3 Aug 2018

Death Penalty: Why Francis I, Benedict XVI and John Paul II oppose Catholic stance

by Jonathan Ekene Ifeanyi
Death Penalty
“Pope” Francis, arch-enemy of Catholicism, declared this week that the death penalty is “inadmissible” and that the “Catholic Church” will work towards its abolition around the world. The Vatican formally announced this on Thursday, August 2.

The “change” has been added to the abominable “Catechism of the Catholic Church” of John Paul the Great and is now considered “the official position of the Catholic Church”! The New-church headed by heretic Bergoglio now teaches that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person” and states that it will “work with determination towards its abolition worldwide.”

Conscious Novus Ordo Catholics — some of them fanatical followers of Benedict XVI and John Paul the Great — have, since the announcement, been expressing their anger at Francis for “changing the teachings of the Church.”

However, ironically the New-church's teaching on the death penalty has slowly evolved since the time of John Paul the Great, who messed up the Church from 1978 to 2005. For instance, in his Christmas message in 1998, John Paul II wished “the world the consensus concerning the need for urgent and adequate measures ... to end the death penalty.” In his scandalous document The Gospel of Life, John Paul the Great fallaciously argues that the conditions that were once considered okay for allowing the death penalty have basically disappeared in these modern times. Again, in a homily on 27 January 1999, he said:

“The new evangelization calls for followers of Christ who are unconditionally pro-life: who will proclaim, celebrate and serve the Gospel of life in every situation. A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform (cf. Evangelium Vitae, 27). I renew the appeal I made most recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary.

His successor, Benedict XVI, in his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Africae Munus (19 November 2011; sec. 83), also called on society's leaders “to make every effort to eliminate the death penalty”! Benedict XVI said:

“Together with the Synod members, I draw the attention of society’s leaders to the need to make every effort to eliminate the death penalty and to reform the penal system in a way that ensures respect for the prisoners’ human dignity. Pastoral workers have the task of studying and recommending restorative justice as a means and a process for promoting reconciliation, justice and peace, and the return of victims and offenders to the community.

Days later, in his General Audience (30 November 2011), he elaborated:

“I express my hope that your deliberations will encourage the political and legislative initiatives being promoted in a growing number of countries to eliminate the death penalty and to continue the substantive progress made in conforming penal law both to the human dignity of prisoners and the effective maintenance of public order.”

Following them, Francis wrote in a March 2015 letter to the president of the International Commission Against the Death Penalty that “today capital punishment is unacceptable, however serious the condemned's crime may have been.” Carefully note his words — "however serious the condemned's crime may have been." He added that the death penalty “entails cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment” and said it was to be rejected “due to the defective selectivity of the criminal justice system and in the face of the possibility of judicial error.”

Francis in a 2015 speech to the US Congress said that human life must be defended “at every stage of its development” — the same infidel who equally said in 2013 that opposing abortion isn't more important than "helping the poor", accusing Catholics doing so of being "obsessed with the issues of abortion, homosexuality and birth-control"!

“This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty," Francis told top US elected lawmakers in 2015.

“I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes.”

Francis, then, also noted gladly that the (heretical) US Conference of Catholic Bishops had already advocated for the abolition of the death penalty.

“Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation,” Francis said.

The unchanging teaching of the Church on Death Penalty

What is death penalty? Death penalty is the legal punishment of death for a crime. Catholic doctrine as it was taught until Vatican II does not support the above liberal position of Francis, Benedict XVI and John Paul II. On the contrary, it clearly states that the death penalty is legitimate. The Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent says:

“The power of life and death is permitted to certain civil magistrates because theirs is the responsibility under law to punish the guilty and protect the innocent. Far from being guilty of breaking this commandment [Thou shalt not kill], such an execution of justice is precisely an act of obedience to it. For the purpose of the law is to protect and foster human life. This purpose is fulfilled when the legitimate authority of the State is exercised by taking the guilty lives of those who have taken innocent lives. In the Psalms we find a vindication of this right: “Morning by morning I will destroy all the wicked in the land, cutting off all evildoers from the city of the Lord” (Ps 101:8).

In the Old Testament the Mosaic Law specifies no less than thirty-six capital offences calling for execution by stoning, burning, decapitation, or strangulation. Included in the list are idolatry, magic, blasphemy, violation of the Sabbath, murder, adultery, bestiality, pederasty, and incest. The death penalty was considered especially fitting as a punishment for murder since in his covenant with Noah God had laid down the principle, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in His own image” (Genesis 9:6). In many cases in the Old Testament God punished culprits with death, as happened to Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (Numbers 16). In other cases individuals such as Daniel and Mordecai are God’s agents in bringing a just death upon guilty persons.

