Chechen Losers Responsible for Bombing

One’s dead, one on the lam.  I bet they have him in custody (hopefully alive) by sundown.  Nobody knows why they did it yet.  I wish people would stop filling in the blanks with their favorite bogey men.  Yesterday, for no reason, people were attributing it to “prolife extremists”.  Others were sure it was white supremacists.  Others, Al-quaeda.  Turns out it was from deep left field and nobody we expected.

But still, aside from the fact these guys are Chechen and, apparently, Muslim, we don’t know anything.  We don’t even know if it was connected to nationalism or Islam.  They might just be losers, like Lee Harvey Oswald, proving their loser manhood to the universe.

People often get mad at me for vocally opposing the death penalty and torture.  They seem to think I regard myself as a stainless saint.  What people don’t get is that these things are–particularly at moments like this–massively tempting for me.  It is easy to fantasize about what I would do to these sons of bitches if I was the man whose wife was brain-damaged, whose son was dead, whose daughter had her legs blown off.  I have sufficient imagination to devise punishments of such cruelty and exquisite slowness that your blood would freeze.  Part of me wants very much to see men like this beg for death to relieve their agonies–and then to very slowly and with relish give it to them.

But that part of me has nothing to do with Jesus Christ and if I let it rule me, I will go to hell.  So I reassert the Church’s teaching here loudly, because I want to go to heaven.

“My heart–I need no other’s–showeth me the wickedness of the ungodly.” – C.S. Lewis

Day 1 of the Tin Cup Rattle
Did you know that C.S. Lewis reviewed “1984″?
A question about body, soul, and spirit
End Human Sacrifice
  • Pavel Chichikov

    I should think the authorities want very much *not* to kill this person. They need to talk with him at length, and they need the talk to be calm and productive.

    I’ve just read a quote from Beria, who said (paraphrasing): Sure we can torture people, and sure we can make them admit that they’re American spies or British spies, but we will never get the truth that way.

    • Theodore Seeber

      I hope the 19 year old kid who just lost his brother to jihad also feels this way. I sincerely hope he wasn’t raised on the legend of the running man, or else the fact that they failed to find him before the end of lockdown is a very bad sign indeed.

      • Lint Hatcher

        I’m sorry but I don’t understand this comment. What is the legend of the running man? What does it have to do with the lockdown. Sorry – could you elaborate, Mr. Seeber?

  • Ryan M.

    I’m in an airport, trying desperately to get home to my wife and babies in Boston (who are, thank God, safe and sound and under the city’s mandatory lockdown). And all I can say is, amen, Mark. I’ve been tempted by the same thoughts, and had to remind myself of the Church’s teachings and of the Divine Mercy.

    Please continue to pray for our city, and for the officers putting their lives on the line to defend my loved ones. St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle…

  • victor

    Actually, at least one of them seems to be (recently) American.

  • Matt Talbot

    Great post, Mark.

  • Benjamin

    Well said. I agree with you and their uncle on this. As he said, they did it because they’re losers who were unable to settle in. Any ideology or religion they claim is a Fraud with a capital “F”.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    The words “Chechen” and “Chechnya” resonate in a way that most people in this society perhaps do not comprehend.

    NorOst, Beslan, Grozny – and then way out and deep. It made me recall what a Russian general said after the first Chechen War: They ****** Mother Russia, and we can’t let them get away with that.

    Go forwards in time from that, go back….

    Evil is twisted like a cord around so many hearts.

    A war without pity has come among us.

  • Pavel Chichikov

    NordOst. Sorry for the typo.

    • Tim Jones

      I remember those attacks, Pavel. They are chilling and puzzling, like this Boston bombing. What could they hope to gain from such pointlessly rash brutality?

      • Theodore Seeber

        Heaven, the only way they can.

        I’m beginning to think that we need civil lawsuits against holy men who abuse their position.

  • Dustin

    I hope he surrenders or is apprehended. I don’t want two dead suspects and the foreclosing of any possibility of answers. I want a trial, the evidence out in the open and the consolation of seeing society doing its work in meting out public justice. Tsarnaev is American, if what I’ve read is correct (but with the ignominy the media has covered itself with so far, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of what we’ve learned about his family is wrong.)

