I’m back, and it is shortly after the turn of the clocks into New Year’s Day, 2007. Happy New Year!

Saddam Hussein = dead. I wanted to wait a day after his death before blogging on this, to see some of the reactions. As expected, they vary considerably. Here is a selection of comments from prominent individuals on the sentence.

The one that irks me the most is this, from Cardinal Renato Martino, Pope Benedict XVI’s top prelate for justice issues:

Saddam’s execution punishes “a crime with another crime. … The death penalty is not a natural death. And no one can give death, not even the state.”

So execution is a crime? I wonder if Cardinal Martino is aware of the role played by Cardinals in the Inquisition. Is he saying that his Church engaged in crimes?

But this for a Cardinal, is appalling. He knows that the Bible unequivocally institutes the death penalty for murder. He knows that the state is referred to as God’s agent, excercising wrath on His behalf. To what, or whom, does he think he is appealing?

Saddam’s death was horrible I’m sure. Death is. And he deserved it. Cardinal Martino, are you telling me that the office of the Holy Inquisition is justified in having a person executed for heresy, but Saddam ought not to have been executed for mass murder?