St. Colman of Stockerau and Torture

Saint Colman of Stockerau was an Irish or Scottish pilgrim who was martyred in Austria in 1012 while on the way to the Holy Land. He was mistaken for a spy because of his strange appearance. Because he spoke no German, he could give no account of himself. He did nothing wrong, and was in fact a very holy man, but he was tortured and eventually hanged. His feast day is October 13.

The National Religious Campaign Against Torture has a list of several public Catholic responses to torture, one of which is called “No Excuses for Torture” published in America magazine in 2010 and written by Stephen M. Colecchi. Colecchi points out:

“In Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, the statement on political responsibility that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued in November 2007 in preparation for the 2008 national elections, the bishops referred to the issue of torture five times. Echoing the catechism, they declared that torture is ‘intrinsically evil’ and ‘can never be justified’ and stated categorically: ‘The use of torture must be rejected as fundamentally incompatible with the dignity of the human person and ultimately counterproductive in the effort to combat terrorism.’ It is counterproductive not only because experts tell us that it does not work, but also because it undermines the very good it hopes to achieve: the common good of all.'”

See Suleiman Abdallah, see Murat Kurnaz, see Maher Arar, how many others?

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