Pope St. Pius V On the Death Penalty
It’s with great sadness that I have read that a seminary student from Ohio has been arrested and charged with attempting to arrange for sex with infants.
This is an utmost travesty and is completely gut-wrenching. Honestly, this man should be given the death penalty if he indeed committed these crimes.
Yes, the death penalty is a Catholic doctrine, as given to us by Pope St. Pius V:
“That horrible crime, on account of which corrupt and obscene cities were destroyed by fire through divine condemnation, causes us most bitter sorrow and shocks our mind, impelling us to repress such a crime with the greatest possible zeal.
Quite opportunely the Fifth Lateran Council [1512-1517] issued this decree: “Let any member of the clergy caught in that vice against nature, given that the wrath of God falls over the sons of perfidy, be removed from the clerical order or forced to do penance in a monastery” (chap. 4, X, V, 31).
So that the contagion of such a grave offense may not advance with greater audacity by taking advantage of impunity, which is the greatest incitement to sin, and so as to more severely punish the clerics who are guilty of this nefarious crime and who are not frightened by the death of their souls, we determine that they should be handed over to the severity of the secular authority, which enforces civil law.
Therefore, wishing to pursue with greater rigor than we have exerted since the beginning of our pontificate, we establish that any priest or member of the clergy, either secular or regular, who commits such an execrable crime, by force of the present law be deprived of every clerical privilege, of every post, dignity and ecclesiastical benefit, and having been degraded by an ecclesiastical judge, let him be immediately delivered to the secular authority to be put to death, as mandated by law as the fitting punishment for laymen who have sunk into this abyss.”(Constitution Horrendum illud scelus, August 30, 1568, in Bullarium Romanum, Rome: Typographia Reverendae Camerae Apostolicae, Mainardi, 1738, chap. 3, p. 33)
“Oh, but that’s just one of those old Popes from the 1500’s. We don’t have to listen to him!”
Well, Jesus talked about the death penalty, not once, not twice, but thrice in the Gospels:
“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:6
“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.” Mark 9:42
“It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble.” Luke 17:2
Acceptance of the death penalty is 100% valid within the Catholic faith. And child molesters deserve it. Perhaps many men would stop this heinous act if the death penalty was enforced and they feared of their life being taken away.