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Pope Francis reverses Catholic Church's support of death penalty

Pope Francis giving a speech
Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis has changed the Catholic Church's teaching on the death penalty, ruling that it is never acceptable because it attacks the "dignity of the person," reports the AP.

"Consequently the church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person, and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide."
— Pope Francis' alteration to the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Why it matters: The Church had previously made an exception to the death penalty in its teachings, saying that it was allowable "if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor."

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