IN HER May 20 letter "Selective protesters," in which she wonders where the protest was when George Bush spoke at Notre Dame in 2001, Rosemarie Buxton misrepresents Catholic teaching by equating abortion with the death penalty. The church has not condemned the death penalty universally. It has taught that, under certain circumstances, the death penalty may be allowed to protect the common good, as can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Many great minds, with whom I agree, such as Pope John Paul II, have said that it is their opinion that rarely, if ever, is the death penalty needed to protect the common good in our age. However, those who disagree with him on this matter are not dissenting from any official church teaching, but merely disagreeing with the opinion of some Catholics.
President Bush may have been wrong on the death penalty during his term as governor of Texas, but there is room for dialogue on such issues. There can be no dialogue on whether or the intentional taking of innocent human life is just. It never is.
Donato Infante III