If Pope Francis has been criticized for ambiguity in Amoris Laetitia, he certainly can’t be faulted for it in his latest comments on the death penalty.
In his homily today, the pontiff called for a deeper understanding of Christ in the context of our times and of human progress.
Just as Christian nations gradually understood the evil of slavery, Francis argued, so too should enlightened nations realize that the death penalty is also a “mortal sin” that is “inadmissible” under any circumstances.
This journey undertaken “to understand, to deepen our understanding of Jesus and to deepen our faith” serves also, Francis explained, “to understand moral teaching, the Commandments.”
He pointed out that some things that “once seemed normal and not sinful, are today conceived as mortal sins:
“Think of slavery: at school they told us what they did with the slaves taking them from one place and selling them in another…. That is a mortal sin” he said.
But that, he said, is what we believe today. Back then it was deemed acceptable because people believed that some did not have a soul. It was necessary, the Pope said, to move on to better understand the faith and to better understand morality.
And reflecting bitterly on the fact that today “there are no slaves”, Pope Francis pointed out there are in fact many more of them…. but at least, he said, we know that to enslave someone is to commit a mortal sin.
The same goes for the death penalty: “once it was considered normality; today we say that it is inadmissible” he said.
Is this a big shift? The Catholic Church has been consistent in its opposition to the death penalty on practical grounds for the last several decades.
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Source: Hot Air, Ed Morrissey, May 11, 2017
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