What is the Christian Response to Bin Laden’s Death?

 Author: James Martin, S.J

 As someone who worked at Ground Zero in the days and weeks following 9/11 I rejoiced to hear that Osama Bin Laden’s long reign of terror, which had dealt death, destruction and untold misery to millions across the world, had finally come to an end. As a Christian, though, I cannot rejoice at the death of a human being, no matter how monstrous he was. On Sept. 11, I was working at my desk at America magazine in Manhattan. My mother, who lives in Philadelphia, called me to tell me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. When I ran out of my office and looked down Sixth Avenue, I could see the towers smoldering, inky black smoke pouring out of their tops. Already people were running up Sixth Avenue, weeping, frantically trying to make calls on cell phones to loved ones. The next few days were a horrible blur for me, and for all New Yorkers. On the night of Sept. 11, I worked at Chelsea Piers in New York, along with firefighters, rescue workers and chaplains, awaiting survivors, who never came. On the morning and afternoon of Sept. 12, I sat with family members in a large room at the New School in downtown New York, poring through lists of survivors, of whom there were almost none. Then, on Sept. 13, while working at Chelsea Piers, a police officer offered me a ride to Ground Zero, then called simply “the site.” There I spent the next few days and weeks, along with other Jesuits ministering to rescue workers amid the smoldering and stinking wreckage, in some places still in flames, in front of a mass grave. We walked over the awful detritus of the attacks; we prayed with firefighters who had lost friends; we counseled EMTs who had seen horrible things; we celebrated Mass in the rubble; and we emerged covered in the terrible dust of Ground Zero every day. So I am not blind to the death and destruction caused by Osama bin Laden. Yet Christians are still in the midst of the Easter Season, when Jesus, the innocent one, not only triumphantly rose from the dead but, in his earthly life, forgave his executioners from his cross in the midst of excruciating pain. Forgiveness is the hardest of all Christian acts. (Love, by comparison, is easier.) It is also, according to Jesus, something that should have no limit. No boundaries. Peter once asked him how often he was supposed to forgive. Seven times? “Not seven times,” answered Jesus, “but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.” In other words, times without number. “Forgive your brother or sister from your heart,” he said. So the question is whether the Christian can forgive a murderer, a mass murderer, even–as in the case of Osama bin Laden–a coordinator of mass murder. I’m not sure I would be able to do this, particularly if I had lost a loved one. But as with other “life” issues, we cannot overlook what Jesus asks of us, hard as it is to comprehend. For this is a “life” issue as surely as any other. The Christian is not simply in favor of life for the unborn, for the innocent, for those we care for, for our families and friends, for our fellow citizens, for our fellow church members or even for those whom we consider good, but for all. All life is sacred because God created all life. This is what lies behind Jesus’s most difficult command: “I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” It is also what lies behind the Vatican’s statement today, which balanced the desire for an end to terror with the sanctity of life, no matter how odious: “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 for this purpose. 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.” And it is what was behind the most Christian of actions by Pope John Paul II, beatified on the same day that Osama bin Laden was killed. Perhaps the confluence of events is providential.

 As someone who lived under Nazism and Communism John Paul was no stranger to terror. But he also was a Christian who knew the centrality of forgiveness, even for the most grievous of crimes. In 1980, he was the victim of an assassination attempt, by Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turkish ultra-nationalist. One of Blessed John Paul’s first acts after his recovery was to journey to Agca’s jail cell and offer him the costly grace of forgiveness. Osama bin Laden persecuted, murdered, thousands of men and women in the United States, and is responsible for the death of many servicemen and women. I am glad he has left the world. And I pray that his departure may lead to peace. But as a Christian, I am asked to pray for him and, ultimately, to forgive him. And that command comes to us from Jesus, a man who was beaten, tortured and killed. That command comes from a man who knows a great deal about suffering. It also comes from God.

