Pope Changes Teaching On Death Penalty – Exceeds Papal Authority…

From Rorate Caeli… 

What was black is now white: Pope “changes Catechism” to declare death penalty “inadmissible in all cases”.

The Church was wrong in a major issue literally of life and death.

Is the Pope a kind of “Prophet”, as the “First President” of the Mormons, receiving new teachings that contradict completely teachings that the Magisterium had taught since Apostolic Times?

That is what seems to come from the “alteration” of the Catechism of the Catholic Church of 1992 promoted by the current Pope and published today:

The Supreme Pontiff Francis, in an audience granted on May 11, 2018, to the undersigned Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has approved the following new text of the n. 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, ordering its translation in the various languages and inserted in all editions of the mentioned Catechism:

The death penalty

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”,[1] and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide.


[1] Francis, Address to Participants in the Meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, 11 October 2017: L’Osservatore Romano, 13 October 2017, 5.

The anachronistic boldness in this decision is astounding: what is merely a modern view of a secularized Europe becomes a completely new teaching, without even the consideration that the current situation of the world will remain the same for all time — as if the secular European present of stable peace would remain forever the same, as if what was common in the past and since the dawn of time would never be possible anymore. The boldness of a personal opinion becoming a completely new and unprecedented “teaching” of the Church.

If such a certain doctrine of the Church (of the possibility of the death penalty at least in some situations), affirmed by Christ Himself in Scripture — when, confronted by Pilate who affirmed his right to inflict capital punishment, told him, “You would have no authority over Me if it were not given to you from above”, affirming that it is a power granted to the State in its authority, even if, as all governmental powers, it can be exercised illegitimately and unjustly — can be changed, then anything can be changed. A “development” of doctrine may bring about anything: from the end of the “intrinsic disordered” nature of homosexuality to the priestly ordination of women, from the possibility of contraception in “some” cases to the acceptance of the Lutheran understanding of the Real Presence in the Eucharist as a possible interpretation of what the Church has always believed — and so on.

The current Pope has far exceeded his authority: his authority is to guard and protect the doctrine that was received from Christ and the Apostles, not to alter it according to his personal views. [Ed: emphasis added]

We are reaping the rewards of an unchecked hyper-clericalism: the same hyper-clericalism that allowed for abuses of people like Theodore McCarrick to go ignored and unpunished and now allows for the recklessness of the alteration of established doctrine received from Christ and the Apostles.  Ends.

Update: If it were possible to have an even more ridiculous excuse for this change, it comes from the “Letter to Bishops” by Cardinal Ladaria, the CDF prefect:

10. The new formulation of number 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church desires to give energy to a movement towards a decisive commitment to favor a mentality that recognizes the dignity of every human life and, in respectful dialogue with civil authorities, to encourage the creation of conditions that allow for the elimination of the death penalty where it is still in effect.

That is absolutely ridiculous, and a shameful and pathetic excuse: the Catechism is not a lobbying tool to modify laws: it is supposed to be a collection of the everlasting teachings of the Church.  Source – Rorate Caeli


What should happen now?  Is there anything that the rest of the upper hierarchy can do?  What about Catholics in the USA and other countries where the death penalty is permitted – are they now duty bound to work for its elimination?  Do they commit a sin if they refuse to do so and, instead, adhere to the traditional belief that the State is permitted to use the death penalty in certain cases? If it’s a sin, at what level? Venial? Mortal? What then?  And what about other teachings in the Catechism? Do we watch, even more closely, for this Pope’s personal opinion on this or that issue, in order to prepare ourselves for the next new teaching?  

Papal Critic Sacked From Radio Maria

ImageOn February 13, 2014 Professor Roberto de Mattei (picture at source) published an article on the website Correspondance europeenne called, “2013 – 2014: Motus in fine velocior” (motion accelerates when the end is near), of which an English translation is available in our Documents section. Because of this article he was removed from Radio Maria where he had worked for several years preparing the weekly broadcast Radice cristiani [Christian roots].

Thus Roberto de Mattei in turn received the same treatment as another two Catholic intellectuals, Alessandro Gnocchi and Mario Palmaro, ousted from Radio Maria on October 11, 2013, two days after publishing an article together in Il Foglio (see DICI no. 284, 08/11/13).

In response to Radio Maria’s chief, Father Livio Fanzaga, who reproached him for this article and for his increasingly critical position with regard to the Sovereign Pontiff, Professor de Mattei recalled Catholic teaching on papal infallibility, which only applies under specific circumstances and does not exclude the possibility of error outside of these circumstances, in the domains of ecclesiastical politics, strategic choice, pastoral activity or ordinary magisterium. It is not a sin, he affirmed, but a Catholic’s duty in conscience to point out these errors, with all the respect and love due to the Sovereign Pontiff. The saints did the same. He who notes of the shortcomings of the hierarchy in all reverence does not sin; on the contrary, he sins who keeps silence. As far as Roberto de Mattei is concerned, he states that he wishes to continue to exercise his Christian liberty in defence of the Faith that he received at baptism and that remains his most cherished possession; he will never cease to tell the truth, with the help of the Holy Ghost, and this ever more loudly, so great is the silence of the one who should be the voice of the truth.

Roberto de Mattei is Professor of Modern History and of the History of Christianity at the European University of Rome, where he is head of the department of Historical Sciences. He is also head of the Lepanto Foundation whose goal is to defend the principles and institutions of Christian civilization though their many works, publications and public actions. From 2003 to 2011, he was vice-president of the National Research Council and Member of the Board of Guarantees of the Italian Academy at Columbia University in New York. From 2002 to 2006 he worked as a consultant for the Italian government ministry of foreign affairs.

He will give a lecture in Paris on March 11, 2014, at 8 pm, on the topic of “The influence of Vatican II on the current pontificate; pastoral activity from John XXIII to Francis” in the crypt of the Chapelle Notre-Dame de Consolation, 23 rue Goujon, 75008 Paris. After the lecture he will sign copies of his book, Vatican II: an Unwritten Story (available in English from Loreto Publications). In this thoroughly documented work, Prof. de Mattei has taken an original standpoint with regard to the works of the Council, that of the conservative minority, making it a truly revolutionary addition to contemporary historiography. Free entry, donations accepted to cover costs. For further information please call 06-28-73-77-79.

(Source: Correspondance europeenne – DICI no.291 dated February 28, 2014)