1566 - The Roman
Catechism of Trent
This catechism was issued by order of Saint Pope Pius V in 1566 and was the universal catechism in use until 1994.
Execution of Criminals:
"Another kind of lawful slaying belongs to the civil authorities, to whom is entrusted power of life and death, by the legal and judicious exercise of which they punish the guilty and protect the innocent. The just use of this power, far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this Commandment which prohibits murder. The end of the Commandment is the preservation and security of human life. Now the punishments inflicted by the civil authority, which is the legitimate avenger of crime, naturally tend to this end, since they give security to life by repressing outrage and violence. Hence these words of David: In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land, that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord."
Saint Pope Pius V
“The murderer is the worst enemy of his species, and consequently of nature. To the utmost of his power he
destroys the universal work of God by the destruction of man, since God declares that He created all things for man's sake. Nay, as it is forbidden in Genesis to take human life, because God
created man to his own image and likeness, he who makes away with God's image offers great injury to God, and almost seems to lay violent hands on God Himself”!
1994 - A new Catechism of the Catholic Church is published.
The first new universal catechism in 450 years.
"I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith ..." - Pope John Paul II, on the publication of the new catechism.
1997 - Pope John Paul allows an addition to section #2267 of the
catechism. One sentence of 50 words from his 1995 50,000 word encyclical, Evangelium Vitae were added to section #2267 of the catechism.
#2267. Today, in fact, given the means at the State's disposal to effectively repress crime by rendering inoffensive the one who has committed it, without depriving him definitively of the possibility of redeeming himself, cases of absolute necessity for suppression of the offender 'today ... are very rare, if not practically non-existent.'
2018 - Pope Francis again changes section #2267 of the catechism
#2267. Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.
Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.
Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack
on the inviolability and dignity of the person”,1 and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.
(Note that Francis uses his own address to justify the new teaching. -  FRANCIS, Address to Participants in the Meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, 11 October 2017: L’Osservatore Romano, 13 October 2017, 5.)
We have an unprecedented situation.
After the first new universal catechism in 450 years, we get a revised section on capital punishment in 3 years and another in 21 years. These ambiguous statements are used by death penalty opponents to distort and confuse 3,000 years of Catholic and Scriptural teaching. Changing the wording in a catechism in order to change the substance of the teaching can never be legitimate. Opponents will attempt to circumvent this by claiming that the teaching had been correct in the past but today, in practice, it is immoral if applied. This is the "foot in the door tactic" for the beginning of many heresies.
The overriding problem with both of the additions to section #2267 is that they contain prudential judgements which can never be part of the
Church's Magisterium. The protection of the Holy Spirit does not apply to them. The authority in this sphere is not given to the Church because the Church has no competence on the ordering of the
criminal justice system or how to best protect society from criminals. These are matters of prudential judgment that has not been granted to the Church but to the public authority. Pilate . . . Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power
to crucify you?” Jesus answered , “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from
It took public authority to discover crimes of sexual abuse and protect children and teens from predator clergy. Thousands of these crimes were ignored or covered up for 70 years by bishops and the Vatican. Now they attempt to usurp the public authority of all nations on capital punishment. "The Church … works with determination for its abolition worldwide" as if bishops had special knowledge on how best to protect innocent people from murderers. They would be better concerned about their own souls. "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea".
A crippled masculinity has deformed many in the priesthood and a feminist mentality has greatly affected the church. As feminist nuns were shedding their habits and protesting that they were not allowed to be priests, feminized men and homosexuals flooded the priesthood. Feminized judgments are based on emotion and sentiment rather than on fidelity to truth and reason. Hence the newfound opposition to the death penalty. It took Manliness to build and protect the Church and it will take Manliness to sustain and defend it.
The purpose of death penalty laws are not about vengeance or executing murderers. Their purpose is to protect innocent people from being harmed or murdered. And laws must be enforced or they are sham laws.
A crime "that cries out to heaven for vengeance" is abortion. Abortion would be a capital offense in a civilized society. Satan was certainly at
work in the 1970s as abortion was made legal and protests to ban the execution of murderers began in earnest.
Where did bishops get the authority to begin teaching that the death penalty was immoral and should be banned? That to be pro-life means to oppose abortion and also capital punishment? It did not come from the teachings of the Catholic Faith.
The claim of death penalty opponents that "All human life must be protected from the cradle to the grave" leaves out the one word that the Catholic
Faith has always used in statements about the protection of life, "innocent".
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
Article 5 - The Fifth Commandment
2270 - … From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person—among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.
2273 - The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation.
2258 - … no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being
2261 - Scripture specifies the prohibition contained in the fifth commandment: "Do not slay the and the righteous." The deliberate murder of an innocent person is gravely contrary to the dignity of the human being, to the golden rule, and to the holiness of the Creator.
2263 - The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing.
2272 - The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.
2297 - Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law.
In his encyclical, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life) Pope John Paul II always uses the word "innocent" when asserting that human life is be protected.
- · destroy directly an innocent human being
- · He is the "goel", the defender of the innocent
- · You shall not kill" has absolute value when it refers to the innocent person
- · In effect, the absolute inviolability of innocent human life is a moral truth
- · grave moral illicitness of the direct taking of all innocent human life
- · killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral
- · to deprive an innocent human being of his life is always morally evil
- · no one can in any way permit the killing of an innocent human being,
- · every innocent human being is absolutely equal to all others
- · the direct taking of the life of an innocent human being
- · can never justify the deliberate killing of an innocent human being.
- · in the first place is the inviolable right of every innocent human being to life"
- · the deliberate killing of an innocent human being
- · the inviolable right to life of every innocent human being.
- · which legitimize the direct killing of innocent human beings
- · respect for life and of the protection of every innocent life
- · a direct participation in an act against innocent human life