We have $162,395 to go in our Fall Campaign. Every penny is used to strengthen the Church. See details!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Archbishop Chaput: death penalty ‘should have no place in our public life’

Catholic World News - September 12, 2012

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia discussed capital punishment in his most recent weekly column.

“Both Scripture and Catholic tradition support the legitimacy of the death penalty under certain limited conditions,” he wrote. “But the Church has repeatedly called us to a higher road over the past five decades.”

“We don’t need to kill people to protect society or punish the guilty,” he added. “And we should never be eager to take anyone’s life. As a result, except in the most extreme circumstances, capital punishment cannot be justified. In developed countries like our own, it should have no place in our public life.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($162,395 to go):
$200,000.00 $37,604.72
81% 19%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: mgreen32234 - Sep. 13, 2012 11:13 AM ET USA

    I think the death penalty is society's way of throwing its hands up in the face of incomprehensible human evil. Sending the culprit to the Eternal Judge is surely as merciful as sending him off to the life-in-prison alternative.

  • Posted by: RamseyDonald2557 - Sep. 12, 2012 9:16 PM ET USA

    I agree with Chaput. God forgave and prospered murderers like King David (who served not one day in prison) and the mass-murderer and child-killer (his OWN children, incidentally) King Manasseh. Both men repented. Conservatives hate hearing these examples, it upsets our bloodlust. BUT. The alternative is prisons, demon-infested institutions filled with horrific, unspeakable violence, racism, blasphemy, male on male gang rapes (constantly), beatings beyond belief. Is death WORSE than this?

  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Sep. 12, 2012 6:44 PM ET USA

    But Archbishop, didn't a Vatican spokesman recently condemn some alleged slander against Islam without even mentioning the senseless slaughter of innocent human beings by militant Islamists? Let's focus on Middle Eastern incivility before worrying about it at home.

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

Recent Catholic Commentary

Free eBook: Pope Francis' Catechesis on the Family 20 hours ago
The headlines say Gov. Brown is Catholic. He says he's not sure what that means. 21 hours ago
Archbishop predicts Synod won't change Church teaching. Why am I not reassured? 21 hours ago
A different tone at this Synod? October 6
Church Fathers: St. Clement of Alexandria, Part I October 6

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
In Cuba, Pope emphasizes service to the vulnerable, praises thaw in US-Cuban relations CWN - September 21
Pope challenges America in speech to US Congress CWN - September 24
As Synod opens, Pope calls on Church to defend ‘unity and indissolubility’ of marriage bond CWN - October 5