Four cells on death row in the Old Idaho State Penitentiary in Boise, Idaho. (Nagel Photography /, 2013 photo)

Lee: “Death Penalty: A Genuine and Important Development of Catholic Teaching”

Pope Francis has directed that the teaching of the universal Catholic Catechism be revised on capital punishment. Previously it indicated that capital punishment was not in principle morally wrong, yet unnecessary in the vast majority of cases.

Now the Catechism will teach that the death penalty is “inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.”