On August 2, 2018, Pope Francis declared the death penalty inadmissible in all cases because it is “an attack” on the “dignity of the person.” Francis added the change to the Catechism, the collection of beliefs for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
According to the National Catholic Reporter, the catechism previously stated that the death penalty is admissible if the sentence is deemed the only way to defend “human lives against the unjust aggressor.” Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Evangelium Vitae stated that cases where the state is unable to protect the people from the perpetrator is “very rare, if not practically nonexistent.”
The clarification will now state the death penalty is “inadmissible” and the church “works with determination for its abolition worldwide.”
Coverage is available at the following links:
America Magazine: https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2018/08/03/us-catholic-bishops-advocacy-groups-welcome-change-death-penalty