Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Death penalty is inadmissible in all cases, says Pope Francis

Pope Francis Modal Trigger AP
Andrew Cummings | 10 August, 2018, 04:22

Francis announced his intention to change church teaching on capital punishment in October, when he marked the 25th anniversary of the catechism itself.

It now says it is "inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person". Vaillancourt Murphy added, "These upcoming executions are a stark reminder that the death penalty is active in the United States, and it violates our commitment to the dignity of all life".

This week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey could bring back the death sentence.

What has it changed from?

With his revision of No.2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) Pope Francis has reaffirmed that which he has previously taught, "Today capital punishment is unacceptable, however serious the condemned's crime may have been". States, he added, now have more effective systems of detention, "which exclude the danger and trauma of violence being done to innocent people" and allow for the possibility of a guilty person's conversion and redemption.

Thirty-one states in the US allow the death penalty, including Nebraska, where the issue could soon become front-and-centre: The state is scheduled to carry out an execution on August 14, its first in more than two decades. In 1952, Pope Pius XII said it was not a violation of the universal right to life.

His successor, Benedict XVI, in a document published in November 2011, called on society's leaders "to make every effort to eliminate the death penalty".

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"With this new text the pope is not rejecting past teaching regarding the death penalty".

Amnesty International, which has long campaigned for a worldwide ban on the death penalty, welcomed the development as an "important step forward". He did so by revising the relevant text in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the authoritative volume containing Church doctrines.

And in a heavily Catholic part of the state, the death penalty could be an issue moving forward with the attorney general acknowledging he may run for governor. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries.

Pope Francis' official opposition has differs from the views of over half of U.S. Catholics. During a 2015 trip to the United States, where the death penalty is legal, he told Congress that "from the beginning of my ministry", he has advocated for it to be abolished.

"Who are we to take away the life of other people?"

By advancing the arguments of his two predecessors, Francis merely removed the ambiguity of the previous teaching, as Fr. Jerome Secillano of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines said in reaction to the Vatican pronouncement. There may never have been a more poignant time for an announcement like this: With a disgraceful abuse tempting many to leave the church, the Vatican's clarity on capital punishment offers a well-timed reminder of what is pure and holy in the Christian tradition. The attitudes of Catholics mirror those of the nation, with 53 percent favoring the death penalty. "Wala. So my death penalty for high-level trafficking is not anti-poor", Sotto said.

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