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Books and Bytes: The Wikipedia Library Newsletter
Books and Bytes
Volume 1, Issue 1, October 2013
by The Interior (talk · contribs), Ocaasi (talk · contribs)
Greetings Wikipedia Library members! Welcome to the inaugural edition of Books and Bytes, TWL’s monthly newsletter. We're sending you the first edition of this opt-in newsletter, because you signed up, or applied for a free research account: HighBeam, Credo, Questia, JSTOR, or Cochrane. To receive future updates of Books and Bytes, please add your name to the subscriber's list. There's lots of news this month for the Wikipedia Library, including new accounts, upcoming events, and new ways to get involved...
New positions: Sign up to be a Wikipedia Visiting Scholar, or a Volunteer Wikipedia Librarian
Wikipedia Loves Libraries: Off to a roaring start this fall in the United States: 29 events are planned or have been hosted.
New subscription donations: Cochrane round 2; HighBeam round 8; Questia round 4... Can we partner with NY Times and Lexis-Nexis??
New ideas: OCLC innovations in the works; VisualEditor Reference Dialog Workshop; a photo contest idea emerges
News from the library world: Wikipedian joins the National Archives full time; the Getty Museum releases 4,500 images; CERN goes CC-BY
Announcing WikiProject Open: WikiProject Open kicked off in October, with several brainstorming and co-working sessions
New ways to get involved: Visiting scholar requirements; subject guides; room for library expansion and exploration
Read the full newsletter
Thanks for reading! All future newsletters will be opt-in only. Have an item for the next issue? Leave a note for the editor on the Suggestions page. --The Interior 20:42, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
The Wikipedia Library Survey
As a subscriber to one of The Wikipedia Library's programs, we'd like to hear your thoughts about future donations and project activities in this brief survey. Thanks and cheers, Ocaasi t | c 15:13, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Catholic Church and capital punishment
Before I take a whack at inserting materials into this article, I thought I would contact you as the originator of the entry.
The article seems to move back and forth as to what the Catholic Church position is on capital punishment. Early on it refers to authorities "invoked by the Catholic Church to oppose the death penalty" and then later on states that "It is still allowed for extreme cases."
It seems to conclude that capital punishment is allowed when "the death penalty is the only way to defend others against the guilty party". This is really not a fair summary of Catholic teaching. The late Avery Cardinal Dulles wrote an article for the April 2001 issue of First Things which summarizes both the current and traditional Catholic position:
To summarize the Church's teaching, there are four reasons why any punishment may be inflicted upon a criminal: Rehabilitation, Defense against the criminal, Deterrence, and Retributive justice.
John Paul II dealt with one, and only one, of these reasons - defense against the criminal.
There remains the other three of which retributive justice is probably most relevant. For an example consider the case of Timothy McVeigh. He freely admitted the crime, the crime was of exceptional viciousness and heinousness, and he indicated he would do it again if he had to do it over.
Clearly we could consider defense against the criminal met if we incarcerated Timothy McVeigh for life. However, the other three reasons for capital punishment were relevant. Prominent in these is retributive justice. Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
2266 The efforts of the state to curb the spread of behavior harmful to people's rights and to the basic rules of civil society correspond to the requirement of safeguarding the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offense. Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offense. When it is willingly accepted by the guilty party, it assumes the value of expiation. Punishment then, in addition to defending public order and protecting people's safety, has a medicinal purpose: as far as possible, it must contribute to the correction of the guilty party.
The phrase "proportionate to the gravity of the offense" translates into the common phrase "punishment fits the crime".
Most people's sense of justice would consider capital punishment as "proportionate to the gravity of the offense" for an unrepentant man who killed 168 innocent human beings - nineteen of whom were children as young as 3 months and three were pregnant women, injured more than 680 people, destroyed or damaged 324 buildings within a 16-block radius, destroyed or burned 86 cars, and caused an estimated $652 million worth of damage.
As the Catechism states retributive justice is the *primary* reason for exacting a punishment.
This is the reason why then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote to Cardinal McCarrick in Washington, DC, that Catholics may disagree with the Holy Father (at that time John Paul II) on the use of the death penalty and remain Catholics in good conscience.
I don't believe, therefore, that the article is currently a fair statement of the Catholic Church's teaching on capital punishment and leaves the false impression that the ONLY reason capital punishment may be inflicted is for defense against the criminal, and that Catholics cannot in good conscience conclude differently than John Paul II in their prudential judgment as citizens or officers of the State. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Eblem (talk • contribs) 15:16, 14 February 2014 (UTC)