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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 2:42 am 
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Yes, definitely. If a Catholic wishes to disagree with the CCC, s/he must provide a very good reason, and he can only disagree with that which is not already doctrinal teaching. For example, no Catholic could disagree with the CCC's teaching on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, the prohibition on contraception and abortion, or the transubstantiation of the Eucharist. But I think many Catholics view the authority of the CCC, as with the Pope himself, with very little respect. For example, I recently spoke to a Catholic about capital punishment who said that it is perfectly fine and in fact preferable, and that one justification for it is to save money. I found this contradictory to the dignity of the human person and in complete difference with the teachings of the CCC. But, according to him, since the CCC is not "infallible", he was under no obligation to follow it even as a guideline. While the CCC's teaching on things like capital punishment are somewhat open, as I said above, since it is not doctrinal, it should still be used as a guideline. I think that complete divergence from the teachings of the CCC is wrong. May I ask your opinion on this Master? And anyone else who would like to respond. :)


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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 10:04 am 
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alcun18,

You may find reading the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church helpful

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/ponti ... oc_en.html

(you can also purchase it in book form from amazon or any bookstore that will special order)

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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 11:09 pm 
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alcuin18 wrote:
Yes, definitely. If a Catholic wishes to disagree with the CCC, s/he must provide a very good reason, and he can only disagree with that which is not already doctrinal teaching. For example, no Catholic could disagree with the CCC's teaching on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, the prohibition on contraception and abortion, or the transubstantiation of the Eucharist. But I think many Catholics view the authority of the CCC, as with the Pope himself, with very little respect. For example, I recently spoke to a Catholic about capital punishment who said that it is perfectly fine and in fact preferable, and that one justification for it is to save money. I found this contradictory to the dignity of the human person and in complete difference with the teachings of the CCC. But, according to him, since the CCC is not "infallible", he was under no obligation to follow it even as a guideline. While the CCC's teaching on things like capital punishment are somewhat open, as I said above, since it is not doctrinal, it should still be used as a guideline. I think that complete divergence from the teachings of the CCC is wrong. May I ask your opinion on this Master? And anyone else who would like to respond. :)

Well "that it would save money" is a horrific reason to give.

The CCC teaching on this point contains two elements, one which is doctrinal (even if there are new elements that are not of the same authority*) and the other which is a prudential judgment. Assuming the judgment that the "necessity" of it is virtually nonexistent today is true, it is wholly conceivable that the world can change such that that would no longer be true.

If someone carefully and with respect disagrees about the particular application of the death penalty, that is allowable, provided that in so doing he does not reject the fundamental principles of the teaching.

Then Cardinal Ratzinger stated

Quote:
Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.


One should avoid disregarding the opinion on its application, as if the pope only mattered when he spoke binding doctrine.


*Whether John Paul II added anything to the doctrine in his teaching, or whether what he said can be completely understood within the confines of traditional teaching is a disputed point. Respectable theologians argue about whether he added a new condition for the justness of capital punishment, or whether the "safety of society" can be understood more broadly to encompass traditional reasons. Considering that the main, not sole, end of punishment is retributive justice and this is at least the primary basis any use of capital punishment must be based on, this is not a small point. Whether or not it is the only means that will stop someone, you cannot kill him because he is a serial shoplifter who somehow (hypothetically) cannot be stopped in another way.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 12:55 am 
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Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
Considering that the main, not sole, end of punishment is retributive justice and this is at least the primary basis any use of capital punishment must be based on, this is not a small point.


Does it absolutely follow that if the primary end of punishment is retributive justice then the primary end of Capital Punishment is retributive justice? I don't accept that.

It would be like saying that because the primary end of marriage is procreation then the primary end of conjugals would be procreation. That isn't the case either.

Conjugal union has a two-fold end. "the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple's spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family."

Likewise, it doesn't explicity follow that the two-fold end of capital punishment, that being, justice and the safety of society, can be raised above each other as the primary end.

We can't apply the death penalty to someone who is a threat to the safety of society but hasn't yet done anything and likewise we can't kill someone when the safety of society can be achieved by other means of confinement. The CCC makes a very good case for the two ends being inextricably linked.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 1:02 am 
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ellietrish wrote:
Does it absolutely follow that if the primary end of punishment is retributive justice then the primary end of Capital Punishment is retributive justice? I don't accept that.



