Pope Francis: The death penalty is contrary to the Gospel

Pope Francis speaks during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Oct. 11. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) Pope Francis speaks during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Oct. 11. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis declared today that the death penalty is “contrary to the Gospel.” He said that “however grave the crime that may be committed, the death penalty is inadmissible because it attacks the inviolability and the dignity of the person.” 

He did so in a major talk on Oct. 11 to an audience of cardinals, bishops, priests, nuns, catechists, and ambassadors from many countries on the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the catechism, affirming that there has been a development of doctrine in the church and a change in the consciousness of the Christian people on the question of the death penalty. The pope’s comments and the timing of them suggest that a revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church may be forthcoming to reflect this new development in the church’s understanding.

Advertisement

“One has to strongly affirm that condemnation to the death penalty is an inhuman measure that humiliates personal dignity, in whatever form it is carried out. And [it] is, of itself, contrary to the Gospel, because it is freely decided to suppress a human life that is always sacred in the eyes of the Creator, and of which, in the final analysis, God alone is the true judge and guarantor,” Pope Francis said.

“One has to strongly affirm that condemnation to the death penalty is an inhuman measure that humiliates personal dignity, in whatever form it is carried out."

Reiterating an observation in his Letter to the President of the International Commission against the Death Penalty, March 20, 2015, Francis said that “No man ever, not even the murderer, loses his personal dignity, because God is a Father who always awaits the return of the son who, knowing that he has done wrong, asks pardon and begins a new life.” For this reason, he said, “life cannot be taken away from anyone” and there must always be “the possibility of a moral and existential redemption that will be to the favor of the community.”

His statement is sure to be welcomed by bishops’ conferences and the overwhelming majority of the Christian faithful around the world, many of whom have long called for the church to take this stance. His predecessors have been slowly moving towards the position taken today by Francis. Every pope since St. John XXIII has appealed to governments worldwide on behalf of persons condemned to death, asking for clemency.

When St. John Paul II published the catechism in 1992 it still admitted the use of the death penalty (No. 2266). But strong reaction from bishops and the faithful in many countries led him to revise the text in 1997, with the help of then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. The revised text (No. 2267), however, still did not exclude the death penalty on moral grounds as Pope Francis did today; it said that given the possibilities the modern state has of rendering the criminal incapable of doing harm again, then “the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity ‘are very rare, if not practically non-existent.’”

When St. John Paul II published the catechism in 1992 it still admitted the use of the death penalty.

Several times since becoming pope, Francis has made clear his total opposition to the death penalty, including in his speech to the U.S. Congress and to the United Nations in September 2015. But today he took a much greater step than any of his predecessors by declaring publicly on a solemn occasion, directly related to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, that the death penalty is “contrary to the Gospel” and “inadmissible,” making clear that the catechism must address the question in this more complete way.

The Jesuit pope began his talk by recalling that at the opening of the Second Vatican Council on Oct. 11, 1962, John XXIII said, “It is necessary first of all that the church should never depart from the sacred patrimony of truth received from the Fathers. But at the same time, she must ever look to the present, to the new conditions and new forms of life introduced into the modern world which have opened up new avenues to the Catholic apostolate.” Moreover, Pope John added, “our duty is not only to guard this treasure, as if we were concerned only with antiquity, but to dedicate ourselves with an earnest will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us, pursuing thus the path which the church has followed for 20 centuries.”

Drawing on this, Francis said the church’s “task and mission” is “to announce in a new and more complete way the everlasting Gospel to our contemporaries” with “the joy that comes from Christian hope, fortified by the medicine of mercy.”

He recalled, too, that John Paul II, in his presentation of the catechism 25 years ago, said “it should take into account the doctrinal statements which down the centuries the Holy Spirit has intimated to his Church” and “it should also help to illumine with the light of faith the new situations and problems which had not yet emerged in the past.”

He described the catechism as “an important instrument” for presenting and helping the faithful understand better the faith and for coming close to our contemporaries by presenting the faith as “a significant response for human existence in this particular historical moment.”

In a highly significant statement, Pope Francis emphasized that “it’s not sufficient to find a new language to announce the faith of always; it is necessary and urgent that, faced with the new challenges and new horizons that are opening for humanity, the church can express the new things of the Gospel of Christ that, while enclosed in the Word of God, have not yet come to light.”

