October 16, 2012
By Kerry McGuire / Texas Catholic Herald
|Father Ron Cloutier, Archdiocesan Director of the Office of Correctional Ministries, speaks to inmates. (Archdiocese of Galveston-houston File Photo)
As Respect Life Month approaches in October, and elections continue to be on the minds of all Americans, issues that focus on respecting human life, such as abortion, euthanasia and capital punishment, are in the forefront of the media.
One of those, capital punishment, may be one of the most controversial and confusing topics around the globe from a moral, intellectual and political standpoint. When it comes to the views of the Catholic Church, the fundamental principles of its faith call each person to go forth and work for social justice and defend the life, dignity and rights of all people.
Dr. Marcella Colbert, Director of the Archdiocesan Respect Life Office, said that, while this is a complex issue, the Catholic Church has very clear thinking on the death penalty.
“We believe a person, or a society in the case of war, has the right to defend itself against an unlawful attack by a dangerous person, so you may kill in self-defense only,” Colbert said. “The Catholic Church does everything in its power to protect life, not just innocent human life, such as in euthanasia and abortion, but also even those who have committed major crimes.”