Prayer for the Repeal of Executions / Oración Para La Revocación de Ejecuciones

Terry Hankins was executed on June 2 by the people of Texas in revenge for the 2001 slayings of his stepson, Kevin Galley, 12, and stepdaughter, Ashley Mason, 11. Let us pray in memory of Kevin Galley and Ashley Mason, in compassion for their family, and on behalf of all victims of violence. Let us pray also for Terry Hankins, for his family and for his executioners.

O God, you are not a violent God. You ask that we imitate your Way. Please take all violence from our hearts so that we stop our violent acts. We struggle, God! We need your help! Amen.
[by Fr. Dennis O’Mara]
To protest the death penalty in Texas:
(1) Phone Governor Perry (800) 252-9600 (see Talking Points, below) Send Governor Perry a fax at
(512) 463-1849
(2) Send Governor Perry an e-mail at:http:// http://www.tcadp.org/index.php?page=write-governor-bpp
(3) Sign a petition at: http://www.protest200executions.com/petition.php

Nearly half of all Texas executions in the so-called modern death penalty era have taken place in the last eight years. In this same time period, the death penalty landscape has changed dramatically both in Texas and nationwide.
• Three states (New York, New Jersey, and New Mexico) have abandoned the death penalty and half a dozen others have given serious consideration to abolishing it.
• The U.S. Supreme Court has banned the death penalty for juvenile offenders and people with mental retardation.
• 40 people have been exonerated from death rows nationwide, two in Texas. Concerns about innocence continue to plant seeds of doubt about the death penalty in the minds of the public.
• New death sentences have declined more than 50% both nationally and here in Texas.
• Only 13 other states have carried out executions in the past two years.

Governor Perry and other state officials have failed to provide leadership on issues related to criminal justice and the death penalty in particular.
• State leaders in Texas have failed to question why our state is so far out of step with the rest of the country (and the rest of the world) when it comes to the use of the death penalty.
• Our state leaders also have done little to address the abundant evidence of the flaws and failures of the Texas death penalty system.

El Pasoans Against the Death Penalty
elpaso@tcadp.org (915) 532-0527

This is a Pro Life issue! All life is sacred!

fr. Charles


Oración Para La Revocación de Ejecuciones

Terry Hankins fue ejecutado en 2 de junio por la gente de Texas en venganza por los asesinatos en 2001 de su hijastro Kevin Galley, 12, y su hijastra, Ashley Mason, 11. Oremos en memoria de Kevin Galley y Ashley Mason, en compasión por sus familiares, y de parte de todas las víctimas de violencia. Oremos por Terry Hankins, por su familia y por sus verdugos.

O Dios, tú no eres un Dios violento. Nos pides que imitemos tu Manera. Por favor quita toda violencia de nuestros Corazones para que pongamos fin a nuestras acciones violentas. ¡Luchamos, Dios Nuestro! ¡Necesitamos Tu ayuda! Amén.
[por P. Dennis O’Mara]

Para protestar contra la pena de muerte en Texas:
(1) Llamen por teléfono al Gobernador Perry (800) 252-9600 (abajo, véase los Temas de Conversación)
(2) Envíen un FAX al Gobernador Perry al (512) 463-1849
(3) Envíen correo electrónica (E-Mail) a http://www.tcadp.org/index.php?page=write- governor-bpp
(4) Firmen una petición en: http://www.protest200executions.com/petition.php

Casi la mitad de las ejecuciones en Texas se han llevado a cabo en los últimos ocho años en la que se dice ser la era moderna de la pena de muerte. Durante este mismo tiempo lo relacionado con la pena de muerte ha cambiado dramáticamente en Texas y por todo el país.

• Tres estados (Nueva York, Nuevo Jersey y Nuevo México) han abandonado la pena de muerte y
media docena de otros han considerado seriamente suprimirla.
• La Suprema Corte de Justicia de los Estados Unidos ha prohibido la pena de muerte para delincuentes juveniles y para retardados mentales.
• Cuarenta (40) personas han sido exculpados del corredor de la muerte en el país, 2 en Texas. Preocupaciones sobre la inocencia continúan sembrando en el público dudas tocante la pena de muerte.
• Nuevas sentencias de pena de muerte han disminuido más de 50 por ciento tanto en el país como aquí en Texas.

Sólo 13 otros estados han llevado a cabo ejecuciones en los últimos dos años. El Gobernador Perry y otros funcionarios estatales han fallado en proveer el liderazo en asuntos relacionados con la justicia criminal y en particular, la pena de muerte.
• Líderes en el Estado de Texas no han averiguado porqué nuestro estado no está sintonizado con el resto del país (y el mundo) cuando se trata del uso de la pena de muerte.
• Nuestros líderes estatales también han hecho poco para dirigir el tema de la abundancia de evidencia sobre los defectos y fallas del sistema de la pena de muerte del Estado de Texas.

