Some excellent and thought provoking words from His Eminence. Let us pray that they will provoke serious introspection amongst the crowd of "Catholic" pro-death politicians like Kerry, Kennedy, Sebelius, et. al. However, be sure to notice the little modernist aside he feels compelled to slip into what is otherwise an orthodox statement.
The first and most essential principle of Catholic social teaching is the dignity of every human person and one’s basic right to life from conception to natural death.(Emphasis supplied)
He got the "natural death" bit not from the Social Teaching of the Church, but from his predecessor in the Archiepiscopal See of Chicago's "Seamless Garment" argument, an innovation not in accord with the Traditional Magisterium. In fact the supporters of this little bit of new moral theology would like you not to know that the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" (1992/1997) states:
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.Yes, I know it goes on to say:
"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 are 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 non-existent."
However, the statement, "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," makes me wonder about the colour of the sun on the authors' home planet. As the "social contract" breaks down all around us and senseless violence increases by leaps and bounds, the state becomes less and less able to "prevent(..) crime!"
And the last two paragraphs of section 2267 do not change the Magisterial import of the opening sentence, ""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! (Emphasis supplied)
Come off it, Your Eminence! There is no moral equivalency between the murder of the unborn and the just retribution of the death penalty for a cold blooded killer!
From the Catholic New World, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Chicago.