Beijing reiterated demands this month that the Vatican must break its diplomatic links with Taiwan and practice “noninterference” in China’s internal affairs if the Roman Catholic Church wishes to improve its relations with the communist-ruled state.
“China’s stance on improving relations with the Vatican is consistent. Namely, the Vatican should sever the so-called diplomatic ties with Taiwan, and recognize the People’s Republic of China as the sole government representing China,” the official Xinhua news agency quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang as saying.
Qin was reacting to a 55-page letter issued June 30 by Pope Benedict XVI to Roman Catholics in China. The pontiff had called for increased cooperation between clandestine Catholic communities and those officially recognized by the government.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).