Pope Francis death penalty statement

Pope Francis said that capital punishment is “an attack” on human dignity, and the Church will seek to abolish the death penalty worldwide.


In a definitive statement, Pope Francis has declared that the death penalty is wrong in all cases – no matter how severe the crime committed.

The announcement directly contradicts the views of many Catholic officials, particularly those in the United States, who for decades have offered Biblical justifications for capital punishment. Church doctrine generally accepted the death penalty, permitting it was deemed “the only practicable way” to save lives. Thus, it was OK for society to kill bad people, as long as it was for the greater good.

But Pope Francis disagrees. In his remarks, the pope explained that capital punishment is “an attack” on human dignity, and made it clear that the Church’s goal moving forward will be to abolish the death penalty worldwide. The change will be formally added to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is studied by 1.2 billion Catholics across the globe.

America’s Conundrum

Many countries with large Catholic populations have already banned the death penalty – but the United States is a major exception. Here the death penalty is legal in 31 of the 50 states, a total of 1479 people have been executed since 1976. Given this extensive track record of executions, some experts think this latest announcement will pose a serious obstacle for government officials who follow the Catholic faith.

“If you’re a Catholic governor who thinks the state has the right to end human life, you need to be comfortable saying you’re disregarding orthodox church teaching,” said John Gehring, the Catholic program director at Faith and Public Life. “There isn’t any loophole for you to wiggle through now.”

The ruling could also make things complicated for American judges who are Catholic – particularly those serving on the highest court. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Sonia Sotomayor are all Catholic. So is President Trump’s latest nominee, Brett Cavanaugh.

Accounting for the teachings of their faith, would these justices need to recuse themselves in cases involving the death penalty? It’s certainly a possibility.

Pro-Life Hypocrisy?

It is often pointed out that some of the most ardent pro-life activists wholeheartedly support the death penalty. Is there an inherent contradiction in these views? On the one hand we have the assertion that all life is special and must be protected. On the other, an argument that some lives are worth snuffing out.

Of course, there is the small matter of circumstances (innocent children vs. convicted killers), but if we’re talking about a principle of being “pro-life,” the contradiction is nonetheless worth discussing. Whatever you think of the pope’s announcement, his views on protecting life are unquestionably consistent.

Catholics march to protest the death penalty

Despite having a strong pro-life movement here in America, attempts to outlaw the death penalty entirely have achieved minimal success.

Future of the Death Penalty

Will capital punishment still be around in 20 years? Odds are, probably.

Despite successful movements to ban the practice in other countries, the American public has shown little desire to get rid of the death penalty. And contrary to conventional thought, religious conviction (at least of the Catholic variety) doesn’t appear to be a major factor in the opposition. In fact, according to Pew Research Center, 53 percent of American Catholics support capital punishment, while 44 percent oppose it.  Those numbers are roughly equivalent to Americans as a whole (54 percent are in favor and 39 percent are opposed).

That’s a lot of people who need to be convinced the death penalty is morally wrong. And as long as violent crime continues to plague our society, opponents may find themselves fighting an uphill battle. Let’s face it: it’s a lot easier to condemn the death penalty from a disconnected, outside perspective.

In the real world, emotions sometimes override principle. In cases of particular evilness and hatred, perhaps it’s a natural human reaction to view vengeance as the only righteous form of justice.

Whether that will change is yet to be seen.

 

96 comments

  1. Barry says:

    Depends on the offence and issues.

    1. Daniel says:

      Depends? State sanctioned murder sends the message that it’s okay to kill when feeling justified and when in a position to get away with it. Thus, murdering murderers only leads to more murder by self-justified criminals following the example set by the government. Imposing the death penalty ALSO costs taxpayers MORE than a life sentence without parole, while giving a chance for the offender to feel remorse, repent, and possibly do some good in the prison setting. “Thou shalt not kill” and “turn the other cheek” are difficult for victims families, but it’s still what Christianity is supposed to be about

      1. John Owens says:

        Jesus did not tell the judicial systems to turn the other cheek. Let’s examine your interpretation of that principle–

        You are out with two friends, and a criminal shoots one. Do you offer him the other? Or another example: a man has two daughters, and a rapist rapes one of them. Should he offer the rapist his other daughter? Let’s say a belligerent, cruel person walks up to you and pokes you in the eye with an ice pick. Are you saying you should offer him the OTHER eye? Lotta difference in getting smacked on the cheek and getting an eye put out.

        The only reason the death penalty costs so much is LIBERALISM has run up the cost just like it has every other cost imaginable.

        Regardless, Jesus did not tell ANYONE that we should allow criminals to run the world, and that is what happens when punishments are less severe than the crimes.

