Pope Francis changes capital punishment teaching, now finds death penalty 'inadmissible'

Pope Francis changes capital punishment teaching, now finds death penalty 'inadmissible'

Pope Francis changes capital punishment teaching, now finds death penalty 'inadmissible'

Capital punishment was "an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person", Francis said in a change to Catholic teaching.

The Philippines government plans to go ahead with its bid to restore the death penalty even as the Pope called it inadmissible under Catholicism - a faith professed by 85 per cent in the country.

"The key point here is really human dignity", Vatican Spokesman Greg Burke said.

This is a departure for the church, which has historically accepted the death penalty for the most heinous crimes.

What has it changed from?

The change, announced Thursday, was hailed by anti-death penalty activists and scorned by Francis' frequent conservative critics, who said he had no right to change what Scripture revealed and popes have taught for centuries.

Now, the Church says it recognizes that "the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes". States, he added, now have more effective systems of detention, "which exclude the danger and trauma of violence being done to innocent people" and allow for the possibility of a guilty person's conversion and redemption. Close to 700 people were sent to death by it until the state's last execution in 1963.

Hamilton, the University of Pennsylvania professor, said the pope's decree could be hard for the devout - especially in a climate where evangelicals and Catholics are increasingly arguing that their faith controls everything they do.

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Catholics have been encouraged by Papal and Church authority to seek abolition of the death penalty for over 20 years.

Roughly one in five United States adults say their primary religious affiliation is with the Catholic Church, according to a 2015 Pew report.

The only place in Europe where it is still legal is Belarus, which has a sizeable Catholic minority of about 7% of the population.

That represents a slight increase since 2016, when public support for the death penalty reached a four-decade low, Pew said in a June news release. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries.

In October, Pope Francis requested that the wording of the Catechism of the Catholic Church be updated to reflect that in modern times even this exception was no longer necessary.

"Media are reporting that Pope Francis has called the death penalty for capital crimes "inadmissible" and that states should be working to abolish the death penalty". The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops launched the Catholic Campaign to End the Use of the Death Penalty in 2005, which ultimately led to the formation of CMN.

However, after he was elected as Senate President in May, he said he is only pushing for capital punishment for high-level drug traffickers. The attitudes of Catholics mirror those of the nation, with 53 percent favoring the death penalty.

One of them will be Sister Helen Prejean, a religious sister who has for years has campaigned to abolish the death penalty and was played by Susan Sarandon in "Dead Man Walking" a film where Sister Helen offers support to an inmate on death row played by Sean Penn. The death penalty was meant only to protect society.

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