In the past, the Catholic Church promoted the practice of the death penalty for sodomites as a just punishment because the Church considers sodomy an abominable crime against God and society.
At the Council of Nabluse, 1120 AD, under the Patriarch of Jerusalem Garmond of Picquigny and King Baldwin II, three canons [8-10] were issued that called for death by the stake sodomites who participated either actively or passively, unless it was a child or an elderly person acting against his will.
Four centuries later, the Fifth Lateran Council decreed that sodomites be executed by secular authorities.
In one of his very first acts as pope, St. Pius V in Cum Primum on April 1, 1566 ordered that sodomites be executed by the secular authorities.
Two years later, he declared in a Constitution:
“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)
Catholics must recognize that the Catholic Church’s teaching and practice of the death penalty for such crimes as sodomy is moral and just or else the Gates of Hell have prevailed against the Catholic Church for teaching and practicing an unjust and immoral act.
In John Paul II’s hallmark encyclical, Evangelium vitae, 1995, he implies that the historic teaching and practice of death for sodomites was immoral and unjust.
27. Modern society in fact has the means of effectively suppressing crime by rendering criminals harmless without definitively denying them the chance to reform.
40. Of course we must recognize that in the Old Testament this sense of the value of life, though already quite marked, does not yet reach the refinement found in the Sermon on the Mount. This is apparent in some aspects of the current penal legislation, which provided for severe forms of corporal punishment and even the death penalty. But the overall message, which the New Testament will bring to perfection, is a forceful appeal for respect for the inviolability of physical life and the integrity of the person. It culminates in the positive commandment which obliges us to be responsible for our neighbour as for ourselves: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Lev 19:18).
41. The commandment “You shall not kill”, included and more fully expressed in the positive command of love for one’s neighbour, is reaffirmed in all its force by the Lord Jesus. To the rich young man who asks him: “Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?”, Jesus replies: “If you would enter life, keep the commandments” (Mt 19:16,17). And he quotes, as the first of these: “You shall not kill” (Mt 19:18). In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus demands from his disciples a righteousness which surpasses that of the Scribes and Pharisees, also with regard to respect for life: “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ?You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment’. But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment” (Mt 5:21-22).
Notice that John Paul II ignores the fact that the death penalty is also a punishment, not merely a deterrent for future crimes.
In his misrepresentation of the New Testament, he actually implies that the love of neighbor is equal to God. If one commits a crime against God deserving of death, then he shall be put to death. Love of neighbor should not be used to justify the life of man over the due punishment to God’s justice. John Paul is saying that man should be given the type of respect that his life is inviolable which would necessarily place man’s dignity on equal status with God. The love of God is first and the love of neighbor is second. You will find that Vatican 2 does not make this distinction when it stated, “This is why the first and greatest commandment is love of God and of neighbor.” Gaudium et Spes #24 This is an outrageous lie!
While love of neighbor does reflect love for God, it does not mean that love of neighbor is the same as love for God.
John Paul made the argument that the death penalty goes against Christ and the Commandment “You shall not kill.”
John Paul II continues…
56. This is the context in which to place the problem of the death penalty. On this matter there is a growing tendency, both in the Church and in civil society, to demand that it be applied in a very limited way or even that it be abolished completely. The problem must be viewed in the context of a system of penal justice ever more in line with human dignity and thus, in the end, with God’s plan for man and society. The primary purpose of the punishment which society inflicts is “to redress the disorder caused by the offence”. [Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 2266.] Public authority must redress the violation of personal and social rights by imposing on the offender an adequate punishment for the crime, as a condition for the offender to regain the exercise of his or her freedom. In this way authority also fulfils the purpose of defending public order and ensuring people’s safety, while at the same time offering the offender an incentive and help to change his or her behaviour and be rehabilitated. [Cf. ibid.]
It is clear that, for these purposes to be achieved, the nature and extent of the punishment must be carefully evaluated and decided upon, and ought not go to the extreme of executing the offender except in cases of absolute necessity: in other words, when it would not be possible otherwise to defend society. Today however, as a result of steady improvements in the organization of the penal system, such cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent.
According to John Paul II, the death penalty is justified only when it defends public order and ensuring people’s safety. Such cases where men cannot be kept from being a threat to society are, of course, practically non-existent. Maximum security would take care of any real problems.
In the past, sodomites were a threat to society as St. Pius V implied, but even though they could have been locked away and given time to reform, the historic Catholic Church didn’t do so.
The new religion of Rome raised the level of man’s dignity equal to God with the teaching that the love of God and neighbor are one and the same.
Modernist Rome has necessarily rejected the historic teaching and practice of the Catholic Church of putting sodomites to death thus undercutting the very foundation of their own religion.
Evangelium vitae is a typical modernist document since truth yesterday is not true today.
One might argue that it is not an infallible document and therefore no doctrine has been infringed.
Regardless, John Paul II has personally rejected Catholic doctrine and practice and his document will now be accepted by millions leading them astray.
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