By declaring in his scandalous document cited above that the conditions that were considered okay then for allowing the death penalty have basically disappeared in our own times, John Paul II showed himself to be a barefaced enemy of the Church. For John Paul II, then, idolatry, magic, blasphemy, violation of the Sabbath, murder, adultery, bestiality, pederasty, and incest no longer exist in our own times! Little wonder then, John Paul II himself — as well as Benedict XVI and Francis — is among those God commands to be put to death, being a famous idolater himself.  See the photos below:
John Paul II encouraging idol worshippers in Assisi in 1986, against God’s commandment “...thou shalt not have strange gods before Me...” (Exodus 20:3) “...the gods of the heathens are devils...” “1 Cor. 10:20).

John Paul II kissing the abominable koran against the same commandment.
Benedict XVI violating the same commandment by praying with the Muslims.
Francis worshipping with the Buddhists against the same commandment. 
    In the New Testament, we see the right of the State to put criminals to death. Modern heretics and “human right” advocates often portray Jesus as being totally “opposed to violence”! Luke 9:55, where Jesus rebukes his disciples for wishing to call down fire from heaven to punish the Samaritans for their lack of hospitality, as well as Matthew 26: 52, where he admonishes Peter to put his sword in the scabbard rather than resist arrest, are their favourite passages!

    However, at no point does Jesus deny that the State has authority to exact capital punishment. For instance, in his debates with the Pharisees, Jesus cites with approval a “harsh” commandment which reads: “He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die” (Matthew 15:4; Mark 7:10, referring to Exodus 2l:17; cf. Leviticus 20:9). When Pilate calls attention to his authority to crucify Him, Jesus points out that Pilate’s power comes to him from above — that is to say, from God (John 19:11). Jesus commends the good thief on the cross next to him, who admitted that he and his fellow thief were receiving the due reward of their deeds (Luke 23:41).

    The early Christians had nothing against the death penalty. They approve of the divine punishment meted out to Ananias and Sapphira when they are rebuked by Peter for their fraudulent action (Acts 5:1-11). In the Letter to the Hebrews we read:

    “...a man who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy at the testimony of two or three witnesses” (10:28).

    St. Paul repeatedly refers to the connection between sin and death. He writes to the Romans, with an apparent reference to the death penalty, that the magistrate who holds authority “does not bear the sword in vain; for he is the servant of God to execute His wrath on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:4). 

    Put simply, no passage in the New Testament disapproves of the death penalty.

    The Fathers and Doctors of the Church are virtually unanimous in their support for capital punishment. For instance, to answer the objection that the first commandment forbids killing, St. Augustine, the Church's greatest theologian after St. Paul, writes, in The City of God:

    “The same divine authority that forbids the killing of a human being establishes certain exceptions, as when God authorizes killing by a general law or when He gives an explicit commission to an individual for a limited time.

    “The agent who executes the killing does not commit homicide; he is an instrument as is the sword with which he cuts. Therefore, it is in no way contrary to the commandment, 'Thou shalt not kill' to wage war at God's bidding, or for the representatives of public authority to put criminals to death, according to the law, that is, the will of the most just reason.” (The City of God, Book 1, chapter 21).

    Similarly, in the medieval period leading canonists and theologians asserted the right of civil courts to pronounce the death penalty for very grave offences such as murder and treason. Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus invoke the authority of Scripture and patristic tradition, and give arguments from reason. Aquinas, particularly, writes, in his Summa Theologiae:

    “It is written: "Wizards thou shalt not suffer to live" (Ex. 22:18); and: "In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land" (Ps. 100:8). …

    “Every part is directed to the whole, as imperfect to perfect, wherefore every part exists naturally for the sake of the whole. For this reason we see that if the health of the whole human body demands the excision of a member, because it became putrid or infectious to the other members, it would be both praiseworthy and healthful to have it cut away. Now every individual person is related to the entire society as a part to the whole. Therefore if a man be dangerous and infectious to the community, on account of some sin, it is praiseworthy and healthful that he be killed in order to safeguard the common good, since "a little leaven corrupteth the whole lump” (1 Cor. 5:6). (Summa Theologiae, II, II, q. 64, art. 2)

    Again, he writes:

    “The fact that the evil ones, as long as they live, can be corrected from their errors does not prohibit that they may be justly executed, for the danger which threatens from their way of life is greater and more certain than the good which may be expected from their improvement.

    “They also have at that critical point of death the opportunity to be converted to God through repentance. And if they are so obstinate that even at the point of death their heart does not draw back from malice, it is possible to make a quite probable judgment that they would never come away from evil.” (Summa contra gentiles, Book III, chapter 146).

    Giving magisterial authority to the death penalty, great Pope Innocent III required disciples of the heretic Peter Waldo seeking reconciliation with the Church to accept the proposition: “The secular power can, without mortal sin, exercise judgement of blood, provided that it punishes with justice, not out of hatred, with prudence, not precipitation.”

