by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann
Sadly, Osama bin Laden had devoted much of his life to fueling hatred for the United States and its citizens. He claimed responsibility not only for the deaths of thousands of innocent Americans, but also for many innocent men and women in the Arab world. I pray for eternal rest for all victims of the terrorism.
I pray also for the comfort and consolation of their families and friends who continue to mourn their deaths. With all Americans, I am grateful to the men and women of our military and intelligence services who risk their lives and labor heroically to protect our nation against those intent on doing us and others harm.
Jesus calls his disciples not to hate, but to love our enemies and pray even for our persecutors (Mt. 5: 44). As Christians, we pray for the conversion, not the destruction of our enemies. I pray for God’s mercy on Osama bin Laden. I pray that the occasion of his death does not trigger additional violence, but serves as motivation for all men and women of good will to intensify our efforts to work for peace.