Re Christopher Gunty’s editorial on capital punishment, “Justice or vengeance?,” the banning of capital punishment, which is supported by Gunty and the bishops (in Baltimore and the USCCB), is inconsistent with the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
As stated in Gunty’s editorial, the Catholic catechism says capital punishment can be a legitimate recourse if “this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.” To eliminate capital punishment is to remove a way that society has to protect innocent human lives in the rare case where a prisoner can directly or indirectly cause the death of an innocent person or persons. How do the bishops answer to family members of innocent victims when they support banning capital punishment? I believe the Catholic catechism is right. I am very concerned that the bishops are not morally correct in supporting a ban on capital punishment.
The bishops need to take care in considering issues like capital punishment. Consistency with Catholic teachings must not be overlooked in all areas, including “social justice” issues, such as capital punishment.
May 21, 2013 CatholicReview.org