USCCB’s compendium on Torture

Found this great document on the USCCB web site:
It examines the issues surrounding torture, official Church documents (notably the much-discussed passages from the Catechism and Veritatis Splendor), etc.


9 responses to “USCCB’s compendium on Torture

  1. I find it incredible that the USCCB would create a 39 page document and not once does it describe what techniques would fall under the description of “torture.”

    Here are some that may be found in a list of 90+ in Wikipedia:

    A list of torture methods and devices includes:
    Psychological torture methods

    * Shaming and public humiliation, being stripped or displayed naked, public condemnation
    * Shunning
    * Exploitation of phobias; e.g., mock execution, leaving arachnophobes in a room full of spiders
    * Being subjected to interrogation for long periods
    * Sleep deprivation
    * Solitary confinement
    * Sensory deprivation
    * Threat of permanent, severe disfigurement.
    * Pharmacological torture

    Physical torture methods

    * Beatings and physical violence
    * Boiling
    * Bone breaking
    * Branding
    * Castration
    * Chinese water torture
    * Choking/Strangling
    * Crushing
    * Cutting
    * Denailing
    * Electric shock torture
    * Tooth extraction
    * Flagellation
    * Flaying
    * Foot roasting
    * Foot whipping [bastinado]
    * Force-feeding
    * Garrotting
    * Genital mutilation/forced circumcision
    * Kneecapping
    * Oxygen deprivation
    * Rat torture
    * Sexual assault
    * Sawing
    * Scalping
    * Starvation
    * Waterboarding

    Instruments of torture

    Note that the line between “torture method” and “torture device” is often blurred, particularly when a specifically-named implement is but one component of a method. Also, many devices that can be used for torture have mainstream uses, completely unrelated to torture.

    * Cattle prod
    * Electroshock weapon
    * Instep borer
    * Iron Maiden
    * Pillory
    * Rack
    * Spanish boot
    * Stocks
    * Tasers
    * Thumbscrew (torture device)

    These are just the ones that I have vaguely heard of.

  2. I find it incredible that the USCCB would make a document on torture without providing information on torture methods.

    Nakedness, shame and waterboarding are pretty mild when compared to the 90+ other methods found in a Wikipedia article on torture techniques:

  3. Ray,
    I’m astonished the USCCB wrote a document like this, provided actual citations from papal writings, and didn’t just base it on Cardinal Roger “I’m infallible because I’m appointed by the Pope” Mahony’s personal opinions!

    As for that Wikipedia list, I wonder if some of those should really be considered torture. *Shunning*? So, people don’t have freedom of association?

  4. The fact is, the Catholic Church in USA is nothing but a propaganda wing of the Republican Party.

    • And you reach this conclusion *HOW*?

      We finally have some bishops speaking out on abortion, in the midst of scandals about the USCCB spending millions of dollars supporting ACORN and other radical left wing, anti-family, anti-marriage, anti-life groups, and you’re saying their propagandists for the Republicans?

    • The reason why Chaput and Burke and Vasa make headlines is that the vast majority of US bishops refuse to do their duty and enforce Canon 915.

  5. Well that just proves my point, doesn’t it? The UCSSB is supporting ACORN and other pro-abort organizations, but at the same time they’re preaching the Republican position on abortion.

    Anything to help the Republicans–even self-contradiction!

    • You really don’t have a clue, do you? It’s the *Catholic* position on abortion. The bishops do just enough to not get in trouble with Rome while serving the Democratic party.
      On the side of the Republicans, who have proven they merely use pro-life to get votes the way the Whigs uesd abolitionism to get votes, there is a lot of complaining that abortion is “really just a Catholic issue.”

    • Hi, Ted, great suggestions for general study, but I was going for some very specific criteria here. One was “books I’ve read” (and have read about half of what you list). The other was “crash course.” The third was limiting to “philosophy.”

      If I were talking about Christian literature or about theology or apologetics, I’d suggest more a list like the one you have (and I’m thinking of making this a new series; posting reading lists on different subjects).

      That said, I’d disagree with your sequence a bit. Lewis should always come before Tolkein, and I don’t think one can pick up on the themes in Tolkein without a firm grounding in all the other stuff. Lord of the Rings should be, as it was for me, the capstone, not the foundation. I tried reading it a couple times in my teen and college years, and I never got anything out of it.

      And there’s definitely tons of good modern stuff, even just limited to philosophy: von Hildebrand, Kreeft, Kirk, Bloom, etc.

      I haven’t actually read the Divine Comedy in its entirely. I read Inferno and didn’t get much out of it. And if I were focusing on Divine Comedy, I’d start a whole other list, including the entirety of T. S. Eliot’s poetry in conjunction with Russell Kirks’ _Eliot and His Age_.

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