August 19, 2018

August 14, 2018

From Father Jordan

My Dear Ones,

May the Grace of our Lord remain always with us!

Today, I offer you the following as a continuation of last week’s column about the dignity of human life, and Pope Francis’ teaching about Capital Punishment.

Because the Word of God “always alive,” a rigid reading of doctrine would “undervalue the action of the Holy Spirit.” Thus, he says, in the light of the awareness of the people of God today, capital punishment can be seen as “intrinsically contrary to the Gospel.”

The Catechism currently states (2267): 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. The Holy Father spoke against the death penalty in the strongest terms: “an inhumane measure that humiliates … human dignity”; “an extreme and inhumane solution”; “intrinsically contrary to the Gospel”; “inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability of the human person…”

 The Bishop of Rome said the death penalty must be rejected because it suppresses “a human life, which is still sacred in the eyes of the Creator.” In addition, it prevents the possibility of “moral and existential redemption,” he noted. In this way, capital punishment “forgets the primacy of mercy over justice.”

Demanding that it be prohibited is not a contradiction with the past teaching of the Church, the pope emphasized, because the dignity of the human person from conception until natural death has always been taught by the Magisterium. On December 12, 1999, John Paul II made an appeal to all those in authority, “that they reach a consensus on the abolition of capital punishment.” It is a “cruel and unnecessary” punishment, he had explained earlier, on January 27, 1999. In 2011, Benedict XVI also called for consultation among all authorities to “arrive at the elimination of the death penalty.”

 Before today’s speech, Francis had already taken a firm position against the death penalty on several occasions. For example, in a video message on June 21, 2016, he stated that capital punishment is “unacceptable,” adding that it “doesn’t provide justice for the victims, but rather encourages revenge.” “The commandment ‘You shall not kill’ has absolute value, and includes both the innocent and the guilty,” he explained. May our hearts be opened to the protection of life from conception until natural death!

Until we meet at the altar, O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us, who have recourse to Thee!

In the Lord,

Fr. Jordan, OP


1Today, “From Father Jordan” is taken from a number of different sources I have been reading.



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