Prayer request for Osama bin Laden at Catholic Church in West Palm Beach

Priest to honor request at Sunday Mass

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The name of Osama bin Laden appears in the Holy Name of Jesus Sunday bulletin. There's a cross next to it.

A parishioner made a prayer request for the mastermind behind the 9/11 attack on America.

Henry Borga says he paid ten dollars to put Osama bin Laden's name on the same list as four other people.

The face of Osama bin Laden is one that incites anger and hate, but Borga says, "He needs forgiveness and compassion from God."

Borga says he also prayed for the families and victims of 9/11.

A church secretary took the Mass intention a week ago. She admitted she thought it was a joke at first. But few are laughing.

"I think it's totally wrong, he doesn't belong in the Catholic religion. For what he did to Americans, he doesn't belong anywhere," says Lois Pizzano, a Catholic Church member. "It's unconscionable, it's sacrilegious,"  said Pizzano.

Father Gavin Badway admits many in his congregation are unhappy. But he says the church has never turned down a prayer request before. He says making the right decision isn't always easy.

"Their hearts are troubled because they're thinking emotionally about what he has done and he has done a lot of evil. Nevertheless, Jesus tells us, love and forgive," says Father Badway, who is the church pastor.

There are some Christians supporting Father Badway's decision to honor the request and pray for bin Laden's soul.

"I can see why they'd want to do that since the Bible does say to love your enemy and pray for those who hate you," says Aaron Wormus.

The prayer request comes two weeks after commandos killed bin Laden in a U.S. led raid in Pakistan. Four other people will be named at Mass, along with the former leader of al Qaeda.


"If it was one of my loved ones having their prayer session and his name was also included I'd be very upset. I think they people whose names are on it would also be upset," says Andrea Lazarus.

"If I wasn't a Catholic I wouldn't think it was right. He doesn't belong there, he doesn't belong with the American people," says Pizzaro.

 
 

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