The Vatican raised the possibility Sunday of using behind-the-scenes diplomacy to try to save the life of an Iranian widow sentenced to be stoned for adultery
In its first public statement on the case, which has attracted worldwide attention, the Vatican decried stoning
as a particularly brutal form of capital punishment
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said
the Catholic church opposes the death penalty
It is unclear what chances any Vatican bid would have to persuade the Muslim
nation to spare the woman’s life. Brazil, which has friendly relations with Iran, was rebuffed when it offered her asylum.
Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani
was convicted in 2006 of adultery. In July, Iranian authorities said they would not carry out the stoning sentence for the time being, but the mother of two could still face execution by hanging
for adultery and other offenses.
the death penalty is a barbaric form of punishment
that should be rejected by all civilized nations — as should the Shariah
. Islamic law is incompatible with Western civilization.