Pope Francis has modified the teaching of the Church on the death penalty and said in a text published on Thursday that it is always “inadmissible” because it “undermines” the inherent dignity of every human being.
The Vatican announced on Thursday that the pontiff approved a change in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the compilation of the teachings of the Church.
Until now, the catechism said that the institution did not exclude recourse to capital punishment if it were “the only possible way to effectively defend unjust aggressors against human lives”.
The new teaching points out that the previous norm is outdated and that there are other ways to protect society: “Therefore the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that the death penalty is inadmissible, because it undermines the inviolability and dignity of the person, and is committed with determination to its abolition throughout the world. ”
The text, approved in May, was released on Thursday.
In an accompanying letter, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said that the change in Catholic doctrine on capital punishment does not contradict the previous magisterium but responds to the evolution of it.