To the editor:
This week, as I sat in the pew of my local Roman Catholic Church, I noticed my son praying fervently at my side. When queried, he allowed that he was praying for the captured British marines and sailors. Subsequently, in the general intercessions came an entreaty to end capital punishment.
Gone is the old Catholic Church where priests thundered out a call for victory in World War II, Korea and even (in the early days) Vietnam. Now we have a pacifist church at odds with its own tradition: Support for capital punishment has always been a staple of Roman Catholic social teaching. Both Aquinas and Augustine, doctors pre-eminent of our faith, supported the imposition of the death penalty as did the Apostle Paul.
As our faith has abandoned its traditional moorings so too has our society abandoned its traditional call to victory. One remembers FDR's demand for total victory in Europe and Asia, his imposition of "unconditional surrender" in the last war we can claim to have won.
Now we have a military cowed by fears of court-martial or being dragged before some international tribune. So it is that a British Man of War stood by while a rouge nation's thugs stole its crew members from under their very gunsights, never firing a shot, abandoning them just as church and country have abandoned their flocks to the peregrinations of modernity.
Our faith, our nation is done.
Matthew M. O'Connell,