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Pope declares death penalty 'inadmissible' in Catholic teaching update

Pope declares death penalty 'inadmissible' in Catholic teaching update

"With the change, . the Vatican regards the death penalty unacceptable in all cases as it attacks a person's inherent dignity, . and the Church now endorses the abolition of the practice around the world".

Malacañang said Friday it is not giving up on pushing for the reinstatement of death penalty despite Pope Francis' declaration that it is "inadmissible" in the Catholic Church's teachings.

Reporting from Rome, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli says the catechism change is "likely to be opposed by Catholics in the USA and other states where capital punishment is legal".

Reversing long-held church doctrine and aligning himself with progressive Catholic advocates, Pope Francis said Thursday that the death penalty is "inadmissable" in all cases.

The move has buoyed anti-death-penalty campaigners, particularly in the United States, which has more than 70 million Catholics.

The Catholic Church has steadily hardened its opposition to capital punishment in recent decades, with Francis's calls for its abolition echoing similar pleas from his predecessors Benedict XVI and John Paul II.

The Pope announced his decision to change Church teaching on the death penalty last October on the 25th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism.

Amnesty International reports that 993 worldwide executions were recorded in 2017, with the US submitting 23 people to capital punishment.

Pope Francis has become a controversial figure due to his many changes to Catholic Church doctrine.

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Francis in a 2015 speech to the US Congress said that human life must be defended "at every stage of its development".

Francis has always been an opponent of the death penalty, saying it could never be justified no matter how bad the crime is.

However, human rights organisation Amnesty International recorded at least 2,591 death sentences in 53 countries and almost 1,000 executions in 2017 alone.

"The fact of the matter is, we have gotten to the point where our office has tried to work with the department of corrections to show them ways under which we can get these executions moving. and they have resisted", Landry told KATC a few weeks ago.

The new language in the Catechism of the Catholic Church says the death penalty was long considered an appropriate response to certain crimes in order to protect the public, but that now there is "an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes".

The Times notes that Francis has previously spoken out against the penalty, and abolishing it "has been one of Francis' top priorities for many years".

The church's reversal comes amid increased support for the death penalty in the United States, with President Donald Trump calling for drug dealers. "Opting for incarceration instead of capital punishment also makes a statement for the sacredness of human life, even of a person who has committed a serious crime".

Last year, there were "993 executions in 23 countries", according to Amnesty International.


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