 James Martin, SJ
HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE DIRECTOR ON DEATH OF OSAMA BIN LADEN

VATICAN CITY, 2 MAY 2011 (VIS) – This morning the Director of the Holy See
Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., released the following
declaration on the news regarding the death of Osama Bin Laden.

“Osama Bin Laden, as is known, claimed responsibility for grave acts that
spread division and hate among the peoples, manipulating religion to that
end. A Christian never takes pleasure from the fact of a man’s death, but
sees it as an opportunity to reflect on each person’s responsibility, before
God and humanity, and to hope and commit oneself to seeing that no event
become another occasion to disseminate hate but rather to foster peace”.
OP/ VIS 20110502
(120)

About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
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56 Responses to What is the Christian Response to Bin Laden’s Death?

  1. Weltha Wood says:

    Thank you for this. I am not a Roman Catholic but I am an “old Catholic” Anglican, and I am shocked and sickened by the rejoicing–by my fellow Christian believers–at the death of Osama bin Laden. This means a great deal to me–you are my brother in Christ, and I needed to read a Christian response to this today. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Like

  2. Toadspittle says:

    .
    “I rejoiced to hear that Osama Bin Laden’s long reign of terror, which had dealt death, destruction and untold misery to millions across the world, had finally come to an end.

    Says James Martin, S.J.

    Is there anyone at all on this website who believes Bin Laden has ‘reigned in terror’ since 9-11?
    He has been constantly on the run trying to avoid, one supposes, being killed.
    True, Americans will not have to look fearfully under their beds, before switching off the light, any more – and that is a good thing.
    But, no doubt, they will swiftly find a new Bogey Man.

    Or he will find them.

    Still, in view of what James Martin says, a plenary indulgence for Osama would seem to be in order?

    Like

  3. ann says:

    I believe James Martin, S.J. strikes just the right tone here. I certainly was not in a rejoicing mood when I heard of Bin Laden’s death this morning. Coming right on the heels of Divine Mercy Sunday this news seemed particularly poignant and provocative. I hope and pray he received God’s mercy as I hope and pray I receive God’s mercy at that crucial moment. I can understand the human desire to celebrate I guess—but the violent death of anyone, even a murderer, is disturbing, especially if he died unrepentant. I have to stand with Blessed John Paul on this–nothing is gained by vengeance, nothing is gained by violence, and war is “a tragedy for humanity.”

    Like

  4. Patricia says:

    Since Jesus was truly God and truly Man, we try, with all our hearts and minds, to take His Words seriously in our life situations. It is not easy. Much grace is needed to respond with such love and forgiveness. Surely, more than ever today, especially in this culture of death that has permeated the very heart of our existence, we must pray to the Holy Spirit for these graces to resist this tide of anger, revenge, hatred and death mentality. I am thankful that Osama Bin Laden is not going to inflict this culture of death on the human family any longer. But, it is sad that he did not know Jesus. I hope he had time for this before the second death. Come Holy Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

    Like

  5. mike possett says:

    Perhaps the correct response is to sing Te Deum.

    Like

  6. Gertrude says:

    :

    Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the LORD see it, and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him. (Prov. 24:17-18)

    Perhaps now we should all be praying hard in this month of Our Blessed Lady for our Islamic friends – yes, we do have friends. Whatever the future holds it is the silent majority of peace loving Muslims, living their lives according to their faith, that will probably bear the brunt of any repercussions that might happen elsewhere in the world.

    Our Lady Queen of the Rosary – pray for us.

    Like

  7. kathleen says:

    “He who lives by the sword shall perish by the sword”.

    And so it has been for Osama Bin Laden. Many innocent people from many nationalities (but especially Americans) have lost their lives, so many others have suffered deep sorrow as a result of losing their loved ones, and all through the workings of one man who was obsessed with a hatred of the West and all non Muslims. It is indeed a fearful prospect to imagine how Bin Laden will face his Maker after death, and he is indeed in much need of prayer.
    This is surely a very very tough challenge for all of us, to pray for the soul of a man who wrought such evil and caused so much pain! Yet that is what Our Blessed Lord asks us to do, to pray for our enemies and for those who wish us harm.
    No one ever said being a faithful Christian was easy.

