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 is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

White House

For Democrats, the Party’s Over

If the Democrats are really tempted by impeachment, bring it on. Since the day after the 2016 election they have been threatening this, placing their chips on the Russian-collusion fantasy and then on the phantasmagoric charade of obstruction of justice. The attorney general accurately gave the ingredients of the ... Read More

The 24 Democrats

Every presidential primary ends with one winner and a lot of losers. Some might argue that one or two once-little-known candidates who overperform low expectations get to enjoy a form of moral victory. (Ben Carson and Rick Perry might be happy how the 2016 cycle ended, with both taking roles in Trump’s cabinet. ... Read More