    In crises like these, we need the Constitution more than ever.

    • Jamie R

      There’s no chance we’ll give him a trial. Even if we catch him alive.

      • Benjamin

        There will be a trial if he’s capture.

        This isn’t 2002 and Obama isn’t Bush.

        • Sean P. Dailey

          Your naivety is touching.

          • Benjamin

            The underpants bomber and Times Square bomber are both in normal police custody facing trials. What makes you think there would be any difference here?

            • S. Murphy

              I agree. and the shoe bomber made it to trial, and jail, too – under Bush.

        • Jamie R

          That’s adorable.

          We can’t even get a court martial for Bradley Manning, and he’s not even a Muslim.

          • Benjamin

            Care to take a bet that he’s placed in regular police custody and handled in the exact same fashion Timothy McVeigh, Eric Rudolph, Underpants Bomber etc were?

          • Sean P. Dailey

            McVeigh and Rudolph committed their crimes long before the Patriot Act even existed, so there is no way to compare those cases. The Underwear Bomber, well, bully for him that he got a trial. But that was before Obama and Congress got together and gave the President the authority to hold people indefinitely, without trial. “Regular police custody”? All three were prosecuted by the feds, not local law enforcement.

            “Obama isn’t Bush.”

            Words fail me.

            • Benjamin

              Nice empty posturing at the end.

              I will be bookmarking this thread for posterity in case he is captured alive.

              • Adolfo

                Ooooo–he’s bookmarking it!


          • S. Murphy

            Manning’s court-martial is pending – they’re working through pre-trial motions and arguing over whether to make it public or hold it in a SCIF so they can reference the classified docs he’s alleged to have given out. Don’t be more hysterical then the actual facts require.

            • Jamie R

              It took 19 months just to get Manning’s article 32 hearing, during which time he was kept naked in a 6′ X 12′ cell.

              And come on. The classified docs he leaked are on wikileaks. It takes 3 years to decide whether to have a secret trial to protect the public from knowing publicly known documents?

              • S. Murphy

                Yeah, the one time I was picked for a civilian jury, the case was 4 years old. And, yes, sometimes discussing *why* it’s bad, and how bad it is, that certain information was made public, can reveal more and make it even worse. So, for that reason at least, the gov’t will argue for keeping the trial classified.

                • Lance

                  What a dolt. Manning is a political prisoner whose mistreatment is on Obummer’s conscience, just as the tortures of GITMO are on Bush’s (missing) conscience.

      • Theodore Seeber

        There will be a trial unless he commits suicide by cop. It may be a show trial. The may be no chance whatsoever of this kid getting anything but the death penalty. But there will have to be a trial now. Too much coverage to cover it up.

        • Andy, Bad Person

          Massachusetts doesn’t have the death penalty.

          • Benjamin

            But the Feds do. And this is a federal crime now.

  • John

    We know so little, but think we know so much. The word “IF” has been used in much of the coverage I’ve heard today. “IF” they are AlQaeda…”IF” they are Chechan Rebels…”IF”, “IF”, “IF”. We’re so predisposed to try to uncover something, speculate and pontificate, when the facts are truly dribbling out. Take everything you hear from the media today with a grain of salt. Just two days ago, several major cable networks and newspapers had the bomber(s) arrested and on their way to court!

  • Pavel Chichikov

    If you don’t understand Chechnya and the Caucasus you don’t know very much. It’s not certain how much the American public can comprehend about this. This is, Chechnya, a very violent vendetta society we’re talking about, in which men are expected to be fighters and avengers, even unto death.

    Islam might be part of what has happened, but there is possibly much more.

    • Benjamin

      I did once read that one of the reasons it is so hard to get a peace process started in Chechnya was the vendetta culture there. It’s hard to stop The killing when there’s always some “debt” to be paid back.

      • Rosemarie


        Vendetta culture. Oh great. The suspects’ father said that if his younger son is killed “all hell will break loose.” Was he talking about a vendetta against the US?

        • S. Murphy

          Sounds like. Just what we need, huh?

