Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

PUNISHMENT, CAPITAL

Punishment by or involving death, inflicted by legitimate civil authority for crimes regarded as seriously harmful to society. The traditional doctrine of the Church is that capital punishment is not opposed to the divine law, nor is it required by this law as absolutely necessary. the grounds supporting this position are revelation, history, and reason. The Bible regularly attributes to civil authority the right to take the life of a criminal (Genesis 9:6; Exodus 21:22-25: Romans 13:4). Moreover, in all stages of civilization humanity has considered capital punishment in keeping with the moral law. And, as by now experience shows, to exclude capital punishment is to call into question the malice of even the most heinous crimes and thus expose, by implication, the lives of good citizens to the gravest danger.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Another Month Closer to God 7 hours ago
Links to the past July 30
Fetal tissues and vaccinations; are you part of the problem? July 30
The mystery of conversion, always deeply rooted in Divine mercy July 30
Vatican delegations ought to avoid the rhetoric of the world. July 30

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days