He sought to contextualize the Catechism in the life of the church by explaining that “to know God” is not first and foremost “a theoretical exercise of human reasoning but an unquenchable desire impressed in the heart of every person. It’s the knowledge that comes from love, because we have met the Son of God on our path. The catechism is to be seen in this light of love, as an experience of knowledge, trust and abandonment to the mystery.”

The “should find a more adequate and coherent space in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.”

In this context, he turned to the question of the death penalty, which he said, “should find a more adequate and coherent space in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.”

Speaking of the way the church’s teaching on the death penalty in presented, Francis declared that “this problem cannot be merely reduced to a mere memory of historical teaching without bringing to the fore not only the progress in the teaching by the work of the last pontiffs but also the changed awareness consciousness of the Christian people, that rejects an attitude which consents to a punishment that heavily harms human dignity.”

Aware that some will question this radical change in the light of what happened in the Papal States and church in the past, Francis explained that “in past centuries, when faced with a poverty of instruments of defense and social maturity had not yet reached a positive development, recourse to the death penalty appeared as the logical consequence of the application of justice which had to be adhered to.”

“Sadly, too,” he said, “also in the Papal State there was recourse to the extreme and inhuman remedy, ignoring the primacy of mercy over justice.” Speaking as the Successor of St. Peter, he said, “We assume responsibility for the past, and we recognize that those means were dictated more by a legalistic than a Christian mentality. The concern to fully preserve the powers and the material riches led to an overestimation of the value of the law, preventing a going in depth into the understanding of the Gospel.”

Turning to the present time, Francis said, “Today, however, to remain neutral [on this question] in the face of new demands for the reaffirmation of personal dignity, would render us guiltier.”

Clearly anticipating objections of a theological nature from some quarters, Francis explained, “Here we are not in the presence of any contradiction with past teaching, because the dignity of human life from the first instant of conception to natural death has always found in the church it coherent and authoritative voice.” Indeed, he said, “the harmonious development of doctrine requires putting aside positions in defense of arguments that already appear decidedly against the new understanding of Christian truth.”

In this light, he declared, “It is necessary therefore to restate that, however grave the crime that may be committed, the death penalty is inadmissible because it attacks the inviolability and the dignity of the person.”

Pope Francis concluded by saying: “Tradition is a living reality and only a partial vision can think of ‘the deposit of faith’ as something static. The Word of God cannot be conserved in mothballs as if it were an old blanket to be preserved from parasites. No. The Word of God is a dynamic reality, always alive, that progresses and grows because it tends towards a fulfillment that men cannot stop.”

This “law of progress,” he said, “appertains to the peculiar condition of the truth revealed in its being transmitted by the church, and does not at all signify a change of doctrine. One cannot conserve the doctrine without making it progress, nor can one bind it to a rigid and immutable reading without humiliating the Holy Spirit.”

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Vincent Gaglione
1 month 1 week ago

"His statement is sure to be welcomed by bishops’ conferences and the overwhelming majority of the Christian faithful around the world, many of whom have long called for the church to take this stance. " It is my fervent hope that the author's prediction is true.

Francis essentially has repudiated this narrow aspect of Church behavior and history and in cautious terms admits that the Church has been complicit in acts that contradict the Gospels. How refreshing, how truthful, how Catholic Christian!

I look forward to the Catholic pro-life movement of the USA taking and making this an integral part of their legislative and Constitutional agenda.

Christopher Lochner
1 month 1 week ago

Francis, how wonderfully disconnected and pseudo superior. If one murders again while in prison, either a guard or fellow inmate, we should value the dignity of this one over others? The dignity of the one is superior to the dignity of the many? We should all embrace the dignity of mass murderer Anders Breivik and others perhaps. The dignity of Nazi supremacists and others reign supreme. If only Adolph had not committed suicide we would have had the opportunity to see both the Mystery and the Face of God in him. It's difficult not to be sarcastic and they may well believe this I fear. I await the Holy Father and his proclamation urging the embracement of Lucifer in all of his failings as a fallen child of God. It's about Mercy: everyone is right, no one is wrong as this would be terribly judgemental. ***Fill in the Latin Phraseology HERE***And the taking of a life is so very wrong ( at least when state sanctioned, the rest of the time well, depends on your press releases) it is imperative for the faithful to understand. What pious
claptrap!! Personally, I am not a death penalty advocate yet I realize we live in a very complicated world unlike certain, uhh, "others with titles".

