By Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph LynchMore recently, in 1952, Pope Pius XII stated:
CAPITAL PUNISHMENT & RITES OF DEGRADATION:
AUTHORITY, SHAME, PUNISHMENT AND COMMUNITY
CAPITAL PUNISHMENT & RITES OF DEGRADATION:
AUTHORITY, SHAME, PUNISHMENT AND COMMUNITY
On August 2, 2018, a decree of Pope Francis from May 11 became public via the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith changing paragraph 2267 of the Catechism of the Church on the death penalty. Until now the Catechism framed the issue in terms of protecting society from dangerous criminals, making narrow allowance for the death penalty in cases where adequate prisons were unavailable, stating that "cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.'" Given this doctrinal starting point in the Catechism, one can hardly argue that the Pope Francis change is not an "authentic development of doctrine," as Cardinal Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, asserts.
The question that should have been asked for the last two decades is whether or not access to long term prison facilities should be the deciding factor of state executions. Until Pope John Paul II, the Church's teaching on the death penalty was never a "right to life" issue or an "adequate number of prisons" issue. It was an issue related to the use of legitimate authority by a constituted State, to the rule of law, and to the requirements of justice.
According to the Catechism of the Council of Trent (Part III, 5, n. 4):
The power of life and death is permitted to certain civil magistrates because theirs is the responsibility under law to punish the guilty and protect the innocent. Far from being guilty of breaking this commandment [Thy shall not kill], such an execution of justice is precisely an act of obedience to it. For the purpose of the law is to protect and foster human life. This purpose is fulfilled when the legitimate authority of the State is exercised by taking the guilty lives of those who have taken innocent lives.
In the Psalms we find a vindication of this right: “Morning by morning I will destroy all the wicked in the land, cutting off all evildoers from the city of the Lord” (Ps. 101:8).
Even in the case of the death penalty the State does not dispose of the individual’s right to life. Rather public authority limits itself to depriving the offender of the good of life in expiation for his guilt, after he, through his crime, deprived himself of his own right to life.
Pope Francis has developed a doctrine, "rooted" in the very recent teachings and sensibilities of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. It is their emphasis and teaching which is very much out of step with the doctrine handed down through the centuries. It is not surprising that changes in moral doctrine about criminal law and changes in the definition of a minor in canon law (see the "Levada Loophole" scroll down to read) have occurred amidst a cohort of Catholic bishops who have spectacularly failed to punish the abominations of their fellow clerics. This particular group of men understand the private machinations needed to climb up the career ladder but they are clueless about the exercise of public authority in safeguarding communal life.
The Churchmen have handcuffed themselves when it comes to punishing the abhorrent. Let them not handcuff the nations and states of their necessary policing power to punish murderers, rapists, and traitors.
It would be better for the Church to take the handcuffs off herself. These times seem to require a restoration of the Rites for the Degradation of Clergy - ritual acts that publicly shame and eject those men in the clerical state who have brought gross shame upon themselves and the office they hold. Paralleling military rituals that shame and expel failed soldiers and officers, the rites laicized the cleric while still leaving him bound to celibacy and recitation of the Breviary. Here are some highlights from the Rite for the Degradation of a Bishop (follow the link for the full text):
"...the degradator removes the man's miter, saying: 'The miter, emblem of the pontifical dignitiy, is hereby removed from your head, because your evil administration has disgraced it.'"
"...the degradator removes the [bishop's] ring, saying: 'It is proper for us to pull off this ring, the sign of faithfulness, because you have shamelessly raped God's very own bride, the Church.'"
"...with [a] knife or glass, the degradator lightly scrapes the [bishop's] head, saying: 'We herewith completely erase the consecration, the blessing and the anointing previously bestowed upon you, and we herewith expel you from the pontifical order for which you proved yourself unfit.'"
Protective authoritative males - bishops and police - are compelled by their offices to arrest and render the abominable and heinous criminals all the shame and punishment they deserve. Catholic laymen are loyal sons of the Holy Father but we are also fathers and citizens in our civic communities. We have duties as political men to establish justice and safeguard the public order. We are confirmed adult males in the Church as well and we have duties to the widows and orphans - those without fathers and husbands - as well. As Catholic adult men we owe protection and justice to those vulnerable young males and females who were violated by the serpent wolves masquerading as soft and smiling shepherds. There is a whole cohort of bishops who do not understand the ruling function of either ecclesial or civic authorities. The weak and vulnerable have paid a horrible price for their deficit.
