Church Death Penalty the Evolving Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Here, just as the dominance of the Roman penal code would impose an acceptance of the death penalty upon adherents, so too would the Church begin to view the current patterns of social and civic order as demanding adaptation. Therefore, by the early 1990s and under Pope John Paul II, the Catholic Church officially began to pursue a more aggressive stance on stamping out the use of capital punishment where possible. This position would be articulated in the Pope's new Catechism of the Catholic Church. This would declare that while the death penalty could be seen as permissible in the most serious of cases, an effort at withholding from its invocation wherever possible should be pursued. (Overberg1, 1)

Accordingly, the Pope would declare that "public authority must redress the violation of personal and social rights by imposing on the offender an adequate punishment for the crime, as a condition for the offender to regain the exercise of his or her freedom. In this way authority also fulfills the purpose of defending public order and ensuring people's safety, while at the same time offering the offender an incentive and help to change his or her behaviour and be rehabilitated." (Pope John Paul II, 1)

Conclusion:

Today, these ambitions capture the position of the Church, and have even gained in intensity in the decade and a half since the publishing of the new Catechism. According to Zabor, this would be followed up by the yet more aggressive "1999 Good Friday appeal. Individual bishops and state or regional church organizations also have issued dozens of statements and pastoral letters on the topic." (Zabor, 1) The Church has demonstrated its ability, perhaps even its inherent tendency, to evolve with the changing times. In this instance, the Church even represents itself as an agent of change, attempting to bring about nothing less ambitious than the end of the death penalty in the United States altogether.

Works Cited:

Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL). (2005). III. The Wages of Sin. CCEL.org.

Knight, K. (2009). Capital Punishment. New Advent.

Overberg, K.R. (1996). The Death Penalty: Why the Church Speaks a Countercultural Message. American Catholic.org.

Overberg1, K.R. (1998). Respect Life: The Bible and the Death Penalty Today. American Catholic.org.

Pope John Paul II. (1995). The Death Penalty: Pro and Con: The Pope's…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited:

Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL). (2005). III. The Wages of Sin. CCEL.org.

Knight, K. (2009). Capital Punishment. New Advent.

Overberg, K.R. (1996). The Death Penalty: Why the Church Speaks a Countercultural Message. American Catholic.org.

Overberg1, K.R. (1998). Respect Life: The Bible and the Death Penalty Today. American Catholic.org.

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