Of course it does, to suggest otherwise is special pleading...


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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 2:50 am 
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kage_ar wrote:
alcun18,

You may find reading the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church helpful

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/ponti ... oc_en.html

(you can also purchase it in book form from amazon or any bookstore that will special order)


Thank you very much, that is quite interesting.

And thank you to those who responded to my issue of the death penalty.

May I ask how we can tell what in the Catechism is a binding doctrinal statement, as with abortion and euthanasia, and what is "prudential judgment", as with capital punishment and war?


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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 5:34 am 
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alcuin18 wrote:
kage_ar wrote:
alcun18,

You may find reading the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church helpful

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/ponti ... oc_en.html

(you can also purchase it in book form from amazon or any bookstore that will special order)


Thank you very much, that is quite interesting.

And thank you to those who responded to my issue of the death penalty.

May I ask how we can tell what in the Catechism is a binding doctrinal statement, as with abortion and euthanasia, and what is "prudential judgment", as with capital punishment and war?


alcuin, I'm going to be censored here... but you have no real worries in trusting the Catechism. The Catechism is a book that is constantly under revision because it is meant to speak to the people of it's time, the everlasting truths of Jesus through His disciples, through His Church and through the Holy Spirit. From age to age, the audience of His words is unique, facing unique trials in an evolving world.

You are safe to accept everything in the Catechism as authentic Church teaching. If something strikes you as difficult to accept, then bring that to your confessor or sponsor or here, but you don't need to go through the book with a highlighter pen beforehand or anything, marking out the necessaries and the optionals. The Catechism is a sound reference point for your faith and points you to nothing that could lead you off course.

This is a very important document for our time. Popes John Paul and Benedict make no bones about its importance and relevance to the people of today.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 6:14 am 
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No one has said it's not authentic. What I have said is that it's not necessarily definitive.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 6:15 am 
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Ellie you are either baiting the mods/admin or you are playing the martyr....either way stop doing it if you want to remain in this part of the board.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 7:20 am 
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Apologies, I hadn't noted what forum it was in.

I thought this was a good article on the history of Catechesis (of which the Catechism is). "As unto little ones in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not meat; for you were not able as yet" (1 Corinthians 3:2)

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05075b.htm


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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 9:29 am 
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ellie, just curious...did you mean to say censored or censured :scratch:

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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 10:06 am 
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She said what she meant FS, stay out of it.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 1:00 pm 
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alcuin18 wrote:
kage_ar wrote:
alcun18,

You may find reading the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church helpful

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/ponti ... oc_en.html

(you can also purchase it in book form from amazon or any bookstore that will special order)


Thank you very much, that is quite interesting.

And thank you to those who responded to my issue of the death penalty.

May I ask how we can tell what in the Catechism is a binding doctrinal statement, as with abortion and euthanasia, and what is "prudential judgment", as with capital punishment and war?


Follow the footnotes in the CCC, that will point you to the original documents - you can always read those online at vatican.va

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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 1:06 pm 
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alcuin18 wrote:
kage_ar wrote:
alcun18,

You may find reading the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church helpful

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/ponti ... oc_en.html

(you can also purchase it in book form from amazon or any bookstore that will special order)


Thank you very much, that is quite interesting.

And thank you to those who responded to my issue of the death penalty.

May I ask how we can tell what in the Catechism is a binding doctrinal statement, as with abortion and euthanasia, and what is "prudential judgment", as with capital punishment and war?



Prudential judgement means how a particular teaching is applied at a given place and time...teachings do not change, but the way that a teaching is applied varies from one situation to the next....justice and mercy are both virtues....however there is a degree of conflict between them....if you have a given prisoner accused of something, does he deserve mercy or justice? Depends on the situation....sometimes it is better to pardon the prisoner, other times it is better to execute him....the teaching is the same in both cases but the application varies...that is prudential judgment...


