An unlikely prayer request from a parishioner has created conflict within a Catholic church in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Henry Borga added Osama bin Laden’s name to his church’s list of prayer requests for Sunday Mass — and the Church accepted it. This Sunday, Father Gavin Badway intends on leading his congregation in prayer for five people, including bin Laden, though he admits it’s likely to upset people at the service.
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“Their hearts are troubled because they’re thinking emotionally about what he has done and he has done a lot of evil,” he told a local reporter. “Nevertheless, Jesus tells us, love and forgive.”
People in Badway’s congregation are already protesting the prayer request. Church member Lois Pizzano said she thinks it’s “totally wrong, he doesn’t belong in the Catholic religion. For what he did to Americans, he doesn’t belong anywhere. It’s unconscionable, it’s sacrilegious.”
Since the death of bin Laden, controversy has circled over what the appropriate response to his death should be. From the frat-like carousing in front of the White House to the gleeful headlines on tabloid papers, reactions have been varied. Then, within days after the terrorist’s death, an erroneously attributed but good-intentioned quotation began circulating the internet:
“I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” –MLK
While the saying wasn’t actually entirely from Martin Luther King, Jr., the viral nature of the message is a strong indicator that not everyone felt joy over the terrorist’s death. Could this church be taking that peaceful sentiment a step further by asking people to pray for bin Laden? (via WPTV)
(PHOTOS: Celebrating the Death of Osama bin Laden)