EWTN Catholic Q&A
death penalty response
Question from L. E. Sagenbrecht on 08-14-2017:

Thank you for your response, however, I respectfully disagree. I can't believe Jesus would ever be okay with taking another's life, no matter what she/he might have done. Also, though not ex cathedra, I prefer to believe our seated pontiff rather than a news anchor.

I have a Master's degree in Theology. I do know what I am talking about.

Thank you,

L.E. Sagenbrecht

Answer by Judie Brown on 08-26-2017:

Dear LE

Then you will be aware of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the teaching of the Church on this matter which is not debatable.

The Catechism states: 2267 Assuming 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. If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically non-existent."