This brings us to Fastiggi’s treatment of various other papal statements on the subject of capital punishment, which, like his citations from the Fathers, is selective. As I noted in , Pope Francis’s recent remarks on capital punishment are ambiguous. Some things he says seem to imply a reversal of the traditional teaching that capital punishment is legitimate at least in principle, whereas other things point in the opposite direction. As I noted in , even the pope’s defenders don’t agree among themselves about what he is really saying. In , Joe Bessette and I show that Pope Francis’s other remarks about capital punishment over the last few years exhibit a similar ambiguity.


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