The Vatican Speaks

May 12, 2015

Pope FrancisPope Francis

  • “Today capital punishment is unacceptable, however serious the condemned’s crime may have been. It is an offence to the inviolability of life and to the dignity of the human person which contradicts God’s plan for man and for society and his merciful justice, and it fails to conform to any just purpose of punishment. It does not render justice to the victims, but rather foments revenge… Justice is never reached by killing a human being.”

-Pope Francis Letter to The President of The International Commission Against The Death Penalty, Vatican City, March 20, 2015


  • “It is impossible to imagine that states today cannot make use of another means than capital punishment to defend peoples’ lives from an unjust aggressor.”

-Pope Francis Address to the Delegates of the International Association of Penal Law Vatican City, October 24, 2014



pbPope Benedict XVI

  • “…I draw the attention of society’s leaders to the need to make every effort to eliminate the death penalty and to reform the penal system…”

– Pope Benedict XVI  Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Africae Munus Benin, November 19, 2011



pjpPope John Paul II

  • “The new evangelization calls for followers of Christ who are unconditionally prolife: who will acclaim, celebrate and serve the Gospel of life in every situation. A sign of hope is the increasing recognition that the dignity of human life must never be taken away, even in the case of someone who has done great evil.

-Pope John Paul II Evangelium Vitae, March 25, 1995


  • “I renew the appeal…to end the death penalty, which is both cruel and unnecessary.”

-Pope John Paul II Homily  St. Louis, MO, January 27, 1999