Vatican City

The Holy See (the Vatican) advocates on behalf of all life, including the condemned. On this page,  you can Below is a list of recent papal statements relating to Catholic teaching on the death penalty. 

Papal General Audience: Penitential Rite and Restoration of Relationships

On Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018 Pope Francis' General Audience highlighted the role of sin in violating our relationship with God and neighbor alike. "Sin breaks: it breaks the relationship with God and it breaks the relationship with brethren, the relationship in the family, in society and in the community: Sin always breaks, separates, divides." Restorative justice emphasizes the call repair relationships broken by harm and wrongdoing.

Pope Francis's Address to members of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization

On Wednesday, October 11, 2017, while speaking on the 25th anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis chose to make an unequivocal statement: The death penalty... "is, in itself, contrary to the Gospel" and that it "heavily wounds human dignity."

Key Quotes

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.”