As Feser remarks over email, some theologians “have turned the notion of development into a euphemism or lawyer’s trick whereby outright reversals of past teaching are magically made orthodox by slapping the label ‘development’ on them. You might as well say that denying Christ’s divinity or the doctrine of original sin can be reconciled with past teaching as long as we call them ‘developments’ and get enough people to go along with this sleight of hand.”
Word! Taken from a Catholic Herald article about Edward Feser's new book (co-authored with Joseph Bessette) on the death penalty.
As I've said before, I'm personally opposed to the death penalty on grounds of squeamishness. The idea of taking somebody's life in cold blood seems horrible to me. The argument that miscarriages of justice, when it comes to capital punishment, are irreversible, also seems difficult to refute to me. Doubtless, Feser and Bessette address it in this book.
At the same time, I'm annoyed that the death penalty has become yet another of the prudential political causes, such as open borders and social welfare and anti-discrimination and feminism, that the Catholic left (and even the Catholic mainstream) is presenting as an article of faith. It seems that, when Catholic spokesmen speak in the public square, they are so reluctant to speak about anything supernatural that they always opt for political causes-- invariably left-wing political causes. So I say, hurrah for Feser and Bessette.
(Indeed, I should admit that, amongt the living, Feser is the interpreter of Catholic doctrine that I trust the most.)