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Church and SocietyThe Laurence J. McGinley Lectures, 1988-2007$
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Avery Cardinal Dulles

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228621

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823228621.001.0001

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The Death Penalty

The Death Penalty

A Right-to-Life Issue?

October 17, 2000

Chapter:
(p.332) 24 The Death Penalty
Source:
Church and Society
Author(s):

Avery Cardinal Dulles

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fso/9780823228621.003.0024

This chapter examines the death penalty, looking into biblical data, Catholic tradition, the abolitionist position, critiques of abolitionism, the purposes of punishment, and the harm attributed to the death penalty. Among the major nations of the Western world, the United States is singular in still having the death penalty. However, some Catholics, going beyond the bishops and the pope, maintain that the death penalty, like abortion and euthanasia, is a violation of the right to life and an unauthorized usurpation by human beings of God's sole lordship over life and death. In conclusion, the chapter proposes ten theses regarding the death penalty based on the Church's doctrine.

Keywords:   death penalty, right to life, abolitionism, punishment, biblical data

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