    Hence, the reason why the Holy See for centuries authorized the Inquisition to turn over heretics to the secular arm for execution. (Recall here that John Paul II, during his long reign, did apologize to the Jews, Galileo, women, people convicted by the Inquisition, the Muslims killed by the crusaders and almost everyone who had allegedly “suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church” over the years!)

    In the Papal States the death penalty was imposed for a variety of offences. The Roman Catechism, issued in 1566, three years after the end of the Council of Trent, taught that the power of life and death had been entrusted by God to civil authorities and that the use of this power, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to the fifth commandment.

    In modern times Doctors of the Church such as Robert Bellarmine and Alphonsus Liguori maintain that certain criminals should be punished by death. Venerable authorities such as Francisco de Vitoria, Thomas More, and Francisco Suárez agreed. John Henry Newman, in a letter to a friend, maintained that the magistrate had the right to bear the sword, and that the Church should sanction its use, in the sense that Moses, Joshua, and Samuel used it against abominable crimes.

    Throughout the first half of the twentieth century the consensus of Catholic theologians in favour of capital punishment in extreme cases remained solid, as may be seen from approved textbooks and encyclopaedia articles of the day. The Vatican City State from 1929 until 1969 had a penal code that included the death penalty for anyone who might attempt to assassinate the pope. Pope Pius XII, in an important allocution to medical experts, declared that it was reserved to the public power to deprive the condemned of the benefit of life in expiation of their crimes.

    Of course, there can be abuses of death penalty — the crucifixion of Christ among them — but such abuses result purely from man's error and have nothing to do with the legitimacy of the legal punishment. 

    Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J, in a typical characteristic of a diehard modernist, cites all the above scriptural passages and Church teachings in his 2001 article "Catholicism and Capital Punishment" but then cleverly concludes that Current Catholic teaching — that is, that of John Paul II, Benedict XVI and now Francis — should be understood, as I have sought to understand it, in continuity with Scripture and tradition”. 

    Let us beware of these men! Many of them, in fact, don’t believe in God any more. Vatican II popes — in particular anti-pope Francis, Benedict XVI and John Paul II — oppose death penalty simply because they do not believe in God — I mean the Catholic God — and what His Holy Bible teaches — not really because they are/were ignorant of these teachings. That’s why they all hang their condemnation of the death penalty on “the dignity of man”! — wilfully ignoring the fact that the moral dignity that consists in living in accordance with the image and likeness of God can, put simply, be lost by serious crimes — just as a baptised Catholic always retains the dignity of being a child of God but can nevertheless forfeit that dignity and go to hell if he commits mortal sin and dies unrepentant in such. They unanimously teach the world that the Catholic tradition prior to them — that is, prior to John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis I — failed to recognize this “dignity of man” and in fact contradicted it in practice by using (or defending the use of) capital punishment. Francis' new teaching says:

    “Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,” and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.

    This statement, as we know, is purely heretical.

    Steve Skojec of OnePeterFive, who had been championing the idea that Francis is not a manifest heretic, interestingly informs us about “a trustworthy theologian” he consulted this time around on this very matter, a moral theologian “who is well versed in the finer distinctions of Magisterial authority and its limits”. According to him, the following was the response he received from the said theologian:

    The traditional teaching of the Catholic Church on the intrinsic morality of the death penalty is irreformable dogma. To deny this or assert the contrary is formally heretical. Catholics remain obliged to believe and accept this doctrine regardless of any changes to the Catechism.

    What does it mean to say that this is “formally heretical”?

    1. Formal versus material heresy. This is a distinction pertaining to the objective status of doctrinal propositions. A heresy is any proposition opposed to any dogma. Two things are required for a doctrine to be dogma: (1) it must be contained in divine revelation and (2) it must be proposed as such by the Church (either by solemn judgment or by the ordinary and universal magisterium). If both of these requirements are met, then the doctrine is a formal dogma, and the denial of such a dogma is a formal heresy. If a doctrine is contained in divine revelation but has not yet been proposed as such by the Church, then it can be called a “material dogma”. Such was the case with the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary in the patristic and medieval periods. Material heresy is the denial of a material dogma.

    2. Formal versus material heretic. This is a distinction pertaining to the subjective culpability of persons. A heretic is a person who believes or teaches heresy. A material heretic is a person who believes or teaches something which is objectively a heresy; a formal heretic is one who continues to do so obstinately after having been duly corrected.

    So in the case of the dogma of the intrinsic morality of the death penalty, the denial of this dogma is formally heretical... (See: Heresy in the Catechism. Wolf in the Vatican. No Shepherds in Sight.)
    Note that this current teaching is also related to their denial of the existence of hell. While Francis openly denies the existence of hell, John Paul II also does that but in a subtle way — by teaching a universal salvation of all mankind. See: Pius IX, Pius XII, Fr Feeney and the dogma “Outside the Church there is no salvation”

    For more of their anti-Bible teachings and their promoting of the New World Order, see also:

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