The Pope, the Death Penalty, and Defending All Human Life

(Photo Rey Floers (Middle) Speaking on Univision

Rey Flores

Like many active traditional Catholics today, I too have been somewhat concerned about Pope Francis’ overall modernist-friendly agenda; but who am I to judge? The whole thing with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI “retiring” still seems a little fishy to me, but like I’ve told many Francis-bashers and I’m telling you again today, the Holy Spirit knows better than I. Once more; who am I to judge?

Much has been made out of Pope Francis’ recent position on capital punishment. The death penalty has been a point of contention in our entire society, but especially within the Catholic Church.

Here is the new revision of number 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the death penalty – Rescriptum “ex Audentia SS.mi”, 02.08.2018

The Supreme Pontiff Francis, in the audience granted on 11 May 2018 to the undersigned Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has approved the following new draft of no. 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, arranging for it to be translated into various languages and inserted in all the editions of the aforementioned Catechism.

The death penalty – CCC 2267. Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.

Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.

Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”, [1] and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.

As expected, many in the fake news media are all of a sudden lauding Pope Francis again. I like what one person recently commented on Facebook, “if CNN is singing the praised of Pope Francis, then it can’t be good.”

Like the news fakers, the whole parade of lefty “catholics” have also been heralding this latest announcement from the Vatican as a way to further their own modernist agendas.

Former USCCB head of Peace and Justice John Carr, now brainwashing students as director of Georgetown University’s Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life recently told the Washington Post “The death penalty in the United States probably will not come to an end through an act of Congress or a Supreme Court decision. It will essentially fade away as prosecutors don’t ask for it, juries don’t recommend it, and the rest of us don’t support it.” You don’t speak for all of us, John.

Sister Helen Prejean has also taken this latest development to further her cause to end the death penalty, particularly targeting the traditional Catholic and ardent pro-life Nebraska Governor Pete

Ricketts. In 2015, Ricketts vetoed a state bill attempting to abolish the death penalty, which was then was over-ridden by the state legislature, but Ricketts later successfully won a voter referendum to reinstate the death penalty in that state. (Editors note: An update will be needed as Nebraska plans to execute Cary Dean Moore on Tuesday, August 14)

Even the German pharmaceutical company who makes Fentanyl, the drug which Nebraska will use in it’s first execution in 21 years, failed to stop Governor Ricketts and the state of Nebraska from using its lethal drug to kill convicted murderer Cary Dean Moore. The irony is how this pharmaceutical company all of a sudden grew a conscience, yet they are legal drug pushers killing people every single day with their opioid poison. Most famously, autopsies for both late pop stars Prince and Tom Petty found lethal doses of Fentanyl in their system.

According to the Pew Research Center, 54 percent of Americans of all stripes approve of the death penalty. Within the Church in America, 53 percent of Catholics surveyed support it as well. Sadly, 48 percent of American Catholics also support abortion. We don’t even want to know just how many Catholics are using contraception.

Say what you will about Pope Francis, his latest actions addressing the Church’s stance on capital punishment, whatever. What we have here is a golden opportunity to further advance our absolute stance on defending all human life.

Whether we’re talking about abortion, abortion-inducing drugs, euthanasia, assisted suicide, those who desire to abolish the death penalty must also be ready to abolish any method that ends the life of any human being at any stage of development, from his or her very moment of creation.

Abortion, abortion-inducing drugs, euthanasia, and assisted suicide in my book are no less “death sentences” than the death penalty itself. The difference is that those who suffer these other “death sentences” committed no crime whatsoever, making them more deserving of life than someone who in many cases already handed someone else their death sentence through homicide.

What sense does it make for people to protest the death penalty on one hand, while blabbering on and on about a woman’s “right to choose”? Choose what? The undisputable choice they are talking about is either the life or death of a human being, nothing more, nothing less.

Let us use this latest revision of Catholic teaching to argue even more definitively and authoritatively that every single human being deserves a chance not only to live, but to fulfill God’s plan, not ours.

Rey Flores is a Catholic freelance writer who writes opinion and book and movie reviews for various publications. Contact Rey at