When John Geoghan was killed in prison a few years ago (remember, he was the defrocked priest who abused so many young children over many years), I was having lunch with a good friend who isn't Catholic- she said she was glad it had happened to him. The murder of this man was brutal- a fellow inmate stomped him to death, while guards, for whatever reason, didn't intervene. I remember nodding along, saying "yeah, I know what you mean" but something didn't feel right.
Last night when I crawled into bed and turned on the tv, I was surprised to hear that Saddam Hussein had been hanged to death. I guess this is a good ethical question to chew over. Is it right to kill a person, because they've killed others?
After I gave my conversation about Geoghan some thought I realized that I don't know what's right, what's just, what's fair, but what I do know is this: I don't want to be a person who thinks murder is ever justified.
I'm sorry that Hussein ever came to power like he did, I'm horrified by the terrible things he did while in power, I hope and pray for the souls of those he killed, and I pray for his soul too. It's the only way I can feel right about situations like this.