Tag Archives: death penalty

Seizing the executioner’s sword — Gov. Kitzhaber does the right thing, death penalty unnecessary

Moratorium is right

Gov. John Kitzhaber has done the right thing in following his conscience. Haunted by acquiescence in two executions during the 1990s, the governor would not sign off on another and has called instead for a moratorium on the death penalty and statewide discussion on the practice.

That means convicted murder Gary Haugen will not receive a lethal injection as planned on Dec. 6. Haugen wants to die and he bears great guilt as opposed to the thousands of innocent unborn babies killed each year in our state; we want no part of either kind of death.

The Catholic Church taught that capital punishment was allowable as a last resort to protect society. But in Evangelium Vitae in 1995, Pope John Paul wrote that modern methods of incarceration have made the death penalty unnecessary in almost all cases.
Had we killed Haugen, we would have borne guilt of our own.

The United States, in allowing executions, is in dubious company. No other developed nation allows capital punishment, but those that do include Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Somalia and Zimbabwe.

Haugen was slated to die on Dec. 6, the feast of St. Nicholas. That would have been a poignant date, since it was St. Nicholas who in the 4th century saved three prisoners who were about to be beheaded by the ruler of Myra in Asia Minor. Nicholas, bishop of the region, waded through a crowd of watchers, seized the executioner’s sword and threw it to the ground.

We are glad to be part of a church still keeping an eye out for justice and we thank Gov. Kitzhaber for his action. We can only hope that he will remember this experience of exercising conscience when time comes for him to consider conscience rights for health workers who choose not to be associated with abortion and contraception.

Catholic teaching on the death penalty…

Catechism of the Catholic Church – 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. 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 definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”  Catechism of the Catholic Church – 2267

SOURCE:  CATHOLIC SENTINEL

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Respect Life Sunday set for October 3

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information, Contact:
Bud Bunce (503) 233-8373
bbunce@archdpdx.org

Respect Life Sunday set for October 3

        Catholic parishes in western Oregon will celebrate Respect Life Sunday on October 3. That Sunday will mark the beginning of a month long observance of promoting respect for life from conception to natural death. The theme for this year is “The measure of love is to love without measure.” Archbishop John G. Vlazny will mark the occasion with a Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Sunday, October 3 at 11:00 am.

        The Respect Life Program was adopted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1972. It promotes the Church’s teaching on the value and dignity of human life to the Catholic community and to the wider community. It combines education, prayer, service and advocacy. The topics addressed this year include:

* the death penalty and Divine Mercy
* end of life care
* infertility treatments in line with church teaching
* sexual trafficking
* population control
* depression and suicide among youth
* the promise of pro-life youth

        At the request of Pope Benedict XVI, all bishops around the world will join with their parishioners in the Advent season to pray for respect of human life. Archbishop Vlazny will celebrate Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral on December 5, 2010 at 11:00 am. The Mass will join with others around the globe to witness that we are a “people of life.”

Was it a necessity that prisoner 14873 should die?

Death row inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner died in a barrage of bullets early Friday as Utah carried out its first firing squad execution in 14 years.

 Here’s what the Catechism says, what do you say?

Capital Punishment

2266 The State’s effort to contain the spread of behaviors injurious to human rights and the fundamental rules of civil coexistence corresponds to the requirement of watching over the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime. The primary scope of the penalty is to redress the disorder caused by the offense. When his punishment is voluntarily accepted by the offender, it takes on the value of expiation. Moreover, punishment, in addition to preserving public order and the safety of persons, has a medicinal scope: as far as possible it should contribute to the correction of the offender.[67]

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.’
[68]

MY EMPHASIS

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