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Heather Knight wrote:

Hi, guys —

I just came across your website 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.


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

  { Can you clarify this posting? – How can you call a political candidate Pro-Life when he's Pro-Death? }

Mike replied:

Hi Heather —

First, thank-you for your e-mail.

I want you to know that all the Catholic Apologists on this website are loyal to the Magisterium and Her teachings. We are also open to correction when we say something that, you believe, is incompatible with Catholic Teachings that have passed down through the generations from 33 A.D.

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

  1. In one, abortion, innocent life is being taken.
  2. In the other, theoretically, guilty life is being taken.
  • Why do I say theoretically?

Because our justice system is made up of a jury of sinful peers who can make mistakes.

I will agree with you there.

That said, over the past few years Pope Francis (on May 11, 2018) changed a key paragraph in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2267, dealing with the Death Penalty. In lieu of St. Thomas Aquinas' view of self defense, I still prefer the previous version of the Catechism.

I believe Francis may have been given some bad advice on the effectiveness of penal sanctions and systems of detention. Nevertheless I accept what the revised Catechism says today, seeing even the original version of paragraph 2267 stated near the end:

'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 new version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2267, now reads:

Legitimate defense.
2267: 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", (Pope Francis, Address to Participants in the Meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, 11 October 2017: Romano, 13 October 2017, 5.) and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide. [Pope Francis, Oct. 11, 2017]

So basically, Pope St. John Paul II wants to make it rare, if not practically non-existent and Pope Francis wants to abolish it.

Third, I thought it was enlightening when Alan made reference to Jesus' opinion of the death penalty. Yes!, 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 says:

10 Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?

[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.

On the Presidential candidates. Let's compare them:

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.

A fetus where even our U.S. Court system acknowledges the fetus in a mother's womb as a real, live baby boy or girl. (for example in the Scott Peterson case, where Scott was charged with two counts of murder against Laci and her fetus, Connor Peterson.)

  • 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 growing in the mother's womb. Also bad circumstances and situations, like rape and incest, do not change the biological and spiritual reality that a young baby, a growing fetus, is growing in a mother's womb.

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, deep down in their holy gut that, 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 the dead 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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