Photo: The Sunday Bulletin for Holy Name of Jesus
The Holy Name of Jesus Catholic church in West Palm Beach, Florida has drawn some attention after a parishioner made a prayer request for Osama bin Laden.
The church secretary that took the Mass intention admits that she thought it was a joke at first.
In reality, Henry Borja, 50, paid his $10 like everyone else with a prayer request, his was just less popular.
“I’m not a sympathizer or admirer of the deceased man (bin Laden),” said the Palm Springs, Fla. Resident. “The only thing that I did was to host a mass for the forgiveness, mercy and compassion of that miserable criminal.”
Borja proved his sincerity when he spoke with Holy Name’s Reverend Gavin Badway, and the reverend and church accepted the prayer request for Mass.
Congregation members are split in their feelings on the prayer request.
Catholics like Beth Keller and Aaron Wormus say they can understand Borja’s reasoning, and both spoke of love. Keller saying, “Reconciliation is the foundation of our faith. When you can feel reconciliation, your heart is more open to love.”
Wormus agrees and said, “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
But others like Lois Pizzano, a Catholic Church member, say such a prayer is “unconscionable” and “sacrilegious.”
“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.”
“At first I thought it was strange that somebody would do that,” Badway said. “Then I thought, ‘This is exactly what Jesus tells us, to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.’
“Are those just empty words or do we take them seriously? If you’re a Christian, you have to take them seriously.”
Reverend Badway intends to lead his congregation in prayer for the 5 people on the list Sunday, and that will include bin Laden.