Pope Francis arrives for the Papal consistory before the nominations of new cardinals at the Vatican on February 13, 2015. (Filippo Monteforte/Getty)

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Pope Francis Declares Death Penalty is Never OK

The revision has been added to the Catechism.

Pope Francis has spoken out against the death penalty, saying that it is never acceptable “because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,” according to a Vatican announcement and the New York Times. This shift in Roman Catholic teaching has been added to the Catechism, according to the Times. The Catechism is the summary of principles and beliefs that the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics abide by.

“I think this will be a big deal for the future of the death penalty in the world,” John Thavis, a Vatican expert and author, told the Times. “People who work with prisoners on death row will be thrilled, and I think this will become a banner social justice issue for the church,” he added.

The Times notes that Francis has previously spoken out against the penalty, and abolishing it “has been one of Francis’ top priorities for many years.”

He mentioned it when appearing before Congress in 2015, telling legislators that  “from the beginning of my ministry” he had been led “to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty.”

Although it’s “rare” that Catholic countries have the death penalty, the Times reports, this new revision will leave “no trace of ambiguity.”

Read the full story at the New York Times