As Pope Benedict was arriving at the White House this morning for his meeting with President Bush, the Supreme Court turned down a challenge to executions by lethal drugs, the preferred method of capital punishment in the United States for three decades. The pope stuck to his prepared public remarks on the White House lawn and said nothing about the matter. What he might say privately to the president about of the Church's opposition to the death penalty in virtually all circumstances is not known. Part of the job of one of the staff at the Apostolic Nunciature, where Pope Benedict is staying in Washington, is researching death penalty cases in the United States as a basis for Vatican letters to governors conveying papal pleas for clemency.
-- Russell Shaw