Kari Ann Owen
1 month 1 week ago

How well I understand your criticisms, my friend. In 1993, a beloved friend of mine was stalked and murdered. The case did not come to trial for six years. Spiritually and in every other way, these were agonizing years for me. By the end of those six years, I was prepared to advocate for the death penalty on a case-by-case basis, believing as you do that killers who cannot or will not stop killing deserve and merit the same death penalty that Adolf Eichmann received. I still believe this. Where beloved Pope Francis and the Church are wrong are in the promotion of one blanket solution for every criminal case. There is no easy or even available for this most complex of all dilemmas. Peace and survival to you and all of us.

Vincent Gaglione
1 month 1 week ago

I would sincerely hope that my own reactions to the violent deaths of my family and friends would engender the same reaction as those devastated by the Charleston Church murders, an attitude of forgiveness toward the perpetrator. It was an example of the Gospel imperative. It was an embarrassment to every Christian and Christian church body in the nation whose calls for “justice”, specifically the death penalty, are a veiled excuse for revenge.

I also find the appeals to the scriptural passage, Romans 13:4...." not without reason does it( the state) carry the sword for it is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who does evil.", to be quite an amazing leap. I do not necessarily interpret the metaphorical language of the passage, including “execute wrath”, to mean the death penalty. It could well mean life imprisonment without parole, equally, if not even more a wrathful, punishment.

Again, however, like so many other modern day realities and issues, there are few preaching from pulpits to help form consciences according to Catholic teachings. The revised catechism discussion of the death penalty of John Paul II, for example, I have never heard from a pulpit!

Jay Edward
1 month 1 week ago

Pope Francis is against life imprisonment as well.

Vincent Gaglione
1 month 1 week ago

Am I to presume that you do not believe in redemption, that your one serious sin will condemn you to hell forever? Isn't that what you perversely suggested by your comment for justice here on earth?

Can and do persons reform, change, even for their worst crimes? I pray Christ does not impose on us in the afterlife what you would suggest for us here on earth! As I read the Gospels, Christ, and Francis, are seemingly a bit more liberal, well in fact conservatively orthodox, on that subject than your position?

Barry Lastname
1 month 1 week ago

I think what he meant to say is that America is the world's leading human rights abusers as well add the world's leading exporters of terror.

I have no human rights, I am a citizen of the United States. I am agnostic and ad site as you are reading this right now,,I have the designs to build all seven stars from the book of Revelation.

I am also considered a terrorist here in the United States. Assaulted battered molested and left for dead by white Christians claiming to have the authorities of your God.

I was accused of threatening to kill Warwick Rhode Island fire chief Edmund Armstrong, his secretary and a bunch of firefighters with my trusted AK47. I have never owned a weapon in my life and threatened nobody. If there is evil in this world, Americans are it.

William Bannon
1 month 1 week ago

Utter contempt of and non mention of Romans 13:4...." not without reason does it( the state) carry the sword for it is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who does evil."
The recent Catholic position utilized previously in northern Latin America by secular governments gets about 49,000 extra murder victims killed in Brazil every year because China's regime hypothetically moved to Brazil could slowly save 49,000 murder victims per year in Brazil.
This error of three late life ( declining testosterone) pacifist Popes can be undone by looking at non death penalty Brazil compared to death penalty China which by the way has decreased their executions in recent years but not for murderers. They are comparable countries because both have tens of millions of poor....unlike Europe, Canada, New Hampshire etc. The poor do most criminal rather than spousal murders which is why the USA's inner cities have 6 times the murder rate of the US in general....31 per 100,000 vs 4.7 per 100,000.
China had a drug problem and severity from the communists ended it...Brazil will have a drug problem forever if it keeps it's non death penalty approach.
Brazil, the largest Catholic population on earth, has 50,000 murders per year while China with 7 times the population of Brazil....has 11,000 murders per year. Three Popes' pacifist position on this issue never cites any data whatsoever and world data destroys their point. All three think only of Europe which is middle class dominant so non murderous by definition excepting spousal murders largely. Ccc #2267 pictures perfectly run prisons preventing inter prison murders....which is Europe. Brazil and Mexico have prisons largely controlled by cartels but they are the two largest Catholic populations on earth. At you tube, type in Mexican prison murder...you'll see cartel gang members stroll into a prison, scare the guards off, and machine gun a room of rival cartel men. Three Popes in a row have dishonestly described world prisons in their ccc 2267 by using Euro prisons as typical.
Low murder rates worldwide result either from middle class incomes as dominant( e.g. Europe..Canada....Australia....Vermont)...or from the death penalty where poverty is widespread ( China and muslim countries etc.)
Watch Pope Francis....like his two predecessors, he will give no world data. Non death penalty northern Latin America is the most murderous region on earth by UN figures available onlne as are maps of execution countries ( overlap them mentally)...East Asia is the safest region by UN figures excepting the Phillipines....where Spain also conquered as in South America.
Japan has the death penalty but doesn't need it because it like Europe is middle class....but that is non typical of the world in general.

