Consistent with the church’s long held position that capital punishment is always wrong, the Vatican came out this past weekend and denounced the execution of Saddam Hussein.

“Killing the guilty one is not the way to rebuild justice and reconcile society,” the spokesman said. “On the contrary, there is the risk that the spirit of revenge is fueled and that the seeds of new violence are sown.”

My primary objection to the death penalty is based in practicality. It is difficult to ensure with 100% certainty that the man or woman to be executed is, in fact, the one guilty – and it’s impossible to correct a mistake once someone has died. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not shedding any tears for Hussein. He’s one of the cases, like a Dahmer or Gacy, where there is no doubt at all of his guilt, and his crimes were among the most heinous. But as the Holy See points out, vengeance is not the same thing as justice, and often begets yet more violence.

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  • right… and as I explain at my site, there is a lot we don’t know (the Iraqi people don’t know)right now about Saddam’s crimes… who was complicit, and so forth.

    For that reason and others his execution was premature.

  • well, at least we don’t have to visit that ugly chemical weapons thing. that woulda gone badly…

  • At least the Vatican is consistent in their message (nowadays, anyway).

    Killing is wrong. For the unborn. For the elderly. For evil, murdering dictators.

    I can respect that- even if I don’t always agree.

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