        1. Reverend Reichard says:

          Amen John, I agree completely, in the Bible the wrath of God is severe, harsh, and final. Should man’s punishment to man be any less than that of our creator for atrocities to humanity. Would it have been acceptable to offer Nazi Germany more people to place in the camps and countries to occupy instead of fighting them to the death. I don’t think so! Go in peace Brother John

      2. John Mathews says:

        Daniel, you stated the following: “State sanctioned murder sends the message that it’s okay to kill when feeling justified and when in a position to get away with it.” In these United States, no one is executed without due process of law, however flawed. “State sanctioned” has visions of Germany, Japan and Italy from World War II and communist Russia. The government kills these convicted criminals, not churches. I must agree that murder is wrong, but I will not hesitate to kill if I or mine are threatened. The Pope has every right to state what his church believes, but U.S. government officials take oaths, primary to their religious beliefs, to uphold the law of the land. Jesus told us to obey the government. The Bible does say that God puts all governments in place for a reason. I find that reason very perplexing most of the time.

        1. keith ainsworth says:

          Of course, the death penalty works so we in the US doesn’t it

          1. John Owens says:

            I guess we’ll never know, since we almost never use it.

      3. DiAna Donna DouGlas Yaleh says:

        GeSus DiAna Donna DouGlas here…Yeshuah’s Prophecied Voice of Many Waters! I totally agree with you, John Owens…But, it’s not True Sionik Liberalism…It’s the Freedom Demons of licentious ignorance! The Word Liberalism is the Meaning of Kharisa: the Christ Spirit: a free & Right & Noble Liberal Spirit…The Word means (1) to love, care, bear others burdens; (2) to Liberate from oppression; (3) Loving enlightenment. LIB = is Heart & Mind Love in Hebrew! Licentious free-will demons are NOT liberals according to the Words of “God.” Just another example of American/English incorrect & false abuse of linguistics of The Word…And it just so happens that JeSa did too believe in the death sentence. Isa / Yesu / Esau / Isaak / St. Michael-Thomas prophecied in His Last Will & Testament, also I call The Prophecy of Jesus…THAT THE EVIL & THE WICKED & THE CRIMINALLY WILLFUL HAVE ALL RECEIVED WHAT HE CALLED—THE MARK OF THE BEAST…HE DISTINCTLY SAYS THAT SUCH HAVE A SPACE IN WHICH TO BE GIVEN THE CHANCE FOR REPENTENCE WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF BEING “SAVED.” IF NOT, HE SAYS THEY ARE TO BE TURNED OVER TO “ABADON” & HIS “JAIL KEYS,” ESSENTIALLY…ETERNAL DAMNATION FOR THE WILLFUL WICKED & THE DAMED…the Pope is kul about Gay, which is totally scriptural. But, obviously the Pope, like many, doesn’t KNOW the scriptures & the Greek & what THE MAN SAID…A lot of the Roman Church catechism is ALREADY full of wrong false indoctrinations like ALL the bibles since the incorrect Anglican KJV are all false interpretations & translations…I have an entire document on the “Beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church” that are not biblically scriptural, as tis said…The death sentence should deter evil & wicked, as you say, John Owens…Simon Weisenthal Center: “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph in the world is for good people to do nothing.” so true. Even bigoted, contradictory Muhammad & his Unholy Death Sentences against INNOCENT PEOPLE…said that the world would be depraved if good men fail to deter the evil & wicked. And yet he was a mass murderer of gay people & those who wish to read & follow other scriptures & expressions of god-faith…It’s all a pitiful mess. Shalom. Al-Wahird Ad-Duharil Theophanes DiAna Donna Omulangira DouGlas!

    2. Chill Draggon says:

      If Christ wasn’t executed for peoples’ sins, would salvation be possible? The execution of Christ makes possible the Resurrection.
      Execution…good or bad?
      Let the spin begin!

    3. pastor richard h. says:

      The Pope has yet again put himself above GODS Word
      Romans 13:1-4,
      “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.”

      So in Conclusion
      It seemed clear that New Testament does not denounce the idea of capital punishment but instead assumes the right of the state to use it.
      I also Believe this Pope needs an exorcism To rid him of the Evil Spirit that has him .

      1. John Matthews says:

        Richard, your last sentence is not indicative of a Bible believing person. Everything that came before is negated or disregarded because our your poor judgment. I highly doubt that the current Pope has much evil, if at all. Shame on you, brother.

        1. John Owens says:

          “Satan himself is disguised as an angel of light. His ministers appear the ministers of righteousness.” I think Richard H. may be onto something.