    • Peggy R


      You are right, we don’t know much, only the recent history. We were in Russia when Beslin occurred, not long after the Chechen woman had the bomb on the domestic flight. We had to fly from that Moscow airport to our destination w/in Russia. Quite a military presence there. The Russian government doesn’t mess around with Chechens or cut them any slack. Chechens are playing for keeps as well.

    • Theodore Seeber

      I studied it at one time. Yes, completely different philosophy from “Islamofascists” and Muwahiddun. They aren’t about grand political gestures, their form of Jihad, such as it is, is always personal.

      Assuming this kid survives, it might be as simple as one of the bystanders insulted the older brother.

      • S. Quinn

        What????? Clearly the bombs were made way in advance!

  • Pavel Chichikov

    They should use gas on him, as they did in NordOst. Probably the only way to get him alive.

    • Harry Piper

      So what is the history of Russia and Chechnya? Well, bad, obviously, but can you give us ignorant people a quick run-down on what the issue is?

      • Theodore Seeber

        Wikipedia has a nice write-up, though they only cover the last 600 years of a conflict that may well go back to the stone age, 125,000 years ago.

  • Jason

    I’m surprised by your post. Way below your normal standard. They are two human beings. And American (far more so than Russian).

    I expected you to stay above Fox News I’ve commentaries.

    I will pray for all involved.

    • Mark Shea

      What are you talking about?

    • Jmac

      Is it possible that by “post” you mean “What I assumed the subject line meant”?

  • Mike

    They are losers but they aren’t JUST losers; they’re also murderers of innocent children and Americans, who welcomed them and who gave them shelter and who allowed them to go to some of their best schools. These people are NOT just losers, alienated youths – they’re monsters and If they could have they would have blown up the entire city: Chechnya is one BAD place! Don’t kid yourself America, they want to harm you and nothing you do short of harming them first, will EVER change that.

  • Jason

    I should have been more clear. The title specifically is the problem. They are American, that’s it. The title ‘loser’ is a judgement on your part. I don’t need to remind you that this should be avoided. This is an extremely emotional issue and the suspects don’t fit any typical mold that we typically throw around as a society.

    Everyone involved needs to be prayed for, including the perpetrators. I’d recommend using your influence to encourage stronger application of the love that Jesus taught us. A little more compassion and a little less rashness, please.

    • Joel

      Under the circumstances, I’d say “losers” was pretty mild. And really, it’s technically correct; with one dead and one in hiding, nobody could say the guys had won or even forced a draw. So, they’re losers.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      It’s hardly rash to call the murderers of women and children “losers.” If anything, it’s understated. I completely sympathize with Mark’s reaction here; I tend to defend most strongly the Church teachings my gut wants me to abandon.

      Forgiveness? Absolutely. We need some Christian extremists here to demonstrate forgiveness. It’s going just a bit far to get the vapors of “loser,” though.

      • FrMartinFox

        So we don’t have to have a trial? We already know that the individuals identified as “suspects” actually committed this heinous crime?

        Gosh, we can save a lot of money and trouble on the judicial process–just let the police and the media tell us who’s guilty!

        And Mark Shea and his readers will agree: they are guilty!

        • Theodore Seeber

          Positive ID from a survivor three feet from one of the blasts, yes. And we were damned lucky to get that- the reason this didn’t come until late last night was we had to have one of the victims who actually saw the guy put down the backpack which then exploded wake up to tell us about it.

        • Andy, Bad Person

          Huh? I wasn’t aware I had the ability to unilaterally put him in jail. I think OJ is guilty, too, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t get a trial.

          • FrMartinFox

            Our host has been so insistent (rightly) on not joining the stampede away from respect for the constitution and its values, so it’s striking that he’s all on board that these suspects are guilty, now that the media and police say so. So that strikes me as hypocritical.

            • Mark Shea

              I have no problem with them receiving a trial. Indeed, I hope the guy does so as to establish ties to any terror groups (though I highly doubt there is one). The evidence does, however, appear to be piling up pretty fast. Something to do with the carjackings, shootouts, and bombs they seem to leave in their wake. I’m having a hard time believing they’ve been framed.

