04 August 2018

I see your 22, and I raise you 67.

JMJ

The Readings for the Memorial of Saint John Vianney, Priest
Saturday in the 17th Week of Ordinary Time (B2)
Judicium mortis est viro huic, quia prophetavit adversus civitatem istam, sicut audistis auribus vestris.

This man deserves death; he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.

Prophesy against "The City" (be it Jerusalem, or San Francisco, or any part of the City of Man in general) can bring one up on charges of death. John calls out Herod for his adultery and gets beheaded. You'll get that when you call out a popular, strong leader with rich friends. America has been no fan of being called out since at least the Jackson administration.

So, you have to be careful if you want to speak about The City... make it look like you're saying something else.

The Holy Father is again taking flak from the right. At issue is a recent change to the Catechism.  Now, first and foremost the Catechism is not an infallible document. It's edited and changed as needed.

The current text in the Catechism says:
2267 The traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude, presupposing full ascertainment of the identity and responsibility of the offender, recourse to the death penalty, when this is the only practicable way to defend the lives of human beings effectively against the aggressor 

If, instead, bloodless means are sufficient to defend against the aggressor and to protect the safety of persons, public authority should limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.
 
 
Today, in fact, given the means at the State's disposal to effectively repress crime by rendering inoffensive the one who has committed it, without depriving him definitively of the possibility of redeeming himself, cases of absolute necessity for suppression of the offender 'today ... are very rare, if not practically non-existent.'[John Paul II, Evangelium vitae 56.] Emphasis added
A proposed revision to paragraph 2267 reads, in full:
Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good. Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. 
In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption. 
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. Again, emphasis added.
Now, following on how it was previously explained as something whose met requirements were "very rare if not practically non-existent" we've moved to a new place of "inadmissible".

What's changed?

The bit about the dignity of the human person is not changed. Nor have the requirements regarding absolute necessity. Nope... that has not changed either.  What has changed is the possibility of necessity and requirements being met. So I don't think the Pope is changing Church teaching so much as he's making clear his sense that the 53 Countries that allow the death penalty can't meet the requirements.

And so he's preaching against The City, but he's making it look like he's preaching against the Death Penalty. 

He's saying there's no country in which he can assume both fair laws and unbiased decision making (in courts and in laboratories) coupled with the existing ability to actually detain someone safely. Some will debate that last point, but we have a lot of safe storage now.

And given our track record in America (and some other places too) of racist assumptions in crime and punishment, including - but not limited to - lynchings, unjust arrests, police killings, corrupt judges, tampered evidence, manufactured evidence, turned off body cams, blue collusion, non-peer juries, faked prison suicides, division of families, detention of innocents, revenge killings, and neighborhood race-based raids unseen since the Japanese Internment... I think it's a fair accusation. 

We wouldn't know justice if it bit us in the ass. 

The issue is the application, not the teaching. The govt has legitimate rights and powers. But salvation is more important. In this way we return to the early stance of radical support for the Gospel: where even the monastic fathers of Egypt said it was better to hide a criminal from the police, and so give him a chance to repent, than to turn him over. The latter would only mean his death. It is selfish to waste someone else's soul for a false sense of security. They were speaking of a Christian govt in a Christian empire. It's not that way now, not at all, not here nor anywhere. We have a duty to protect lives.

Don't worry. In the same way the left ignores teachings on sex the right will ignore this teaching as well. And they'll both insist they're being faithful Catholics whilst hating on the others.

Pray for the souls of the departed, especially those slain in 

Afghanistan
India
Nigeria
US
Iran
Japan
Taiwan
Kuwait
Zimbabwe
Libya
Thailand
Guyana
Uganda
Bangladesh
Iraq
Indonesia
Botswana
UAE
Bahamas
Cuba
Belarus
Yemen
Saudi Arabia
Vietnam
Syria
Egypt
South Sudan
DRC
Ethiopia
China
Sudan
Comoros
Somalia
Barbados
Malaysia
Chad
Pakistan
Oman
Singapore
St Kitts and Nevis
St Lucia
Bahrain
North Korea
Equatorial Guinea
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Palestinian territories
Trinidad and Tobago
Lesotho
Antigua and Barbuda
Belize
Dominica
Jamaica
Jordan
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