16 Jan 2016 Q&A Comments (211)

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04 Jun 2015 Articles Q&A No comments

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11 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (2)

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10 Dec 2015 News Vatican No comments

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05 Dec 2016 News Comments (1)

Pope Francis makes surprising appearance at beautiful young cancer patient's funeral with heartbreaking personal letter

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29 Feb 2016 Americas News USA Vatican No comments

Pope Francis meets with Argentina's New President

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30 Jun 2015 Articles Exhortations No comments

I feel closer to God out in the woods or on the lake. I don’t need to go to church…

You’re right in that you do not have to go to church to be a Christian, and neither do you have to go home to be a husband. Going to church is not what makes a …

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07 Sep 2016 Articles No comments

Did Michelangelo paint a secret message on the roof of the Sistine Chapel?

Michelangelo may have been an incredible artist who painted the Sistine Chapel, but he was also somewhat subversive. According to experts from the UFCSPA in …

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17 Sep 2015 News Vatican No comments

Francis' Council of Cardinals proposes a new congregation for the Roman Curia

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Why doesn’t your Voter’s Guide mention the death penalty?

Full Question

Why isn’t the death penalty included in your “Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics”? Look at the last paragraph of no. 2267 of the Catechism.


The death penalty did not make the list because it does not involve something intrinsically evil. If that were the case, then the Church would not permit recourse to the death penalty under any circumstances. Instead, we read in the Catechism the following:

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. (CCC 2267)

The statement that recourse to the death penalty today should be “very rare, if not practically non-existent,” is a matter of prudential judgment (cf. Evangelium Vitae 56).


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