One of the problems with the way that many people during roughly the last 50 years or so have viewed the Bible is that they have taken parts that they like, mixed it with other religions that they like (often with beliefs that are mutually exclusive), and they call that their religion. While that may be common for the average person to do, for the leader of the Catholic Church to engage in such nonsense is very disturbing to many, as Town Hall has written.
The Vatican has proclaimed that Pope Francis has all but turned the historic faith into a grab bag religion and has now “changed the Catholic catechism.” Having said that capital punishment was permitted, a view shared by “the church fathers and St. Thomas Aquinas, among the other great Catholic theologians,” Francis has called it “inconsistent” with Catholicism, which appears to defy the Bible itself. The sacred literature states that whoever sheds innocent blood can be put to death.
It is important to understand that one’s personal view on the topic of the death sentence hardly matters in this instance. What matters is the fact that the Catholic Church has always stood by that the fact that universal truths are unchanging. Now, Pope Francis seems to be taking a giant eraser to that notion which could hurt the credibility of the church’s foundation greatly.
In the first five books of the Bible, putting murderers to death is mentioned time and time again. After the flood, it is said that except for “be fruitful and multiply,” the proper administration of the death sentence was the first thing bestowed onto Noah from God, as the Town Hall also observed.
Likewise, Genisis 9:6 says, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” It does not say that mercy can never be shown and that forgiveness can never be given (God forgave David for killing Bathsheba’s husband, for example), but the Bible is not ambiguous on the matter. Not putting killers to death is said to “diminish the crime of murder.”
The Pope did not seem to read that section of the Bible, for he wrote, “today capital punishment is unacceptable, however serious the condemned’s crime may have been.” He even said that the death sentence “entails cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.”
The church leader went on and opined, “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.” This is right after the Pope changed his view of Hell while part of the Vatican ceiling fell on the same day (coincidence?).
Even those who agree with the Pope have to see the larger problem here: that religion is seemingly being watered down in recent culture. While that is a certainly a first amendment right (or whatever free speech laws exist in Italy that are comparable), for those who take the Bible at its word, changing it has dire consequences.
For those who feel that the Pope did not change the Bible, that he has simply replaced the Old Testament law with the forgiveness practices taught by Jesus Christ, that isn’t what the Catholic Church has always said was universally true. Therefore, if that wasn’t right, what else wasn’t…right?
That is the slippery slope that the Pope has now placed the church on.