Image: The Pope, the Death Penalty and HypocrisyThe Pope has updated the Catechism of the Catholic Church to strengthen the Church’s opposition to the death penalty. Rather than saying it should only be used in extreme circumstances, the Church is saying it should not be used at all, while preserving, of course, the right of the state to protect its citizens from wrongdoers.

The Church is saying, as John Paul II also said, that “not even a murderer loses his personal dignity” (Evangelium Vitae, 9).

This development in Church teaching, as explained in a Vatican letter to all the bishops, “centers principally on the clearer awareness of the Church for the respect due to every human life.”

It is a testament, in other words, to what we in the pro-life movement have been saying repeatedly, namely, that we are making progress in advancing the sanctity of human life.

But I’m reminded of a conversation I had in front of an abortion clinic where, as I regularly do, I was defending the children being brought there to be killed. An abortion supporter, protesting my actions, engaged in conversation with me and asked me if I opposed the death penalty.

“I do,” was my response. And I went on to explain, “To me, it’s sad when we think we should solve human problems by throwing away human lives.”

“Yes, that’s right,” the abortion supporter responded, apparently oblivious to the contradiction.

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