Michael Bray

Author of A Time To Kill

Capital Punishment and the Pope

CACN, Spring, 1997

In concert with one of the fundamental laws of theological liberalism, the pope is fighting the death penalty.  He opposes capital punishment for people who commit capital crimes.  Three times in 1996, the pope sought to intercede in U.S. executions.  The latest beneficiary, Joseph O’Dell, was convicted of raping, sodomizing, and strangling one Helen Schartner.  The pope made appeals to Clinton and Governor George Allen.  He was joined in his petition by “Dead Man Walking” author Sister Helen Prejean and the Italian government.

 George Allen stood tough and was prepared to execute final temporal judgment (he’s 14 and 1 since he took charge in ‘94; we don’t know the conditions surrounding the sole clemency he granted).   But the U.S. Supreme Court, that fount of many a foul spirit, granted clemency to O’Dell (AP, Richmond, 18 December).

An AP report from 14 December said that the latest “official Roman Catholic teaching holds that capital punishment should be used only if it is absolutely necessary to protect society.”

Hmm. Does that come from the book of Second Delusions, chapter two?  Or is it just another profusion from pop theology that one would find at any number of leftist Protestant seminaries across the land where all books but the Scriptures are revered.  To point, John Paul said in “Evangelium Vitae” that such cases are “practically nonexistent.”  Indeed, he rejects the biblical justice of capital punishment for capital crimes.   His doctrine flies in the face of the Christian Church’s historical doctrine and practice.

The good news is that we can expect John Paul, the Italian government and Hollywood to come to Paul Hill’s aid.

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