must contribute to the correction of the guilty party.

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. 

(this is where the “wishful thinking begins…….)

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 more in conformity with 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 definitively taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself---the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are rare, if not practically non-existent.  (258 words)

Really? At a State Park Visitors Center?

...Because we all know that the LGBTQ crowd are being attacked at visitors centers all over the country. But thank heavens! They have a safe space here at Taughannock Falls State Park. 

It appears we are in the politically correct capitol of rural New York. I was browsing through the booklet advertising tourist activities for Ithaca, NY last night and came across the section on LGBTQ activities. Mind you, there is no section on churches in the area. If you are among the church going public, you are on your own. Hopefully the park offers Teddy bears and coloring books for their "gay" patrons.

I am deeply offended and feel unwelcome. Do you think anybody cares. Oh...that's right...I'm just one of those evil, homophobic bigots who deserves (use your imagination). Oh well.

A question: How come a group that represents less than three percent of the population is in our faces all the time? Can't they just do their own thing and leave us alone? 

It's called "jamming," folks.  

Monday, September 25, 2017

When Did a Man Putting on Makeup to Look Like a Woman become a Qualification for Public Office?

Virginia State Delegate Bob Marshall has a transgender man running against him making his faux womanhood a running issue. And he's getting money from all over the country. Folks, we need to support Bob Marshall. Please don't let the LGBTQXYZ lobby put this confused individual in the State House. Read what the transgender lobby is doing to our schools here and here and here. Do you really want transgenders making laws imposing homosexual and transgender ideology on your little ones?

And really! Since when is putting on women's makeup a qualification for becoming a legislator? This is an insult to the electorate!

Please send Bob Marshall a donation today and support his reelection campaign. We need Bob in the General Assembly!

And frankly, I really question whether there are "millions of transgenders" in this country. This is a very vocal minority that represents a tiny fraction of the less than three percent of the homosexuals. They bang the drum constantly, but that doesn't change the reality that they are a tiny minority suffering from a disordered sexual identity crisis. Pray for them, but don't let them make policy for your state or for our country!

Random Thoughts for Monday

After dedicating his life to eradicating segregation, would Martin Luther King be thrilled by black students today demanding segregated dorms and spaces?

I'm glad Donald Trump is being tough with the Korean dictator, but I wish he'd stop calling him "rocket man." It's funny, but poking a madman may not be too prudent. It's kind of like poking a mad dog with a stick.

 Just wondering: Will Pope Francis respond to the 62 signatories, clergy and laity, who issued a "filial correction" for his "propagating heresies" or will he give them the Dubia treatment?

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Do You Want to Understand the Past? Examine the Witnesses!

Investigators know that if they interview ten witnesses to an event they are likely to get ten different reports. Figuring out what really happened requires sifting through the data and finding the agreements, determining who are the most credible witnesses, etc. To arrive at an accurate picture of an event is not so easy as evaluating one testimony or one photograph and extrapolating from that to the big picture. That's how dishonest historians evaluate the past. Honest historians study the big picture.

And that's how it is with understanding the Civil War, or as one book is titled, The War Between the States: America's Uncivil War by John J. Dwyer and other contributors. A broad and deep study is necessary. I've just begun the book, but I'm already impressed by the author's approach and common sense. He speaks of the war as a "Fifty Years' War" that involved numerous factors: economic, religious, regional. Slavery was one issue among many, a factor yes, but not necessarily the most fundamental.

I found this in the introduction particularly interesting:

The Myth of the Great Emancipator: Lincoln was a White Supremicist

I'm a little tired of the historical ignorance about the conflict that led to the Civil War. Let's deconstruct the myth of the evil South and the saintly North...starting with Abraham Lincoln. In a PBS documentary on Lincoln, black historian Henry Gates discusses his disillusion with Lincoln after reading the text of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. And here's a clip from the documentary that shows some balance about the South. It's time to recognize that the history of every major conflict is complicated. And that, friends, is an understatement.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Voice of Experience: Daughter Raised by Lesbians Says LGBT is an "Extremist Minority"

Their goal? To eliminate gender altogether.

We're all interchangeable, right? Like leggos you can just take us all apart and put us back together in any configuration you choose. Pop off the breasts and know what. Play with the hole-y pieces and put know where. And voila! The next gender. How about a gender with breasts AND male genitals. That would be fun and different.

Sir Mohammed Churchill and the new Evie Littlechap

Sir Winston Churchill would be appalled to know that the top baby name listed for London and Britain's West Midlands is "Muhammad" - in all its various spellings: Muhammad, Mohammed, Mohammad, not to mention Hamid, Ahmad, Mahmoud, Mehmet and Mohamed. I'm not certain where the name "Winston" is on the list, or Desmond or Clive, or even William or Harry. Sir Winston wasn't enamored of Islam therefore no serious Muslim would name their baby boy after him.

