Vatican Statements

The Holy See (the Vatican) has often advocated on behalf of the condemned. On this page,  you can Browse CMN”s list of recent papal statements relating to Catholic teaching on the death penalty and its application to particular laws and state-sponsored executions.

A selection of three key quotes on the death penalty:

“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

“…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

“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

vatican statements