      2. DiAna Donna DouGlas Yaleh says:

        I agree Pastor Richard H.

  2. Joe says:

    Is it right to allow us to be murdered by these chriminals?
    What does the Pope have to say to the families of victims?
    In the past two years we lost three Police Officers be to thugs with multiple violations on their records.
    The crime they died for was committed by our idiot legeslators that use this Pope like thinking.

    1. Michael Jones says:

      I dont understand why he wants to change over 2000 years of teachings and ignore the scriptures of the Bible. I do know many things this Pope has said have been taken out of context but this to me is over the top.

    2. George says:

      He doesn’t say that they shouldn’t be punished or to be free to reoffend. Would the families of victims have the victims returned to them by some miracle if the offender was killed?

  3. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp, MSW, OM says:

    This is a tough one as the death penalty is not a deterant and does not affect the crime rate. The death penalty may prevent a particular prisoner from committing another serious crime, but it is a revenge ideology. Also, other problems are related to errors made in the defense process which have resulted in false convictions. How many times have we heard that a person is released after being incarcerated for a long time and new DNA testing results shows innocence. . My opinion is that it is harder on a true criminal to be in prison for years. There is potential for rehabilitation and community control.

    1. Alicia Szot says:

      But maybe if there was a death penalty, someone would not be so quick to commit murder.

      1. Gail D. says:

        stats do not bear this out, as Catherine mentioned in the first line. Catherine also makes several additional valid points (incarcerated but later found innocent). Besides, state sanctioned murder is still murder.

        1. John Owens says:

          The death penalty is 100% effective. Once they are dead, people do not commit any more murders. The rest is just propaganda.

          1. John Owens says:

            Also, it is not murder, if a jury of citizens determine that the penalty for a crime should be death.

          2. george says:

            It doesn’t reduce the murder rate though.

          3. John Owens says:

            How the Hell would you KNOW, George? We hardly ever use it.

        2. Jim says:

          The punishment should fit the crime. Example: if a truckload of rednecks drag a black man behind their pickup truck til death…. they should be punnished in the same manor. If they rape and kill some poor girl, they should die in the same way. A little harsh but it would make a criminal think twice before committing any such crimes.

  4. John Wilson says:

    The death penalty fits exactly the ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ clause stated in our constitution.
    The cost of execution far exceeds the cost of life in prison.
    Too many people on death row are being found innocent.
    Blood hungry state governments promote the notion of some biblical references most usually ‘eye for an eye’ type versus but they are wrong because we are guaranteed separation of church and state and thus religion should NEVER be a component of government.

    1. Gail D. says:

      gotta totally agree with this post, John.

    2. Carl Elfstrom says:

      The pope isn’t a religion, but a man with an opinion. Haven’t you heard “opinions are like A – – holes. We all have one,and they all stink. I have mixed feelings about this subject. I would agree with the death penalty,at least for the most heinous and gruesome murders, but like John Wilson mentioned above “Too many people on death row are being found innocent”.The Pope probably is just afraid that some countries would execute pedophile priests. He has’nt alwarys been the Pope,and may have once yielded to the temptation of going down on an altar boy. So he might just be trying to cover his own ass. Oh my, I really said a mouthful that time.

      1. Pedro Berrios says:

        Hu

      2. John Owens says:

        Good call, Carl. He may well have. We all know that it is actually a very tiny fraction of a percentage of people who are ACTUALY celibate, yet they want to create this illusion for the masses. If he hasn’t done what you say, I would be surprised.

  5. Gary Hynous says:

    My first reaction to this discussion was to support the death penalty. Why should my tax dollars support the care and feeding of a ‘Chas. Manson or a John Wayne Gacey? I don\’t think serial killers or insanely evil people can be rehab’ed. In my reality it is: take a life: give up your own life. Of course we could always continue to pay to keep monsters like Manson alive (thankfully this monster died in prison recently.) I don’t think the surviving members of his victims families shed a tear when he died. I really feel that there will be a karmic reckoning that will occur in Manson’s next life and in the lives of all who are like him/her. After all, karma is about cause and effect. For every action there may be an equal and opposite reaction. Bottom line I do believe there are “hell beings” waiting for evil people and that their spirits may very well spend an eternity being subjected to Lord only knows what to pay for there actions. Sorry folks but I have no compassion for consummate evil.

  6. Gary Hynous says:

    Once again I seem to have a problem with my comments disappearing when I hit the Post it option. My last comment about the Pope and the death penalty is disappeared when I tried to post it. Can you help? Thanks. Gary

  7. Gary Hynous says:

    Sorry! My impatience with technology just embarrassed me again. Really enjoy your blog! Blessings from an impatient minister. By the way, I just used my ordination to marry our daughter. What an honor and a blessing that was for me. Thank you for all that you do.

