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September 15 @ 8:45 am
The Death Penalty and The Catholic Church in America
Spirituality Among Men (SAM) kicks off another season at SJC with a discussion on the death penalty. Men of the parish are invited to gather to discuss this important topic on Saturday, September 15, at 8:45AM in the Parish Center.
On Aug. 2, 2018, Pope Francis ordered a change to the catechism of the Catholic Church, altering existing language to read “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.” It vows that the church will work “with determination for its abolition worldwide.”
Although Catholics have been generally opposed to the death penalty for some time – St. John Paul II updated the catechism in 1997 with stronger language criticizing capital punishment – Francis’ change clarifies that the church fully opposes the act. As Cardinal Luis Ladaria stated when announcing the change, “The new text, following in the footsteps of the teaching of John Paul II in ‘Evangelium Vitae,’ affirms that ending the life of a criminal as punishment for a crime is inadmissible because it attacks the dignity of the person, a dignity that is not lost even after having committed the most serious crimes.”
The United States remains the largest and one of only a few Christian countries in the world where the death penalty is still legal. While executions have been on the decline since 1999 when 98 persons were executed in the US, already 18 people have been executed to date in 2018.
As American Catholics, what does the change in Church teaching mean to our personal spirituality, to our identity as both Catholic and American, and to what moral decisions we must make in our voting decisions and political engagement to abolish the practice in our country and around the world?
Where do you stand on this important issue? Come to listen, come to share, come to explore your own views…