In August 2018 there was a new formulation of paragraph 2267 of the Catholic Church’s Catechism. It states in an unequivocal and definitive way the radical rejection of the death penalty. In this way, Pope Francis sanctioned a point of no return by asserting the sacredness of human life. It is a foundation and settlement for Catholic devotees and a decisive contribution to those who wish to preserve the entire humanity from this inhuman practice.
The new version of paragraph 2267 in fact reads as follows:
“Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good. Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption. Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person1” and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.