Steven Long
1 month 1 week ago

This seems simply erroneous doctrine. It is because of the dignity of the person that punishment may be required; and the merely initial or inceptive dignity of having rational nature is ordered to higher goods. The human person's further acquired dignity is that for the sake of which the person's initial dignity (having rational nature) exists. The statement of Pope Francis contradicts the teaching of Sacred Scripture; all the Fathers of the Church, and the Doctors of the Church; prior pontiffs (in clear teaching--most recently, Pius XII), and the Church itself insofar as it has even *required acceptance of capital punishment as a condition for re-establishing ecclesial communion* (cf. Waldensians). The statement also does not seem consistent with right reason regarding the nature of the common good. All these fonts of Catholic truth are simply contradicted by Francis.. Anathematize all the fathers and doctors of the Church, and sacred scripture, and what is left is not the Roman Catholic Church but a cozy society of secular humanists worshipping the humanum separated from virtue and grace..

Kameron Kennemer
1 month 1 week ago

It's against biblical teachings? Since when has that stopped you from committing heresy old fool?

red bert
1 month 1 week ago

is there a link to the full text in English?

Jerome Kiley
1 month 1 week ago

This is great to hear, I'm glad Pope Francis is continuing to take steps to healthily prune the church, and to identify and bring forth the seeds of the Gospel - the new evangelization, centered purely on the Gospel, the Person of Jesus, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, with Mary as companion and mother. A continuation of the Popes since VII.

There are always those who find their security not in God and the mystery of walking by faith and not by sight, of living with and listening to God day in and day out as disciples of Christ; but rather in the *things of God*, having put their faith in the structures and doctrines themselves - as in a fixed law. Putting traditions over the living Word of God, the same anger and reaction of those who rejected Christ shows up on the scene, sadly.
Remember, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and always. He always shows up as a mystery, not as a clear, fixed doctrine. He always comes so that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind and confused.

William Bannon
1 month 1 week ago

Actually Vatican II which you reference states that the Magisterium " is not above the word of God...but serves it"....and that they " pass on what was handed to them". Pope Francis is placing himself above Romans 13:4 and is not passing it on.
So your love of Vatican II might need regigering.....it's more conservative than the demons led you to believe. Pope Francis is actually ignoring Vatican II in Dei Verbum and is ignoring the fact that God gave the Jews over 30 death penalties ( defunct after Christ) and gave us gentiles one only...for murder in both Gen.9:5-6 reechoed in Romans 13:4.

Jerome Kiley
1 month 1 week ago

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness... For they said he has an unclean spirit.

William Bannon
1 month 1 week ago

No...I said you were deceived by a demon...not possessed by one. When each of us e.g. uses a curse in a traffic incident, it's quite possible a minor demon deceived us. Advanced demons ...fallen cherubim etc. can actually orchestrate a minor or major series of coincidences that seduce within those coincidences.

Stanley Kopacz
1 month 1 week ago

I would apply the death penalty to the CEO's of those companies that continuously make solicitous phone calls. Well, maybe not. Lock them in a cell with giant speakers ringing at random times. I am old enough to remember Hatlo's Inferno.

