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The First English-Language Catechism Updated on the Death Penalty

The CTS paperback edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church has become the first English translation to make the update on capital punishment requested by Pope Francis in 2018.

After Pope Francis approved an update to the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the death penalty, CTS has published the first English-language edition to include this crucial update. It is currently available in the paperback edition only.

What does the updated text on capital punishment say and why was it updated?

In 2018, Pope Francis approved a new draft on the paragraph of the Catechism of the Catholic Church which explained Church teaching on the death penalty.

The updated wording spoke of “an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes.” It also acknowledged that “more effective systems of detention have been developed” which ensure that not only “the due protection of citizens, but at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.”

This means that the death penalty is considered by the Catholic Church to be “inadmissible”, recognising it as “an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”. For this reason, the Church “works with determination for its abolition worldwide.”

You can read the paragraph in full here.

These changes can now be found for the first time in an English language edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Our newly updated and reprinted Catechism of the Catholic Church (Paperback Edition) is available now

For Further Reading:

Letter of Pope Francis to the President of the International Theological Commission Against the Death Penalty

Address of Pope Francis to Participants in the Meeting Promoted by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization

Fidei Depositum: On the Publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church


The CTS edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is an invaluable resource for anyone, anywhere, who wants to explore and understand the richness and breadth of Catholic belief. Paperback edition.

Support the mission of CTS and discover the richness of the Catholic faith by ordering your copy of the Catechism here.

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