This story is generating controversy and headlines (including on the Drudge Report):
Prayer Request for Osama bin Laden at Catholic Church in West Palm Beach (includes video by local TV)
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.
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 was in Rome when the news of Bin Laden’s death was made public, so I feel a bit behind the news/commentary cycle on this one, but it strikes me as odd that Catholics would ask for anyone’s name to be removed from the list of prayer intentions (as some in the parish are apparently doing).
Granted, I think it was needlessly inflammatory to publish Bin Laden’s name with a Christian cross besides it. Bin Laden wasn’t Christian and didn’t believe in the resurrection, which Christians continue to celebrate joyfully in this Easter season. Considering Bin Laden’s public, gravely evil and indeed horrific acts and the manner of his death, we can only pray for God to have mercy for his soul.
But we should still pray for it, as we pray for all souls to receive God’s infinite mercy.
Frankly, however, I think this should remain a private intention, however. Everything says we should pray for the repose of all souls. Nothing says we have to publish those prayers in the parish bulletin.