              • FrMartinFox

                I said nothing about them being framed. I just find it very hard to believe you actually had enough first-hand information to be so certain the media didn’t get it wrong. It does happen!

                It’s unseemly, I think, not to wait to convict them till they’re convicted. Especially in a time of growing hostility to due process.

                After all, a jury of impartial people have to be impaneled. Does it help in that effort to have voice in the media declaring him guilty? The media actually are respecting this, describing them as “suspects.” Why doesn’t Mark Shea respect that custom?

                • Mark Shea

                  His parents are claiming he’s been framed. I’m fine with calling him a suspect. Nobody’s saying he should not be tried. I’m talking about emotional reactions here.

                  • FrMartinFox

                    Well, your original post treated them as convicted. That’s what I found unseemly.

                    • Mark Shea

                      I wasn’t writing legalese. I was recording my emotional reaction to the story. It’s a blog, not Reuters.

                    • FrMartinFox

                      Right–your argument is, that you write this blog because it has no influence? How is it that the well of public opinion gets poisoned? Must have been someone else who did it.

            • The Deuce

              Our host has been so insistent (rightly) on not joining the stampede away from respect for the constitution and its values, so it’s striking that he’s all on board that these suspects are guilty

              The Constitution says that people must be treated as innocent until proven guilty by our legal system.

              That doesn’t mean that we have to personally convince ourselves to believe that he’s innocent when the facts very clearly show otherwise. To do so wouldn’t be Constitutionalism. At this point it would be willful stupidity.

              • S. Quinn

                Thank you. The number of people who get this wrong is absolutely astonishing. As if there were no difference whatsoever between being guilty in reality, and being guilty or innocent as proven legally!

                Clearly, the number of people who are freed from death row shows that one can be innocent in reality after having been proven guilty in a court of law…..and in the meantime, when people are throwing bombs out of a highjacked car, killing police, robbing stores, have an eyeball witness in the hospital, and whatever else, I think it is safe to say that they deserve a trial, are legally innocent until proven guilty, but we have the FREEDOM TO BELIEVE THEY ARE GUILTY.

                • FrMartinFox

                  Who has called your FREEDOM into question?

              • FrMartinFox

                Really? You can’t imagine any scenario under which the prevailing media narrative is substantially wrong? You have a limited imagination. I can. How about the second suspect was a significantly unwilling or manipulated participant?

                Besides, when did I say anyone has “to personally convince ourselves to believe that he’s (sic) innocent”? I didn’t say that.

                And really, you know the facts? You do? Really? Can I arrange an interview with you? I’ll have the story of the century–I’ll talk to the one person who has the facts.

                • MaryMargaret

                  I totally agree, Father. We need to wait. Certainly, there seems to be a great deal of evidence that this person was involved..was even one of the bombers. But this is the USA..this man needs to afforded all his rights, he is innocent until proven guilty. I do not want him to vanish down the Gitmo hole. If the state has evidence, I want it to be produced in a court of law.

                • Lenore

                  Thank you Father for some words of sanity.

        • Leslie

          Fr Fox, did you read where one of the most “famous” victims – Jeff Bauman -woke from surgery and insisted on pen and paper – writing that he saw the one who left the bomb — “looked me in the eyes” saw the backpack two minutes later was missing both of his lower legs. I have known people that have been in horrid accidents “The last thing I remember was leaving the house — the office — getting into my car” — that Jeff Bauman remembers so very clearly the moments prior to the blast — I firmly believe it is the work of The Holy Spirit getting information to the proper authorities in order to capture those responsible. And it is human nature to take the account of first hand witnesses and assign guilt or innocence. May God have Mercy on their souls.

          • FrMartinFox

            I heard it on the radio. I think that’s very interesting.

            Look, when did the notion of “reserving judgment” become so awful, terrible, “anti-freedom” etc.?

            Question: if you were called to serve on the surviving suspect (I can’t spell his name)’s jury, could you serve impartially? Who here could? How are we supposed to do that, when it’s “willfully stupid” not to have already convicted them–based on media reports?

