Pope intercedes for Tariq Aziz - to be hanged by the neck until dead
But, unlike His Holiness, not dogmatically so: that is to say, there may be the occasional exception.
But only occasionally.
The Vatican has issued a statement:
The position of the Catholic church on the death penalty is well known. It’s hoped, therefore, that the sentence against Tariq Aziz will not be executed, precisely in order to favor reconciliation and the reconstruction of peace and justice in Iraq after the great sufferings it has experienced.As Margaret Beckett said on the occasion of the execution of Saddam Hussein:
Regarding a possible humanitarian intervention, the Holy See is not accustomed to operate in a public fashion, but through the diplomatic means at its disposal.
I welcome the fact that Saddam Hussein has been tried by an Iraqi court for at least some of the appalling crimes he committed against the Iraqi people. He has now been held to account. We have made our position very clear to the Iraqi authorities, but we respect their decision as that of a sovereign nation.Unlike the professing Muslim Saddam Hussein, who is probably now in Hell, Tariq Aziz professes to be a Christian of the Chaldean variety.
His Grace opposes the death penalty.
And yet Tariq Aziz murdered how many?
Perhaps His Holiness might make an exception?
If Mr Aziz be a Christian, shall we let God be the judge?