Ciudadanos del El Paso Contra la Pena de Muerte
elpaso@tcadp.org (915) 532-0527

¬°Este es un asunto Pro Vida! ¬°Toda vida es sagrada!

padre Charles

6 thoughts on “Prayer for the Repeal of Executions / Oraci√≥n Para La Revocaci√≥n de Ejecuciones

  1. You forgot Hankin’s 3 additonal murders, his wife, his father and his mentally retarded sister, whom Hankins impregnated, twice. She was pregnant when Hankins murdered her. So, depending on your view, Possibly he murdered an additonal one as well, for a total of 6, that we know of.

    Death Penalty Support: Modern Catholic Scholars
    Dudley Sharp

    There are thoughtful writings on both sides of this debate, but the pro death penalty side is much stronger. Any Catholic in good standing can call for more executions, if their prudential judgement calls for it.

    1) Avery Cardinal Dulles

    The Church may return to a “more traditional posture” on the death penalty and just war. ” . . . used sparingly and with safeguards to protect the interests of justice, both the death penalty and war have, over the centuries, been recognized by the church as legitimate, sometimes even obligatory, exercises of state power.” “An unpublished interview with Avery Dulles”, All Things Catholic, John L. Allen, Jr., NCRcafe.org, 12/19/08, http://ncrcafe.org/node/2340

    2) Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., considered one of the most prominent Roman Catholic theologians of the 20th century.

    “There are certain moral norms that have always and everywhere been held by the successors of the Apostles in communion with the Bishop of Rome.” ” . . . they are irreversibly binding on the followers of Christ until the end of the world.” “Such moral truths are the grave sinfulness of contraception and direct abortion. Such, too, is the Catholic doctrine which defends the imposition of the death penalty.” “Most of the Church’s teaching, especially in the moral order, is infallible doctrine because it belongs to what we call her ordinary universal magisterium.”

    Pope Pius XII insists “that capital punishment is morally defensible in every age and culture of Christianity.” ” . . . the Church’s teaching on ‘the coercive power of legitimate human authority’ is based on ‘the sources of revelation and traditional doctrine.’ It is wrong, therefore ‘to say that these sources only contain ideas which are conditioned by historical circumstances.’ On the contrary, they have ‘a general and abiding validity.’ (Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1955, pp 81-2).” “Capital Punishment: New Testament Teaching”, Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., 1998, http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Sacred_Scripture/Sacred_Scripture_014.htm

    3) Romano Amerio, a Vatican insider, scholar, professor at the Academy of Lugano, consultant to the Preparatory Commission of Vatican II, and a peritus (expert theologian) at the Council.

    “The most irreligious aspect of this argument against capital punishment is that it denies its expiatory value which, from a religious point of view, is of the highest importance because it can include a final consent to give up the greatest of all worldly goods. This fits exactly with St. Thomas‚Äôs opinion that as well as canceling out any debt that the criminal owes to civil society, capital punishment can cancel all punishment due in the life to come. His thought is . . . Summa, ‘Even death inflicted as a punishment for crimes takes away the whole punishment due for those crimes in the next life, or a least part of that punishment, according to the quantities of guilt, resignation and contrition; but a natural death does not.” ” . . . expiation is primarily a recognition of the divine majesty and lordship, which can be and should be recognized at every moment, in accordance with the principle of the concentration of one‚Äôs moral life.” “. . . (the death penalty) has the highest expiatory value possible among natural things, precisely because life is the highest good among the relative goods of this world; and it is by consenting to sacrifice that life, that the fullest expiation can be made.” “Amerio on capital punishment “, Chapter XXVI, 187. The death penalty, from the book Iota Unum, 5/25/07, http://www.domid.blogspot.com/2007/05/amerio-on-capital-punishment.html

    SEE Pope John Paul II: Prudential Judgement and the death penalty,
    http://homicidesurvivors.com/2007/07/23/pope-john-paul-ii-his-death-penalty-errors.aspx

    copyright 2006-2009, Dudley Sharp Permission for distribution of this document, in whole or in part, is approved with proper attribution.

  2. Dear Mr. Sharp,
    Thank you for your comments to Sunday’s article on the Death Penalty.
    From the Universal Catechism including John Paul II cited in Evangelii Vitae where he states, “the cases in which the execution of the offender is an abolute necessity ‘are very rare, if not practically non-existent.” Here is the entire citation:
    “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 with 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 definitively taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself — the cases in which the execution of the offender is an abolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.” (John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, 56)”

