Death to the death penalty: Polls show that support for the death penalty among lay Catholics is declining. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, D.C., acknowledges that theology doesn’t seem to be driving this trend. Rather, it is more the consequence of the number of cases in which convicted inmates have been proved innocent after DNA testing (USA Today, November 8).
"Mercy” is the one expletive my grandmother Norris allowed herself, the all-purpose exclamation for times when she was too awestruck, befuddled or exasperated to say anything else. During the '60s, I considered her “Mercy” to be amusing and even charming, but also embarrassingly anachronistic. Now that I am older, however, "Mercy" seems a fine word for moments when other words fail.
The war in Iraq grinds on, now at the cost of over 2,000 American lives and uncounted thousands of Iraqi lives. Few are reluctant to attack the way the Bush administration has managed the war, but fewer still are willing to say that this war should never have been waged. The U.S. should make what amends it can to the Iraqi people for the damage it has done and let them decide their own fate. Our task is not to “complete the mission," but to abandon it.