  8. Bernard Moleman says:

    This FAKE POPE is a liberal liar! The death penalty is the only JUST form of punishment for MS13, pouring in from our WIDE OPEN BOARDER and killing US citizens daily! If demoncrats won’t build the wall, perhaps Pres. Trump (blessed by God) will hang them for their treason! Capital punishment in the capital, how bout THAT!

    1. Rev. Joe says:

      I think you are a kook.

    2. Carl Elfstrom says:

      I hope you’re not on their hit list now, Bernard. I stay clear of condemning anyone by name.

    3. John Owens says:

      This pope is a commie kook.

    4. thomas bodnar says:

      thank you you are correct I thinkthis pope is a hypacrite ,he feels a wall is bad yet lives in a walled in city ! guns are bad yet has armed guards that are as bad or worse than CIA , !

  9. John Owens says:

    We aren’t a Catholic country and papal edicts have no bearing here.

    1. Rev William Preston says:

      John , I have agreed with many of your comments but not this one ! We are Catholic country as set forth by our Constitution under the First Amendment . The word catholic does not describe one particular faith , it’s definition means universal and that encompasses all ” Faiths ” who accept ” Jesus as our Lord and Savior ! Pope Francis has merely expressed his human opinion in hopes that all Christians would consider his views ! We should not judge others least we be judged , also ; remember that God has said , ” Vengeance is Mine Saith The Lord ” ! Many lives have been lost by wrongful convictions ! Should those families seek justice against those who have wrongfully executed their loved one ? Those witnesses who testified against them , the prosecutors who prosecuted against them , and the judge who sentenced them , should they all be convicted and put to death for taking the life of another human being !!! May God Bless .

      1. John Owens says:

        Okay, William. We are NOT a ROMAN catholic country, and papal edicts have no bearing here.

  10. Alicia Szot says:

    Interesting that the pope seems to be forgetting that the Bible says “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life….”.

    1. Gail D says:

      From what I understand, the bible also says:
      Romans 12:19 – Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.; and something similar in Deuteronomy. No, I’m not Catholic. I just believe that state sanctioned murder is still murder, and that any church doctrine doesn’t belong in the laws of our country.

      1. John Owens says:

        I’m sorry to disagree, but, your last statement contradicts with your quoting from Romans. Romans is dealing with individuals. The eye for an eye is dealing with a government. Governments are not supposed to be Christian, but they are supposed to provide a system of justice for the people. Judges and judicial systems are not tasked with mercy, but justice. Justice IS merciful, in the long term.

        The eye for eye, smiting for smiting etc., was applied also to false witnesses also, if they were discovered committing perjury. Needless to say, that would discourage people from lying under oath because someone bribed them. This prevented people with money from buying their way out of punishment. Otherwise, a person with money could put your eye out, pay a couple of false witnesses, and go on with both eyes, to maybe do it again to some other poor sap.

        The same Deity who said “Vengeance is Mine” said eye for eye and tooth for tooth, and “so shall ye put away evil from among you.”

        Do I want the death penalty? In certain cases. I don’t think everyone In prison should be killed, and probably not everyone on death row, but some of them certainly, and child predators. I think it should be quick and painless, like a bullet through the brain, as we would dispatch a sick animal. The whole flap about cruel and unusual is silly nowadays, as it is not nearly as cruel as most murders are, and should not be unusual. Cruel and unusual would be like, getting creative with the means of death, not killing itself. An execution is NOT a murder, if it is performed after due process. It is necessary for a just and humane society. Allowing murderers to live, particularly serial killers and child murderers, is a symptom of a sick society and subliminally teaches that society values the murderers’ lives more than the victims’.

        Please don’t mistake my writing for an argument. I am just presenting what I think, and trying to explain my thinking on the matter.

  11. Gail D. says:

    At least this pope is consistent in his right to life views. The bible “eye for an eye” quote: #1 should not affect law in the US since there is guaranteed separation of church and state, and #2 would just leave too many people blind and/or toothless or dead. State sanctioned murder is still murder.

  12. Tom says:

    Respectfully, execution is the State ending lives, pursuant to people-created laws…there is no place in our society for legislation to end lives…this is a different issue from individuals performing abortions…i continue to feel that the more laws enacted, the more there is evidence of the breakdown of society……Peace…
    Tom

    1. Daniel says:

      Hypocrisy by the government should not be allowed. The message sent by a state sanctioned death penalty is that it is okay to murder people if you feel sufficiently justified and are in a position to get away with it. Thus the hypocrisy by the government in murdering murderers only leads to more under.
      For the “Christians” who sanction Old Testament “eye for an eye” they could consider the 10 commandments “thou shall not kill” and then remember Christ’s “turn the other cheek”.
      Plus a life sentence without parole is a longer punishment that might give the offender time to feel remorse and repent while possibly doing some good in the prison environment.

