Author: Barrett Turner

Scholasticism and Sanctity

Sanctity is not often associated with the intellectual life of theologians, perhaps because the intellectual life is so public while prayer, fasting, and almsgiving aren’t to be published. Few, if any, news stories are written about a theologian as such helping a poor person in need. Yet theologians, even moral theologians, are at risk of forgetting about sanctity in the midst of busy teaching, writing, and speaking schedules. The importance of almsgiving in particular can fade from view, veiled with the memories of poverty during graduate school. I was therefore delighted to be challenged recently by an example of...

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Death Penalty Development: A Conditional Advance of Justice

In a doctrinal clarification apropos for the feast day of Alphonsus Liguori, patron of moral theologians, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has modified the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the death penalty. Where the 1997 version left open, at least in theory, recourse to the supreme temporal punishment, Pope Francis has more strongly judged that the death penalty is “inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,” quoting the Holy Father’s address of 13 October 2017. These changes build upon prior remarks by popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI calling...

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