    Like

  8. kathleen says:

    Naughty Toad,

    Please do your homework: (the post on CP&S a few days ago on this topic, “Divine Mercy Sunday – A plenary Indulgence”, would help you).

    You cannot obtain a plenary indulgence unless you fulfil the necessary conditions. OBL obviously did not!!

    Like

  9. Toadspittle says:

    .
    “…and all through the workings of one man who was obsessed with a hatred of the West…”

    Not so, Kathleen. Toad is confident she will find several million others that are equally obsessed with a hatred of the West. And will who not just go and give up now Osama is dead.

    This idiotic idea, much flaunted on TV, with much “Ya-Hoo” hollering, and flag-waving, and “God Bless American-ing,” as if America had just won World Three by killing one lousy Arab, (true he was very tall, but still) will be the death of us all.

    Thinks Toad. Oh, well.

    Like

  10. kathleen says:

    Yes Toad, you are right of course in that Osama bin Laden is not the only ‘enemy’ the West has, thanks mostly to a sinister brain-washing of the young. But not all are in a position to do much about it. On the other hand OBL was, and he used his great wealth (Saudi dollars!) to unfold his macabre and evil plans of destruction and murder with such horrific results.

    Terrorism will continue to plague us though, even now after the demise of Bin Laden – I think everyone realises that.

    Like

  11. Patricia says:

    It probably will be harder and take longer to eliminate the Terrorism of this Culture of Death and to defeat the enemies of the Family, Holy Matrimony, purity, truth, and, in particular, the Catholic Church, because this enemy has slowly been ingrained into our hearts and minds over the past decades. So now are the days for the Special Forces to engage, to defend and to promote the Gospel of Life, which is Jesus, the Way, Truth and Life. It sure is a tall order and much witness, prayer, sacrifice, learning, and virtues will be a requirement. Just when you feel like taking a break and letting the younger generation take over. Oh well, we messed up this one, so I guess reparation is in order. We better be ready to step up to the plate to bring our Catholic Faith to bear in our everyday life, making good use of the time we have left, for the good of our children and grandchildren. They deserve better and they will be better because they have been so deprived of the good things that I took for granted, such as Truth, Beauty, Goodness and Being, (God Himself) Thank you Lord for you Great Mercy.

    Like

  12. Bob says:

    I guess this is what separates “us from them”. I wish I could be that good of a Christian and forgive OBL for his transgressions, but I cannot. I guess I will have to ask God for forgiveness for my shortcomings.

    Like

  13. Brother Burrito says:

    Bob,

    We all find that level of mercy difficult to fund, and yes, prayer/sacraments are the only way to get funding.

    Like

  14. Brother Burrito says:

    Patricia,

    I like your mention of “Special Forces”. As far as the world is concerned, WE are them!

    There is not a moment to lose. This website, and the myriad of other good Catholic sites are the recruiting and organising centres for the great push.

    The New Evangelisation is what is happening right here, right now.

    The Church exists to change hearts and minds, without a bullet, bomb or missile in sight.

    OUR weapons are our thoughts, words and actions, illuminated by the Light of the world.

    GIVE SOME!

    Like

  15. omvendt says:

    Without desiring to be facetious in any way, I wonder if Toad is aware that ‘lob da man in sea’ is an anagram of Osama bin Laden. (I stole that.)

    Like

  16. Patricia says:

    Yes Brother Burrito, I agree. I sure do hope the Good Lord and His Blessed Mother send us PLENTY of Angels to assist. Navy Seals are good, but they would be even better, don’t you think.

    Like

  17. Toadspittle says:

    .
    Coo, er, Omvendt. That’s spooky. Maybe there are mysterious forces at work. But then, maybe not.

