Vatican Spokesman on Killing of Osama bin Laden
From Catholic News Service:
... 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 for this purpose.See also Michael Denton's well-written piece at The American Catholic, "The Catholic Response to the Death of a Murderer".
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.
Hopefully, the reaction to the news of bin Laden's death will become more reflective and the overexuberant reaction we've witnessed so far will be tempered. But at the same time, I'd like to see those who are condemning the jubilation (and I do not count the Vatican spokesman or Michael among them) show a bit more understanding and compassion for why people are reacting the way they are.
Yes, more people should put into practice the Church’s teachings on mercy and forgiveness and embrace the Church’s teachings on social justice. I am convinced, however, that one reason more do not do so is because the pious “tsk-tsking” and “tut-tutting” of the more vocal proponents of social justice, which seems to never account for the natural feelings of those impacted by such crimes, is so offputting.
What I've written above is especially apt in discussing the overjubilant celebrations we've seen among college-age students. I ask the harshest critics to put themselves in their shoes for a moment. Cut 'em some slack. They have grown up with bin Laden being the greatest menace the world faced (aside from George W. Bush). They've grown up with terror alerts, pat-down frisks in airports, and the horror of being children and watching the ultimate in man's inhumanity to man as those buildings came crashing down, turning living, breathing humanity into mere dust particles.
Think back to how we felt when the menace of our childhood ended as the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, and imagine how these young people feel. It's a catharsis for them to be able to experience SOME emotion over this monster other than the fear, grief, anger, and disappointment they've experienced for the last 10 years.