Pope Changes Church Teachings to Oppose Death Penalty

The Vatican said Thursday Pope Francis has asked the church to change its teachings to reflect his view that the death penalty should be inadmissible.

The new language in the Catechism of the Catholic Church says the death penalty was long considered an appropriate response to certain crimes in order to protect the public, but that now there is “an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes.”

The text says there are more effective detention systems that “do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.”

It further says the Catholic Church teaches the death penalty is an attack on a person’s dignity, and that the church “works with determination for its abolition worldwide.”

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