The Vatican on Tuesday praised the recent United Nations vote calling for a moratorium on the death penalty.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi discussed the vote on Vatican Radio, saying "It shows that despite persistence of violence in the world, an awareness of the value of life ... is growing in the human family." He continued, "This vote is interpreted as a sign of hope and a step forward on the road to peace."
Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the papal nuncio leading the Holy See’s delegation to the United Nations, noted the leadership of Italy in passing the initiative. "Italy played an important role ... because it was able to involve the whole world, not just Europe," Archbishop Migliore said.
Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi called it a “historic day” and said that by its actions Italy had contributed to the worldwide spread of peace and justice.