469. What kind of punishment may be imposed?

The punishment imposed must be proportionate to the gravity of the offense. Given the possibilities which the State now has for effectively preventing crime by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm, the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.” (Evangelium Vitae). When non-lethal means are sufficient, authority should limit itself to such means because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good, are more in conformity with the dignity of the human person, and do not remove definitively from the guilty party the possibility of reforming himself.


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Paragraph 2267

2267. Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.

Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.

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”, [Francis, Address to Participants in the Meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, 11 October 2017] and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.


Acesse nossos estudos biblicos:

The importance of hospitality and caring for others: The generosity of Tobias and his wife Sara.

Manna in the Wilderness: How did God provide manna for his people in the desert and what does this teach us about providing it? (Exodus 16)

O que o livro de Cantares nos ensina sobre a beleza da mulher noiva e da mulher madura?

What is the meaning of David’s song of gratitude to God?

What does the testimony of John the Baptist in John 1:29 mean, and how important is this testimony for Christians?

What does the promise of salvation and redemption in the midst of judgment in Micah 2:12-13 mean?

The Holiness of the Priesthood: How does the law of priestly holiness in the book of Numbers teach us about the importance of purity and dedication in the worship of God? (Numbers 18:1-7)

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