    Like

  18. Toadspittle says:

    …thanks mostly to a sinister brain-washing of the young.

    Says Kathleen. Who does she have in mind?
    Muslims? Atheists? Facebook? Twitter (whatever that is)?
    Toad thinks we should be told.

    Like

  19. kathleen says:

    ‘Morning Toad,
    I see you are up early and bright again as usual ;-).

    I was referring to some (please note I said ‘some’) koranic schools in many Muslim countries where this brain-washing takes place. Also there are mosques where the ‘mullah’ drums an islamist jihad mentality into the listeners. We know this to be true even in Britain!
    Many of the terrorists of 9/11 were recruited in our western countries, not in their countries of origin. Here our politicians and special police forces really need to intervene to irradicate such a threat to our societies.
    Dialogue and good relations between the different religions is also vital, as our Holy Father has often stipulated.

    Like

  20. ann says:

    Bob–I think forgiveness occurs first as an act of will and then hopefully the emotion follows. It’s very difficult to choose forgiveness toward those who do terrible things but it is I think a necessary prayer to say “Lord, I set my will toward forgiveness and I ask Your grace to help it become heart felt.” It may take a long time for the emotions to fall in line but I do believe God gives us the grace for that to happen. I always look at the words of the Our Father as the standard–we must will to forgive others if we expect God to forgive us. Hard hard hard. But as someone said in the comments here, no one said being a Christian is easy.

    Like

  21. Toadspittle says:

    .
    .
    Kathleen, it seems to Toad that ‘brain-washing’ is something other people do – not us.
    Toad doubts if the koranic schools believe they are ‘brain-washing’ their students, simply teaching them the truth as they see it.
    It’s rather like journalism – if one disagrees with a story, it’s “Biased, distorted lies.” If one agrees, with the same story it’s “Fair, objective and balanced .”

    And it can backfire. Look what happened to poor Mmvc. She sent her son off to a posh school to get his head stuffed with nonsense, at no doubt enormous expense, as do many loving parents.
    And his head was duly stuffed, as ordered. But they stuffed it with the wrong kind of nonsense!
    One has to be so careful.

    Toad thinks she could sue.

    Like

  22. kathleen says:

    Toad,
    You surprise me! Not only was that an unnecessarily unkind and snide remark about mmvc, but I would have thought you had a better idea of the meaning of the word ‘brain-washing’. To teach your child your own language, culture, history etc., and especially the religion you hold as the greatest gift, is not to brain-wash.
    Would you have done things any differently with your own children?

    Like

  23. Toadspittle says:

    .
    “To teach your child your own language, culture, history etc., and especially the religion you hold as the greatest gift, is not to brain-wash.”

    Says Kathleen. The point Toad was trying (and clearly failing) to make was that a Muslim, for example, (or a Lutheran or whatever) would say, and act, exactly the same. But it was Kathleen who brought up the subject of brain-washing in this context.
    So, if Catholics do it it’s teaching. If Muslims do it, it’s brain-washing. Right?

    Like

  24. kathleen says:

    No, dear Toad, brain-washing of any ideology is most certainly not unique to Muslims…… and in fact I’m pretty sure Muslims on the whole do not employ such a cruel method of indoctrinisation. But surely you have heard about those koranic schools where for hours on end children are forced to go over and over the koranic verses (including the most violent) and whipped when they fail in the task? Many of today’s terrorists (especially members of Al-Qaeda) have come from these schools as I’m sure you – who keep up with current affairs – can’t pretend to be unaware of.

    Then besides the media reports of the bellicose talk discovered in some mosques in Britain, we actually know a married couple of very nice and cultured Muslims, where the man feeling very concerned confided to my husband that he has heard with his own ears the mullah pronounce death threats to all Jews and Christians!! I’m not making it up. There are people who share our bread and wish us dead!

    Yet it would be wrong to tar all Muslims with the same brush. As Gertrude mentions above, the vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists and wish to live in peace and harmony too.

