From the Associated Press:
The Vatican spokesman on Saturday denounced Saddam Hussein's execution as
"tragic" and expressed worry it might fuel revenge and new violence.
The execution is "tragic and reason for sadness," the Rev. Federico Lombardi said,
speaking in French on Vatican Radio's French-language news program.
In separate comments to the station's English program, Lombardi said that capital
punishment cannot be justified "even when the person put to death is one guilty
of grave crimes," and he reiterated the Catholic Church's overall opposition to
the death penalty.
Executing Saddam "is not a way to reconstruct justice" in Iraqi society, the spokesman said. "It might fuel the spirit of revenge and sow seeds of new violence."
Lombardi expressed the hope that leaders "do everything possible" so that "from this dramatic situation ways might open to reconciliation and peace."
In an interview published in an Italian daily earlier in the week, the Vatican's top prelate for justice issues, Cardinal Renato Martino, said executing Saddam would mean punishing "a crime with another crime."