Was it Necessary?
EXECUTION OF SADDAM HUSSEIN: TRAGIC NEWS
VATICAN CITY, DEC 30, 2006 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., made the following declaration at midday today on the execution of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, which took place at dawn in Baghdad.
"The execution of a capital sentence is always tragic news, a cause of sadness, even when the person is guilty of terrible crimes.
"The position of the Catholic Church against the death penalty has often been reiterated.
"The killing of the guilty is not the way to rebuild justice and reconcile society, rather there is a risk of nourishing the spirit of revenge and inciting fresh violence.
"At this dark time in the life of the Iraqi people, we cannot but hope that all those in charge truly make every effort to ensure that, in such a dramatic situation, hopes for reconciliation and peace are finally opened."
OP/EXECUTION SADDAM HUSSEIN/LOMBARDI VIS 070102 (160)
Everyone has been in hot debate as to weather it was right or wrong to have killed the previous evil dictator Saddam Hussein. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says in #2267: "Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor...... the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity 'are very rare, if not practically non-existent.'*"(*Quote of John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae 56.)
The Church is saying that today it is usually possible to detain criminals without having to execute them to protect the people. However, some people are saying that Saddam's execution was necessary due to the instability in Iraq, and there was danger of him being possibly one day released by force and brought to rule again. I ask that whatever position you are on, that you pray for God's mercy on Saddam's soul, and for the conversion of all sinners, in the knowledge that although in various degrees, we are all sinners.