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Catechism Revised To State That Death Penalty ‘Inadmissible’

On Aug. 2, Pope Francis approved a revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to clearly state that the death penalty is “inadmissible.” By taking this step, he is following the example of his predecessors, St. John Paul II and Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, both of whom expressed opposition to use of the death penalty.

The catechism now will read: “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.”

Pope Francis’ change to the text concludes: “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.”

To Young People: Look To Roots To Build A Better Future

In a video message to young people attending a youth assembly on the family in the Caribbean in July, Pope Francis said: “It's from your roots that you will get the strength to continue. None of us – neither you nor me – were manufactured in a laboratory; we have a history, we have roots. And everything we do, the results we achieve, the beauty we create in the future, all comes from those roots.”