Islam creeps in under the disguise of "friendly peaceful poor Muslim refugees escaping Islamic countries hell holes." This - the Islamification of the West by immigration - is called Demographic Jihad which is what's happening in England and Germany, Sweden and Norway and Finland and France and Denmark and Belgium and Spain and Italy. All of the former Christian West including Canada and soon the USA.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Detraction is a Sin against Justice

When in doubt, shut your mouth!
I wonder how many people today ever give a thought to the sin of detraction. I've been thinking about it ever since I read Maria Santos Beir's article unnecessarily revealing the past sins of Fr. William Aitcheson, her childhood pastor, when he was a member of the KKK forty years ago. I tweeted Maria about her article and got this reply:
I never got the sense from your newsletter that you were opposed to exposing fellow Catholic sinners.
Ah, nothing like trying to change the subject to deflect attention from yourself.

My Sympathy Basket is Completely Empty

My reaction to this Danish photo? A giant yawn 
because my sympathy basket is completely empty.
Friends just returned from a trip across Canada said that Muslims are EVERYWHERE. A friend just returned from Europe said that Muslims are EVERYWHERE. Where Muslims are EVERYWHERE, Islam abounds. Where Islam abounds, jihad accelerates. Where jihad accelerates, people die. When people die, the state does what? Lies that Islam is peaceful. That Muslim culture- enrichers enrich the native culture. Because why? Because the former peaceful nation state and its peaceful native people were a peaceful civilization and needed violence and death to spruce up the economy? 

The Danish government now admits that the country is going through the worst situation since WWII because of Muslim migrant crime. Muslim migrant crime and jihad are the same thing, the equation being C = J, J= C. Therefore the Danish government is saying that because they let in hundreds of thousands of young male migrant Muslims who commit crimes, Denmark is now an unsafe country because of Islamic jihad committed by young male migrant Muslim jihadists whose gangs have taken over the streets of Denmark.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hexing Trump: Sally Quinn Really is One Sick Puppy.

Sally Quinn to Donald Trump: "Ill get you, my pretty!"
I received this email from a friend yesterday. Good grief. Sally Quinn really is one sick puppy. Please, readers, pray for her as my friend suggests. And thanks, Maria, for the heads up!

Dear Mary Ann,

I thought this article reveals once more what you said about this poor woman in your outstanding article on her.....You might have seen it, but .... just in case you haven't ...   How very sad....I must remember to pray for her and for Lady Gaga too.  Lots of blessings to you and yours!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"Et Tu, Brute?": Maria Santos Bier and her Detraction against Fr. Bill Aitcheson

"Et tu, Brute?" The most unkindest
cut of all comes from a "friend" who
recalls you fondly.
For the past few days I've been reading all the online material in the saga of my friend and former pastor, Fr. William Aitcheson which began with an article by Maria Santos Bier, How I discovered my childhood priest was in the Ku Klux Klan. Maria assures us that Fr. Bill always treated her kindly and that "I recall him fondly." Well, that's a relief! It was she who unnecessarily exposed Father's sins of forty years ago, of which he's clearly repented. I can only imagine what she would have written if she thought of him un-fondly. This is surely Fr. Aitcheson's "Et tu, Brute?" moment.

For a person to do what Maria did is a serious sin of detraction. For a Catholic to do it is unconscionable; but maybe Maria has never heard of detraction. (Detraction is publicly revealing the sins of a person, not commonly known, that destroys his good name.)

You can almost feel Maria's excitement over her "scoop" as she tells the reader about discovering the juicy information. Googling Fr. Bill's name, she found a 1977 article about a college student in the KKK and recognized Father by the accompanying photo. Then Maria tells us:

"Always track the hurricane yourself." - Me

The media spinning Irma
The three safest places to be in Florida during a hurricane are (listed in official order) Leesburg, Orlando and Sanford which form a triangle in Central Florida. We live directly in the center of that triangle. Central Florida is safer because when a hurricane moves inland, its intensity weakens from no longer being fed by ocean waters. However, it still dumps many inches of rain and causes wind damage before finally dying out.

Before and during Hurricane Irma I spent 5 days telling a panicked friend who had evacuated from Jacksonville to our home NEVER to listen to the news during a hurricane because it's all about ratings and NOT the truth. The media had frightened her so much that she drove from Jacksonville to our home in Central Florida and, as it turned out, closer to the eye of the hurricane because when she first heard the news - "DOOMSDAY FOR FLORIDA!" - the media had no clue where the hurricane was or where it was going.