When parishioners gather for mass this Sunday at the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in West Palm Beach, they'll be asked to pray for terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden. The prayer is at the behest of a parishioner who paid ten dollars to have his name added to the service, and has understandably upset other churchgoers. The church's pastor is honoring the request and says it's only the good Catholic thing to do.
"Their hearts are troubled because they're thinking emotionally about what he has done, and he has done a lot of evil," Father Gavin Badway, the church's pastor tells WPTV. "Nevertheless, Jesus tells us, love and forgive."
The idea of praying for a mass murderer isn't exactly foreign to Christian faiths.
"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," reads Matthew 5:44 in the Bible.
Yet many parishioners ;are upset at the call for prayer.
"I just don't think it's right, I really don't," parishioner Louis Pizzano Sr. tells MSNBC. "I think what's happened to the American people, what he's done, what he was planning to do and because we killed him, it doesn't stop there."
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Pizzano added that the Church should instead pray for American soldiers. Henry Borga, the parishioner who made the initial request says that he will also pray for the victims of 9/11 as well.
Though not all members of the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church are upset.
"The way he was trying to prove his god to do killing, I can't approve of that," says Vince Stankey. "But I have mercy on his soul and I have to pray for him."