Pope John Paul II matured under the twin totalitarian states of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Pope Benedict XVI is a Bavarian Catholic who is ashamed of the German nation and state. Pope Francis lived with an Argentinan government who "disappeared", tortured and killed priests and laity alike as opponents of the regime. All three of these Popes matured as Church leaders in relation to governments that brutally betrayed the civic sword. Their personal experiences may have been traumatic but they did not make them wiser than the tradition. All three of our recent holy popes have extremely anemic views of political authority. Pope Francis' change of the catechism is no more heresy than Pope John Paul's very similar mistake. That mistake is a serious one about the civil order. This crippling anemic view of national and state police authority is devastating Central American countries and the Phillipines where bloody battles are being waged between criminals and government authorities to determine who will establish social order. The reason so many honest men in Catholic countries turn to leftism or military dictators is because the Church authorities have failed in articulating a Christian vision of civic authority, fraternity, community and police power.
As fathers and citizens, we remind our Holy Father that there are some sins that demand execution. It is just such capital crimes that have been committed and hidden by living members of our episcopacy and priesthood. In the ecclesial order, the Pope is over them and we are under them. We are both betrayed by them. From out here in the sheepfold, the proclamation demeaning capital punishment seems not a plea for the dignity of man but a cover for the soul murderer and Satanic masquerader. In justice, the victims of rape and sodomy must be allowed to sleep knowing their assailants are no longer among the living. Their broken souls cry out for justice. Their broken souls can barely accuse their assailants much less organize retribution and justice. Victims and servant leaders will not restore justice. A brotherhood of fathers will.
When states and ecclesiastical authorities do not exercise the sword of justice then fathers, kinsmen, and citizens will find other avenues to exact justice. But the mob always goes mad - so since the Noahidic law, just men have constructed political order. In every Mass, the Church prays for the authorities - both ecclesial and civic. She must safeguard the authorities of the political order by allowing the State its proper acts of demarcation, punishment, and the use of physical force. At the same time Churchmen must reassert the legitimate authority of the hierarchy by reinstating punishment for clerics who violate the sacramental and natural order.
The Evil One and his henchmen seem to be everywhere. But faithful bishops, priests, and laymen are in every land as well... and we have the Holy Spirit.
I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
UNCOVERING THE LAVENDER NETWORKS - AT THE TOP AND THROUGHOUT THE CHANCERIES, SEMINARIES AND BISHOP CONFERENCES: Honduras Seminary and Negligence of Honduran Cardinal Maradiaga who is on Pope Francis Council of Cardinals - the junta he set up to clean up the Curia. AOA on Inquisitions and Penitentiaries - a serious mechanism to investigate and punish clerical evildoing.
NO LONGER A CARDINAL: For the first time in the 20 years of the exposition of the sex scandal in the Catholic clergy, a cardinal is out. Pope Francis approach to Cardinal McCarrick is unique. His place of incarceration will be signed.
A REAL BREAKTHROUGH AS AN AMERICAN BISHOP CALLS FOR ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE COMPLICIT: Bishop Michael Walsh of Fort Worth says it is not enough to punish McCormick. Who knew and failed to act? This letter is a true breaking of ranks. We will see if he is reined in or joined in reform.
PERVERTED PRIESTS AND CHURCHMEN USING THE LANGUAGE OF LGBT: Jennifer Morse gets it exactly right.
CARDINAL O'MALLEY OF BOSTON: He recommends new Procedures and Policies. That doesn't seem enough when fighting... Principalities and Powers.
II. ISLAM AND THE MIDDLE EAST
STOPPING WAR WITH QATAR: A new report has surfaced surrounding a planned Saudi-UAE invasion of Qatar to replace the Qatari government with Saudi-supporters, halted through intervention by former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. Such an invasion could have threatened Al Udeid Air Base, where US air forces and 10,000 troops are stationed. The report also indicates that Tillerson's role could have played a part in his departure as Secretary of State. The invasion could have triggered a larger Mideast conflict - so let us give thanks that the war never came.
PAKISTAN: A crucial question is how will they redefine themselves to transcend the Saudi-US-Taliban model as a purveyor of Salafist Islam - necessary to defeat the Soviet Union but now troublesome after 9/11. There is emerging a new national identity of Pakistan as an ally of China, a potential negotiator in Afghanistan, and a non-participant in Wahhabi wars against Shiite Muslims in Iran and Yemen. Pakistan has also demonstratively opposed the Saudi isolation of Qatar. Introducing the new face of Pakistan-Imran Khan. Another profile: An Islamic society takes care of all its people.
YEMEN: Unreported and inexcusable.
ISLAMIST PARTIES IN NORTH AFRICA: A Brookings comparative report on Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt.
PHILIPPINES: Autonomy for the Muslim South - Duterte seeks peace for Bangsamoro and his nation. AOA profile of Philippines. The areas are all Muslim. How they will work out jurisdiction is open. They will not have a separate military or currency from their mother nation - the Philippines.
