Revision to the Catechism states death penalty is inadmissible

On the 2nd of August, the Vatican released a revision to the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding the death penalty. The revision cites an address made by Pope Francis and states that “the death penalty is inadmissible” and is an “attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”.

Read the full reworded paragraph 2267 of the Catechism here:

The death penalty

  1. 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.

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”,[1] and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.

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[1] Francis, Address to Participants in the Meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, 11 October 2017: L’Osservatore Romano, 13 October 2017, 5.

[01209-EN.01] [Original text: Italian]