Opposition to the death penalty should be kept in focus



Since my name and a reference to my letter of Dec. 13, 2018, were used as the opening words in an opinion piece in the Jan. 10 edition, I thought I should repeat the main reason for writing on the topic, namely, that “the Church teaches, in the light of the gospel, that the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and the dignity of the person.” (The Catholic Catechism)

I wrote that better education is needed to fully connect opposition to the death penalty with our pro- life efforts and teaching. I believe that we must keep our Catholic opposition to the death penalty in focus and not allow it to be replaced by a new narrative of “continuity/development,” which the op-ed seems to do. I do not see the relevance of arguments from the “legal sphere,” philosophical distinctions, even the beautiful fantasy writing of the “The Screwtape Letters,” when we have the teachings of Jesus, Pope Francis, the Catholic Catechism, and our faith tradition of mercy and compassion. Let’s keep it simple and clear and just emphasize the Gospel of Life and the personalism of Pope Francis.

Rev. Eugene J. McKenna, Matunuck