Michael Bradley
1 month 1 week ago

For reference and comparison:

“Another kind of lawful slaying belongs to the civil authorities, to whom is entrusted power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of which they punish the guilty and protect the innocent. The just use of this power, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this Commandment which prohibits murder. The end of the Commandment is the preservation and security of human life. Now the punishments inflicted by the civil authority, which is the legitimate avenger of crime, naturally tend to this end, since they give security to life by repressing outrage and violence. Hence these words of David: ‘In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land, that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord.’ (Ps 101:8)”
– Catechism of the Council of Trent, Part III, 5, n. 4 (1566)

“Even when it is a question of the execution of a condemned man, the State does not dispose of the individual’s right to life. In this case it is reserved to the public power to deprive the condemned person of the enjoyment of life in expiation of his crime when, by his crime, he has already disposed himself of his right to live.”
– Pius XII, Address to the First International Congress of Histopathology of the Nervous System (14 Sep 1952)

E.Patrick Mosman
1 month 1 week ago

To paraphrase a saying from the old Western movies "Pope Francis speaks with a forked tongue", condemning execution of murderous criminals and praising Islam as a great religion while the Middle East and world today are aflame with "peaceful" Muslims slaughtering each other and innocent non-believers by the tens of thousands in the name of their one and only God Allah. Not a peep is heard from the grand mullahs of Saudi Arabia and Iran, religious leaders of the Sunni and Shia sects calling for an end to killings and death sentences.
"The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels wherever they may be hiding. Muslims who do not join the fight are called 'hypocrites' and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter."
"http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/violence.aspx
The internecine warfare between Islamic sects only adds to the violence against all Catholics, Jews, Christians and non-Muslims in the Middle East and the rest of the world today.

Robert Lewis
1 month 1 week ago

Funny how you Pharisees loved the "development of doctrine" while John Paul and Benedict were doing it, but are hating it now that Francis is--and largely in the same direction, because both of those popes were "peritis" (sp.?) of that Council, as well. No problem do you have when Benedict defines homosexuality as "intrinsically disordered" (which Paul VI refrained from declaring, for instance), or when John Paul decided that "just war" was obsolete as a Christian principle, but when Francis says that capital punishment is, finally and at last, out of bounds as a practice for Christians, you repine at that. Well, whether you like it or not, the Catholic and Apostolic Church has the right, guaranteed by Christ, to "develop doctrine," to borrow Newman's phrase; it's in the "bind and loose" commission to Peter.

William Bannon
1 month 1 week ago

Check Mark 7:10. It's Christ affirming the death penalty for cursing one's parents ( defunct after Pentecost) in contradistinction to the pharisees circumventing parental support....and I think all three Popes were flippant on the death penalty....no data research and they could have sought the four year long research done by SCOTUS after which that body halted their own suspension of the death penalty since it does deter...not passion murders but criminal linked murders....ie it saves lives...an aspect never mentioned by Francis....at...all.

E.Patrick Mosman
1 month 1 week ago

Mr Lewis,
"when Francis says that capital punishment is, finally and at last, out of bounds as a practice for Christians,"
Since when does the Roman Catholic Pope speak for "Christians", or even many Roman Catholics, who do not recognize his authority on secular matters as Francis is infallible only when he speaks 'ex cathedra' on religious matters of
faith and morals guided by the Holy Spirit. Civil laws, climate change, immigration and other non-religious matters are above his pay grade. It is only his opinion and those of his liberal activist advisers. Catholics are not obligated to follow the Pope's opinions on such worldly matters.

Robert Lewis
1 month 1 week ago

No, you're right, but we ARE obliged to listen to the Magisterium's advice BEFORE "forming our consciences" on such matters--including the ones bearing on politics, because "morals" include politics. And there's a much more intelligent discussion of these matters going on chez Rod Dreher: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/francis-the-death-penalty…

Jay Edward
1 month 1 week ago

If “life cannot be taken away from anyone“, what about in self-defense or in defense of others?
I have a problem with considering every pope before Francis as “anti-Gospel” for holding that the death penalty is not intrinsically evil (throw in St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas as well)...who are we to sit in judgement against them? Did not these popes enjoy protection from the Holy Ghost in teaching error as well? Most recently, Pope Benedict said that Catholics could disagree on capital punishment but not on abortion or euthanasia. And if Pope Francis can change this what’s to stop the next pope from walking back some of the things he says?
Also, say a society comes to the opinion that the death penalty does not correspond to the Gospel but “can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal”. If this kind of moral reasoning is good for adultery (which is explicitly anti-Gospel, whereas Jesus acknowledged Pilate had the authority to put Him to death), why not capital punishment under the circumstances in the 1992 Catechism? Isn’t it rigid to be against the death penalty even in those rare cases where it might be needed to protect society (say, a murderer who escapes and kills again or kills a prison guard or in an undeveloped country without a modern penal system)? Do we have to take out all those references to innocent life in Evangelium Vitae?

