Vatican officials oppose death penalty in disregard to church tradition. That has influence on other bishops. One official went so far as to say people who want death penalty for murder are like those who shouted “Kill him.” about Jesus in front of Pilate. The official could not have been more wrong.
First of all it is perverse to compare Jesus to a murderer. Jesus was not a murderer and he was not facing any charge of murder. His enemies had accused him of calling himself the king of the Jews. Pilate knew Jesus was innocent.
Secondly there was the custom of releasing a prisoner during Paschal time. Pilate offered the Jews a choice between Barabbas who was a murderer and Jesus. Barabbas was a murderer. Pilate hoped people will ask for release of Jesus. The Jews instigated by chief priests and Jewish officials wanted the release of Barabbas. When Pilate asked what shall I do with Jesus they shouted “Crucify him.” They did not shout “Kill him.”
Vatican officials who do not want death penalty for murderers are like the Jews who wanted the release of Barabbas. They are white washed tombs, hypocrites and a brood of vipers. They have eyes but do not see the sufferings caused by murders. They have ears but do not hear the cries of people who suffer due to murders. For them murderers are human beings, victims do not matter. There is nothing modern about opposition to death penalty. It was there centuries before and St. Thomas Aquinas had justified death penalty.