Single Catholics flocked to CatholicMatch.com last night to process the breaking news that the U.S. military has killed Osama bin Laden. They voiced a range of raw emotions and tried to interpret the event through the lens of Catholicism.
“This is wonderful news!” wrote Cindy-534370. “Keep in mind our Lord is the Lord of Justice.”
“I have never rejoiced in another’s death – never until today!” wrote Linda-629540. “As someone else mentioned, he had nearly 10 years to ‘repent’ and only used those years to spur on his evil agenda. God bless our military and God bless the USA!!!”
Divine Mercy Sunday
Some CatholicMatch members marveled over the timing of the announcement. “It is amazing that it is being announced today – today being Divine Mercy and the beatification of JPII,” Loretta-678584 noted.
“I was just asking a friend in Israel what the reaction there was to Osama’s demise. He told me they thought it was symbolic; it is Holocaust Day in Israel!” John-336509 added.
Members respectfully debate the appropriated, faith-filled response. “As a former CMer posted on her Facebook, we should be ‘circumspect’ about Bin Laden’s death,” Edward-4511 wrote. “Relief is fine, but reacting with glee lowers us to the level of those who celebrated the 9/11 attacks against us. As Catholic Christians we are called to a higher standard – to pray for our enemies. Yes, that means praying for bin Laden’s soul (unlikely as it may be that he escaped hell). God does not want even one soul to be lost.”
“Edward, I was thinking most of this myself when I saw the video of people rejoicing at the White House,” MaryJean-686122 responded. “Really? How frightening is it that he was killed without, or we don’t know for sure, time to repent? We do need to pray for his soul.”
‘Not a time for celebrating’
Many members wrote soberly, solemnly. “This is not a time for celebrating, but a time for prayer and for added vigilance,” Ria-570234 said. “This is not the time to let down our guard as there will surely be repercussion. May God have mercy on him and protect us all from more of his evil attacks.”
Renai-414828 agreed. “All who have been affected by the singular action of this man and his cohorts, all who have lost their lives including him should be prayed for,” she wrote. “That is our duty as Christians, not popping champagne.”
Alexandra-706283 reflected: “As an American, I am very glad to know that this man is out of commission. As a Catholic, I take no joy in the murder of any human being. Although I understand it, it disturbs me to see people celebrating in the streets over a death. Reminds me a little of the celebrations from the Arab world when 9/11 happened.”
Renai-414828 chimed in again, writing, “I am told to not rejoice at the death of any human being. Yes, he was a monster, however our faith teaches us to pray for all souls of the dead. Leaving God to be the judge.”
‘I’m not sorry’
Deborah-550454 shared a different perspective. “I am not jumping up and down with joy that he is dead, but I’m not sorry either,” she wrote. “He killed American babies and made other children orphans. … I guess that I am not as good a Christian as some people because tonight…”
Theresa-573393 echoed that sentiment, writing, “I am glad Osama bin Laden is dead. He was living evil in the flesh. I do not believe in murder, but in the case of this evil man, for the safety and protection of the world at large, justice was served in my opinion.”
“This has been exciting news, but with a somber note to all of it,” Ray-566531 wrote. “It takes us back mainly to 9/11, and the loss of over 3,000 lives that day and to the other acts of terror attributed to him and his followers and the loss of military personnel because of him. We hope there is a sense of peace and finality to all those who were directly affected by the senseless plane hijackings and subsequent and deliberate plane crashing. This is certain to stir up many unpleasant memories of that day.”
After reading more responses, he added a second note: “My own take? We should remember ALL of the people who perished as a result of the terrorist acts, whether friend or foe.”
Still others couldn’t help but speculate on the political impact of bin Laden’s death. “Obama will seek re-election on this one and win it,” Antony-650115 wrote. “He just sealed his second term.”
How do you feel about the news? How does your faith inform your response?
Read the Vatican statement on bin Laden’s death here.