Kathryn: Your hostile correspondents not only erred on your position on the death penalty — they also appear to have read the Associated Press version of Pope John Paul II’s Evangelium Vitae. They should instead look to Sister Helen Prejan’s disapproving commentary on the document. A longtime anti-death penalty campaigner and the inspiration for Susan Sarandon’s character in Dead Man Walking, she offers a far more accurate characterization of what the document actually says:
The pope still upholds the right of governments to kill criminals, even though he restricts it to cases of “absolute necessity” and says that because of improvements in modern penal systems such cases are “very rare, if not practically nonexistent.”
Even better, they could actually read the document themselves.
It’s one thing for these folks not to know or care what the Church teaches. At some level, that’s their business — they don’t even have to be Catholic if they don’t want to, it’s a free country. But it’s an entirely different thing for them to throw stones and pretend they do care when they clearly have not taken the time to know. It is disingenuous to hide behind others’ support of the death penalty as a justification for one’s own practical and pragmatic support of abortion, an intrinsic evil.