Category: Catechism of the Catholic Church

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The Death Penalty, Doctrine or Personal Opinion?

I’ve seen a lot of confusion in the past year about the Church’s new teaching on the death penalty that was issued last summer when Pope Francis changed paragraph 2267 of the Catechism. One of the key misconceptions I’ve heard is that this new teaching is simply the prudential opinion of the pope and therefore nothing has actually changed and Catholics are free to respectfully disagree. However, I think an attentive reading of the new...

Dr. Peters’ deer & hunter: death penalty & the inversion of roles

In June 17th, Cardinal Dolan posted the following on Twitter: Link: https://twitter.com/CardinalDolan/status/1140621061211529217 This tweet (as accurate as it is) prompted a wild discussion in social media, since there are many Catholics who are unwilling to assent to the recent Catechetical revision on the Death Penalty, from which this tweet flows. In this context, Dr. Edward Peters has chimed in with this article, where he claims the Cardinal’s tweet to be ill-advised, because it might contradict...

We do not Possess the Truth: How the Church Changes Her Teachings

“We must move toward an idea of truth that is evermore inclusive, less restrictive; at least, if we are thinking of the truth of God and not some human truth, however solid it may appear to us. The truth of God is inexhaustible; it is an ocean of which we can hardly see the shore. It is something that we are beginning to discover in these times: not to make us slaves to an almost...

Death Penalty – continuity or hardness of heart?

“All of this shows that the new formulation of number 2267 of the Catechism expresses an authentic development of doctrine that is not in contradiction with the prior teachings of the Magisterium. These teachings, in fact, can be explained in the light of the primary responsibility of the public authority to protect the common good in a social context in which the penal sanctions were understood differently, and had developed in an environment in which it was...

Modern Pharisees and the Abuse of Freedom

There’s an image that I would like to use as a framework for this article. Imagine the moral life as a garden, an oasis surrounded by a wasteland. We, the persons in that garden, have everything that will make us truly happy, yet we all have this disordered desire to go out into the wasteland. So God set up a fence around the garden, a clear barrier between life and death so that we would...