A Catholic opinion of Jordanian pilot’s murder

BY RACHEL DEL GUIDICE
CATHOLIC VALUES COLUMNIST

The Feb. 3 release of a graphic video by ISIS, showing the terror organization burning Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh alive has elicited much debate all over the world.

Catholic churches in Jordan have responded to this outrageous occurrence. Catholic News Service reported, “Special Masses and prayers were planned as churches sent condolences conveying their ‘deep sorrow’ to his Muslim family and tribe.” This statement was released by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media in Amman on Feb. 4.

A statement given by the Rev. Rifat Bader, director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media, read, “Christian churches in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan convey their deep sorrow and sadness over the martyrdom of pilot (Muath al-Kasaesbeh).”

As retaliation for the brutal murder of al-Kasaesbeh, Jordan has released a series of airstrikes in the village of Ay in Karak governorate, according to a CNN article. However, Catholic News Service reports that the Catholic Church in Jordan is encouraging a spirit of unity and peace.

“As the churches denounce this heinous crime against humanity, they ask all citizens to reinforce their national unity under the Hashemite leadership, led by King Abdullah II,” according to a statement from the Catholic Center for Studies and Media.

In the past, Jordanians have not been in favor of the execution of their enemies, but with the recent occurrences in their region, “military and tribe demanded such revenge.”

Bader is asking for prayers for the pilot, the government of Jordan, its security establishments and national unity, in order to “keep Jordan strong as ever in the face of extremism and violence.”

Places of worship are holding prayer vigils for religious harmony, Bader said, “so that religions will constitute a factor conducive for peace, harmony and unity among people, rather than a factor leading to division, killing, oppression and dispute.”

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