Tom Corrigan
1 month 1 week ago

I am glad to seethe Catholic church getting in the same company with the United Nations, which condemned capital punishment from its inception. Punishment does not deny a person's dignity. Change of heart can still happen. Death makes learning difficult.

Robert Peppey
1 month 1 week ago

Dueteronomy The Ten Commandments
5.8 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath
9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them;

Certainly the above mentioned idols includes the modern state including the United States of America, its armies, and its medical facilities to end life such as abortion clinics, euthanasia centers and death chambers.

Matthew The Beatitudes
5.7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

No comment necessary.

Mark The First Commandment
12. 31 "The second is this 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

No comment necessary.

Mark The Lord's Prayer
11.4 "And forgive us our sins,
For we forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial."

Above is Jesus Christ's prayer against the sin of vendetta.

John The New Commandment
13.34.35 "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you should love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

In Jn 13.34.35 above we find the basis of Holy Father Francis's papacy.

RP

Robert Peppey
1 month 1 week ago

Dueteronomy The Ten Commandments
5.8 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath
9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them;

Certainly the above mentioned idols includes the modern state including the United States of America, its armies, and its medical facilities to end life such as abortion clinics, euthanasia centers and death chambers.

Matthew The Beatitudes
5.7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

No comment necessary.

Mark The First Commandment
12. 31 "The second is this 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

No comment necessary.

Mark The Lord's Prayer
11.4 "And forgive us our sins,
For we forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial."

Above is Jesus Christ's prayer against the sin of vendetta.

John The New Commandment
13.34.35 "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you should love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

In Jn 13.34.35 above we find the basis of Holy Father Francis's papacy.

RP

Robert Peppey
1 month 1 week ago

Dueteronomy The Ten Commandments
5.8 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath
9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them;

Certainly the above mentioned idols includes the modern state including the United States of America, its armies, and its medical facilities to end life such as abortion clinics, euthanasia centers and death chambers.

Matthew The Beatitudes
5.7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

No comment necessary.

Mark The First Commandment
12. 31 "The second is this 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

No comment necessary.

Mark The Lord's Prayer
11.4 "And forgive us our sins,
For we forgive everyone indebted to us.
And do not bring us to the time of trial."

Above is Jesus Christ's prayer against the sin of vendetta.

John The New Commandment
13.34.35 "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you should love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

In Jn 13.34.35 above we find the basis of Holy Father Francis's papacy.

RP

William Bannon
1 month 1 week ago

The Bible is not a buffet table at the Holiday Inn. It has severe passages that you are leaving out like Gen.9:5-6 and its New Testament echo...Romans 13:4. In Mark 7:10 you'll see Christ affirming the death penalty attached to cursing one's parents.

Toby Gillis
1 month 1 week ago

Ridiculous. If death penalty is contrary to the Gospel then the Gospel is contrary to the law of God. Can't be so.

Robert Lewis
1 month 1 week ago

I would have assumed that every Catholic Christian knew that the only way to make sense out of the contradictions between the Old and the New Testament (there are many) is to understand that the Revelation of Jesus Christ marks a "developed" understanding of who and what God is.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Peace seems no closer than it did before the Oslo Accord.
Margot PattersonNovember 22, 2017
The goal is not to make sure everyone is safe and secure. It is to enable a few people to do really, really well.
Nathan SchneiderNovember 22, 2017
We hear so much about how stringent the church is, how unreasonable in her strictures, how strict in her unreasonableness. But there is no institution so unforgiving as the secular world at this, the most wonderful time of the year.
Simcha FisherNovember 22, 2017
‘Now, I know I’m not the most grateful person you know, God, so let me take some time to tell you what I’m thankful for.’
James Martin, SJNovember 22, 2017