            So I ask again, why have trials if–waiting for that–is, in one person’s words, “willfully stupid”?

            • Leslie

              I live 15 miles from Aurora — I could no more serve on “Suspect #2′s” jury than I could on the “theater shooter’s”. And if you’ve followed that — Holmes offered to plead guilty — life without parole — but alas our blood thirsty society? our state law? one person’s decision? I don’t know exactly who or how it was decided to reject his offer and “go for the death penalty” — Such a sad waste of lives for both of these young men.

              With instant information — right and wrong — truth and lie — available it will be increasingly impossible to “have a fair trial”. And, because of the instant information reserving judgement, I am afraid is also lost — and along with it, “getting away with it” is also becoming less of a reality, thankfully. Perhaps in the end — it is that which will become a deterrent for some? The ever increasing ability to instantly document in pictures all that happens, rather than fear of “the death penalty”.

              And sadder still is the reality that for at least some of the people that wish to cause pain and harm — there is no care of their fellow man — only anger and hate and to that I have no answer — only prayer that God may turn their hearts.

    • Dan

      Losers, if what they are accused of is true, is an apt moniker given to them by their uncle. If they are responsible, they likely lost the saner halves of their minds in planning and committing this depraved act.

    • Andy S

      Really? Losers is too strong here? Come on. Nobody is putting themselves on the judgment seat here regarding their eternal destination…They are losers and it is ok to say it.

  • Jason

    Just be mindful to not get caught up in typical mass media ignorance. Everyone involved is a human being created in the likeness of God.

    • Mike

      Ok I call troll. :)

    • Bill

      Of course Jason, and we’ll pray for them as we would pray for Joseph Stalin to be saved.

      Doesn’t mean they aren’t scumbags.

  • Mark R

    Maybe not losers — they are immigrants who got into college — but really a**holes.
    Their uncle pleading for the one nephew to surrender and ask forgiveness seems like a badass, in a good way.
    Muslims? For goodness’ sake, they are from Chechnya, raised in America and college students. They are probably as secularised as you can get. This is probably just modern cruelty for cruelty’s sake without so much as a nod to religion.

    • Peggy R

      Further info out today indicates Islamic devotion increased over time, especially for the older brother…and I read that the mother was increasingly devoted…But there is the Chechen (or Checnyan?) nationalist cause as well. Why bring that battle to the US, is the question…? Or what otherwise was the motive?

  • SouthCoast

    “What people don’t get is that these things are–particularly at moments like this–massively tempting for me.” I hear and I agree. I was in an online argument, years ago, with a pro-death penalty person. I don’t think I convinced him to change his mind (at least not at that time), but he became mollified and thoughtful when I told him that, yes, I do have sympathies for the pain, rage, loss of victims’ families, and, were the family mine, I would, at gut level, wish to personally disassemble the perp with a blunt screwdriver. I added that, however, my religious beliefs do not give me the right to act on the impulse. The sticking point for the other person seemed to be the perception that, because I do not support the death penalty, I was denyingf the victims’ families the right to their natural feellings. In any case, yes, I am probably capable of deep anger and, in theory, of terrible violence. I am thankful, however, for God’s laws that save me from myself, for His sake.

    • Theodore Seeber

      I am much worse than that. I oppose the death penalty in such cases because I think it would be far more fitting, and indeed more cruel, to have them in solitary confinement for the rest of their lives with the only human voices they ever hear be those of clergy and psychiatrist.

      And on webcam for others to see their fate.

      • Theodore Seeber

        Oh, and I say that as one whose temper is much closer to those of the serial killers than that of Christ.

  • Sean P. Dailey

    “I bet they have him in custody (hopefully alive) by sundown.”

    My prediction: if captured alive, he’ll never see the inside of a courtroom, ever.

    • Jamie R

      It would almost be less offensive to the rule of law if the cops just shoot him outright.

