Pope Francis has formally declared that the death penalty is never admissible, and the Catholic church will work toward its abolition around the world.
The change has been added to the catechism of the Catholic church. It makes official a position Pope Francis has articulated since he became leader of the more than a billion Catholics worldwide.
Previously, the catechism allowed the death penalty in certain rare cases.
The spokesman said the point is that no matter how grievous a crime they commit, a person never loses his or her dignity as a human being.