      1. John Owens says:

        The death penalty is not decided by the state, but by the jurors, which means it is in the hands of the citizens. State sanctioned death is when law enforcement kills people without trial and there is no trial for the law enforcement, as in the Branch Davidian case and the Waco, Texas police massacre at the Texas Confederation of Clubs motorcyclist’s annual meeting, Ruby Ridge, and the recent Cliven Bundy case.

  13. John Owens says:

    This is the same pope who wants to embrace Islam, and pedophilia. Obviously suffering from some form of dementia.

    1. CF says:

      And what’s wrong with embracing Islam??? A bit of Hipocracy in your religious beliefs there Mr. Owens? Or are you just supporting Jeff Sessions “religious freedom task force”…. as long as that religion is Christian, and supports evangelical ideology. If Jesus were ever to come back – I believe his first action would be to wipe out all the people that have distorted his teachings for their own benefit. I would hope so. JESUS….PLEASE COME BACK!!! WE NEED YOU HERE NOW!!!

      1. Gary Minnis says:

        The problem is not Islam itself but the way some choose to practice it. Much like Christians. I am assuming that you do not condone hanging Gays by streetlights. Beating woman for not wearing the correct clothing or not obeying their husbands. What about honor killings? What about female castration? All of these things done in the name of Islam. Save your PC crap for another forum.

      2. RMC says:

        Hello.

        “I believe his first action would be to wipe out all the people that have distorted his teachings for their own benefit.”

        Really?

      3. Daniel says:

        Christ said he had other sheep “not of this fold”. Who are we to pretend to know the will of God, as filtered through our individual bias? Could it be possible that a God of Justice AND mercy would give many people many different messengers? That isn’t to say that aspects of some Muslim practices haven’t become politicized by “leaders” trying to control the masses, just like with Christianity.Rumi was a Sufi Muslim around the 13th century when many Christians, Muslims and Buddhists were killing each other in the name of their beliefs. Rumi taught that anyone killing others in the name of their God had obviously not been getting what God intended.

      4. John Owens says:

        No hypocrisy at all, CF. The pope shows himself to be a turncoat by wanting to embrace another religion, and you didn’t even address pedophilia. If Islam is equally good, then he should give up his papacy, and grow a beard and bow toward Mecca three times a day. Are you hysterical, or what?

        1. John Owens says:

          And BTW, the pope will most likely be one of the first to be destroyed WHEN Christ returns, since he is referred to as vicar of Christ, meaning, basically, artificial Christ.

  14. RMC says:

    I would be disappointed in the Pope if he was not against the death penalty.

    Execution = murder.

    Simple.

    WWJD? Always a good question to ask, IMHO, when deciding what to do in such cases.

    Peace

    1. John Owens says:

      Jesus never said He did not support the death penalty. He would have disqualified Himself as Savior if He had spoken contrary to the Torah. That is the ONE sure-fire way to know a false prophet– if they do not speak according to the Law and the Testimony, it is because there is no light in them.

  15. CF says:

    But abortion…. that’s wrong…. but execution is OK??? Amazing how people twist “the word of God” – which is actually NOT “the word of God”, but rather a compilation of stories by men, mis-translated to serve the organized religions that fund its publication (but enough on that) …. getting back to it; twist said word, to propel their belief into some indisputable “law” or word of God. Society is just broken….. all in the name of “God”

    1. Gary Minnis says:

      How do you know that the Bible is NOT the word of God?

      1. Chill Draggon says:

        God hasn’t claimed authorship. Would God play such a dirty trick as to give us a path to heaven containing so many ambiguities and contradictions to confuse us?

  16. Bob says:

    granting the government the authority to take the lives of its citizens is giving government way too much power.

    1. John Owens says:

      In a trial, it is not giving government the authority, but the citizens in the jury. The government is just the servant.

      1. Robert Donahue says:

        The government determines which violations of law will carry the death penalty. If we did not give our government the right to take lives, no jury could sentence anyone to death.

        1. John Owens says:

          …and the world would just be that much worse of a crappy place.

  17. Aleeta Stamn says:

    We will never know how many innocent people have been wrongly executed. With the advent of DNA testing a considerable number of people on death row (mainly poor minorities) were exonerated and released. However, DNA evidence is only available in about ten percent of capital cases, which means that this conclusive form of evidence is not available in the vast majority of cases in which the death penalty is a possibility.

