Thursday, May 05, 2011

Reflection, Not Rejoicing

BINLADEN-VATICAN May-2-2011 (400 words) xxxi

Vatican says bin Laden's death cause for reflection, not rejoicing

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican said the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, a man who sowed division and hatred and who caused "innumerable" deaths, should prompt serious reflection about one's responsibility before God, not rejoicing.

The Vatican statement May 2 came the day after President Barack Obama announced that U.S. forces had killed bin Laden in an attack on his hideout in northwest Pakistan. In several U.S. cities, the news prompted street demonstrations and expressions of jubilation.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, released a brief written statement reacting to the news.

"Osama bin Laden, as we all know, bore the most serious responsibility for spreading divisions and hatred among populations, causing the deaths of innumerable people, and manipulating religions to this end," Father Lombardi said.

"In the face of a man's death, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibilities of each person before God and before men, and hopes and works so that every event may be the occasion for the further growth of peace and not of hatred," the spokesman said.

The Vatican missionary news agency, Fides, reported that Christian schools and other institutes were closed and churches put on guard in Pakistan's main cities out of fear of possible repercussions on the Christian minorities there. Pakistani Christians are often identified in extremist literature with the West and the United States.

Paul Bhatti, a government adviser for religious minorities in Pakistan, told Fides that "the situation is tense."

"In fact, there are strong fears of reactions -- senseless reactions -- against the Christian minorities. The government is giving the maximum attention to prevention measures," he said.

Father Mario Rodrigues, director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Pakistan, said after a meeting with government officials May 2: "They put us on alert, requesting the closure of our institutes and making available additional police personnel around the churches. The Christians of Pakistan are innocent victims in this and other situations. Any pretext is used to threaten them or launch an attack."

Rodrigues said some experts predicted that bin Laden's killing would weaken the Taliban and their ideologies, which could help diminish anti-Christian persecution in the long term. But he said radical Islamic groups were flourishing in Pakistan, and other extremist leaders could arise.

What is needed, he said, is a serious policy of interreligious tolerance at every level -- cultural, social, political and legislative.


Ginny said...

Well, Annie, since you brought this up, I don't want to burst anyone's bubble ...but all this celebrating...the bible says that God takes no joy in the death of an evil man, God also says "Vengence is MINE!", and we should not use vengance. Now I realize that if they captured him instead, it would have caused even worse problems. They said they gave him a respectful burial so he would not be made a martyr, but I'm sure he is a martyr anyway, since he was unarmed and shot in the face. I know what he did was horrible and all the children and others he killed, but I think this is somthing Jesus would not have done, although God does give the state leeway in this kind of thing...this was a problem that would give a Talmudic scholar a headache.

Annie said...

Dear Ginny,

Proverbs 24: 17-18 says it all. I will not rejoice over any man's death but I can rejoice on the carriage of justice. I heard a movie line years ago that has always stuck with me - The Creator is hard, but He's not blind. I've always liked that.

I'm doing a lot of reflecting on this and plan to post my writing on my two blogs sometime in the next few days. I know a lot of people have written a lot about this but it takes me a lot longer to pull my thoughts together. No matter. I think this will be discussed for a long, long time.

God Bless you,

Steve E said...

Strange that even though I did not jump and holler, it did not occur to me that some are at great risk: retaliation, an excuse for more intolerance and even persecution.

Thank you for the alert--those who now need our prayers more then ever. One thing we KNOW--God always listens, hears. How His Will is carried out is but His Alone to know.

PEACE! (To all!)