    Like

  25. omvendt says:

    ” … the silent majority of peace loving Muslims, living their lives according to their faith …” avers Gertrude.

    The problem, my dear Gertrude, is that Islam is a religion of war.

    The Koran could not be clearer.

    Permit me to cite a few examples:

    “O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.” — Qur’an 5:51

    “Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans…” — Qur’an 5:82

    “The Jews call ‘Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!” — Qur’an 9:30

    “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” — Qur’an 9:29

    “Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks. At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom, until the war lays down its burdens.” — Qur’an 47:4

    “Those who reject (Truth), among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will be in Hell-Fire, to dwell therein (for aye). They are the worst of creatures.” — Qur’an 98:6

    Feel the love!

    Now I know this isn’t pleasant to read – it’s not pleasant to post, either.

    And I agree with you that a majority of Moslems wishes us no harm.

    But the fact remains that ‘holy war’ is in the very ‘DNA’ of Islam. To remain blind to this is somewhat sub-optimal.

    Lest anyone detects a whiff of ‘Islamophobia’ here, let me be clear that I love my Moslem brothers and sisters.

    What the main schools of Islam teach, however, is plainly obvious to those who take the trouble to find out.

    A little knowledge of history can be most instructive too.

    I now await indignant complaints about the Book of Joshua. 😉

    Like

  26. omvendt says:

    Toad:

    We’re not interested in brainwashing; we want to impart truth. And truth may be discovered in diverse ways.

    We welcome honest analysis and debate.

    Our faith is vindicated by the most rigorous theological, philosophical and historical analysis.

    We’ve nothing to fear, Toad.

    Like

  27. kathleen says:

    Thank you Omvendt for these two brilliant and informative comments.

    Like

  28. omvendt says:

    Well, Kathleen: I cannot fault your judgement. 😉

    Like

  29. Mr Badger says:

    “I now await indignant complaints about the Book of Joshua.”

    Plenty of material in the other books in the canon as well. Perhaps save us the trouble of counter-quoting from the OT, and remind us why the quotes we’d find don’t indict Christianity or Judaism? Or Judaism being the key phrase; no Christian specific explanation please.

    Like

  30. Toadspittle says:

    .
    “…yet it would be unfair to tar all Muslims with the same brush…”

    Says Kathleen, and this is unarguable. The trouble is knowing which ones to tar and which not to.

    “When ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight) smite at their necks.”

    Toad is sure that Omvendt is familiar with Tweedledum’s (or was it Tweedledee? So hard to tell them apart!) very apt comment: ” You know …it’s one of the most serious things that can possibly happen to one in a battle – to get one’s head cut off.”

    Like

  31. Mimi says:

    Forgiveness — I have a little difficulty with this (probably a semantic rather than a moral difficulty).

    I can’t see how it is possible to “forgive” someone for a wrong that was done to others, not to me. I can, of course, forgive someone who has wronged me personally. For someone who has wronged others, all I can do is avoid any hatred and ill will, and desire their repentance and conversion (while still wanting them to be brought to justice, of course). That’s pretty much the same thing, isn’t it?

    Like

  32. Toadspittle says:

    .
    It strikes Toad that one man’s ‘brainwashing’ is another man’s ‘imparting truth.’

    Like

  33. omvendt says:

    “It strikes Toad that one man’s ‘brainwashing’ is another man’s ‘imparting truth.”

    Sorry, Toad – that’s too easy.

    Love your craic, though.

    Like

  34. manus says:

    We must all be very kind to Toad, for he has suffered a terrible loss, as recorded by the BBC. Today the UK had regional elections, and it would appear that the only seat held by the Toad Party has been lost:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/special/election2011/council/html/england.stm

    (I do hope they don’t update it)

    Know, Toad, that we all feel your loss very deeply.

    Like

  35. Toadspittle says:

    .
    “Know, Toad, that we all feel your loss very deeply.”

