Sunday, October 2, 2016

Fascinating Tap Dance

10/2/16 San Diego Jewish World points to VP candidate Kaine's problem:
WASHINGTON — Tim Kaine personally opposes the death penalty, the moral stand of a staunch Roman Catholic who regularly attends Mass and whose church believes executions to be wrong.
Yet as governor of Virginia, the Democratic vice presidential nominee allowed the execution of 11 men.
The death penalty is part of a political tightrope Kaine has walked for almost two decades, trying to balance his Catholic faith with policy positions that are at odds with the church's teachings. He also personally opposes abortion, for example, but supports the right of women to choose to have one.
Now, I can sort of understand this position.  It is a rather libertarian pro-life argument.  But the Catholic Church considers abortion to be  murder.  If Kaine purports to be a good Catholic, he is saying abortion is murder, but the state shouldn't interfere in murder.

Does anyone else find this strange?


Bruce McCullough said...

No, it is not strange at all. The reporter who wrote the article is obviously incompetent. Incompetence of the press is hardly news, nor is incompetence on this specific point.

Below is the text of a letter to the editor printed in the Washington Post 20 years ago.

Joan Biskupic [reporter who wrote an article in the Washington Post] asserts that Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, in voting to uphold the death penalty, have acted contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church in the same fashion as Justices William Brennan and Anthony Kennedy when they vote to uphold abortion {"Changing Faith," Aug. 4, Outlook}. Perusing the index of the Catechism of the Catholic Church leads to Section 2266 and the following text: The "traditional teaching of the Church has acknowledged as well-founded the right and duty of legitimate public authority to punish malefactors by means of penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime, not excluding, in cases of extreme gravity, the death penalty."

Catholic doctrine has been misrepresented and the integrity of Justices Scalia and Thomas impugned. If Biskupic, who covers the Supreme Court for your paper, cannot report accurately so simple and verifiable a matter as Catholic teaching on the death penalty, how much faith can you expect me to place in her reporting on matters so complex and unverifiable as to merit the attention of the Supreme Court?

-- B. D. McCullough

Clayton Cramer said...

It appears that 22266 has been amended since then. There is no longer any reference to death penalty.

Bruce McCullough said...

The death penalty reference has been moved.

2267 Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically nonexistent."68