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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 3:56 pm 
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Malleus Haereticorum wrote:
alcuin18 wrote:
Yes, definitely. If a Catholic wishes to disagree with the CCC, s/he must provide a very good reason, and he can only disagree with that which is not already doctrinal teaching. For example, no Catholic could disagree with the CCC's teaching on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, the prohibition on contraception and abortion, or the transubstantiation of the Eucharist. But I think many Catholics view the authority of the CCC, as with the Pope himself, with very little respect. For example, I recently spoke to a Catholic about capital punishment who said that it is perfectly fine and in fact preferable, and that one justification for it is to save money. I found this contradictory to the dignity of the human person and in complete difference with the teachings of the CCC. But, according to him, since the CCC is not "infallible", he was under no obligation to follow it even as a guideline. While the CCC's teaching on things like capital punishment are somewhat open, as I said above, since it is not doctrinal, it should still be used as a guideline. I think that complete divergence from the teachings of the CCC is wrong. May I ask your opinion on this Master? And anyone else who would like to respond. :)

Well "that it would save money" is a horrific reason to give.

The CCC teaching on this point contains two elements, one which is doctrinal (even if there are new elements that are not of the same authority*) and the other which is a prudential judgment. Assuming the judgment that the "necessity" of it is virtually nonexistent today is true, it is wholly conceivable that the world can change such that that would no longer be true.

If someone carefully and with respect disagrees about the particular application of the death penalty, that is allowable, provided that in so doing he does not reject the fundamental principles of the teaching.

Then Cardinal Ratzinger stated

Quote:
Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.


One should avoid disregarding the opinion on its application, as if the pope only mattered when he spoke binding doctrine.


*Whether John Paul II added anything to the doctrine in his teaching, or whether what he said can be completely understood within the confines of traditional teaching is a disputed point. Respectable theologians argue about whether he added a new condition for the justness of capital punishment, or whether the "safety of society" can be understood more broadly to encompass traditional reasons. Considering that the main, not sole, end of punishment is retributive justice and this is at least the primary basis any use of capital punishment must be based on, this is not a small point. Whether or not it is the only means that will stop someone, you cannot kill him because he is a serial shoplifter who somehow (hypothetically) cannot be stopped in another way.


It didn't help that the CCC talks about how expiation is a legitimate reason to use capital punishment then changes the context to talk about the safety of society. It's a very jarring transition.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 2:11 pm 
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HalJordan wrote:
It didn't help that the CCC talks about how expiation is a legitimate reason to use capital punishment then changes the context to talk about the safety of society. It's a very jarring transition.


HalJordan, which are the particular sentences that say that expiation is a legitimate reason to use capital punishment. This seems to be where the confusion lies for people because I can't pull that out of the text in the way you've said it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 2:34 pm 
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ellietrish wrote:
HalJordan wrote:
It didn't help that the CCC talks about how expiation is a legitimate reason to use capital punishment then changes the context to talk about the safety of society. It's a very jarring transition.


HalJordan, which are the particular sentences that say that expiation is a legitimate reason to use capital punishment. This seems to be where the confusion lies for people because I can't pull that out of the text in the way you've said it.


Expiation is the purpose of ALL punishment, demanding proof that one specific form of punishment serves that purpose is ridiculous, it's like if you've been told that dollar bills are legal tender in the United States and responding 'but what about $5 dollar bills? You didn't say anything about $5 bills.'


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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 2:46 pm 
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Your example doesn't represent the issue though. Capital punishment is a dispensation to the law. On the condition that the safety of society isn't guaranteed by the prison system, then and only then is there recourse to capital punishment. To use your example if you're told dollar bills are legal tender but you say 'what about eggs? My father paid for his groceries with eggs in the old days?"... that would be more fitting of the nature of a dispensation.


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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 4:01 pm 
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HalJordan wrote:
It didn't help that the CCC talks about how expiation is a legitimate reason to use capital punishment then changes the context to talk about the safety of society. It's a very jarring transition.

IIRC, what the CCC says is that expiation is the primary purpose of punishment. It does not say that expiation is a legitimate reason to use capital punishment. So yes, it is jarring, but I'm not sure it's a translation issue. For all I know it is jarring in the Latin text or in the original French.

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 Post subject: Re: The Dogma of the Church
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 4:02 pm 
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ellietrish wrote:
Your example doesn't represent the issue though. Capital punishment is a dispensation to the law. On the condition that the safety of society isn't guaranteed by the prison system, then and only then is there recourse to capital punishment.

The "only then" part of what you wrote above is the crux of the debate. That is far from settled.

I'm not sure what you mean by "dispensation."

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