Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Notes: Tuesday, September 27-Tuesday, October 4, 2011 (part 2 of 2)

7. On the death penalty

7.1 "Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, in his famous speech on the “Consistent Ethic of Life” at Fordham in 1983, stated his concurrence with the “classical position” that the State has the right to inflict capital punishment"; "[a]lthough Cardinal Bernardin advocated what he called a “consistent ethic of life,” he made it clear that capital punishment should not be equated with the crimes of abortion, euthanasia, and suicide."


(That came to my attention via this post by Fr. Zuhlsdorf.)

Labels: death penalty, Joseph Bernardin

7.2 Prof. Feser on the death penalty


That article, which came to my attention via this blog post by Prof. Feser, is well worth reading in full (and it isn't too long), but I want to highlight these parts, at least:
Most critics of capital punishment pay little attention to the question of “punishment,” focusing almost exclusively on their argument with “capital.” This is a fatal mistake, for as it happens, anyone who agrees that punishment as such is legitimate cannot fail also to agree, if he thinks carefully about the matter, that capital punishment can be legitimate, at least in principle. ...

[...] If wrongdoers do deserve punishment, and if punishment ought to be scaled to the gravity of the crime (harsher punishments for graver crimes), then it would be absurd to deny that there is a level of criminality for which capital punishment is appropriate, at least in principle. ...

[... Against the argument that the death penalty is offensive to 'human dignity':] ... On the contrary, to regard a person as deserving of punishment is implicitly to affirm his dignity as a human being, for it is to acknowledge that he has free will and moral responsibility, unlike a robot or a mere animal. If inflicting lesser punishments is not incompatible with human dignity and even implicitly affirms it, then given the principle of proportionality, capital punishment also can be compatible with (and indeed an affirmation of) human dignity.

[italics in the original, my ellipses and square-bracketed interpolations]
Labels: death penalty, human dignity, justice, morality

7.3 Two blog comments by Prof. Feser on New Natural Law theory and the death penalty



Labels: death penalty, justice, morality, New Natural Law

7.4 Prof. Long on the death penalty


That's quite a technical article, but I recommend that you read at least the paragraph (beginning with the words "Still, Tollefsen is consistent") on the Church's teaching on the death penalty. (Most usefully for me, it mentions a pronouncement by Pius XII. on the matter; in item 4 of this edition of Notes I linked to this web-page of the (Italian) text of that pronouncement, and now I see that it is also available, again in Italian, on pages seventy-two to eighty-five of AAS 47 (1955) here.)

Labels: death penalty, justice, Magisterium, morality, Pius XII. Pacelli

8. "No to legal marriages if Church forced to marry gays: archbishop"


Labels: Barry Hickey, funerals, G.L.B.T., marriage

9. The Catholica Forum welcomes a new participant


Labels: Aragon, Catholica Australia

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Confessor, A.D. 2011

1 comment:

Cardinal Pole said...

Regarding item 7.2: Prof. Feser has another article on the death penalty, part of the apparently ongoing exchange between him and the anti-execution writer, here: