I understand that this question is touchy, and I myself wanted to break a hole through my wall when I heard what the Pope said, I have calmed down by God's grace. And I realize that traditionalists, like Church Militant have in a certain sense harmonized everything and calmed the storm. Although other traditionalists like akaCatholic are more reluctant to give the Pope a pass, mind you all of these are indeed traditionalists and not sedevacantists schismatics.
This question is frankly aimed at Pope Francis more than his revision of the canon, because it seems to me that his perpetual and almost ridiculous record of clumsiness in wording is God's way of restricting him from leading the Church into heresy. I hope this question can raise more awareness and that there will be an adequate answer for this site.
The questions are as follows:
Is Pope Francis' revision of canon 2267, in view of Trent, a development of doctrine or a change/evolution of doctrine?
Is the revision a prudential judgment or an absolute moral judgment? (This ties in with the first part of my question above, heterodoxy cannot be infallible)
Hypothetically speaking, if the Ordinary Magesterium (fallible) CLEARLY errs, can the clergy or the laymen resist the new teaching in appealing to the Church's tradition?
PS: I will not quote or consider the revision of Pope St. John Paul ll as to if Pope Francis' revision is a logical continuity to it because that question has already been dealt with, this question here focuses on the continuity in view of Trent. Naturally if Pope St. John Paul ll and Pope Francis are harmonized, then it only remains to see if both of their teachings can be harmonized with the Church's tradition.
The Traditional Catholic "atmosphere" around the Death Penalty is showcased in the following quotes(be indulgent, thank you):
“The same divine authority that forbids the killing of a human being establishes certain exceptions, as when God authorizes killing by a general law or when He gives an explicit commission to an individual for a limited time. The agent who executes the killing does not commit homicide; he is an instrument as is the sword with which he cuts. Therefore, it is in no way contrary to the commandment, ‘Thou shalt not kill’ to wage war at God’s bidding, or for the representatives of public authority to put criminals to death, according to the law, that is, the will of the most just reason.” – (St. Augustine, The City of God, Book 1, chapter 21)
It is written: “Wizards thou shalt not suffer to live” (Ex. 22:18); and: “In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land” (Ps. 100:8). …Every part is directed to the whole, as imperfect to perfect, wherefore every part exists naturally for the sake of the whole. For this reason we see that if the health of the whole human body demands the excision of a member, because it became putrid or infectious to the other members, it would be both praiseworthy and healthful to have it cut away. Now every individual person is related to the entire society as a part to the whole. Therefore if a man be dangerous and infectious to the community, on account of some sin, it is praiseworthy and healthful that he be killed in order to safeguard the common good, since “a little leaven corrupteth the whole lump” (1 Cor. 5:6). – (St. Thomas, Summa Theologiae, II, II, q. 64, art. 2)
“It must be remembered that power was granted by God [to the magistrates], and to avenge crime by the sword was permitted. He who carries out this vengeance is God’s minister (Rm 13:1-4). Why should we condemn a practice that all hold to be permitted by God? We uphold, therefore, what has been observed until now, in order not to alter the discipline and so that we may not appear to act contrary to God’s authority.” (Pope Innocent 1, Epist. 6, C. 3. 8, ad Exsuperium, Episcopum Tolosanum, 20 February 405, PL 20,495)
Condemned as an error: “That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.” – Pope Leo X, Exsurge Domine (1520)
New Teaching on the Death Penalty (2018)
- Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.
Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.
Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that "the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,"1 and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.
1 Francis, Address to Participants in the Meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, 11 October 2017: L'Osservatore Romano, 13 October 2017, 5.
Oldest Teaching on the Death Penalty (1556)
Catechism of the Council of Trent
The power of life and death is permitted to certain civil magistrates because theirs is the responsibility under law to punish the guilty and protect the innocent. Far from being guilty of breaking this commandment [Thy shall not kill], such an execution of justice is precisely an act of obedience to it. For the purpose of the law is to protect and foster human life. This purpose is fulfilled when the legitimate authority of the State is exercised by taking the guilty lives of those who have taken innocent lives.
In the Psalms we find a vindication of this right: “Morning by morning I will destroy all the wicked in the land, cutting off all evildoers from the city of the Lord” (Ps. 101:8).
(Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent, 1566, Part III, 5, n. 4)