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Catholics and the death penalty April 27, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Interior Life, Papa.
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The death penalty is one of those areas of Catholic belief that causes a great deal of confusion.  Catholics that tilt toward the left try to imply that support for the death penalty is no different than support for abortion.  This notion is totally false.  I spoke at length with a very knowledgeable priest last night on this subject, and I’ll transmit what he taught along with some of my own interpretation:

First, the Church has always acknowledged that the state possesses the power of the sword – the power to take life. States can do so under certain conditions – in time of war, in time of riot or civil unrest, and in criminal matters.  In the past, the Church had courts which would at times turn those found guilty of heresy or other crimes against the Church over to the civil authority to mete out punishment.  For much of the history of the Church, the punishment for repeated, unapologetic heresy was death.  So, it is wrong to claim, as some do, that the Church opposes the death penalty.  The Church does not, and cannot, oppose the death penalty in principle – it is a right the state possesses, and that is that. It is interesting to note that capital punishment – the state’s right to take life –  is central to Salvation history. In His discourse with Pilate, Jesus never argued against any injustice in the death penalty – He did state, however, that such power as Pilate had over Him was given by above.

Having said that, recent Pontiffs have wondered whether using the death penalty makes sense in today’s environment.  Advances in technology make it possible in many cases to keep a criminal so sequestered away that he can do no further damage to society or other persons.  Such confinement could be viewed as almost more severe than death, since the person would be so totally cut off from others, but that is another matter.  Both Blessed Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have stated that, as a matter of prudential judgment, they do not feel the death penalty is called for, today.  Do note, that does not mean they disbelieve the right of the state to use capital punishment, they simply do not believe it is required, today.

So, when left-leaning ‘catholycs’ claim that the death penalty is as grave an evil as abortion, they are wrong.  The Church has not, does not, and will not disavow the right of states to use lethal force in certain circumstances.  Since our Popes have stated that they see no need for capital punishment at present, Catholics should strive to adhere to that belief as a matter of obedience and respect for the Office, but such belief is not mandatory in the sense that it is sinful to hold a different belief.  Regarding abortion, however, the Church has always proclaimed that it is always and everywhere evil no matter any circumstance, and that support for abortion constitutes such a grave sin as to cast one outside the confines of the believing Church.

So, capital punishment is a right states hold, but, prudentially, Catholics should be very wary of it, at most, if not actively opposed to its use.  If you are a supporter of the death penalty, such support does not at all rise to the level of sin, but it would be very advisable to review the Pope’s recent statements on the issue and to strive to hold the same belief expressed therein.

The priest also pointed out that, with the direction the government in this country is headed, even at the state level (not so much in Texas, but in many other locales, and definitely at the federal level), one may be advised to examine the unlawful nature of many governmental acts and wonder if such a state can be entrusted to take the lives of citizens in a dispassionate, humane, and just manner.   With so many people being freed from prison after ostensibly exculpatory DNA evidence has been found (although, I have grave doubts whether this DNA is anywhere near as reliable as it is made out to be, but still), the worry that innocent people may be condemned to death is a serious one.  With the overarching trends towards left wing totalitarianism in this country, I, for one, do not trust this government with the lives of its citizens.

I used to support the death penalty pretty strongly.  I no longer do, due to the reasons outlined above (and I had reached this conclusion before the talk last night).  But, in terms of civic duty, if there is a choice between a pro-abort but anti-capital punishment candidate, and an anti-abortion but pro-capital punishment candidate, there really is not choice – you must go with the latter, for abortion is always and everywhere the gravest of sins, while capital punishment is a practice the Church believes should not be used at present, but is not intrinsically evil.

I pray you find this discourse helpful. I certainly did.

Michael Voris on the scandal of “gay friendly” churches April 27, 2012

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, error, General Catholic, Holy suffering, horror, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society, unadulterated evil.
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St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is a local parish that has a gay ministry which, in the past, used very problematic documents as reference or for formation – documents which trumpeted the gay lifestyle and rejected Church Doctrine.

The problem is tragically world-wide.  Church leaders with either sympathies for gay advocacy groups, or who simply don’t want to stand up for the Faith, have allowed heretical gay ministries and even full-blown “gay parishes” to exist for years.

It is very revealing that active homosexuals have this great need to proclaim great historical figures as gays – a sort of psychological verification by proxy.  The claims that have been made regarding David and his friend Jonathan are bad enough, but stating – IN A ROSARY!!! – that Christ had a homosexual relationship with Lazarus (of all people – I wonder what bit of Scripture they hang this perversion on) is the most outrageous blasphemy I’ve ever heard.

That is beyond disordered.  It’s the open embrace of evil, the turning of the greatest Good into one of the greatest sins, a complete rejection of the Incarnation of God on earth (for God cannot have sexual desire, as He is unchanging, beyond desire and want, which imply imperfection and incompleteness) and a replacement of Divinity with one of the 4 sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance.   It is a perversion of all that Christ is and all that he strove to complete on earth.

As I said, it’s very revealing.  It’s the sinner turning his ostensible “savior” into the bearer of his sin, in order to try to somehow normalize that sin, or make it ok. It would be like me proclaiming Jesus an addict/alcoholic because He turned the water into wine at Cana, or drank wine with His Apostles at the Last Supper.  But I don’t want to be an addict.  I don’t want to try to bring Jesus Christ down to my sinful level – I want to strive to imitate His glorious perfection.

I want to look on Christ as my model for overcoming my numerous sins and imperfections and improving myself.  I openly accept the Scripture and Tradition that reject my sins- from the concupiscence of the flesh we all struggle against (but which many gays try to make their own, unique problem) to the intemperance and selfishness that are always striving to put me ahead of my Lord and my service to Him in His Church.

We are told – “it’s different, they were ‘born that way’, why would God make them gay and then ‘tell’ them they can’t act out on their desires?”  My Lord, we’re all that way! We all have very deep seated faults and predelictions that drive us towards sin.  It’s all a part of our fallen nature!  It is our cross, and we all have one or many to bear.  Some have heavier crosses to bear than others.  I would argue that the difference between being an addict (for which there is at least as much, if not more evidence, of a genetic component, than homosexual desires) and gay is slight, at best.  Both are profound tendencies towards sin, and both tend to take over the afflicted person’s personality. But I don’t see anyone arguing yet, that drunks and drug addicts like me should be accepted as they are by Church or society.  I pray such never happens, because I know the pain and misery of sin, and I have no desire to fall back into the grasp of the devil.

In the end, as Voris says, it’s all the same old sin – “I will not serve.”

This is not about hate. It’s not about seeking to punish those with homosexual desires in some way.  It’s about the duty we all have to take up our cross, no matter how large, no matter what the world says, and follow Jesus.  It’s about having the humility and obedience to look on the Gospel and Scripture as the literal Word of God, and do our utmost to follow it.  It’s about true charity, not wishing to see souls cast themselves into irrevocable darkness but live in the Light of Christ.  That is why I rail on this issue so much, because I know the endless suffering of sin and I desire that others not fall into it.  In fact, it is my solemn duty as a Christian to witness for Truth and against error and evil to the greatest extent I can.

Oh Blessed Mother, pray for all of us lost in sin.  Soften our hearts.  Beg mercy for us.  Intercede with your Son to flood our souls with Grace to overcome our attachment to sin.  Blessed Mother, your Son always listens to you – have mercy on us and always intercede for us that we may cooperate with Grace and never sin again!