Friday, January 20, 2012

St. Innocent of Rome on the Death Penalty

St. Innocent I, Pope of Rome (ca. 405):

"It must be remembered that power was granted by God, and to avenge crime the sword was permitted; he who carries out this vengeance is God's minister (Romans 13:1-4). What motive have we for condemning 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." Ad Exsuperium, Episcopum Tolosanum, PL 20,495.