Saturday, October 21, 2017

More on Pope Francis and doctrinal development

I've been included in a panel of academics interviewed for LifeSiteNews on the subject of doctrinal development, in light of Pope Francis' remarks on the Death Penalty.

An extract:

Shaw said so-called “conservative” Catholics would be especially susceptible to a change in Catholic teaching on capital punishment.

“Pope St John Paul II was clearly personally opposed to capital punishment and campaigned for its abolition. While he was careful never to claim that the teaching of the Church ruled capital punishment out, his views have become strongly associated with the Catholic Church and have influenced many conservative Catholics,” he said.

“It may seem a relatively small step between what Pope St John Paul II claimed – that capital punishment was not wise or appropriate in the conditions of the modern world – and what Pope Francis is now claiming – that capital punishment is never ‘admissible,’ and that Catholics living in very different conditions from our own were wrong to make recourse to it.”

“However, it is obviously a huge step to say that the Church herself was wrong in her consistent teaching, which has always been that capital punishment can be legitimate,” he added.

Read the whole thing there.

Support the work of the LMS by becoming an 'Anniversary Supporter'.


  1. This is an excellent interview conducted by LSN. Well done to all who took part. Without your assiduous study of the minutiae relating to our Catholic faith it would be probably impossible for post VII people to absorb the diabolical nature of NWO Masonic/Marxism/Modernism due entirely to their un-cathechised state which was wilfully forced upon the entire CC by VII in the name of false ecumenism.

  2. Time to revisit Pius XII's encyclical Humani generis.

  3. So Traditionalist Catholics want to turn the teaching on the death penalty into one of the central doctrines of the faith.....You just couldn't make this stuff up....

    1. No you couldn't. They'll be believing Jesus next! Ridiculous. Whatever next?

    2. Just because a doctrine doesn't figure very highly in the "hierarchy of truths", that does not mean that it is thereby not true. All truths are true, however unimportant they are, and as soon as we start accepting the exchange of any truth for a lie, we place ourselves under the dominion of the father of lies - Satan.

      Rejection of truth is the rejection of Christ who is Himself the Truth. Any man who claims to be able to redefine truth, so that what has always been false is suddenly true, is no man of God.

    3. The Council of Trent was a dogmatic Council and taught this on the death penalty:

      The dogmatic Council of Trent decreed: "[Well founded is] the right and duty of legitimate public authority to punish malefactors by means of penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime, not excluding, in cases of extreme gravity, the death penalty."

      In the Catechism of that Council, this doctrine is enlarged upon: "Again, this prohibition [of
      killing] does not apply to the civil magistrate, to whom is entrusted the power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of which he
      punishes the guilty and protects the innocent.

      The use of the civil sword, when wielded by the hand of justice, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this commandment, which prohibits murder. The end of the commandment is the preservation and sanctity of human life, and to the attainment of this end, the punishments inflicted by the civil magistrate, who is the legitimate avenger of crime, naturally tend, giving security to life by repressing outrage and violence."