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Good Friday

10 April 2020 All day

On Good Friday we remember the crucifixion of Jesus together with two criminals. Today the death penalty is still used in many countries for the punishment of crimes.

On 11 May 2018, Pope Francis approved a revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church concerning the death penalty. The Church now teaches that the death penalty is unacceptable and should be abolished. Here is the revised text of the Catechism:

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 person,’ and she works with determination for its abolition.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, n 2267.