Death Penalty Development: A Conditional Advance of Justice

In a doctrinal clarification apropos for the feast day of Alphonsus Liguori, patron of moral theologians, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has modified the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the death penalty. Where the 1997 version left open, at least in theory, recourse to the supreme temporal punishment, Pope Francis has more strongly judged that the death penalty is “inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,” quoting the Holy Father’s address of 13 October 2017. These changes build upon prior remarks by popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI calling...

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