17 September 2019 | St. Mark the Evangelist
Yesterday (16 Sept), LifeSiteNews published an article regarding Francis's statements on life sentences. He gave a speech on Saturday past, in which he said this:
Dear brothers and sisters, to revive this flame is the duty of all. It is up to every society to feed it, to ensure that punishment does not compromise the right to hope, that prospects of reconciliation and reintegration are guaranteed. While remedying the mistakes of the past, we cannot erase hope in the future. Life imprisonment is not the solution to problems, but a problem to be solved. Because if hope is locked up, there is no future for society. Never deprive anyone of the right to start over! You, dear brothers and sisters, with your work and your service are witnesses of this right: the right to hope, the right to start anew.
In an article written by Dr. Edward Feser, linked to by LifeSite, the said Dr. Feser takes Francis' opposition to the death penalty and life sentences and applies them to the Nuremberg Trials. At those Trials, countless Nazi criminals were either sentenced to death or given life imprisonment. In the words of Dr. Feser:
Consider the Nuremberg trials, at which many Nazi war criminals were sentenced to death or life imprisonment. Pope Francis’s view would imply that all of these sentences were unjust! Indeed, Pope Francis’s position seems to entail that, had Hitler survived the war, it would have been wrong to sentence him to more than about twenty years in prison! For Hitler was in his fifties when he died, so that if he had been sentenced to more than that, he could not “plan a future in freedom” – as a greengrocer or crossing guard, perhaps. Pope Francis’s views imply that the Nuremberg judges should have been at least open to the possibility of letting Hitler off with such a light sentence and letting him return to a normal life – despite being guilty of the Holocaust and of fomenting World War II!
We see plain and clear the illogical, and very dangerous, position of Francis; a position that would evidently destroy society if realised in the political arena. Can one imagine countless criminals being set free? Is Francis that ignorant of human nature and how bad it is due to Original Sin and concupiscence? Would he actually agree that the sentences handed down upon the Nazis at Nuremberg were unjust? Sadly, only two people know the answer to that: Francis and God.
Yet, besides all that, Dr. Feser takes time to go through three questions on Francis and the death penalty, which you can read in the article. However, Dr. Feser doesn't seem aware of a very sobering fact: that Francis does hold that the death penalty is intrinsically contrary to the Gospel.
In the recent "change" to the Catechism's teaching on the death penalty, the reference given below the new paragraph directs us to a speech given by Francis in Oct. 2017 to the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation. In it he makes this statement:
It is per se contrary to the Gospel, because it entails the willful suppression of a human life that never ceases to be sacred in the eyes of its Creator and of which – ultimately – only God is the true judge and guarantor.
First: Francis says the death penalty is "per se contrary to the Gospel". Per se is Latin for "in and of itself; intrinsically". So he clearly says that the death penalty is intrinsically opposed to the Gospel. Yet how can this be when Christ Himself willed to be crucified, which was a capital punishment for the most wicked of men under Roman law? If such a punishment were intrinsically opposed to His Gospel, then Christ would not have willed to be handed over to the Cross. And, what is more, Francis is calling the very Act of Salvation and the very Instrument of Redemption, intrinsically opposed to the Gospel! Again, note the illogical reasoning here.
Second: Note that Francis tries to claim that because God is the true judge of men no one else can judge, and certainly not put to death. Again, this is illogical and fallacious. Whilst God is the true judge of men's salvation and of their souls, He is not the only judge of men's actions, as He has willed that States be so ordered that evil men can be put to death under right and just laws, stemming from Natural, Moral and Divine Laws. Indeed, throughout the Scriptures, we are repeated shown how just it is to put wicked men to death, with Psalm 100 being sung in the Divine Office, in which King David says under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land: that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord.
In connection, St. Paul devotes a whole chapter in his Epistle to the Romans on how we are to obey the governing authorities, pointing out that such authorities are ordained of God (not of men as many today falsely think), during the first four verses of which he says thus:
Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God. Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God. And they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation. For princes are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good: and thou shalt have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to thee, for good. But if thou do that which is evil, fear: for he beareth not the sword in vain. For he is God's minister: an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil. [Douay-Rheims; Emphasis mine]
The Apostle plainly states that princes (or rulers) are God's ministers, and thus have the right to impose the death penalty because they are executing the very Justice of God. Francis' position, and those of his current, deny that rulers have the right to impose such a penalty, and thus deny God His rights over men. It is, in truth, a very subtle way of furthering the removal of the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ from society, and making it a more anthropocentric society, where man is king. All Freemasonic doctrine, from start to finish.
If we turn to the pages of the Old Testament, we find in chapter 4 of Genesis how Cain was afraid that people (his own family in fact) would kill him for murdering Abel, a proportional punishment for his crime. Thus, within about 150 years since the Creation, it was already the norm to put to death men of wicked character. And note, there is no condemnation of such putting to death of men by God. Rather, He promises to preserve Cain from it by an unnamed mark.
Next, we have the Deluge itself, which was God's capital punishment on all of humanity for its evil ways. After which, when Noe and his family were to re-establish human society on earth, God established amongst men the death penalty:
Whosoever shall shed man's blood, his blood shall be shed: for man was made to the image of God. [Genesis 9:6]
Note what the Lord says. He says that a murderer must be put to death because he murdered a person who was made to the image of God. Thus, the death penalty was imposed not "by a mentality more legalistic than Christian", as Francis says, but because men were reminded by God the inherent dignity of themselves as being made in the very image of the Most High. The death penalty is thus not a human invention, but a Divine one, being imposed by the Supreme Judge and Sovereign. As Francis says above, God is the true Judge of men, and if He wills that the death penalty is a proper means of punishing the wicked, then how can Francis say such a judgment of God is wrong?
We could thus pass easily from one case to another, proving the fecundity of the death penalty and its approbation and imposition by God Himself. But, I think my reader understands what I am conveying. I could also reprint here the writings of the Fathers and of St. Thomas Aquinas and others on the death penalty, but suffice it to say that they all approved of it and considered it as necessary to a just and ordered society. Notice what happened when we dispensed with the death penalty: utter lack of justice, and even a perversion of justice.
Third: Francis statements denotes that he thinks that the death penalty is equal to murder, for he uses the phrase "wilful suppression" which sounds very much similar to wilful murder. Knowing Francis and his evident ignorance on many subjects, it wouldn't be surprising to me if he did actually think that the use of the death penalty was equal to wilful murder. By the way, Francis' comments on this subject indicate that he thinks that criminals go through some magical transformation in prison, and thus when they come out they are completely changed and thus can be re-inserted into society, very much like when bishops think that a few months in a medical centre will turn homo-predator priests into darling angels who can be given a new assignment in the Church. It is clear Francis has a very skewed view of human nature.
In fine, the changes made to the Catechism are by no means binding on anyone, since they are diametrically opposed to both Scripture and Tradition. The Church's true teaching can never change, regardless of whether men try to change it or shield it from the Faithful by crafty means. It is important in these days of suffering and darkness for the Faithful to know the Faith more intimately than ever, and to pray that God bless them with memories capable of retaining what they have learnt, since the Enemy will move to have all receptacles of Catholic teaching purged. As King Xerxes of Persia, in the film 300, vowed to have the name of King Leonidas of Sparta purged from the histories and even have men's tongues cut out for even mentioning the Spartan king, so the Enemy will have the Catholic name purged, and men's tongues cut out who dare mention it.
Today we are seeing the beginnings of that purge, both within and without the Church. Have you the strength to endure what may come?
Feast of St. Robert Bellarmine.
St. Robert, pray for the Church and for us!