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History of the Catholic Church on the Death penalty and How it Changed Over Time
Religion and Theology
Pages 5 (1255 words)
History of the Catholic Church on the Death Penalty and how it changed over time In the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, God commanded that “Thou shalt not kill” (6th Commandment, Exodus 20:2-17 NKJV) yet in the same text, it is also stated that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23)…
In the early days of Christianity, death penalty however was favored by the Church as asserted by St. Augustine. During Catholicism’s infancy, it was viewed as a way of deterring the commission of sins and a means to protect the innocent from the wicked. Thomas Aquinas during the Middle Age upheld this view on the death penalty that the state does only have the right, but is also duty bound to protect its flock from its enemies both from within and without the Church (Book 3, Chapter 146). At that time, it was thought that dispensing such punishment is not a sin for it is the justice of God that is being carried out. Such, it is only proper then that by removing evil from society will preserve the good. Such that, evil men that undermines and is an impediment of the common good should be removed from the society of men through death. Many passages of the Holy Bible were used to justify this early position of the Catholic Church on the death penalty. While it was commanded that “thou shall not commit murder”, it was argued in I Peter (2, 13-14) that thou should “be subjected therefore to every human creature for God's sake: whether to be on the king as excelling, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of good”. ...
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