    Not as deeply as Toad. Now he’s finished with ploitics, he might have to find an honset job. (A thing he’s never had.)

    Like

  36. Toadspittle says:

    .
    Not only is Toad finished with plotics, he’s finished with politics too. Honsetly. (Not awake yet, it seems.)

    Like

  37. annem040359 says:

    Prayers for the conversion of Muslims to Christ, “the way, truth, and the LIFE.”

    Holy Mary, Mother of God and our Spiritual Mother, PRAY FOR US.

    Like

  38. A muslim liberal from Netherlands, Europe says:

    Bin Laden chose the path of Jihad and knew its consequences. The only thing I pity for him is that he was on the run for too long (since it’s permissible in Islam to retreat) and didn’t die after all on the battle field as that was his intention, but however I still believe he died as a martyr and as a muslim despite the accusations towards him regarding 9/11 in which the FBI admits not to have any solid evidence in linking him to the attacks may Allah forgive Usama Bin Laden and grant him his desire to be a martyr.

    Case closed.

    Like

  39. Toadspittle says:

    .
    No doubt annemo40359 (do you mind if we call you 59, for short?)
    Will be equally content if the Muslims pray for his (or her) conversion.

    Like

  40. Toadspittle says:

    .
    “Case closed” says…

    A muslim liberal from Netherlands, Europe.

    Not much chance of that, Toad thinks. And, anyway, didn’t bin Laden claim responsibility for 9/11 on video more than once?

    Like

  41. joyfulpapist says:

    Our Muslim commenter’s thought that Bin Laden was a martyr even though he didn’t die on the battlefield sets me thinking about the different meanings of the word ‘martyr’ in Islam, Christianity, and the secular world.

    As I understand it, the Islamic concept of shahada, translated in English as martyrdom, is intricately interwoven with the concept of jihad, or Holy Struggle. Thus, since it is lawful and even praiseworthy to fight to spread the Message, an Islamic martyr can die taking lives.

    In Christianity, a martyr is one who chooses to die rather than renounce Christ. In Christianity, it is sometimes lawful to fight and even to kill, but it is never praiseworthy. A person who dies taking lives cannot be a martyr.

    I think this is an important difference in world view for us – both Muslim and Christian – to understand.

    In the secular world, the word martyr gets bad press – it is commonly use to mean someone who is suffering uselessly – as in “I’m a martyr to blisters” or “I’ve martyred myself for my children and now look what they’ve done.”

    Like

  42. kathleen says:

    The comment from “A muslim liberal from Netherlands, Europe”, practically affirming that killing Christians is quite legitimate (even if he chooses to believe that OBL was not the culprit) shows what we are up against. Omvendt’s very interesting comment above giving those hate-filled koranic verses – and the fact that ‘holy war’ is in the very DNA of Islam – plus Joyful’s insightful analysis of the differences of the meaning of the word ‘martyr’, sadly only goes to prove how wide the gap is between Christianity and Islam.

    Like

  43. Gertrude says:

    It is interesting to hear a Muslim perspective on the death of Osama Bin Laden, although I understand that the bin Laden family in Saudi Arabia had disowned their relative many years ago.
    Joyful’s considered comparison of our varying perceptions of martyrdom did, as Kathleen points out, highlight our differences.
    Just one last thing I would ask you to consider: if Almighty God is incapable of loving (and forgiving) Osama bin Laden, then He is unable to love (and forgive) us.
    I do not believe this for even one second, and as none of us know the state of bin Laden’s soul at the point of death we have to leave it in the hands of God. Quite simply, it’s none of our business – just His in whose presence we will all be judged.

    Like

  44. Brother Burrito says:

    Gertrude,
    I totally agree that we can judge nobody’s eternal destiny. The theological gulf between Christianity and Islam is forever unbridgeable, but we share very much in morality: valuing innocent life, families as the building block of healthy society, being against usury, fighting corruption and tyranny.