  • Kirt Higdon

    The Chechens are people of exceptional relentlessness and ferocity. Solzhenitsyn described them as the one group who could not be broken by the Soviet gulags – who did not even pretend to submit. Some elements of the US establishment have supported their campaign against Russia and some Chechens have become international Islamic terrorists – trained by Turkey and armed (via some of the Arab Gulf states) by the US to fight against the Assad regime in Syria. We don’t know yet the exact motive of the Tsarnaev brothers or if they have further accomplices, but blowback can come in many unexpected forms, exhibit 1 being decorated Gulf War veteran Tim McVeigh.

  • The True Will

    I guess we should be grateful that they are not Chechen winners? The verbicides continue.

    I heard McVeigh tagged as “white supremacist” (of which there was also zero evidence) as soon as he was arrested… after, of course, the bombing was “obviously” blamed on “MiddleEasternTerrorists”.

    At leas this time Bloomberg didn’t blame “someone mad at the health care bill.”

    • Benjamin

      Not zero evidence. McVeigh was caught with a copy of “The Turner Diaries”, sort of a “Left Behind” for white supremacists.

      The real slander (not to McVeigh, but to Christians) is the continued assertion, even by educated people, that McVeigh was a “Christian terrorist”. He most certainly was not, and by his own admission. He was an agnostic and very secular.

  • Jason

    Not a troll for expressing a Catholic teaching on a Catholic website. Just trying to remain true to my faith in a difficult time. There will be name calling and mudslinging on plenty of secular sites. We are, thanks to our baptism, above that. Pope Francis has recently spoken against gossip and calumny. This obviously extends to all forms of dangerous talk.
    I am a marathoner, I did Atlantic City in 2012, and my oldest of three sons in 9yrs old. My heart broke when I heard of the youngest victim.

  • obpoet

    Naaaaa……it’s 2013 and it’s Barry. The precendent? Osama. He could have stood trial, but he didn’t, just as Eric Holder predicted he wouldn’t. That’s the Barry way.

    What I got out of The Shack was the level of mercy to which we are called. It pivots around the cross. It is the same here.

  • Leslie Fain

    Not to be a buzz kill, but we need to pray for the souls of these guys.

    • S. Murphy

      Not a buzz kill at all. A good reminder.

  • marye

    Being a “loser” has nothing to do with what schools you attended, or how “bright” you are, or what your prospects are. At the same time, it’s a mistake to think that those attracted to terrorism are stupid, in the sense of “unintelligent.” Some are, some aren’t. If they were all stupid, they’d be easier to catch. The smart ones are the ones you have to worry about.

    We’ve been warned since 9-11 about the possibility of American citizens (or residents) becoming radicalized and we’ve had a few scares, but mainly with individuals who varied in their degree of competence. I have no idea if these brothers are attached to Al Quaeda, or an Al Quaeda affiliate, or whether they are just “wannabes” who admired Al Quaeda and formed their own cell, but they are trained, and disciplined, wherever their training and discipline originated. I pray that they are not the wave of the future.

    • Theodore Seeber

      They’re Chechnyan. Depending on how well they were indoctrinated into their home culture before leaving, it need be no more high minded than one of the marathon participants tripping over a foot in a park.

  • Carmen

    Last I checked, Christ never called those who did Him wrong “losers.” What they did was wrong, but their souls are at stake, too, and we are commanded – commanded – to love our enemies, no exceptions and no name-calling. And with a title like that, I don’t much care to read the post.

    Mind you, this is my forward payment for having received a similar gentle reminder.

    • Carbon Monoxide

      No? He called them “whitewashed tombs”. I think that is 1st century aramaic for “loser”

    • Mark Shea

      If you like, I could call them a brood of vipers, blind guides, or whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones and all manner of uncleanness. “Sons of hell” is also a possibility.

      • marye

        “Sons of hell” works for me. “Brood of vipers,” etc., too.

  • Gittan

    Perhaps it is because I’m not American – but saying that they’re “Sons of bitches” – isn’t that more of an insult to their mothers than to them?

    • Cinlef

      Technically yes but in terms of colloquial use in N. America it’s (like bastard) merely become a generic insult divorced from it’s original meaning

  • Scott Alt

    Yes, Mark, and I would also add that even guys like Mohammed Atta, who was acting in the name of jihad, was at bottom nothing but a loser. Terrorist groups by their nature attract losers; there’s really little difference, I think, between a terror-cell loser like Mohammed Atta and a lone-loser like Lee Harvey Oswald (who was a Marxist, but very aimless in his Marxism).

