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Palm Beach Post

WEST PALM BEACH -A parishioner's request for prayers for the soul of Osama bin Laden at the Holy Name of Jesus Church has divided the flock and created an uproar.

A church secretary taking the Mass request a week ago thought it was a joke.

But few are laughing.

"I think it's totally wrong, he doesn't belong in the Catholic religion. For what he did to Americans, he doesn't belong anywhere," said Lois Pizzano, a church member. "It's unconscionable, it's sacrilegious," he said.

Holy Name's pastor, Father Gavin Badway, said many in his congregation are unhappy but the church has never turned down a prayer request.

He said making the right decision isn't always easy.

"Their hearts are troubled because they're thinking emotionally about what he has done and he has done a lot of evil. Nevertheless, Jesus tells us, love and forgive," he said.

Henry Borga, the Palm Springs man who made the request, says he paid $10 to put bin Laden's name on the same list as four other people.

Bin Laden incites anger and hate, Borga said, but "he needs forgiveness and compassion from God."

Borga said he came up with the idea of praying for bin Laden shortly after his death and after seeing to the manner in which people celebrated the killing.

Borga says he will pray.

"That's what God taught us to do," he said.