    I have many Muslim colleagues who impress me with their learning, prayerfulness and devotion, integrity, and good humour. Sometimes they try to convert me, but I offer them a bacon sandwich in return, and détente is re-established! I pray that these far separated brethren, by living good and true lives in their own way, may be Baptised by desire when they finally meet good Jesus.

    The most dangerous people of all are idealists/extremists, for they seek to create the impossible, at any cost. From all of them, on all sides, may the Good Lord deliver us.

    Like

  45. Toadspittle says:

    .
    “The most dangerous people of all are idealists/extremists, for they seek to create the impossible, at any cost. “

    Says Burro. Toad could not possibly agree more.

    How fortunate we are not to have any such awful idealists on CP&S!

    Like

  46. Brother Burrito says:

    Kathleen,
    In my experience, hardline fanatical fundamentalist Muslims are almost as bad as Christians of the same variety. Thankfully, I never meet either.

    Moderate westernised Muslims, of successful professional grades, are another species entirely, and are ashamed and embarrassed by the evil committed in the name of Islam. The reason so many are in the West is because life is better here! The NHS would keel over without its vast regiment of Muslim doctors (and Hindus too).

    It would be a grave mistake for western Muslims to try and Islamicise the west, for they would risk ‘messing’ their own doorstep if they did.

    I share their righteous anger at the parlous state of modern godless yobbo’ism so in the ascendant in the UK. Of course, I see other solutions than ‘godly’ terrorism.

    Like

  47. Toadspittle says:

    .
    Mary’s Dowry, forsooth!

    Like

  48. Brother Burrito says:

    Indeed, Toad.

    Would one care for another sherry, and a bacon buttie, perhaps?

    Like

  49. Toadspittle says:

    .
    Toad is a martyr to his dogs, though. And his chickens, and his cat, and his Canary.

    Like

  50. Toadspittle says:

    .
    “It would be a grave mistake for western Muslims to try and Islamicise the west, for they would risk ‘messing’ their own doorstep if they did.”

    Says Burro. But, one must assume, he does not think it would be an equally grave mistake for western Catholics of any stripe to try to Catholicise the East.

    Mandatory, is it not?

    Like

  51. Toadspittle says:

    .
    “Sometimes (Muslims) try to convert me, but I offer them a bacon sandwich in return..”

    Says Burro. But not on Fridays, Toad hopes. Isn’t that a mortal sin?

    Like

  52. Brother Burrito says:

    “But not on Fridays” says Toad. Thank Allah! says me: They’re all down the Mosque.

    Have you seen the price of quality UK rashers these days?

    Like

  53. Brother Burrito says:

    Not mandatory, Toad.

    Conversion to Catholicism is only done at the point of the sword of truth, or, better, by tickling with a Dove’s feather.

    Like

  54. Toadspittle says:

    .
    What Toad meant was that it is, he believes, (possibly wrongly) that it is mandatory for catholics to attempt to convert others. Is that so?

    If it is, technique is another consideration.

    Bribery by bacon might well do the business in some cases – the Quivering Brethren, say.
    For Muslims and Jews, though, possibly tea… and sympathy?

    Like

  55. joyfulpapist says:

    Toadspittle, it is mandatory for Catholics to witness to others – to preach the Gospel. St Francis says we should sometimes even use words! As you say, technique is certainly an important consideration: “the Church severely prohibits forcing people to embrace the faith or leading or enticing them by improper techniques; by the same token, she also strongly defends the right that no one be deterred from the faith by deplorable ill treatment.” (Ad Gentes decree)

    It is our job – our commission – to invite people to convert. But it ends there. It isn’t mandatory for us to convert them. That is a matter between those preached to and God.

    The Vatican document “A Doctrinal note on some aspects of evangelisation” says: “In any case, to evangelise does not mean simply to teach a doctrine, but to proclaim Jesus Christ by one’s words and actions, that is, to make oneself an instrument of his presence and action in the world.”

    Tea and sympathy sounds like a plan.

    Like

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