This past Friday Judge Andrew Napolitano, Catholic host of Fox Business Channels Freedom Watch, conducted an interview with anti-capital punishment activist Sister Helen Prejean. Napolitano introduced her as a leading voice in the anti-death-penalty movement and the pro-life movement.
The interview came about because of the monstrous crimes in Arizona including the brutal murder of nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green.
Sister Helen Prejean's position is clear in that she is absolutely opposed to the use of the death penalty in any case. She further claims that, during a conversation she had with Pope John Paul II, he concurred in her perspective and developed the Church teaching to the point where, in her opinion, abortion, euthanasia and capital punishment are all regarded with the same degree of moral gravity, meaning that the use of capital punishment is no different than aborting a preborn child. Prejean's position is similar to that of the 1980 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops position.
When Napolitano asked Prejean about violence in society and the cultural response to it, even when considering a crime as dastardly as the Arizona shooting spree, Prejean should have pointed out that in a society gone mad with thirst for the blood of the preborn baby it is not surprising that all manner of violence, including the tragic acts of a maniacal human being like Jared Loughner, should not be shocking. Rather if one examines what violence actually is, Loughner's heinous crimes are on par with those of any practitioner of abortion.
Sadly, Prejean never once tied the inhumane, grisly murder of innocent children prior to birth with the defense she offered for the Loughners of the world by arguing that violence should never beget violence. She is correct of course, except that when that violence is protected by law, it becomes a right. That itself is remarkably horrifying.
As a Catholic, Prejean should understand the fundamental teaching of the Church on abortion and capital punishment because there is a nuanced difference.
On abortion, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states,"Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law."
On the death penalty, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, "Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm, without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself, the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not practically non-existent."
In other words, abortion is a crime against God while the death penalty is the exercise of a type of civil punishment in response to a heinous crime that is to be used rarely, if at all.
This distinction, if made, brings home the grave evil of abortion in a way rarely considered by a culture that prefers to place perpetrators of some crimes in the role of victim while avoiding the reality of other crimes by hiding behind unjust laws.
If, as Prejean said on the program, government-approved killing doubles the homicide rate in countries where the death penalty is approved, what then occurs when the mass murder of babies is government approved? Prejean says the message of capital punishment, which she defines as violence, is that when you have a problem with somebody, "takin' 'em out is the answer."
That's what pro-aborts say as well, Sister. So why did you not connect the dots for Napolitano and his audience by exposing the bloodiest criminal acts ever approved by any government in the history of the human race, abortion?
Shame on you, Sister Prejean! The unintended consequence of your failure to point this out is the continuing societal ignorance on the truth about abortion and its victims.