U.S. Bishops Welcome Catechism Change on Death Penalty


“And the Church has always recognized that governments and civil authorities have the right to carry out executions in order to protect the lives of their citizens and to punish those guilty of the gravest crimes against human life and the stability of the world. ‘social order’.

He also noted that “in recent decades there has been a growing consensus – among bishops’ conferences around the world and in the teachings of Popes and Catechism – that recourse to the death penalty can no longer be accepted.”

“The Church has understood that from a practical point of view, governments now have the ability to protect society and punish criminals without executing violent offenders. The Church now believes that the traditional purposes of punishment – to defend society, deterring criminal acts, rehabilitating criminals and penalizing them for their actions – can best be achieved through non-violent means,” the Archbishop of Los Angeles said.

“The Catechism now says that the death penalty is “inadmissible” – it should not be applied – because it violates the dignity of the person and because “more effective detention systems have been developed, which guarantee the protection of citizens but , at the same time, does not permanently deprive the culprit of the possibility of redemption.'”

Bishop Gomez added that the review “does not equate capital punishment with the evils of abortion and euthanasia. These crimes involve the direct killing of innocent life and they are still gravely immoral. By definition, the life of almost everyone on death row is not ‘innocent.'”

He said, “I don’t believe that public executions serve to get that message across in our secular society.”


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