This was quite an historic week with the best of the good juxtaposed with the worst of the evil within one 24 hour period. Last Sunday, Pope John Paul II who passed away in April 2005 was exhumed in preparation for his beatification mass on May Day. I was curious about the process of how one becomes a saint so in a nutshell, here is how the procedure works according to some sources from the Catholic church.
First, the person who died had to have lived a pure or religious life according to the laws of the church or died as a martyr for the church. A thorough investigation is done into the background and body of work performed by the candidate to ensure he or she is an ideal prospect for sainthood. Second, a miracle must be performed through the intercession of the candidate. Usually this is the miraculous cure of a sick person or something else significant. Following the documentation of the miracle, the candidate is beatified by the church. Finally once a second miracle is performed in the name of the candidate, the person can finally be canonized as a saint in the eyes of the Catholic church indicating that this person is an intercessor with God for the church.
While there are more details in the step, the process is basically as outlined. Pope John Paul II was bestowed the title of "Blessed" as a result of his beatification and once another miracle is attributed to him, he will be canonized. From what I read, this process has been quite accelerated in the case of this much beloved pontiff as usually it takes several years if not decades to become a saint so it is remarkable that he has already reached beatification in six years.
Ironically in the midst of this happy celebration in Rome, another event occurred part way around the globe that was long overdue and a triumph of good over evil as true American heroes Navy SEAL Team Six after 10 years neutralized the man who was arguably the Western world's most wanted criminal, Osama bin Laden. While the two events did not happen at the same time, it was interesting they happened on the same day almost a cosmic coincidence in a sense.
The juxtaposition of the beatification of a future saint paired with the slaying of the murderous criminal mastermind was quite mind blowing in a sense and just further shows the duality of life. Where there is good, there is evil. Where there is right, there is wrong. In the midst of the best, one often finds the worst and vice versa.
In this case, one of the world's most beloved men was being honored while halfway around the world another man who was most hated was destroyed by American forces who finally neutralized him after a 10 year search.
Bin Laden, who lived to destroy the American way of life and was responsible for the deaths of over 3,000 soldiers and citizens, 2,900 of them on September 11, 2001 vowed to wage war against us. For 10 long years our military and intelligence services searched for this devil working to uphold the vow President George W. Bush made on September 13, 2001 to hold him accountable for his crimes against humanity. The opportunity finally came this past week as President Barack Obama followed through on America's pledge to send the devil back to hell when he approved the SEAL team's raid on Bin Laden's compound in a military town in the middle of Pakistan.
It's obvious Bin Laden hasn't been living in a cave or cowering in a shack. He was hiding in plain sight in the country which was supposed to be helping us find him. As I said last week, we need to use our own eyes to understand the truth. The Pakistani government at some level had to have known Bin Laden was there and had to have helped protect him at least part of the last 10 years. They can protest and complain all they want, but someone in a position of power knew something and they should be held accountable.
It was good to see America celebrate as one for the first time in several years. For just a moment in time, our differences were put aside in recognition and celebration that we finally lived up to our vow and cut off the head of the Al Qaeda snake. We did not falter and we did not fail. We sent a message to the enemies of this country that we will find you and we will destroy you.
It was slightly dismaying though to hear the most liberal still complain about how things went. Some believe we should have taken him alive, others question whether he should have been shot unarmed. My point of view is this. Bin Laden declared war on this country, then he slaughtered 3000 innocent people followed by hundreds of our young men and women service people who died at his direction. He was the head of the enemy of the United States and was at war with us which means we had the right to do what we did and if innocent people got in the way, it was unfortunate but it happens in war.
In the end, my friend Bill Sugra and all of those other 2900 people can finally rest in peace knowing that our country did not forget them and we found and brought to justice the man who murdered them for no reason except hatred. He was an enemy combatant, a criminal and at a soldier at war, a war he started and now he's dead. Too bad for him. Thank God for our soldiers and this nation's people who recognize that the right finally did prevail on May 1st, 2011. Let freedom ring.
Til next time…