Completing the movement started by his predecessors, Saint John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis has made an official change to the Catechism of the Catholic Church declaring the use of the death penalty “inadmissible” in all cases.
Read the NY Times article here.
Read the National Catholic Register article here.
The full text of the new draft of paragraph 2267 in the Catechism states, in full:
“Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good. Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption. Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that ‘the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,’ and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.”