Mandeville, LA – [Editor’s note: Solenge Hertz wrote this essay in 2001, clearly seeing that Pope John Paul II’s monkeying around with CCC language on the death penalty was a opening shot in paving the way to end Church teaching on it.
The death penalty, from the first one imposed on man by God in the beginning in Eden, to the one imposed on God by man on that Good Friday in Jerusalem, on down to those still being imposed today, transcends human legislation.
This was a revolution in the making and few called it like Solenge. – Ed, MC] “What Christ did was to sanctify the death penalty, transforming it into a sacrament of life for those who believe. As St. Paul declared, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?. . . For by a man came death, and by a man the resurrection of the dead. And as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive” (1 Cor. 15: 54-55; 21-22). The first of that numberless host of Christian martyrs who would be put to death by constituted authority for testifying to the truth, Christ commanded His disciples to “Follow me!” Inviting all to Calvary to “suffer under Pontius Pilate” with Him, He granted a meritorious share in accomplishing “the mystery which hath been hidden for ages and generations, but is now made manifest to his saints” to all who, like St. Paul, would “now rejoice in my sufferings for you and fill up those things which are wanting of the sufferings of Christ in my flesh, for his body which is the church. . .” (Col. 1:26, 24).
Criminals put to death undergo a penalty no different from the one exacted from the most innocent amongst us. As with everyone else the moment of death ushers them either into heaven, hell or purgatory. The most that can be said is that their lives here on earth are shortened, and they must settle their accounts sooner than expected. This could be a great mercy for them as well as for society, both in terms of expiation and protection from any future crimes they might have perpetrated. The death penalty, from the first one imposed on man by God in the beginning in Eden, to the one imposed on God by man on that Good Friday in Jerusalem, on down to those still being imposed today, transcends human legislation. By divine decree it will perdure until the end of time, when “the former things are passed away.” Only then “death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more,” and not one minute sooner. (Apo. 21:4). – Solenge Hertz, March 2001 issue of the Remnant Newspaper.