    There is also the question of whether the government should be in the business of killing. There are prisons in this country that are virtually escape proof, and it is actually less expensive to incarcerate a person for life than to execute them.

  18. janice Ellery says:

    The state of Florida is seeking the death penalty for the high school shooter. He offered to plead guilty as long as he got a life sentence. To do a capital punishment trial most experts estimate it will cost the state 8 to 18 million dollars to cover legal fees, extra security his trial would need, a decade of appeals, etc, From a practical point of view it would be better to let him plead to a life sentence and save the state all of that money. If I were a relative of one of the victims I may think otherwise, but the state should put the 10 million dollars towards mental health services to help prevent another psychotic like him from doing this again. The civil commitment laws also have to be changed in Florida so violent mentally ill can be held long term in locked facilities.

    In the past I did an involuntary commitment petition for a man who had urges to kill people and then dismember them. The hospital turned him loose after a week. Less than a year later he was arrested for attempted murder. It is very frustrating as a mental health professional to be unable to prevent acts like this.I support victim rights but victims of violent mentally ill people also have rights too.

    1. John Owens says:

      I don’t see any reason why it SHOULD cost the state so much money for a capital punishment case.

      1. Michael says:

        Janice, if you were “a relative of one of the victims [you] may think otherwise”? Is that justice or vengeance? Isn’t the issue one of the value of human life? The victim is human and that life had/has value. The perpetrator is also human, and his life has value.

  19. pops says:

    It is important to keep in mind that the Catholic Church exists within a complex of numerous divisions; there is the Roman Church, the American Church, the French Church, and so on. Although they share a common belief, each has its own way of dealing with issues, according with the customs and traditions of that particular culture. Birth control and abortion are the two most obvious.
    A Baptist church goer from Maine would hardly recognize a Baptist service in Alabama, but the fundamental doctrine would still be there.

  20. Rev James Gibb says:

    It is quite simple really, the punishment should fit the crime and using new technology there would be no doubt. I don’t see that it would be cheaper to keep someone incarcerated than to execute them and it is not relevant, the point is why should some serial killer destroy so many lives and then live out his with 3 squares a day, television and ever increasing rights due to Lilly livered liberals who have more than often never suffered anything as hideous as a murder in the family.
    Here in the UK if they brought hanging back I would be more than happy to drop the trapdoor myself.

    1. John Owens says:

      Yep.

  21. themarketminstrels says:

    Thou shalt not kill is very clear, explicit and unambiguous. Anything the pope says is only his opinion, as valuable as anyone’s, no more nor ess. If you kill someone, whether by accident, in a rage, or cold-bloodedly it is forgivable. Nothing is unforgivable because we do not cease to exist after death. This is what Jesus meant when he said “Father forgive them, they know not what they do”. They could not kill him. That’s what the resurrection was intended to demonstrate. Until you realize your immortality, that you are an eternal soul, a creation and manifestation of God, temporarily manifesting as a body, you come back in a body and have another lifetime to realize it; You are one with God always in all ways, however many lifetimes it takes to realize and experience that. There is no hell other than the ignorance of not realizing you are at one with God this very moment forever. Given all that, any form or murder from abortion to state-sponsored killing is a mistake to be corrected and forgiven until it is.corrected. This is what is happening.

    1. Michael Grace says:

      But not of it is “Thou shalt not Murder”, Do a google or yahoo search for “does the bible say thou shalt not kill or thou shalt not murder” here is one that gives very good information. https://www.gotquestions.org/you-shall-not-murder.html

    2. Tom says:

      themarketminstrel: thank you for a cogent summary of the nature of “life”…i agree…Peace…Tom

    3. John Matthews says:

      You are saying that reincarnation happens until you are at “one” with God? Of which God do you speak? Buddhist, Hindu, Bahai gods? You quote scripture in your first sentence. Believing in reincarnation is, as you state, your opinion, but reincarnation is not Biblical. Don’t quote scripture and reincarnation and think you are correct citing both concepts.

