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Pope Francis Changes Church Teaching on Death Penalty

“Pope Francis has changed church teaching about the death penalty, saying in a new policy published Thursday that it is always “inadmissible” because it “attacks” the inherent dignity of all humans. The Vatican said Francis had approved a change to the Catechism of the Catholic Church – the compilation of official Catholic Church teaching. Previously, the catechism said the church didn’t exclude recourse to capital punishment “if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.”

“The new teaching, contained in Catechism No. 2267, says the previous policy is outdated and that there are other ways to protect the common good. ‘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 person, and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide,’ reads the new text…

“In an accompanying letter explaining the change, the head of the Vatican’s doctrine office said the development of Catholic doctrine on capital punishment didn’t contradict prior teaching, but rather was an evolution of it. “If, in fact the political and social situation of the past made the death penalty an acceptable means for the protection of the common good, today the increasing understanding that the dignity of a person is not lost even after committing the most serious crimes,” said Cardinal Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

“[Pope Francis] acknowledged that in the past even the Papal States had allowed this “extreme and inhuman recourse.” But he said the Holy See had erred in allowing a mentality that was “more legalistic than Christian” and now knew better.”

Note that the political and social situation plays a part in Vatican thinking concerning its policies, which adjusts itself to match the spirit of the times. The new Vatican position on the death penalty is in conflict with prophecy, which says that the death penalty will be applied to all those that refuse to worship the beast (Papacy) or his image (the clone erected in the United States). But it is the United States that will enforce the death penalty for transgression of the coming Sunday laws. Rome has always kept its hands clean when it comes to punishment, leaving it to the states, which she controlled by removing her “protection” from the miscreant. Rome paints herself as the protector of society and the individual, when in reality historically she organized society to enforce her dogmas.

“Under a cloak of religious zeal, men, influenced by his spirit, have invented the most cruel tortures for their fellow-men, and have inflicted the most awful sufferings upon them. Satan and his agents have the same spirit still; and the history of the past will be repeated in our day.” Review and Herald, March 18, 1888.

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