Pope calls death penalty 'inadmissible'


Pope Francis has changed the Catholic Church's teaching on the death penalty, saying capital punishment is "inadmissible" in all cases because it "attacks" human dignity.

The church also teaches that "the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person", and that it "works with determination for its abolition worldwide". "That's not being taken away here, but they can do that in other ways".

Cupich said if we are to protect the sanctity of life for the least worthy, "we surely must protect those most vulnerable and most innocent", adding, "We live in an era where the dignity of human life is threatened".

For decades, Catholic politicians who support capital punishment, including the senators and representativesin the chamberthat day, had an "out" when it comes to church teaching: The Catholic Catechism, the church's book of moral and religious teachings, had allowed the use of capital punishment in certain cases.

In the U.S., according to the Pew Research Service, public support for the death penalty has ticked up slightly since hitting a four-decade low in 2016, with 54 per cent approving of the punishment for those convicted of murder. As recently as January 11, 2017 the Diocese of Toledo held a prayer vigil to bring an end to the death penalty in view of a pending OH execution.

"It's something that the New York State bishops have been against and working toward the ending of capital punishment", he said.

Doctrinally, the development "centers principally on the clearer awareness of the Church for the respect due to every human life", the letter states, citing Saint John Paul II: "Not even a murderer loses his personal dignity".

But on Thursday the Pope went further by making a formal change to the universal catechism.

Speaking at an exhibition in the Phoenix Park yesterday, Dr Martin said he had no response from the Vatican on whether or not Pope Francis will make time to meet abuse survivors.

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During the papal visit to the United States in 2015 Fr Federico Lombardi, then Holy See spokesman, told journalists that Pope Francis was developing Catholic teaching on the death penalty and the environment.

Francis has always been an opponent of the death penalty, saying it could never be justified no matter how bad the crime is.

The catechism's paragraph on capital punishment was last updated by Pope St. John Paul II in 1997.

At the House of Representatives, Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza said he "welcomes the Pope's pronouncement", and hoped the government would stop pushing for the return of capital punishment.

As CMN celebrates this declaration honoring the dignity of all life, it especially holds in prayer all those who have been victims of or impacted by grave harm.

Pope Francis also adds that the opportunity for conversion, redemption, and rehabilitation exists even for one who has committed a heinous crime.

The move could also set off a backlash among Catholic traditionalists who already cast Francis as being dangerously inclined to change or compromise church teaching on other issues, such as permitting communion for Catholics who have divorced and remarried without getting a church annulment.

For the ninth year running, the United States was the only country to carry out executions in the Americas region, Amnesty International said.

Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd on Friday said he would try to find a "compromise" to get the support of fellow senators for the proposal to revive the death penalty.