  • BHG

    I understand that the demands of temporal justice are separate and yet still related to the Christian need to forgive but like Mark, I can too easily see myself pulling the switch on these guys. It is one thing to wish them apprehended and to face the law for their crimes, quite another to seek revenge and I am tempted to the latter. I saw this on a blog comment trail the other day. It is now posted on my computer and every time I see it, I pray it. I need to, these days. (I am given to understand it is an Orthodox prayer, just to give its bona fides): Lord Jesus Christ, Who didst command us to love our enemies, and those who defame and injure us, and to pray for them and forgive them; Who Thyself didst pray for Thine enemies, who crucified thee: grant us, we pray, the spirit of Christian reconciliation and meekness, that we may heartily forgive every injury and be reconciled with our enemies. Grant us to overcome the malevolence and offences of people with true Christian love of our neighbor. We further beseech Thee, O Lord, to grant to our enemies true peace and forgiveness of sins; and do not allow them to leave this life without true faith and sincere conversion. And help us repay evil with goodness, and to remain safe from the temptations of the devil and from all the perils which threaten us, in the form of visible and invisible enemies. Amen.

  • Steve Sanborn

    The demonstration of violence at the Boston Marathon and the manhunt for the Chechen boy do not add up to his absolute guilt yet, as a few have pointed out here. That’s quite important to the boy. But for the rest of us, what is clear is that the cultural tinderbox we currently live in and with, bears its own fruits. When certain elements are mixed explosions happen. Innocents who have no knowledge or understanding of their surroundings die. If it is proven these Chechen boys committed this crime, who then will say it had nothing to do with Islam? Will we continue to believe, as a nation, that all belief systems can COEXIST?

    • Theodore Seeber

      A victim picked out his picture after waking up last night, which triggered the manhunt and the gun battle at MIT.

      His guilt is so certain that I worry about a fair trial.

      • Pavel Chichikov

        I worry that he won’t be captured alive. It is very important not to kill him now. Who and what does he represent?

        • MaryMargaret

          I agree wholeheartedly, Pavel. We really need to talk to him. We need to know if he is part of a larger group, or if this is just two brothers who have chosen, for an unknown reason, to attack American citizens.

        • MaryMargaret

          Also, as you are the only one on this blog who actually knows anything much about Chechnya and the Chechens, do they have any particular grudge against the US as a group?

  • W. Randolph Steele

    The news is reporting that shots were fired in Waterford and there is a body that may or may not be alive. A neighbor saw a ladder next to boat on a trailer in someone’s backyard. My hope is that it is 2nd suspect, that he is alive and lives to stand trial and be executed in the Federal facility in my home state of Indiana, just like Timothy McVeigh. THAT WILL BE JUSTICE! All the rest is just blather.

    • MaryMargaret

      Oh, good. Now that you know that he is guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. Oh, wait, this is the USA. He deserves a fair trial..umm..innocent until PROVEN guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Let us not be blinded by bloodlust.

  • Rosemarie


    They just announced that he was taken into custody. Deo gratias! Let’s pray that he cooperates with authorities and becomes remorseful for his evil deeds.

    • Beadgirl

      Apparently federal authorities are also saying he will be read his Miranda Rights and will go through the justice system; I hope that’s true.

      • Leslie Fain

        I hope so, too.

  • MaryMargaret

    Thank God! I hope that he is not mortally wounded. We need information. And, yes, if he was involved, and it sure seems as if he was..please let him repent.

    • Leslie Fain

      I hope they don’t torture him. A NY state senator just tweeted “who wouldn’t want to torture this guy for info.” Um, me.

      • Mark Shea

        Betcha he’s a Republican. You know, the Stupid Party.

        • Leslie Fain
        • Leslie

          It’s comments like these that make me stop reading what you write.

          • Mark Shea

            Why? It is a fact that Republicans are the torture zealots. And it is a fact that it’s fascists like McCain and Graham who are eager to deprive Americans of due process.

