Consistent pro-life message needs re-work

Archbishop O’Brien wrote (CR, April 23) of the “powerful witness of the Church’s consistent pro-life voice” because the legislature passed a law restricting the application of the death penalty. I do not see the law coming from a powerful pro-life witness, but rather see the legislature extending some professional courtesy to murderers on death row. I have not observed the church hierarchy in America effectively address justice for the victims of murder and manslaughter. Nowhere in the archbishop’s “sanctity of life” list were adult victims of murder mentioned or implied. The church in America is ill serving its flock, because every citizen may participate in the criminal justice system as a voter, juror or witness at trial. The anti-death penalty criteria of Paragraph 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “If non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor” cannot be met if citizens will not carry out those non-lethal means. Self-congratulatory opposition to killing a condemned murderer does not prepare American Catholic citizens to carry out their harsh duty in the voting booth, jury box or witness stand. If the powerful, consistent witness existed, the archbishop would not have written his long lament of anti-life actions and inactions of our elected legislature.

Catholic Review

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