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Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York.

ALBANY, August 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The left-wing governor of New York announced Thursday that he will promote legislation to abolish the death penalty in his state, invoking Pope Francis’ controversial new change to the 1992 Catechism promulgated by Pope St. John Paul II on the subject.

Earlier that day, the Pope issued a papal decree revising n. 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to declare that a “new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state,” and therefore “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.” It also declared that the Church “works with determination for its abolition worldwide.”

The passage previously read that authorities should limit themselves to “non-lethal means […] to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor” and “cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity ‘are very rare, if not practically nonexistent,’” but granted that “traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty” when absolutely necessary.

Many Catholics have expressed alarm for what they call a doctrinal error that distorts Catholic teaching, while secular media and the political Left have celebrated the announcement.

“The death penalty is morally indefensible and has no place in the 21st century,” New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted Thursday. 

“By declaring the death penalty inadmissible in all cases and working to end the practice globally, Pope Francis is ushering in a more righteous world for us all,” Cuomo announced Thursday. 

“Today, in solidarity with Pope Francis and in honor of my father [former Gov. Mario Cuomo], I will be advancing legislation to remove the death penalty — and its ugly stain in our history — from State law once and for all,” he declared. He did not yet identify a specific piece of legislation he was backing.

The elder Cuomo vetoed legislation enacting capital punishment every year of his 12-year tenure as governor, but Republican Gov. George Pataki finally signed it in 1995, ABC-13 reports. His son’s stand is more symbolic than practical, however, as the New York Supreme Court struck down capital punishment as unconstitutional in 2004, and the state has not executed anyone since 1963.

Cuomo’s “solidarity” with the pope and defense of convicted murderers’ right to life stands in stark contrast to his position on abortion, which Francis has called a “violat[ion]” of “fundamental rights.” Cuomo’s pro-abortion advocacy includes permitting abortion effectively until birth, forcing taxpayers and insurance companies to pay for abortion, and a similarly-symbolic push to codify Roe v. Wade in state law.

The inconsistency did not go unnoticed on social media: