Poland and the death penalty

The risks of associating the church with any secular political force were underscored this week, with news with that the Polish government under President Lech Kaczynski will campaign for a return of the death penalty in the European Union.

Kaczynski said that the EU, which has effectively banned capital punishment, would come to see it was justified for murder.

Kaczynski and his twin, Jaroslaw, the Polish prime minister, came to power last year promising a tough stance against corruption and crime; indeed, the name of their party is "Law and Justice." The Kaczynski twins also, however, promised to reawaken the Catholic roots of Poland, and have been embraced by important sectors of the Polish church.

We say: Charlottesville reveals the weeping wound of racism. What do we, the American Catholic faith community, do next? Read the editorial.

It will be interesting to see if Benedict and the Polish hierarchy attempt to spend some of this political capital to sway Kaczynski's position on the death penalty -- and if so, what effect it might have.

The e-mail address for John L. Allen Jr. is jallen@ncronline.org

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg

Show comments

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.