Friday, August 03, 2018

Catholic Church Catechism Changed To Reject Capital Punishment In All Cases

Vatican News reported yesterday that the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has made a change to the Catechism of the Catholic Church so that it now rejects capital punishment in all cases. Previously the Catechism allowed for capital punishment in "very rare" circumstances.  The new language, approved by Pope Francis, says:
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”.