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Diocese of Venice Bishop on Pope Francis' Death Penalty Stance

Benhur Arcayan
Malacañang Photo Bureau
Pope Francis

Pope Francis took a stance on the death penalty Thursday, and the Diocese of Venice in Florida agrees.

Pope Francis says the act of execution is never admissible and calls it  “an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.”

The pope’s decision will be reflected in the Universal Catechism — which, until now, allowed capital punishment in extreme cases.

Diocese of Venice Bishop Frank Dewane did say Pope Francis alluded to the change in 2015.

“He addressed this when he was here in the United States in 2015, when he addressed the Congress, and he really said that that should be overturned, so, I’m not surprised that he’s followed up in this way and he’s done it really on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic church and he took that as an opportunity to change one of the points.”

The Diocese of Venice is the governing body for all Roman Catholic churches in Southwest Florida and a bit beyond, covering 10 counties in total.

Dewane said he supports the change in the church’s stance on capital punishment.

"It’s very much in keeping with the line of what he has been saying and teaching. So, I’m in favor that he has come forward with this decisions to revise the Catechism, and really clarify the teaching on the death penalty.”

What, if any, effect the change will have in countries — and states in the U.S. — that still have the death penalty remains to be seen.

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