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1-POPE-FRANCIS-SPEAKS

Pope Francis says the Death penalty is contrary to the Gospel and never acceptable

Yesterday he told an audience of cardinals and bishops 'however grave the crime that may be committed, the death penalty is inadmissible because it attacks the inviolability and the dignity of the person'.

by Ryan McDougall
Pope Francis’ comments came on the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the catechism, suggesting that a revision of the Catechism on this issue may be imminent.
“One has to strongly affirm that condemnation to the death penalty is an inhuman measure that humiliates personal dignity in whatever form it is carried out. And is, of itself, contrary to the Gospel, because it is freely decided to suppress a human life that is always sacred in the eyes of the Creator, and of which, in the final analysis, God alone is the true judge and guarantor,” Pope Francis said.
In a letter the Pope sent to the President of the International Commission against the Death Penalty in 2015, the Pope said: “No man ever, not even a murderer, loses his personal dignity, because God is a Father who always awaits the return of the son who, knowing he has done wrong, asks pardon and begins a new life.” He added: “Life cannot be taken away from anyone,” and said that there must always be “the possibility of a moral and existential redemption that will be to the favor of the community.”
The catechism originally admitted the use of the death penalty, but St John Paul II, , revised the text in 1997 with the help of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger however it did admit exceptions for ‘the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity’ although it also says such circumstances are ‘very rare, if not practically non-existent.’
Pope Francis has made clear on several occasions that he completely opposes the death penalty. In 2015, he addressed the US Congress, saying: “This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty. I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes’.

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