BY ED WEST
CHRISTIANS should never rejoice at the death of a man, the Vatican has said following the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan on Sunday.
The world’s most wanted man was shot following a 40minute firefight with US special forces at his compound in Abbottabad, north-west Pakistan. His death followed a 10-year hunt for the mastermind of the September 11 attacks that killed about 3,000 people, and was greeted by wild scenes of jubilation in New York and Washington.
In a press conference at 9.30pm on Sunday US President Barack Obama announced that the Saudi-born fugitive and leader of al-Qaeda had been killed.
“Justice has been done,” the US President said.
Bin Laden’s death was welcomed by world leaders. Prime Minister David Cameron said: “The news that Osama bin Laden is dead will bring great relief to people across the world.” But Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said in a statement that Christians should not rejoice at the death of a human being.
He said: “Osama bin Laden – as we all know – was gravely responsible for promoting division and hatred between peoples, causing the end of countless innocent lives, and of exploiting religions to this end. Faced with the death of a man, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibility of each and every one of us before God and before man, and hopes and commits himself so that no event be an opportunity for further growth of hatred, but for peace.” Vatican missionary news agency Fides reported after the death that Christian schools and other buildings in Pakistan had closed amid fear of reprisals.
Mary Kenny: Page 12