III. AROUND THE WORLD - NATIONS ROUND UP
THE NATIONS OF EUROPE - CHRISTIAN, SOVEREIGN, AND SEXUALLY TRADITIONAL: The remarkable understanding of Victor Orban of Hungary. This is the best single article articulating the vision of Christian European nations vs. the godless project of the atheist Enlightenment West. And it is built on a linked speech by Victor Orban of Hungary. The captive nations are captive no more and their matured insights will set us free.
RUSSIA OR SOVIET UNION? Unable to see beyond the Cold War, neocons - and the formerly anti-war Democrats - continue to conflate Russia with the Soviet Union. Having no sense of history, religion, or culture, they see Russia's "strong man" Vladimir Putin as nothing more than a "KGB thug" and communist dictator. They refuse to see post-Cold War Russia as a nation seeking continuity with its czarist past and Orthodox Christian faith (anyone who reads Putin's speech on the 1030th anniversary or Russia's conversion can see the connection). Their inability to see Russia is also largely due to their refusal to see the Cold War for what it was: religion and the nations versus an anti-national atheist superstate.
BRITISH LABOR PARTY AND THE JEWS OF BRITAIN: Anti Semitism, Israel, and a debate that is surfacing.
NICARAGUA, ORTEGA, AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: The hostile rift grows.
CHINA: Xi Jinping addresses Chinese corruption and religious tolerance. The dilemma of fostering a moral people on the thin gruel of Marxist materialism
IV. CULTURE OF LIFE, CULTURE OF PROTECTION
TWO GROUPS WITH NO SENSE OF FOREIGN POLICY: The current left wing and Christians as Christians in the Republican or Democratic party.
THE REAL POLITICAL CONVERSATION IN AMERICA IS MALE, SERIOUS, AND CIVIC: What is the Dark Web - 7 minutes with Rubin. Beyond the network panels of short bursts of thought by good looking women, nerd conservatives and angry liberals - welcome to the dark web. A discussion between Mr. Rubin and the English historian Niall Ferguson.
WHAT IS INTELLIGENCE? Jordan Peterson explains IQ tests. Intelligence and the problems of IQ tests. Psychology Today article arguing IQ is something real but it is not the definitive measurement of intelligence. The author reminds us of Michael Polanyi's book and idea of Personal Knowledge saying that intelligence is the ability to enter into something and know it. To "mentalize" is to enter into another's world and empathize. It is characteristic of intelligence not measured in IQ tests. Abstract reasoning is a very important characteristic of human development and success. The ability to do abstract reasoning is well-measured by IQ tests.
"BEST MARINE COMMANDER" IS FIRED FOR USING THE WORD "FAGGOT" AS AN ADJECTIVE. AN EPITAPH FOR EPITETHS: Lieutenant Colonel Marcus Mainz has been relieved of his command. If this injustice stands, it is a capitulation of sacral order to the sexual revolutionaries.
The general ethos of the US marines is general biological truth that men of honor defend their countries and the men who are the best at defending America are Marines. Thus "being a real man" is the appeal of Marine recruitment and the goal of Marine training. A mature man is a patriot warrior. It takes a certain kind of discipline. It takes a certain kind of man. It defines a certain kind of character. It is not for everyone... but everyone benefits when it is achieved. Marine training develops a kind of man who is deeply loyal to the Corps which is at the service of the Nation. Thus the Marines have resisted female participation in the group because they have argued that female membership undermines group cohesion. Marines love women and that's why they break up the male group. Marines love women but they deride a man if he is girly. The ethic of fraternity under a father-leader (the rule of the father is called patriarchy) is undermined by the eroticization of male relations. Fathers and Brothers have an incest code to maintain the group brotherhood. Homosexuality undermines the fraternity. It is an unthinkable taboo for a Father.
Who will defend the warrior? Who will defend the nature of the patriarchal fraternal bonds which are at the core of Christian public life. There are words that criticize a self-centered male who is not fraternal or protective - he is a Bully, a Dick, a real Prick. They aren't part of public dialogue but they certainly can be used in a Marines barrack. There are words that emphasize not being man enough to do the difficult group tasks needed to do - a fruit, a girly-boy, a faggot. None of these terms are criticisms in the world of male figure skating but they are epithets in the Marines. They are not high language of public discourse but they are part of the slang of male honor codes.
The war against the Fatherhood of God and primal loyalty of countrymen is a war against the sacral male bonding that ensures the safety of the country in a dangerous world. That male bonding is forged in a crucible of insults and honor codes. Just as incest is a corruption of the familial bond, homosexuality is a corruption of the public non-spousal bond of men which makes nations and the Corps that defends them. Shall we outlaw the male public bond? Shall we corrupt it? This is a significant front in the culture war - let us see if the Marine leader has any defenders.