World

The Pope Changes Catholic Church's Position on Death Penalty

The Pope Changes Catholic Church's Position on Death Penalty

The encyclical led to an updating of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which he originally promulgated in 1992 and which recognized "the right and duty of legitimate public authority to punish malefactors by means of penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime, not excluding, in cases of extreme gravity, the death penalty".

Pope Francis has added this change in the Roman Catholic Church's Catechism, a holy book of doctrine for the Catholics which is taught worldwide to the Catholic children and it was majorly studied by the adults who visit the church and have a membership of about 1.2 million people.

In a tweet, Sister Helen Prejean said Francis' decision to change church teaching on capital punishment "has closed the last remaining loophole in Catholic teaching on the death penalty". Moore, who has been slated for execution for over 35 years, is "guilty and exhausted of death-row life", according to Journal Star.

The Catholic Church teaches that the death penalty is permissible in some circumstances, though more recent interpretations hold that it is largely unnecessary in modern times to preserve safety in society.

"In addition to papal proclamations, Catholic bishops in every state that have the death penalty have taken stands to see an end to this practice".

In the letter announcing the change, the Congregation's leader, Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, said that this change did not contradict earlier church teachings, which "can be explained in the light of the primary responsibility of the public authority to protect the common good in a social context in which the penal sanctions were understood differently, and had developed in an environment in which it was more hard to guarantee that the criminal could not repeat his crime".

"The death penalty is morally indefensible and has no place in the 21st century", Cuomo said.

Former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo removed capital punishment in June 2006 with her signature on Republic Act 9346, or "An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of the Death Penalty in the Philippines".

In the United States, where 22% of the population are Catholic, execution is still legal in 31 states. The update was published today, the Associated Press reports. Today, however, prison is more than just punishment and in many countries sophisticated detention centres more than adequately protect the public.

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

Capital punishment is banned in most of Europe, with Belarus the only European country that carried out executions previous year, Amnesty said. Previously, the doctrine determined that the execution of another human being was admissible if it was "the only practical way" to prevent harm to other people.

Pope Francis approved of the revised text as well as the accompanying letter on June 28, 2018, and ordered its publication, the letter concludes. Also, given the culture of death in our times, abortion, murder, euthanasia, the state should opt for incarceration instead of the death penalty.