      1. Tom says:

        John…respectfully, there is no reason to say “in my opinion”…as long as one is saying what one believes/knows, that is enough…there is one God, and God does not subscribe to any particular religion…all religions are man-made, and products of ego…reincarnation does go on until we balance our karma…our ULC blog is for discussions and presentation of views; it is not necessary to convince anyone of anything; just to present views…”life” is not an argument or a political point of view; those are ego presentations…we can only model, not compel…Peace…Tom

        1. John Matthews says:

          To have a belief is not “fact” to anyone but yourself. You put forth a premise in print and to comment on someone else’s beliefs requires evidence of your premise. To state that you believe that reincarnation goes on until you balance your karma has no basis in quantitative or qualitative fact. When is this point reached and who determines your “balance?” Your belief is definitely your opinion. To state otherwise is to assume the rest of us believe as you do. The ULC blog is opinions; nothing else. I comment on others’ statements; also my opinion – nothing more and nothing less. But to quote different sources, including your opinion, makes me wonder wherein your “faith” lies. If it is the teachings of Christ, then so be it. If it is Buddha, again, so be it. But to mix the two is to call into question a basis for your belief system. Some believe that Jesus and Buddha are the same person in different phases of consciousness and reality. A little far-fetched, but okay. But one negates the other, in my opinion.

  22. John says:

    He is only a man and I do not agree with him .

  23. Fr. Omnius st Nihilius says:

    I do my best not to listen to a man in a dress. If his holiness wishes to abolish the death penalty, then he and everyone else who is against the death penalty should pay the taxes on keeping them. I don’t want my tax dollars to go to giving a criminal 3 hots and a cot, knowing that there are still Vietnam vets who need help, housing, a job and food.

    1. John Owens says:

      I concur

  24. Christian says:

    If a Nation can afford Prisons,
    no reason to kill anyone that can be locked up.

    If they are so horrifically violent they can not be caged – they should be ASKED what they would like society to do with them.

    If they would like to leave Life, they should be offered a peaceful and enjoyable way to reach the Escape they could not find in our world.

    If they want to stay Alive, what should they be doing for the rest of their lifetime ?

    Would they like to work ?
    Part time or Full time ?
    Small pay while in a prison, but more of a way to fill the time, cover some costs, maybe provide for theor children / parents, etc?

    If they have a Mythology they personally believe in, every opportunity should be allowed for them to listen, read, and watch the talks, music, prayers, and rituals of their mythology, as much as they can.

    DEATH PENALTY is based upon the Punishment concept – something that does not heal others.

    Also, LIFE itself is special, if you believe in it was created by a Diety for some purpose… even in a jail cell.

    To Discard Human Life, or ANY Animal or Plant Life, just because it no longer is wanted, is a form of greed.

    Old People, Unborn Children, wild forest creatures, the Earth’s Oceans, all need protection from pointless destruction.

    If a society does not have the Luxury of Prisons – they must work towards bettering life for all citizens as best they can.

    Poverty means no reasources available for fully functional working citizens, let alone to watch over prisoners.

    Pray for Success, peace and good health for all Living Spirits !

  25. Thomas Lightning Bolt says:

    Considering he is wanted for crimes against humanity and his involvement in an ongoing massive criminal conspiracy, I don’t care what he thinks or his opinions are! He is a criminal and a kingpin in an international child sex trafficking ring! The Common law courts off Canada tried to arrest him last month and will try again this month! The pope is a terrorist to children. all details can be found here at the following address… http://www.itccs.org

  26. Xarol says:

    Life is precious. Why should a person who takes life of another not be punished. Bible states eye for an eye. Leaving convicted in jail a bleed on resources and funds. Make a reasonable quick end to them like they did to another. Wait until a loved one has lost their life to anothers hand then you may find you feel like execution when convicted setves everyone and why would anyone want to put that person back on the street to harm again

  27. Ivonne says:

    As the good book says. ” An eye for an eye”

  28. Vito Corleone says:

    As leader of the largest and longest running criminal organization in world history it’s probably smart for the Pope to get out in front of this issue.

  29. Bill Fox says:

    The wages of sin is death. Eye for eye. Tooth for tooth, Life for life. The Pope isn’t using the Bible for his inspiration.

  30. Joe says:

    Anything that gives us an edge over the bad guys is good.
    The death penelty is often used as leverage to get a suspect to cooperate.
    Much like a gun in the right hands it can disarm the situation without being used.

  31. Michael Fullmer says:

    I’m sorry, but the death penalty is not being used efficiently. FAR to many appeals take far to long with executions. EVERY state should have capital punishment. IF a subject is caught red handed, and beyond a doubt, execution should take place immediately after the original guilty verdict. Killers of cops should die in a hail of police gun fire, or executed at the states earliest opportunity, provided they are 100% certiqan they did the killing.

  32. waytodave says:

    Anyone concerned with individual rights should come to terms with the fact authoritarians should not have power to execute citizens, ever. History demonstrates none are so merciless as the bureaucracy they serve.

  33. Robert Messmer says:

    I do not understand how any one can be ‘pro death’ towards innocent babies and ‘pro life’ to those guilty of murder, rape, torture.

