On August 2, Pope Francis revised the official Catechism of the Catholic Church to state that the death penalty was “inadmissible” under all circumstances. He used the key phrase “the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel…” to elevate what was until now a matter of genuine disagreement among Catholics to a binding teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.
Both the substance of the change and the manner in which it has been explained should be deeply troubling to observant Catholics.
The statement that Pope Francis changed was written in 1992 by Pope Saint John Paul II. It reads: