Pope Francis Declares Death Penalty is Never OK

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

He affirmed the pope's assertion that it violates human dignity and called the new teaching "an authentic development of the Church's doctrine that started with St. John Paul II and has continued under emeritus Pope Benedict XVI and now Pope Francis".

The Vatican said the change to its universal catechism, a summary of Church teaching, reflected Pope Francis' total opposition to capital punishment.

The update also says the Church will "work with determination" for the abolition of the death penalty worldwide, added Ladaria. The county, which includes Cincinnati, has a larger death row population per capita than the counties containing the cities of Los Angeles, Miami or San Diego, and has more people on death row than all but 21 of the more than 3,000 counties in the United States, according to the newspaper.

"Ending the life of a criminal as punishment for a crime is inadmissible", Cardinal Ladaria said, "because it attacks the dignity of a person, a dignity that is not lost even after having committed the most serious crimes". As the revised Catechism states, "more effective systems of detention...which ensure the due protection of citizens" exist, ones that also maintain the human dignity of all.

Pope Francis recently approved changes to the Catholic Church's catechism that forbids the death penalty in all circumstances.

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A prominent Polish clergyman has welcomed a declaration by Pope Francis that the death penalty is incompatible with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. One former Catholic justice, the late Justice Antonin Scalia, famously said he didn't find the death penalty immoral, and that any judge who did should resign. Since then, the number of nations that use capital punishment has decreased. 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 issue in fact became one of the dividing points in the Lower House, when erstwhile Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez removed from committee chairmanships representatives who opposed the death penalty.

Governor Cuomo called the death penalty an "ugly stain" on the history of NY, and vowed this week to remove it from the books once and for all so that is could never be reinstated again. Robert Vischer, dean of the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, noted that Republicans nearly uniformly support the death penalty and Democrats nearly uniformly support the legal right to abortion. "Even people who do. repulsive things, we should to want to pray for their conversion and want them to repent for what they've done".

However, after he was elected as Senate President in May, he said he is only pushing for capital punishment for high-level drug traffickers.

Pope Francis addresses his weekly audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican on June 6, 2018.

"If we say we are for dignity of all life, that includes innocent and guilty as well", she said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.