Wednesday, January 07, 2009
RIP, Avery Dulles
I somehow missed the news that Avery Dulles has died. This interesting man, a scion of venerable WASP lineage, he became a Catholic, a jesuit priest and ultimately a cardinal.
Among other notable accomplishments, Cardinal Dulles shattered the notion that the Catholic Church is "against" the use of capital punishment. Some, even some bishops, even some cardinals, struggle with the idea that while the Church urges certain conditions upon use of the death penalty, She does not preclude its use altogether.
Cardinal Dulles rightly saw the continued assault on capital punishment by liberal Western democracies not as a sign of religious sensitivity, but rather as a sign of the increasingly materialistic, anti-supernatural philosophical stance of these post-Christian societies.
What a shame, therefore, that some otherwise orthodox Christians fall into the trap of confusing abolition of capital punishment with Christian charity.