Vatican changes teaching to oppose death penalty in all cases

  • Vatican changes teaching to oppose death penalty in all cases

Vatican changes teaching to oppose death penalty in all cases

"The death penalty teaching may be observed or ignored, as is the abortion teaching, even though both are about killing", Alvaré wrote in an email.

The move has buoyed anti-death-penalty campaigners, particularly in the United States, which has more than 70 million Catholics. In his final years, my father continued to advocate for eliminating the law from the books, calling it a 'stain on our conscience.' Today, in solidarity with Pope Francis and in honor of my father, I will be advancing legislation to remove the death penalty - and its ugly stain in our history - from State law once and for all.

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has changed Church teaching about the death sentence. In Matthew's Gospel, Jesus, however, rejects the notion of retribution when he says "if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also".

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

As a Catholic scholar who writes about religion, politics and policy, I understand how Christians struggle with the death penalty - some can not endure the idea and others support it as a way to deter and punish bad crimes.

The Vatican defended the policy, saying it wasn't contradicting past teaching but evolving it. But until now, the official church teaching allowed for it in limited cases. "If true there would be a lot of couples in mortal sin". The most recent Gallup poll finds that 55 percent favor the death penalty and 41 percent oppose it. Authorities said they believe she was murdered, but they never made an arrest in the case. The organization called the new teaching an "important step forward". The catechism, first promulgated by St. John Paul II, gives Catholics an easy, go-to guide for church teaching on everything from the sacraments to sex.

But times have changed, he said.

St. John Paul II maintained that capital punishment should be reserved only for "absolute necessity".

Cupich's concerns about the implications of the death penalty for social justice jibed with the concerns of the legal experts, who described a justice system that preyed on those least likely to get a fair trial, including the mentally ill and racial minorities.

The revision says the church would work "with determination" for the abolition of capital punishment worldwide.

"It is still a priority of this administration to restore the death penalty for serious, drug-related offenses", presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing on Friday, a day after Pope Francis approved a change in Catholic catechism that had previously accepted capital punishment as a "last recourse ..." "We have a problem", he said.

It could set off a backlash among American Catholic traditionalists who have already cast Francis as dangerously inclined to change or compromise church teaching on other issues, like permitting communion for Catholics who have divorced and remarried without getting a church annulment. Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan account for 87% of global executions, according to The Guardian. The United States was No. 8 on the list in 2017, according to Amnesty International. India also retains death penalty and now has 400 prisoners under the sentence of death, shows a project report by the National Law University, Delhi. In the Philippines, for example, President Rodrigo Duterte has been pushing to reimpose it.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he'll introduce legislation that would remove the death penalty from New York state law.