Polish churchman welcomes Pope’s opposition to death penalty
PR dla Zagranicy
A prominent Polish clergyman has welcomed a declaration by Pope Francis that the death penalty is incompatible with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
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In an interview for Poland’s PAP news agency, Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz said that Pope Francis has evolved the Church’s doctrine on capital punishment.
The cardinal’s remarks come in the wake of a declaration issued by the Vatican on August 2 which said that the death penalty is “inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”.
Cardinal Nycz said that Pope Francis’ stand echoes the view of the late Polish-born pontiff John Paul II that “today’s organised societies have at their disposal the means to protect themselves in an effective way against those who commit murder by imprisoning them, in some cases even for life”.
The previous wording of the Church’s official stance was: “Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor”.