Pope changes Catholic Church teaching on death penalty, brands it ‘inadmissible’ & wants abolition
The Roman Catholic Church said that the death penalty is always inadmissible as it “attacks” human dignity, calling for its abolition worldwide. The statement marks a change in Catholic Church teaching.
For a long time “the death penalty by the legitimate authority after a regular trial was considered an adequate response” to some serious crimes, the statement from the Pope said, as cited by Vatican Radio.
The pontiff argues that a person’s dignity “is not lost even after committing serious crimes.” Today, more “effective detention systems” are being developed, which guarantee proper defense of citizens, and at the same time allow offenders to redeem themselves.
"The death penalty is inadmissible” because it attacks the “dignity of a person", he concludes.
Previously a Catechism of the Catholic Church had allowed the capital punishment in rare cases.
According to Amnesty International, almost 1000 executions were recorded in 2017. The majority of them took place in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan. All in all, at least 23 countries were known to have carried out executions last year, the group says, noting that Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) resumed executions. Amnesty also recorded more than 2,500 death sentences across 53 countries in 2017.
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