#ShortNews: Death penalty never justifiable, Pope says

In an October 11 address marking the 25th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis said that “it must be clearly stated that the death penalty is an inhumane measure that, regardless of how it is carried out, abases human dignity.”

The Pope mentioned the Catechism‘s teaching on capital punishment as a topic that requires “a more adequate and coherent treatment.” St. John Paul II had already altered the text to say that situations justifying execution today “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.” But the Catechism still upholds the traditional Catholic teaching that “does not exclude recourse to the death penalty.”

In more general comments on the Catechism, Pope Francis said that the Church’s teaching “develops and grows because it is aimed at a fulfillment that none can halt.” He said that “doctrine cannot be preserved without allowing it to develop, nor can it be tied to an interpretation that is rigid and immutable without demeaning the working of the Holy Spirit.”


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