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Catholic Church changes stance on death penalty

The Roman Catholic Church on Thursday formally changed its teaching to declare the death penalty inadmissible in all circumstances.

The Vatican said it had changed its universal catechism to reflect Pope Francis’ total opposition to the death penalty.

Previously the catechism, a summary of Church teaching, had allowed the death penalty in rare cases.

The 1.2 billion-member Catholic Church has allowed the death penalty in extreme cases for centuries, but the position began to change under the late Pope John Paul II, who died in 2005.

The Vatican said it had changed its universal catechism, a summary of Church teaching, to reflect Pope Francis’ total opposition to capital punishment.

According to the new entry in the catechism, “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”, it said, citing an address by Pope Francis.

The new provision is expected to run into stiff opposition from Catholics in countries such as the United States, where many Catholics support the death penalty.

The change was enacted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the body responsible for promulgating and defending Catholic doctrine.

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About Delia Innoma

Delia Innoma is a prolific writer, promoter, artist manager with full professional proficiency in English, German and Igbo languages. She studied accounting and computer programming at the Institute of Management and Technology Enugu and Germany respectively. Delia is also a devoted mother of two and she founded the Diamond Celebrities Magazine. Her sense of responsibility and commitment to the Christian faith are essential forces driving her daily activities.

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