Muslim leaders at an interfaith peace conference with Pope Benedict XVI in Naples chided him for not responding to a recent olive-branch missive from Muslim scholars and complained that the reaction of a high Vatican official “misses the very point of dialogue.”
Benedict spoke October 21 at the opening of the 21st International Meeting for Peace. In a written communiqué, Muslims said they were “still awaiting a proper response” from the pontiff to the open letter, signed by 138 Muslim clerics and scholars and made public October 11.
The Naples conference assembled some 300 religious leaders, including the archbishop of Canterbury, the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople, the chief rabbi of Israel, and representatives of Islam, Buddhism and Shintoism.
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).