VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican said the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, a man who sowed division and hatred and who caused “innumerable” deaths, should prompt serious reflection about one’s responsibility before God, not rejoicing.
The Vatican statement May 2 came the day after President Barack Obama announced that U.S. forces had killed bin Laden in an attack on his hideout in northwest Pakistan. In several U.S. cities, the news prompted street demonstrations and expressions of jubilation.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, released a brief written statement reacting to the news.
“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 to this end,” Father Lombardi said.
“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,” the spokesman said.
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