Catholic Church Heralds “Sanctity of Life for Enemies” with Revision on Death Penalty Teaching
In the wake of the recent news of Pope Francis confirming the change on Paragraph 2267 of the Catholic Catechism, there has been a tremendous amount of backlash from what are known as “right winged” Catholics or opinion columnists who swear by church teaching. There are some who claim that the church is improvising a leftist agenda. In truth, no Catholic, nor Christian for that matter, can stand and proclaim that their political ideals or even opinions they hold shape their faith. Neither in Hope, can any Catholic or Christian proclaim to believe the pope has gone against all previous popes and saints of the past. Finally, no Catholic or Christian can stand in Charity and teach that if you can’t reconcile with your neighbor that you must put him to death. Our faith proclaims that we have no place to complain. We have no place to stand and tell others that the Holy See of Peter has gone astray. We forfeit all of our silence. We abandon all that Christ commanded. We not only turn away ourselves, but we also lead others to turn away. We love our enemies and also pray for them. We must find the will to treat them as a pagan or a tax collector as a last resort. Distance ourselves from their dangerous, hardened ways. Let them be to the silence, in the presence of who they are as a person. Let them recount the frailty of life. Let them recall who they are in the eyes of God; and those who follow God’s will. When those caught in a life of sin, they see themselves covered in every kind of swine filth and are struck with Truth, realizing that they are far off. Let them devise a plan to return to God and the victims and say, forgive me for I have sinned against heaven and you.
RECONCILIATION is what Jesus’ saving mission is all about, a single anecdote against the games of DIVISION and ACCUSATION led by the Devil. We must find ourselves on the right side of this equation at all costs; even if it means, following Christ, and denying our opinions and egos. Recalling that when we are demanding and calling for Justice, it requires the gifts of our baptism. Wisdom and Understanding. We do onto others as we would do unto ourselves and throwing out an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
Recall when Jesus said to the crowd, his body is true food and his blood is true drink. No one had ever said that before this proclamation. Who would have imagined that the Messiah that was to come would offer his body as nourishment? It went against all doctrine and dogma of the old covenant. And what did he do when the crowd complained that his teaching was disgusting and too hard? He doubled down and restated the proclamation. In fact, if you don’t eat of it, you have no life in you; and he will not raise you on the last day. Think about it for a second. You who turn and say, this teaching is hard or that this isn’t consistent with the traditions of the past; you have a choice. Remain walking and learning with Christ and his Church or turn and leave.
Instead of walking away and telling others, come on, let’s go. Let us turn to Mary in the scene of Christ’s passion. We look to her for assuredness that her son will be okay. His body will not be put to eternal death. His Church, the body, will not be prevailed against by the gates of the netherworld.
Mary is the revealing of a true Christian. She shows us how to eat the daily bread that the Lord places in front of us. To keep these things in our hearts and ponder them. To remain in Christ as he is in the Father; enduring in the Church because those who are in the church live in Christ.
In this confusing time of how one should react to the headlines, we must recall that the See of Peter and the bishops of the one church are in full authority to exercise binding and loosing. As that happens, we must not be found as Judas was at the last supper when he complains of the washing of Jesus’ feet. We must let the guidance of the Holy Spirit form and shape us in the hearts and minds for love, good, and the beautiful. We must believe in the unchanging of the keys that the office of Peter possesses. We must understand that whatever is bound and loosed here will have rectification of the Father and that the Holy Spirit will lead us all into truth through the body of Christ, the Church.
In fact, the office of St. Peter and his faith remains to be the only office that Jesus prayed for God to protect. That whoever the Holy Spirit summons into that position will be protected from error on faith and moral topics. Peter’s profession was first to our confession. We confess in union with him and only him. Jesus guarantees that he will be with the apostles until the end and Peter’s primary role is to tend and feed the sheep and lambs. Without this promise of guided protection, then Christianity is a mere human institution. As we believe in the mystical body of Christ, we then state that the church is a living organism. Therefore an Organization. With this absolute truth, Jesus introduces our ability to remain in fidelity to the work of that Organization; baptizing all nations making disciples and teaching them to remain in all that he commanded. In essence, we must have faith in the power of who Jesus is “in and outside” of this world. He is the Creator’s means for our salvation, and whoever believes that the father sent him, and remains in him that he sent, will have eternal life.
Our shepherds of history know all too well of how empires and states utilized executions, especially rendering the death penalty on innocent women, men, and children. Recall the death of John the Baptist, Jesus, the majority of the Apostles and so on throughout the ages. St. Joan of Arc, Maximilian Kobe, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, etc.
Just yesterday, on August 10th, the Church celebrated the feast of St. Lawrence of Rome. We recounted the life of a just and righteous man who worked in action and silence for the service of Christ in the streets with the poor. Arrested by Emperor Valerian and then ordered to bring the deposits of wealth to him. Instead, this holy deacon of the church used humor to spite the power of the emperor and returned to him the homeless and sick. Manifesting the wealth of the church, which is those who are poor. Poor in spirit, poor in material wealth and in everything opposite of what Rome and States possess.
This emptied self is where Christ is; in those who are stripped of all of their possessions and thrown into a cell. Those who are cast out. Left for dead. Let us be sure always to love those who fall short of the glory of God. Hoping not only for our salvation but for those who hang to the left and right of Christ.