Pope Francis: Death penalty 'inadmissible'
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Pope Francis on Wednesday sharply condemned capital punishment, saying the death penalty is “inadmissible” and “contrary to the Gospel.”

“However grave the crime that may be committed, the death penalty is inadmissible because it attacks the inviolability and the dignity of the person,” Francis said, as reported by the magazine America

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Francis’s comments come on the 25th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a book written by Pope John Paul II that details the teachings members of the Catholic faith should follow. The timing could suggest that a change in the catechism is forthcoming.

“One has to strongly affirm that condemnation to the death penalty is an inhuman measure that humiliates personal dignity, in whatever form it is carried out. And [it] is, of itself, contrary to the Gospel, because it is freely decided to suppress a human life that is always sacred in the eyes of the Creator, and of which, in the final analysis, God alone is the true judge and guarantor,” Francis said.

Francis, more than many of his predecessors, has embraced several liberal causes, in the past emphasizing the Catholic Church’s role in aiding immigrants and calling for more action on climate change.

America magazine reports that every pontiff since St. John XXIII has called for clemency for people condemned to death.

More than 100 countries have banned the death penalty.

The United States is the only Group of Seven nation that still practices capital punishment, but polls show support for the practice among Americans remains high.