Pope Francis is steering the Catholic church away from supporting the death penalty in a new papal policy released Thursday.
Francis called the death penalty “inadmissible” and said it “attacks” the dignity of all humans, according to The Associated Press. (RELATED: Pope Francis Says Traitors Of Trust Are Taking Over Catholic Church Like A Cancer)
Francis is making a major change to the faiths Catechism, as Catholicism used to allow the death penalty in the case of extraordinary circumstance. “If this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor,” Catechism previously taught, The AP reported.
Francis slammed the old policy as out of date and said it is contrary to the “light of the Gospel.”
“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,” Francis claimed. “And she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.”
Cardinal Luis Ladaria, head of the Vaticans doctrine office, said no person is ever beyond redemption. Even those who have committed unspeakable crimes.
“If, in fact the political and social situation of the past made the death penalty an acceptable means for the protection of the common good, today the increasing understanding that the dignity of a person is not lost even after committing the most serious crimes,” Ladaria wrote in a letter explaining the new change.
The change was officially approved by the pontiff in May, but was announced and made public on Thursday, according to The AP.
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