For more than 2000 years, there has been Catholic/Christian New Testament support for the death penalty, from Popes, Saints, Doctors and Fathers of the Church, church leadership, biblical scholars and theologians that, in breadth and depth, overwhelms any teachings to the contrary, particularly those wrongly dependent upon secular concerns such as defense of society and the poor standards of criminal justice systems in protecting the innocent.
The Death Penalty: Mercy, Expiation, Redemption & Salvation
Jesus and the Death Penalty
"All interpretations, contrary to the biblical support of capital punishment, are false. Interpreters ought to listen to the Bible’s own agenda, rather than to squeeze from it implications for their own agenda. As the ancient rabbis taught, “Do not seek to be more righteous than your Creator.” (Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7.33.). Part of Synopsis of Professor Lloyd R. Bailey’s book Capital Punishment: What the Bible Says, Abingdon Press, 1987.
Saint (& Pope) Pius V, "The just use of (executions), far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this (Fifth) Commandment which prohibits murder." "The Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent" (1566).
Pope Pius XII: "When it is a question of the execution of a man condemned to death it is then reserved to the public power to deprive the condemned of the benefit of life, in expiation of his fault, when already, by his fault, he has dispossessed himself of the right to live." 9/14/52.
"Moral/ethical Death Penalty Support: Modern Catholic Scholars"
Archbishop Charles Chaput:
“Both Scripture and long Christian tradition acknowledge the legitimacy of capital punishment . . . " "The Church cannot repudiate (the death penalty) without repudiating her own identity."
"Archbishop Chaput clarifies Church’s stance on death penalty", CNA, Catholic News Agency, Oct 18, 2005. Chaput was then archbishop of Denver, now of Philadelphia
"The same divine law which forbids the killing of a human being allows certain exceptions. Since the agent of authority is but a sword in the hand, and is not responsible for the killing, it is in no way contrary to the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’, for the representative of the State’s authority to put criminals to death, according to the Law or the rule of rational justice." St. Augustine, The City of God, Book 1, Chapter 21.
Christianity and the death penalty.
"The rejection of capital punishment is not to be dignified as a ‘higher Christian way’ that enthrones the ethics of Jesus. The argument that Jesus as the incarnation of divine love cancels the appropriateness of capital punishment in the New Testament era has little to commend it. Nowhere does the Bible repudiate capital punishment for premeditated murder; not only is the death penalty for deliberate killing of a fellow human being permitted, but it is approved and encouraged, and for any government that attaches at least as much value to the life of an innocent victim as to a deliberate murderer, it is ethically imperative." Dr. Carl F. H. Henry, Twilight Of A Great Civilization, Crossway, 1988, p 70,72.
Catholic and other Christian References: Support for the Death Penalty,
"It is because humans are created in the image of God that capital punishment for premeditated murder was a perpetual obligation. The full range of biblical data weighs in its favor. This is the one crime in the Bible for which no restitution was possible (Numbers 35:31,33). The Noahic covenant recorded in Genesis 9 ("Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed. "Gen 9:6) antedates Israel and the Mosaic code; it transcends Old Testament Law, per se, and mirrors ethical legislation that is binding for all cultures and eras. The sanctity of human life is rooted in the universal creation ethic and thus retains its force in society. The Christian community is called upon to articulate standards of biblical justice, even when this may be unpopular. Capital justice is part of that non-negotiable standard. Society should execute capital offenders to balance the scales of moral judgement." From "Capital Punishment: A Personal Statement", by Charles W. Colson., a former opponent. He is spiritual advisor and friend to numerous death row inmates and the Founder of Prison Fellowship, the largest Christian ministry serving incarcerated prisoners.
Pro Life: The Death Penalty
" . . . (it) is symptomatic of a society that can garner more support to spare the guilty than to save the innocent."
"The crowd still wants Barrabas."
Categorical Pardon: On the Argument for Abolishing Capital Punishment, J. Budziszewski, 16 Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy 43 (2002).
" . . . the decree of Genesis 9:5-6 is equally enduring and cannot be separated from the other pledges and instructions of its immediate context, Genesis 8:20-9:17; . . . that is true unless specific Biblical authority can be cited for the deletion, of which there appears to be none. It seems strange that any opponents of capital punishment who professes to recognize the authority of the Bible either overlook or disregard the divine decree in this covenant with Noah; . . . capital punishment should be recognized . . . as the divinely instituted penalty for murder; The basis of this decree . . . is as enduring as God; . . . murder not only deprives a man of a portion of his earthly life . . . it is a further sin against him as a creature made in the image of God and against God Himself whose image the murderer does not respect." (p. 111-113), Quaker scholar Dr. Gervas A. Carey. A Professor of Bible and past President of George Fox College, "A Bible Study", from Essays on the Death Penalty, T. Robert Ingram, ed., St. Thomas Press, Houston, 1963, 1992.
The Death Penalty: Fair & Just
Pre Constantine Death Penalty Support
"The Death Penalty: Neither Hatred nor Revenge"
"The Death Penalty: Not a Human Rights Violation"
Catholicism, Death Penalty and Abortion
Is Execution Closure? Of Course
95% of Murder Victim's Family Members Support Death Penalty
The Woman Caught in Adultery, the Death Penalty & John 8:2-11
Is There a Biblical Requirement for Two Eyewitnesses for Criminal Prosecution
The Innocent Frauds: Standard Anti Death Penalty Strategy
Murder Victims' Families Against The Death Penalty:
More Hurt For Victims Families
Victim's Voices - These are the murder victims
Sister Helen Prejean: Does Truth Matter?
Quakers & The Death Penalty
"The DeLuna Deception: At the Death House Door" Can Rev. Carroll Pickett be trusted?"