This post is from Gimli, who got this article from the Zenit website. Sorry for the weird, wacky, wild characters and symbols that find themselves in Gimli's comments. Enjoy.
With all due respect to the Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, DC; my comments in brackets [ ]
U.S. Cardinal Opposes Expanding Death Penalty for Terrorists Urges "Bloodless Means" Instead
WASHINGTON, D.C., OCT. 26, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has urged U.S. House and Senate conferees working on post-9/11 legislation to report out a final bill without the expansion of the death penalty for terrorists.
Cardinal McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, is chairman of the U.S. bishop's Domestic Policy Committee.
The cardinal's letter to conferees concerned the National Intelligence Reform Act and the House-passed version of the measure, the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act. The Senate version of the bill does not contain any death penalty provisions.
"The cowardly acts of September 11 and their tragic human costs still haunt our nation," Cardinal McCarrick said. "There can be no diminishing the horror of terrorism or the responsibility of those who employ wanton violence on the innocent."
"Based on our Catholic teaching, however, we oppose expanding the death penalty even for terrorists," the cardinal continued.
[Really? I donâEUR(tm)t recall any papal or conciliar documents specifically addressing the expansion of the death penalty in regards to terrorists? One might interpret the PopeâEUR(tm)s writings as providing an expansion but I donâEUR(tm)t think that qualifies as âEURoebased on our Catholic teachingâEUR¦âEUR]
"Catholic teaching on capital punishment is clear: If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and 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,"
[Again, I donâEUR(tm)t think one can use the teachings of one pope (27 years out of 2000) to say âEURoeCatholic teachingâEUR¦ is clear.âEUR Because, the Catechism allows for the right of states to protect the common good by exercising the death penalty (CCC 2267 states, âEURoeAssuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.âEUR) Now, in the case of a terrorist âEUR" I donâEUR(tm)t think we can argue the partyâEUR(tm)s identity has not been established. Also âEUR" to address the whole, âEURoeif bloodless means are sufficientâEUR¦âEUR How can we square that comment with the established fact that many of the Gitmo detainees who have been released go back to Afghanistan and are caught again fighting against our nationâEUR(tm)s troops?]
"Secondly, we feel strongly that suicidal terrorists are not going to be deterred by the death penalty," the cardinal added. "In fact, many terrorists believe that if they die committing an act of terrorism they will become martyrs. At the very least, it would seem that executing terrorists could make them heroes in the minds of other like-minded advocates of terror."
[Another classic mistake âEUR" assuming that those who support âEURoetraditional Church teachingâEUR on the death penalty believe its justified b/c of deterrence. Obviously, suicidal terrorists are not going to be deterred by the death penalty âEUR" but if theyâEUR(tm)ve signed up to be suicidal terrorists, they are a clear and present danger and killing them is the only way of âEURoeeffectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.âEUR As to making them heroes âEUR" this statement shows a clear lack of understanding the enemy we are dealing with âEUR" if they die killing innocent Westerners (or Western troops), in their minds, they die as heroes âEUR" but to be captured, humiliated and then executed like the criminals they are does not equate to heroism.]
"As pastors, we believe that the use of the death penalty under any circumstances diminishes us as human beings," Cardinal McCarrick stated. "As we said in 'Confronting a Culture of Violence': 'We cannot teach that killing is wrong by killing.'"
[Once more, how does this square with actual Church teaching about interpreting the 5th commandment? This Commandment has always been understood in reference to INNOCENT life âEUR" a terrorist, by definition is NOT innocent!]