I've been included in a panel of academics interviewed for LifeSiteNews on the subject of doctrinal development, in light of Pope Francis' remarks on the Death Penalty.
Shaw said so-called “conservative” Catholics would be especially susceptible to a change in Catholic teaching on capital punishment.
“Pope St John Paul II was clearly personally opposed to capital punishment and campaigned for its abolition. While he was careful never to claim that the teaching of the Church ruled capital punishment out, his views have become strongly associated with the Catholic Church and have influenced many conservative Catholics,” he said.
“It may seem a relatively small step between what Pope St John Paul II claimed – that capital punishment was not wise or appropriate in the conditions of the modern world – and what Pope Francis is now claiming – that capital punishment is never ‘admissible,’ and that Catholics living in very different conditions from our own were wrong to make recourse to it.”
“However, it is obviously a huge step to say that the Church herself was wrong in her consistent teaching, which has always been that capital punishment can be legitimate,” he added.
Read the whole thing there.
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