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June 25, 2006



When did the Philipine codex of laws become the Catechism?

According to the Roman Cathelic Catechism

"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 to 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 nonexistent."

Regardless of which church leader you want to quote, that is the Catechism.


This letter, issued today, might have some relevance:

Wisconsin Bishops, June 2006

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. We are writing to ask that you affirm Wisconsin’s 153-year commitment to human life by voting “NO” on the upcoming advisory referendum to restore the death penalty.

2. We oppose the death penalty because we value human life, even when that life might seem unworthy to us. For Catholics, being “pro-life” means protecting life at all stages, from conception to natural death. A selective approach that values human life only in certain circumstances is inconsistent with who we are as a people of faith.

3. It is true that in the past the Church accepted the death penalty. But such use of lethal force by the state was strictly conditioned and limited. The Catechism of the Catholic Church now states that if “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.” (# 2267) That was the point Pope John Paul II made in his 1995 letter, The Gospel of Life (# 56). "Today," the Pope concluded, "as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent."


Well I tend to agree. Being Catholic and pro death penalty are not necessarily mutually exclusive. The Catechism as stated above when talking about recourse to the death penalty, describes it as "being virtually non existent and rare." Virtual non existence and non existence are two completely different things. It is up to the state to determine what constitutes "rare" According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation there is on average 25,000 murders in this country every year. Now how many murderers are put to death every year? Since its reinstatement in 1976, according to the Clark County Indiana District Attorney office, there have been 1,036 inmates executed. so from the years of 1976 (when the death penalty was reinstated) until 2006 there have been approximately 75,000 murders in this country. So if we have 1,036 convicted murderers executed in the 30 years the death penalty has been reinstated it is of the approximately 75,000 murders committed we get roughly 1.38% of the total number of perpetrators of murder executed for the crime. Now, I dont know about you but that is quite rare. In fact that is less than 100 people executed for the crime of murder ever year. So as far as it being implimented on a "rare" basis, I think it passes muster. Sources: FBI Uniform Crime Reports 1960-2004, Clark County Indiana Prosecutor's Office.

marshall bates

Um I have an obvious correction to make. It is 3:00 AM. If 25,000 murders on average are committed every year for 30 years the percentage is even lower than 1%. Let me recalculate this. 25,000 murders every year for 30 years we get 750,000 murders committed. Okay We still have 1,036 Inmates executed as of August 2006. So the answer is 0.13% of all of the murders end in an execution. Hmm? What do ya think?

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