Pope Francis has changed the teachings of the Catholic faith to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances, the Vatican has said.
The Catechism of the Church, which sums up the teachings, had previously stated that the death penalty could be used in some cases.
It now says it is “inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”. Pope Francis has in the past spoken out against executions.
Last October, he had said the Church’s policy on the death penalty was one area where teaching was not static and could change with modern concerns.
The text of the catechism was first set by Pope John Paul II in October 1992. The teachings had earlier stated that the death penalty was “an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good”. Read more