I was just reading through my Catechism regarding the death penalty, and comparing it with the fact that Pope Francis has now changed the Catechism to declare the death penalty “inadmissible”.
I find the previous Church teaching much more balanced and sensible.
So I’m left with a couple of problems for which I have questions:
I cannot find myself able to accept this “new” teaching of Pope Francis. Does a Catholic have to accept everything in the Catechism? Can I disagree with this teaching of the Pope in the Catechism? And if so, why this teaching and not others?
How can a teaching of the Church change? I understand societies ability to reform and house prisoners without the need for the death penalty has increased greatly, especially in the west, however surely what is morally acceptable cannot change?
It’s all a bit confusing.
Any light that could be shed would be appreciated.