Thursday, October 13, 2011

What's this new "Contemporary" Catholic teaching?

Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, director of media relations for the USCCB, recently posted on the death penalty on the USCCB Media Blog.

Naturally, she's against the death penalty, which is okay. It's her reasoning that catches the attention. Of course, the disparity of minorities on death row is highlighted (without the balancing fact that minorities commit a disproportionate number of crimes). She mentions the many cases where someone on death row has been found to be innocent through DNA testing.

But then she says the following:
"Contemporary Catholic teaching opposes the death penalty. The Catechism of the Catholic Church finds it acceptable only when there is no other way to protect society from a dangerous criminal."

Well, which is it? Does the Church allow for it or does it oppose it completely? It's almost as if she's saying that the Catechism teaches one thing but our "contemporary" teaching is different. I've only been back to the Church for 13 years, but I know that the Church can't teach that something is both right and wrong. When the Church opposes something, She does so officially and completely, as in abortion.

Is Sr. Walsh tipping her non-existant habit to the fact that, for all practical purposes, the liberal wing of the American Church has it's own set of rules, or that their "contemporary" thinking actually improves upon the Catechism?

The liberals like to talk about the pro-lifers not being so gung-ho on eliminating capital punishment. They say that to be truly pro-life, our side should give up our support of capital punishment. Well, I think we should take them up on the offer. In exchange for giving up capital punishment, we also outlaw abortion.

Think they'd accept the offer? I'm not holding my breath.


Alan Aversa said...

Read "Conservative vs. Traditional Catholicism" by Fr. Chad Ripperger

Ben Yanke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Nichols said...

I'll have to check that out Alan. Fr. Ripperger had a great article a few years back on the efficacy of the Latin Mass vs. the Novus Ordo that has always stuck with me.

imurban said...

I think it may be a stretch to conclude that the Sister attempted to invoke "Contemporary Catholic Teaching" as a set of policies distinct from and in contradiction to the Church's Catechism. Asserting that the Church (and thereby God) wills that the death penalty be eradicated from this country (given America's contemporary circumstances) is fully in line with the Catechism which does describe the issue in terms of circumstances. Once the country's too poor to maintain its jails (a real possibility these days), then Sister might choose to reevaluate her cause.

Of course I agree the hypocrite left would never abide by the uniformity of principle (re: abortion/death penalty) that they breathlessly claim we fail to espouse...hence, no abolition of both types of killing (a fantastic compromise if it ever were agreed upon).

Keep up the comic!