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Cardinal George reacts to bin Laden's death

May 2, 2011 2:53:18 PM PDT
The news of Osama bin Laden's death follows the joyous event of Pope John Paul II's beatification.

For Chicagoans who made the pilgrimage to Rome, it's an odd juxtaposition: Pope John Paul, a man of peace, and Osama bin laden, a man of terror.

After Cardinal Francis George of Chicago celebrated Mass with other Chicagoans in Rome at St. Bartholomew Church, he added his own thoughts on bin Laden's death.

"Osama bin Laden lived by the sword and died by the sword. Now it is up to us to see how we live," Cardinal George told ABC7's Alan Krashesky in Rome.

Chicagoans are considering the impact bin Laden's death will have on Americans traveling overseas.

"We may need more security at the airport but hey, I'm happy what happened," said Joan Motyka.

"It is a very important event, of course, for the United States and the people around the world in terms of safety and other concerns. Where it impacts us, I don't know, as far as travel goes, I trust everything will be fine," said Mauro Glorioso.

"I'm not afraid," said Agata Kondeja.

The U.S. embassy complex in Rome is always guarded closely. It has been targeted before and now there may be an additional level of alertness for those passing by. But in the tourist areas, there is no visible impact. Groups tour the ancient Roman sites while others on the streets shop for souvenirs.

Chicago priest Jason Malave, pastor of St. Bartholomew's, hopes that positive change will come out of bin Laden's death.

"We're hoping this is a turning point for a new sense of peace amongst our Muslim brothers and sisters," said Fr. Malave.

Chicagoans who traveled to Rome believe they are blessed to be in the Eternal City in the first place and expect nothing less than a safe journey home.


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