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Heather Knight wrote:

Hi, guys —

I just came across your web site and want to clarify something you have posted. You have listed George Bush as Pro-Life and Al Gore as Pro-Death. If your definition of Pro-Life is protection of all life from the womb to the tomb, then George Bush is as Pro-Death as Al Gore is.

Texas executes more people than any other state in this country. Killing is killing, whether it is a defenseless fetus or a prisoner on death row. If your definition of Pro-Life is different than mine (and the Church's), oh well. Both of our Presidential candidates are Pro-Death, Anti-Life — whatever you want to call it.

Shalom,

Heather Knight
Youth Minister
St. Mary Magdalene (The Madeleine) Church

  { How can you call this political candidate Pro-Life when he is for the Death Penalty? }

Mike replied:

Hi Heather —

Thanks for the e-mail.

I want to make three points and a comment.

First, thank-you for your e-mail. I want you to know that the apologists on this web site are loyal to the Magisterium and Her teachings. We are also open to correction when we say something you believe is incompatible with Roman Catholic Teachings that have passed down through Jesus' Church.

Second, on the issue of Abortion vs. The Death Penalty, I thought Alan Keyes gave an excellent explanation about the difference.

  • In one, abortion, innocent life is being taken.
  • In the other, theoretically, guilty life is being taken.

Why do I say theoretically? Because mistakes can be made, since our justice system is made up of a jury of sinful peers. Governors, no matter how religious they are, can also make mistakes as well. I will agree with you there.

I do want to direct your attention to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph CCC 2267:

2267. "The traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude, presupposing full ascertainment of the identity and responsibility of the offender, recourse to the death penalty, when this is the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor. 'If, instead, bloodless means are sufficient to defend against the aggressor and to protect the safety of persons, public authority should limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person. 'Today, in fact, given the means at the State's disposal to effectively repress crime by rendering inoffensive the one who has committed it, without depriving him definitively of the possibility of redeeming himself, cases of absolute necessity for suppression of the offender 'today ... are very rare, if not practically non-existent.'

The Holy Father has restated this position in the first portion of the first sentence from the paragraph above but he has also warned America specifically of the immoral, needless use of the Death Penalty.

Nevertheless, this is a Catholic position that Catholics are allowed to hold. The important thing here Heather is the context of what the CCC is saying and what the Holy Father has warned against.

I agree with you that needless killing, even of a guilty person, is incorrect but I cannot deny that Catholics are allowed to believe in the use of the Death Penalty in Catholic teaching when this appears in the Catechism:

CCC 2267 "when this is the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings
effectively against the aggressor"

I hope you will allow me to hold this Catholic view from the Church's Catechism.

Third, I thought it was enlightening when Alan made reference to Jesus' opinion of the death penalty. What! Jesus had a view on the death penalty!!

Let's go back to when Our Blessed Lord and Savior was before Pilate:

John 19:10-11

[Pilate:]
10 Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?"

11 Jesus answered him,
"You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above;
therefore he who delivered me to you has the greater sin."

The only thing I want to point out here Heather, is that Our Lord is "Sourcing the authority for the death penalty as from the Father above ".

Jesus could have said, "You have no authority to kill Pilate, killing is wrong."

My comment:

Let's compare the candidates:

Governor Bush:

I will sign a bill to ban Partial Birth Abortions and make it law.

Al Gore:

I will protect a woman's right to choose to kill the fetus she has conceived in her womb and given birth to.

  • Which position do you think is more Catholic?
  • Which position do you think is Pro-Life?

Pro-choice is NO CHOICE for the living baby.

"Liberated women" say,

"It's my body! What right does any Church or any group of religious MEN have to tell me what I can do with my body!"

My reply: Who gave you that loony idea?

  • the Democratic party?
  • Planned Parenthood?
  • Dr. Drew?

OK, if it is "your body", then step out in front of oncoming traffic with cars going over 70 miles per hour, and bring yourself back to life.

  • Why won't these "liberated women" do that?

Because they know, based on the natural law that is written on everyone's soul, that it is not their own body. If it were their own body, after being killed by the oncoming vehicles, they would be able to raise their body from death as Jesus did.

No man or woman owns their bodies. Our bodies were created by God to make holy choices, not destructive choices.

Shalom back,

Your brother in prayer, your brother in Christ,

Mike Humphrey

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