Fratelli Tutti 263: The Death Penalty

Today, we begin a look at the “death penalty.” It is a difficult topic. Many Christians and others consider its targets deserving of death, and so a difficult topic to defend and advocate. But many others consider it a sign of a flawed human approach. Popes have called it “flawed” and “inadmissible.” The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith also weighs in in agreement:

263. There is yet another way to eliminate others, one aimed not at countries but at individuals. It is the death penalty. Saint John Paul II stated clearly and firmly that the death penalty is inadequate from a moral standpoint and no longer necessary from that of penal justice. [Cf. Evangelium Vitae 56] There can be no stepping back from this position. Today we state clearly that “the death penalty is inadmissible” [Address on the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (11 October 2017): AAS 109 (2017), 1196] and the Church is firmly committed to calling for its abolition worldwide.  [Cf. CDF, Letter to the Bishops Regarding the Revision of No. 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Death Penalty (1 August 2018): L’Osservatore Romano, 3 August 2018, p. 8]

I have known people to be convinced by these and similar statements from Church authorities. Others resist, and this is only natural. We’ll continue to explore this topic for the next several days.

All citations of Fratelli Tutti (which can be found on this link) are © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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