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frankzappa

Is the death penalty un-Christian?

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Pope Francis has declared the death penalty “inadmissible.” This means that the death penalty should not be used in any circumstance. It also alters the Catholic Catechism, a compendium of Catholic doctrine, and is now binding on Roman Catholics throughout the world.

But in spite of his definitive statement, Pope Francis’ act will probably only deepen the debate about whether Christians can support capital punishment.

As a Catholic scholar who writes about religion, politics and policy, I understand how Christians struggle with the death penalty – some cannot endure the idea and others support it as a way to deter and punish terrible crimes. Some Christian theologians have also observed that capital punishment could actually lead to a change of heart among criminals who might repent when faced with the finality of death.

Is the death penalty un-Christian?

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