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Saint of the Day

St. Philip Neri (1515-1595)
After working as a businessman, Philip abandoned his worldly interests and devoted himself to the the poor and sick. Ordained a priest, he founded the Congregation of the Oratory. He heard confessions for hours at a time, and could tell penitents their sins before they confessed.

Reflections from the Saints

Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and makes us persevere in a good life. Therefore the servant of God ought always to be in good spirits.
– St. Philip Neri
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Life in Christ: Catechism #2267

Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor. If, however, nonlethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person. Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.