    Since you are interested in citations, having mentioned John Hardon and Avery Dulles, I suspect you are willing to read the magesterium on the iusse. You might find the following to be of value as you continue to struggle with a Catholic perspective of the Death Penalty:
    1. USCCB: Catholic Ampaign to End the Death Penalty: http://www.usccb.org/sdwp/national/deathpenalty/dpvatican.shtml
    2. Pope John Paul II in 2001: “The Holy See has consistently sought the abolition of the death penalty and his Holiness Pope John Paul II has personally and indiscriminately appealed on numerous occasions in order that such sentences should be commuted to a lesser punishment, which may offer time and incentive for the reform of the guilty, hope to the innocent and safeguard the well-being of civil society itself and of those individuals who through no choice of theirs have become deeply involved in the fate of those condemmed to death.” DECLARATION OF THE HOLY SEE TO THE FIRST WORLD CONGRESS ON THE DEATH PENALTY http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/secretariat_state/documents/rc_seg-st_doc_20010621_death-penalty_en.html
    3. Intervention by H.E. Archbishop Renato R. Martino. Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer
    of the Holy See to the United Nations before the Third Committee of the 54th Session of the General Assembly on Item 116A: Abolition of the Death PenaltynNew York, 2 November 1999
    “It is well-known that Pope John Paul II has personally intervened on numerous occasions to appeal for clemency for individuals sentenced to death. He has appealed for a moratorium on recourse to the death penalty, at least on the occasion of the forthcoming Jubilee Year. On 27th January of this year in St Louis, he said: ‘A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil. Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform. I renew the appeal I made recently at Christmas for a consensus to end the death penalty, which is cruel and unnecessary’.” http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/secretariat_state/documents/rc_seg-st_doc_02111999_death-penalty_en.html
    4. On Monday, January 7th, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI TO THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS ACCREDITED TO THE HOLY SEE FOR THE TRADITIONAL EXCHANGE OF NEW YEAR GREETINGS. Here is an excerpt concerning the Death penalty:
    “11. The Holy See for its part never tires of reaffirming these principles and rights, founded on what is essential and permanent in the human person. The Church willingly undertakes this service to the true dignity of human persons, created in the image of God. And on the basis of these considerations, I cannot but deplore once again the continual attacks perpetrated on every continent against human life. I would like to recall, together with many men and women dedicated to research and science, that the new frontiers reached in bioethics do not require us to choose between science and morality: rather, they oblige us to a moral use of science. On the other hand, recalling the appeal made by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the Jubilee Year 2000, I rejoice that on 18 December last the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution calling upon States to institute a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, and I earnestly hope that this initiative will lead to public debate on the sacred character of human life.” http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2008/january/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20080107_diplomatic-corps_en.html

    I hope these might be a little light from the Church’s perspective on the affront to Human Dignity that the Death Penalty and how it insults the very Image of the Creator among us.
    fr. Charles

  3. The bibical, theological, traditional and rational weaknesses of Pope John Paul II’s death penalty discourse within Evangelium Vitae appear to be clear, as I linked above, as well.

    SEE Pope John Paul II: Prudential Judgement and the death penalty,
    http://homicidesurvivors.com/2007/07/23/pope-john-paul-ii-his-death-penalty-errors.aspx

    Therefore, it’s amendment into the catechism was also an error. As time goes by, I think that many more, such as the scholars above, will come forward and that will be made more clear.

    Only time will tell.

  4. fr Charles, your comment that “the Death Penalty it insults the very Image of the Creator” is a complete contradiction of the biblical passage:

    “Whoever sheds the blood of man,
    by man shall his blood be shed;
    for in the image of God
    has God made man. “

  5. Furthermore, there is much direct biblical support for the death penalty, from the Trinity:

    13) God, through the power and justice of the Holy Spirit, executed both Ananias and his wife, Saphira. Their crime? Lying to the Holy Spirit – to God – through Peter. Acts 5:1-11. By executing two such devoted Christians for lying to Him, does the Holy Spirit show confirmation of His support for His divinely instituted civil punishment of execution for premeditated murder or does it show His rejection of capital punishment? And read all of Revelation.

    14) Jesus “You have heard the ancients were told, ÀúYOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER” and “Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court”. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever shall say to his brother, “Raca”, shall be guilty before the supreme court and whoever shall say, “You fool”, shall be guilty enough to go into fiery hell.” Jesus, Matthew 5:17-22. Should any explanation be necessary, Jesus is saying that even as execution is the required punishment for murderers, as per the Old Testament, He tells us that those who speak ill of others and have hatred in their heart shall suffer in hell. Not only does Jesus never speak out against the civil authorities just use of execution for murder, He prescribes a much more serious, eternal punishment for those who hate and speak ill of others.

    contd

  6. contd

    15) Pontius Pilate said to Jesus, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?”

    Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above.”(John 19:10-11). “Jesus reminds Pilate that the implementation of the death penalty is a divinely entrusted responsibility that is to be justly implemented. Prof. Carl F.H. Henry, 45th Annual N.A.E. Convention, “Capital Punishment and The Bible”. Jesus confirms that the civil authority has the lawful right to execute Jesus, and others, and that this right has been given to that authority by God.

    16) ” . . . pronouncements about divine behavior (in the Hebrew Bible) correlated in the judicial context to attitudes toward death as a proper punishment. Quite clearly, the New Testament carries on the earlier mentality.” As Jesus described in the Sermon on the Mount, “Obedience will be rewarded with life; disobedience will be punished with destruction. A God who rewards with life and punishes with death is One whose laws provide for death as a judicial punishment.” Dr. Baruch Levine, “Capital Punishment,”

    Jesus ‘HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER, LET HIM BE PUT TO DEATH’ (Matthew 15:1-9).

    contd

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