Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Answer Provided

It's been a month since we posted the following queries:

Consider the following statements:

1. Outside of the Church, there is no salvation. 
2. All the gods of the Gentiles are devils. 
3. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. 
4. Homosexual activity is an abomination before God. 
5. God punishes sin in both the temporal and spiritual arenas. 
6. The death penalty is an illicit form of punishment and should be abolished. 
7. Union between Church and State is the most ideal form of government. 
8. Missing Mass is a mortal sin and renders a soul worthy of hell. 
9. The Bible is inerrant. 
10. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the most important event on the planet.

Which of these items has the least amount of support from the Magisterium?

Which of these items would most Catholics most readily agree with?

While we got a couple of comments on this, the email responses have been most interesting.

It's quite clear that #6 has the least amount of support from the Magisterium. All the other statements are either direct quotes from Scripture or dogmatic teachings. The anti-death penalty movement is of very recent vintage and its licity is attested to by Scripture and Tradition. That some popes, in response to the culture of death, have called for restrictions on its use is not even close to the weight of the other propositions.

However, it seems that #6 is also the proposition that has the most agreement among the layfolk. For commenters only, when was the last time you heard a homily based on the other 9 statements? How does that compare with the number of times you've heard about #6?

Comments for posting only this time, please.


bill bannon said...

The last three Popes mean well but they assume from heresay that executions don't deter future murders. Executions deter 3 to 18 murders each according to Joanna M. Shepherd and her fellow economist scholars who did regression analysis studies on the matter. When the Supreme Court resumed allowing executions in 1976, murder rates when down. She gives the history of the conflicting studies here:

BONIFACE said...

I'm not sure what you mean...the statement "the death penalty is illicit and should be abolished" would be what the Magisterium is MOST likely to agree with off that list, not least.

Throwback said...

Deterrence really shouldn't be part of the equation. The issue is justice.

I'm not sure that there's much from the formal teaching authority of the Church that sanctions the abolition of capital punishment or that it is per se illicit. Even the Catechism gives examples of it being ok (albeit not all the examples that exist).

What did you have in mind?

bill bannon said...

If deterrence is not an issue, then we don't care about saving future victims. As Cardinal Avery Dulles noted, God gave over 30 death penalties in the to gentiles. He must have thought Gen.9:5-6 was both justice and deterrence and He repeated it in Rom.13:4.

Throwback said...

Deterrence is entirely unknown, though. Some cases of capital punishment may have a deterrent effect. Others may not. We don't even know if it's in the majority of cases.

The effect of justice is a given.