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The Death Penalty and Pope Francis

Tuesday, Sept. 18

4 p.m.

Blank Rome LLP Classroom (Room 102)

Panel hosted by The Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy  

On August 2, 2018, Pope Francis directed that the language in the Catechism of the Catholic Church be revised to say that the death penalty is "inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and the dignity of the person.” Although the Catholic Church has taught that the state may, in principle, use the death penalty where necessary, Pope Francis’ decision reflects several years of increasing opposition by the Church to the death penalty in practice. This panel will explore the death penalty today and in light of Pope Francis’ change to the Catechism from the perspectives of law, theology and criminology.

The panel is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for 1.5 credits.


Michelle Madden Dempsey, Harold Reuschlein Scholar Chair and Professor of Law, Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law

Massimo Faggioli, Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Jill McCorkel, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Criminology, Africana Studies Program, Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences