Middle East

Christian Leaders Mostly Condemn Hussein Execution

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Today's Top Ten

1. Vatican: Execution punished 'a crime with another crime'
While the Islamic world's debate on Saddam Hussein's execution seems largely centered on its timing, initial responses from Christian leaders seem to largely recycle the longstanding debate on whether capital punishment can ever be used. The Vatican's line on the subject seems unequivocal. Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican's press office, issued this official statement:

Capital punishment is always tragic news, a motive of sadness, even when it's a case of a person guilty of grave crimes.
The position of the Catholic Church against the death penalty has been confirmed many times.
The execution of the guilty party is not a path to reconstruct justice and to reconcile society. Indeed, there is the risk that, on the contrary, it may augment the spirit of revenge and sow seeds of new violence.
In this dark time in the life of the Iraqi people, it can only be hoped that all the responsible parties truly will make ...
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