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'He Changed the Words Without Changing Doctrine': Lay Apostolates Address Pope's Recent Catechism Change
Contact: Therese Sanchez, 740-283-2484
HOPEDALE, Ohio, Sept. 24, 2018 /Christian Newswire/ -- Catholics United for the Faith (CUF) and the St. Joseph Foundation (SJF) have released a joint position paper in response to the change made by Pope Francis to the Catechism of the Catholic Church no. 2267.

The text of the Catechism previously taught that the necessary circumstances in which implementation of the death penalty may occur "are very rare, if not practically non-existent." The newly revised section states that "the death penalty is inadmissible". The apparent contradiction has raised questions about the teaching authority of the Magisterium and its claim to unchanging and unerring doctrine.

"Our aim is to provide a systematic, comprehensive, and practical treatment of the issue. And, we hope to clear up confusion that continues to exist about the change by offering a way forward," explains CUF and SJF President Philip Gray. The 13-page document provides an explanation of the different levels of the Church's magisterial authority, guidance on which level of obedience is owed a particular pronouncement, an outline of the historical development of the Church's position on capital punishment, and answers to some questions regarding the change. The paper concludes with practical suggestions for moving forward.

Although the revision was announced in August, Gray says the delay in response was intentional. "CUF is not interested in knee-jerk reactions. We are devoted to Christ, who is the Truth, and we can serve Him best with responsible and penetrating answers to very difficult questions. CUF's work is the fruit of much prayer and study, and that takes time."

Despite its thorough scholarship, the position paper is not intended for an academic audience. "We didn't write this for theologians," Gray explains. "We wanted to provide a resource for the average Catholic in the pew, so we made sure the language is very readable." The document is available in full on both apostolates' websites: cuf.org and stjosephcanonlaw.com. Print copies can be requested by contacting CUF at (740) 283-2484.

This will not be the last time CUF and SJF weigh in on major issues affecting the Church. "We know this is not the only area of the Church's life that needs clarity," Gray proffered. "Our staff is working on a comprehensive plan of action concerning the sex scandal that will address the underlying problems that must be corrected and what role the laity must play in bringing about change."

The St. Joseph Foundation (stjosephcanonlaw.com) is a non-profit, Catholic apostolate founded in 1984 to assist the faithful in the vindication of their rights within the Catholic Church. Its legal cases have affected virtually every diocese in North America. Catholics United for the Faith (cuf.org) is a non-profit, Catholic apostolate founded in 1968 to unite the faithful from all walks of life in order to support, defend, and advance the Teaching Office of the Catholic Church. CUF's membership is international.