Pope Francis and the Death Penalty

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Speaking at a major audience on October 11, 2017, Pope Francis, building on the thoughts of every Pope since St. John XXIII,
declared that the death penalty is contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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The Pope reaffirmed the Church’s constant teaching that no person, even the murderer, loses his personal dignity because our dignity originates in God.  For this reason, the Pope said there must always be “the possibility of a moral and existential redemption that will be to the favor of the community.”

“It is necessary therefore to restate that, however grave the crime that may be committed, the death penalty is inadmissible because it attacks the inviolability and the dignity of the person.”

The Pope made it clear that the tradition of the Church is not static; truth must be applied to concrete situations of the present age.

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