And now for one of those amusing news cycles during which the abortion-happy American Left pretends to care what the pope thinks.

Pope Francis has signed off on a revision of the Catholic Catechism, one that takes a markedly stronger line against the death penalty. From the sainted Pope John Paul II onward, the Church has been reconsidering the social context in which capital punishment exists, which is reasonable: The Catholic Church had held that the death penalty was acceptable when it was necessary as a practical matter to protect the innocent from harm. The last iteration of the Church’s position insisted that modern penal practices have removed that practical consideration, that “such cases are very rare, if not practically non-existent.” That is broadly if not entirely correct: Pope Francis might ask my friend Andrew C. McCarthy how much death and suffering Omar Abdel-Rahman was able to inflict while in federal custody.

One may read between the lines of the current statement the confession of a church that has been in the past a party to a few executions. It may be too clever by half, but what sense is there in criticizing a Jesuit for being jesuitical?