Cardinal calls for Saddam clemency

Citing the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Cardinal Paul Poupard yesterday called for clemency for former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein.

"Human life is always inviolable," the French prelate said. The Cardinal - who is president of the Pontifical Council for Culture - said that "no one can claim any right over the life and death of another."

Catholic World News reports that the Cardinal Poupard said that the right to life is "a universal principle, and there is no exception." He said that only God is "master of life and death."

The Cardinal spoke out as the trial of Saddam Hussein neared its conclusion, with Iraqi prosecutors calling for the death penalty. The former Iraqi ruler is charged with the massacre of civilians in the town of Doujail.

Meanwhile, the US has defended Saddam's trial as still "viable, legitimate, credible" despite the execution of a top Iraqi lawyer on Saddam's defence team, which prompted Saddam and his seven co-defendants to go on an indefinite hunger strike yesterday in protest.

A final verdict in the trial is not expected until September. Even if he is sentenced to execution, Saddam is unlikely to be put to death at any time in the foreseeable future. He still faces separate trials on charges of having presided over a genocidal campaign against Kurds and the repression of Shi'ite Muslims.

French cardinal asks clemency for Saddam Hussein (Catholic World News 21/6/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Saddam Hussein (Wikipedia)
Sr Patty Fawkner comments on the treatment of Saddam Hussein (Uniya 15/12/03)

Cardinal says Saddam treated like a cow (CathNews 17/12/2003)

23 Jun 2006