In some of the other threads on this topic - before they were closed - the question arose as to whether the new version of 2267 was a prudential judgment, or was a new and different doctrine. The question is not merely academic but comes with significant implications since doctrines require our assent while prudential judgments…don’t.
Reading Cardinal Ladaria’s letter on the subject doesn’t really clear this up, but it does include comments that support the conclusion that it is a judgment, even though it contains this:
“1. The Holy Father…asked that the teaching on the death penalty be reformulated so as to better reflect the development of the doctrine on this point…”
“3. In this development, the teaching of the Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitæ of John Paul II is of great importance.”
“7. The new revision of number 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, approved by Pope Francis, situates itself in continuity with the preceding Magisterium while bringing forth a coherent development of Catholic doctrine.”
This certainly implies a doctrinal development, but to what extent is not made clear, especially in light of this:
“8. All of this shows that the new formulation of number 2267 of the Catechism expresses an authentic development of doctrine that is not in contradiction with the prior teachings of the Magisterium.”
If capital punishment is now to be seen as intrinsically evil that would not only contradict prior teachings (2000 years worth) but would completely repudiate the position held by the Fathers, Doctors, and previous popes, so if the new formulation is not in contradiction with prior teachings then what has changed?
If it is not accurate to claim capital punishment is an intrinsic evil then how is the new version of 2267 different than the earlier one? If the previous doctrine was that capital punishment was not intrinsically evil, and therefore could be justified in some circumstances, and the “developed” doctrine still does not take the step of defining it as intrinsically evil, it isn’t clear what has developed, and if it isn’t intrinsically evil then its use is subject to judgment, about which we may legitimately disagree.