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Pope adds to the Cathechism: "the death penalty is always inadmissible"

In the last version of the Catechism, 25 years ago, John Paul II mentioned the "very rare cases" in which the death penalty is legitimate.

Pope Francis has taken it one step further. During this meeting commemorating the quarter century anniversary of the last Catechism, he said that the death penalty is always unacceptable.


"However serious the crime committed may have been, the death penalty is inadmissible because it undermines the inviolability and dignity of the person."

The pope explained that no one can be deprived of life nor the chance for moral and existential redemption. In addition, he apologized because in the past the death penalty was even applied in the Papal States at times.


"Unfortunately, this extreme and inhumane remedy was also used in the Pontifical State, neglecting the primacy of mercy over justice. We assume responsibility for the past, and we recognize that those means were guided by a mentality more legalistic than Christian."

To commemorate 25 years of the catechism, the Vatican has presented a new “commented” edition of this important text.