Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

Diocese Of Evansville Statement On Pope Francis' Revision Of The Catechism Of The Catholic Church


Aug. 2, 2018 –Pope Francis’ revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church emphatically states that the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the dignity of the person. With this announcement, the Holy Father has confirmed Church teaching on the death penalty and on the dignity of every human life.


Church opposition to the death penalty is founded in what Pope Francis has described as an "understanding that the dignity of a person is not lost even after committing the most serious crimes."  St. Pope John Paul II wrote many years ago, “Not even a murderer loses his personal dignity; and God himself pledges to guarantee this.” The need to respect the dignity of every human life, from conception to natural death, inevitably precludes the death penalty. At the same time, we recognize the need for civil authorities to protect their citizens from those who have committed violent crimes through the offenders’ incarceration.

We pray for the victims of violent acts in our communities and throughout the world, and for their families. As a Church, we seek to care for them and provide assistance as they heal and seek justice. We pray for the perpetrators, that they may turn to God, seeking his mercy and forgiveness, and accept their responsibility to provide restitution and accept just punishment for their crimes.

The Catechism states the Church will continue to work with determination for the abolition of the death penalty worldwide. The Diocese of Evansville will continue to work with the Indiana Catholic Conference toward ending the death penalty in our state, as it has for decades.