Bowing to the times and liberal secular opinion, the Holy Father, as reported by the Catholic Herald, has followed the lead of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI in calling for the abolition of capital punishment, which we noted in the first blog post on this at http://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/capital-punishment-peter/
The naivety and apparent lack of knowledge of the unrepentant evil done by so many of the criminals sentenced to death, shown by the Holy Fathers in supporting this great change in the ancient tradition of the Church is confounding, right up there with the denial of equality of women by stopping them from becoming priests.
An excerpt from the Catholic Herald article.
Pope Francis called for the abolition of the death penalty as well as life imprisonment, and denounced what he called a “penal populism” that promises to solve society’s problems by punishing crime instead of pursuing social justice.
“It is impossible to imagine that states today cannot make use of another means than capital punishment to defend peoples’ lives from an unjust aggressor,” the Pope said on Thursday during a meeting with representatives of the International Association of Penal Law.
“All Christians and people of good will are thus called today to struggle not only for abolition of the death penalty, whether it be legal or illegal and in all its forms, but also to improve prison conditions, out of respect for the human dignity of persons deprived of their liberty. And this, I connect with life imprisonment,” he said. “Life imprisonment is a hidden death penalty.”
The Pope noted that the Vatican recently eliminated life imprisonment from its own penal code.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, cited by Pope Francis in his talk, “the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor,” but modern advances in protecting society from dangerous criminals mean that “cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”
The Pope said that, although a number of countries have formally abolished capital punishment, “the death penalty, illegally and to a varying extent, is applied all over the planet,” because “extrajudicial executions” are often disguised as “clashes with offenders or presented as the undesired consequences of the reasonable, necessary and proportionate use of force to apply the law.”
Retrieved October 24, 2014 from http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2014/10/24/pope-francis-death-penalty-and-life-imprisonment-should-be-abolished/