  34. Secretary3rd says:

    The Pope does not run the USA. He might think he does, but it does not work that way and neither does any other religion. I have a solution to the Pope problem with America. The US put all of our people who are either will be hung or are having life sentences in the US sends then to the Pope. America has some pretty wack out killers who are in cell sthat should have been hung long ago. Now if the Pope is so concern about the fate of these people then he should accept them with warmth and smiles. I would think that most Pastors while they speak a good line are not willing to have these people in the same church or even in the same town as they are.
    Another way is to send a upkeep bill to the Pope the cost of housing these killers.
    3 choices. One is that the Pope accept these killers into Rome. Two the Catholic Church pays the housing bill for the upkeep of said killers. Three since life seems to mean little to the Pope the State hangs them.
    Be glad you do not fellow our religion our Entity is a real nasty if you cross Her.

  35. Minster Carlos Ruben gomes says:

    In the name of the father son and Holy Spirit. gods justice is better. The word of god is filled with words of hope and encouragement. Jesus Christ came to earth, died on the cross and rose again to make all things new and to offer hope for any situation We face.

    The word of god says in Matthew 6:33 seek first the kingdom of god and his Righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.

    My dear brothers and sister, take note of this everyone should be quick to listen slow to speak and slow to become angry

    We should all called to god and he will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know,

    I love the lord for he heard my voice he heard my cry for mercy Because he turned his ears to me I will call on him as long as I live

    God speaks how well are we listeing to his voice the word of god says in. John 10:27
    MY sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me.

    God never fails. We must pray for the holy spirirt to to guide us. We can develop a direct a personal relationship with him. The Holy Spirit is our personal guide and teacher in this life

    What better way to get answer then to hear from our Creator God bless us all

  36. Chaplain Bill says:

    If a man knows he will be executed for committing a crime and does it anyway is he not passing sentence on himself.The problem is that with our current laws the logical consequence does not follow the act, therefore the law is ineffective. Our constitution specifies a speedy trial and we all know these cases pass on for years. Make justice swift and then see if the crime rate falls.

    BTW I am not one that wants to pay to warehouse these animals who by their actions have devoided themselves of humanity.

  37. Reverend Reichard says:

    Amen, in the Bible the wrath of God is severe, harsh, and final. Should man’s punishment to man be any less than that of our Creator for atrocities to humanity. Would it have been acceptable to offer Nazi Germany more people to place in the camps and offer them more countries to occupy instead of fighting them to the death. I don’t think so! Go in peace.

    Read more at https://www.themonastery.org/blog/2018/08/pope-francis-declares-death-penalty-is-never-acceptable/#VA6pT4hWqM14o9kg.99

  38. T'Keren Valmaz says:

    First anyone who defines themselves as christian has any business defying the decrees of the Vatican. I am not christian and can thus deny his position having any meaning. But any one that adheres to christian biblical mythology shows themselves to not be true believers by denying the mandate of the messiah to hear the popes voice as his own.

    Seconds, statistics show the death penalty to in no way work as a means of stopping violent crime, it just encourages them to ramp up the violence after the first killing, knowing they can only be executed once they may as well try to go down setting a new record and becoming true crime history stars.

    Virtually every other civilized nation that has done away with the death penalty also focuses far more on rehabilitation early and to not try to lock up and push people down the path of career criminals.

    Once a person feels like they can never rejoin society they seek to sow chaos in the society they feel outside of.

    It begins with the troubled kids many of whom in our country end up incarcerated in kid jails for petty crimes where they face sexual abuse and begin to walk down the path which will set the pattern of criminal behavior for life.

    If we started requiring people to pass stringent tests to even have and raise kids, to keep those socially unfit from passing on their hate and abuse to the next generation that might begin to stem the tide and end the cycle.

    If we started to sterilize those that hurt kids, and abuse women to cut off the problem at the source we might see real reduction in abusive behaviors as few men who abuse the helpless would do so if the penalty was castration.

    1. John Owens says:

      Not all Christians accept the doctrine of papal infallibility, and many feel the pope tries to assume the position and authority of Christ, much like Satan tried to take the throne of the Most High. If he taught obedience to God’s commandments, he might be worth some reverence, but if he teaches contrary, then the true church, which keeps the commandments of God (not the pope) and has the testimony of Jesus Christ, (Rev 12) must disobey him. History shows us plainly that the papacy is not infallible. I’m just explaining our “defying the decrees of the Vatican”.

  39. Stephen Carter says:

    There are people that should never ever walk among us again. For them the death penalty should be mandatory. But Only if there is absolute proof of guilt. Not just some drivel lawyers have manipulated into pseudo truth

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