The Corner

Slate Does Catholicism

Slate’s William Saletan tries to instruct Archbishop Charles Chaput on Catholic teaching, who is supposedly “trying to have it both ways” by insisting that he opposes the death penalty but that faithful Catholic politicians can support it. Chaput, Saletan complains, has “allowed no such ambivalence about abortion.”

Chaput treats abortion and the death penalty differently because Church teaching treats them differently. It doesn’t condemn the death penalty in principle, the way it condemns abortion in principle; it doesn’t say that faithful Catholics may not participate in executions, as it says that they may not participate in abortions; it does not regard the execution of murderers as a grave injustice on par with abortion. Saletan may wish that Church teaching were different from what it is, and the teaching may well continue to develop in an anti-capital-punishment direction (although I doubt it will ever treat these issues as equivalent). But everything Chaput is saying is consistent with the teaching as it stands today, even if that teaching is too nuanced for Saletan’s liking.

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

Elections

The Odds Are Slim to Nunes

When the history of the 2018 midterms is written, there will be a chapter on missed opportunities for Democrats. Some may wonder if they should have spent so much money supporting Beto O’Rourke in Texas, or whether Heidi Heitkamp was doomed from the start in North Dakota. One painful question for progressives ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Beatification of Beto

The media’s treatment of Texas Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke wasn’t the most egregiously unfair coverage of the past year -- that would be the treatment of Brett Kavanaugh -- but it ranks among 2018’s most annoying. The endless glowing profiles of O’Rourke in every publication from Vanity Fair to ... Read More