Domestic Justice Chairman Welcomes Change in Catechism Calling for Abolition of the Death Penalty

August 3, 2018
By SS. Peter and Paul

WASHINGTON—Following
the publication of the revised section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
regarding the death penalty, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida,
Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, welcomed
the change and echoed the call to end the death penalty in the United States.

The
full statement follows:

“Today,
we welcome the Holy Father’s decision to revise the Catechism and its
explanation of the Church’s teaching on the death penalty. All human beings are created in the image and
likeness of God, and the dignity bestowed on them by the Creator cannot be
extinguished, even by grave sin, such that all persons, from conception until
natural death possess inalienable dignity and value that points to their origin
as sons and daughters of God. The new
section in the Catechism is consistent with the statements of Pope Francis’
teaching on the death penalty, including his 2015 address to the U.S. Congress,
as well as the statements of his predecessors.
Pope Benedict the XVI urged ‘the attention of society’s leaders to the
need to make every effort to eliminate the death penalty,’ and Pope St. John
Paul II observed that ‘Not even a murderer loses his personal dignity, and God
himself pledges to guarantee this.”

“For
decades the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has called for the end of the
death penalty in the United States. As
the revised Catechism states, ‘more effective systems of detention…which ensure
the due protection of citizens’ exist, ones that also maintain the human
dignity of all. It is our hope that
today’s announcement will bring new attention to this critical issue, and speed
along the end of this practice, which, as Pope Francis has said in the light
of the Gospel, is ‘inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability
and dignity of the person.'”

Keywords:
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane,
Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Pope Francis, Catechism,
death penalty, inalienable dignity, U.S. Congress, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope St.
John Paul II

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

Source:: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops