Monday 2 May 2011

Prayers, not rejoicing, needed over Bin - Laden's death

Following reports of the killing of Osama bin Laden by American forces in Pakistan, Benjamin Harnwell, Chairman of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, said:

"It has been widely reported that many are rejoicing at the death of Osama bin Laden. Leaving aside the extra-judicial circumstances of his death and the issue of capital punishment, the Institute would like to stress that everyone, without exception, is made in the image and likeness of God. This imago Dei is inalienable and exists even in such gross and fanatic murderers as Mr Bin Laden.

Yesterday, the Universal Church celebrated the Feast of the Divine Mercy which intimately binds God's righteous justice with His infinite mercy. Osama bin Laden is unlikely to have availed himself of the sacrament of Reconciliation before his death, and in denying himself the possibility of mercy, may at this very moment be suffering the desolation of an eternity separated from Jesus Christ. And yet it is proper for Christians to pray for his soul and God's mercy. In life, Mr Bin Laden stained and fouled the image of God that was in him. We should not do the same at his death by displaying a lack of charity."

Founded in 2008, the Dignitatis Humanae Institute aims to promote human dignity worldwide in both political and cultural spheres. Its basis is the 'Universal Declaration of Human Dignity'  which brings attention to the infinite value of every single human life based on the recognition that Man is made in the image and likeness of God.  The Institute is a growing presence in parliamentary working groups on human dignity in legislatures around the world.

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