02 May 2011

On the death of Usama Bin Laden

Last night Bishop Paprocki and I were at the Newman Center at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston for the Sacrament of Confirmation.  While greeting people after the Mass I overheard a couple of students talking, one of whom - I thought - said, "Usama Bid Laden is dead."  I walked over to him to verify what I thought I heard and then confirmed it on my smartphone.
Several thoughts quickly came to my mind:
  1. May God be merciful.
  2. A royal wedding.  The beatification of a Pope.  The death of Bin Laden.  Two Masses of Confirmation.  The ordination of two deacons.  A Knights of Columbus State Convention.  What else can happen this weekend?
  3. His death will not end the scourge of terrorism.
  4. Now the beatification of Blessed John Paul II really won't get the coverage it deserves.
Driving back to Springfield, we listened to various news reports on the radio in an effort to bring ourselves up to speed as best we could.

As we listened to the jubilant crowds outside the White House at the death of this man, I felt very disconcerted.  How could Christians rejoice in such manner over the death of another?  Certainly he was a violent man and was filled with much hatred, but is not there not also hatred in the hearts of those who rejoice over his death?

Throughout the day today I have been trying to find words to use to express my thoughts and feelings on this matter more clearly.

I believe I have found in them in the statement made today by Father Federico Lombardi, S.J., Director of the Holy See Press Office:
Osama Bin Laden - as everyone knows - has had the gravest responsibility for spreading hatred and division among people, causing the deaths of countless people, and exploiting religion for this purpose.

Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of everyone before God and man, and hopes and pledges that every event is not an opportunity for a further growth of hatred, but of peace.
A few others have put their own thoughts together, with whom I agree:
On a related note, Mollie wonders how Islamic his burial sea was.