Social Justice Bulletin #1: The Death Penalty
Contributed by: Sister Pat Wittberg, S.C.
Social Justice #1: The Death Penalty
The Catholic Church has long opposed the death penalty, based on the need to defend the sacredness and dignity of every human life. If a criminal or terrorist is executed while he or she is still unrepentant, the death penalty in effect cuts off the possibility of future repentance. As St. John Paul II wrote in 1995, modern society “has the means of effectively suppressing crime by rendering criminals harmless without definitively denying them the chance to reform.”
The Church’s concern is not only what the death penalty does to the criminal, but also its effect on judges and executioners. As far back as 1917, the Code of Canon Law said that “a judge who has passed a sentence of death” and executioners could later not be ordained as priests.
The next man to be executed in Ohio is Alva Campbell. While not disputing Mr. Campbell’s guilt, those who oppose his execution cite his horrific childhood and the fact that he is currently dying of multiple Health issues as reasons for governor Kasich to commute his sentence to life imprisonment.
Read more about Alva Campbell’s case at http://www.washingtontimes.com/topics/alva-campbell/
Taken from Catholic News Service, October 19, 2017 “Pope’s pro-life challenge: Respect all life, oppose the death penalty.” By Cindy Wooden