  • Benjamin

    Reports are he’s been Mirandized by the FBI.

    I guess I don’t have to wait long before linking back to this thread whenever someone says there’s “no difference” between Obama and Bush.

    • Beadgirl

      Only if, when people say there is “no difference” between the two, they mean that Bush and Obama act identically in every regard, and commit the same bad acts in the exact same circumstances.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      Wait, you were going to take a picture of this thread to expose the BS, right? Did you get a picture of your last comment, because he specifically hasn’t been Mirandized, even by Saturday morning.

  • Chris

    Innocent until proven guilty. So far, I have seen no evidence that these 2 brothers are guilty. In fact, there seems to be a lot of questions about this whole affair.

    • Andy S

      Picture of suspect #2 setting the backpack by 8 yr old Martin Richard is good enough evidence for me. You can hold out for more evidence when the case comes before your court.

    • S. Quinn

      The hospital eyewitness is pretty good too. Even leaving aside the marathon, highjacking a car, killing a cop, and throwing explosives out of the car at the cops is kinda like evidence that they did SOMETHING wrong!

  • Benjamin

    This is a real test for observers of our political system.

    Come on, STAND WITH RAND!!! types, come out and say this is an open question of whether or not Mr. White Hat ends up in our civilian justice system or not. If you were for real about your “Obama is gonna drone me!” prattle, come out and say it now.

    If you’re wrong about this you, fail. You fail hard, and you’re not fit to be taken seriously on any political questions from now on.

    • Mark Shea

      Of course he should be tried. Who is even denying that except for totalitarian wannabes like Lindsey Graham?

      • Benjamin

        Not *should*, I’m talking about whether he *would* be tried.

        Do you think he will be tried in a civilian court, Mark?

        • Mark Shea

          Not shaping up that way. Looks like they are fixing to disappear him into the Gitmo Void. We’ll see.

      • Benjamin

        And OF COURSE Lindsay, the Karolina Kidd, is going to say he should be declared an “enemy combatant”. That’s my entire point, namely, that there IS a real difference between the two parties on this issue.

        • Mark Shea

          Yeah. Except the guy was not read his rights and it appears they may be fixing to flush him down the “enemy combatant” hole. That would be on Obama’s watch. We’ll see.

          • Benjamin

            Yup. We’ll see.

            The public safety exemption is pretty SOP.

            • Jamie R

              You were just proudly proclaiming he had been mirandized.

              Which is it? He was read his Miranda rights, because Obama is better than Bush? Or it’s pretty SOP that he was not read his Miranda rights and will be interrogated immediately, so it’s ok, and Obama is still better than Bush?

              • Andy, Bad Person

                Stop confusing the matter with facts.

    • Jamie R

      I still think there’s pretty minimal (though marginally non-zero) chance he’ll ever receive a trial in a court. If he does (which he won’t), there’s pretty minimal chance he’ll even be charged before 2017, especially if there’s a colorable claim he was acting as a Chechen terrorist and not as just a plain criminal. And is in many cases that have come up when our government has attempted to deal with terrorists, there’s absolutely zero chance it will be anything resembling a fair trial, since the government will claim the right to present evidence in secret. There’s also pretty minimal chance there won’t be severe abuses and so-called enhanced interrogation used in determining whether he has overseas connections, which will create even more procedural difficulties if anyone in our government cares enough about the rule of law to give him a fair trial.

      Of course, I would be elated to be wrong.

  • Brian

    I just read that he was not read his Miranda rights under the Public Safety Exemption. He definitely is a loser. He has lost his freedom as an American citizen.

    • Benjamin

      So do you think he will end up in the civilian justice system or not?

      Come out and state your position now.

      • ivan_the_mad

        You don’t seem able to differentiate position from guess.

      • MaryMargaret

        I am afraid that he will not. Could be wrong..but I think that the US government will vanish him.

    • Leslie Fain

      You are right. He wasn’t read his Miranda rights.

      I think a terrible injustice was done to the Richard family, the young lady who died, and the others who were injured. When I look at that little boy holding the peace sign he made, I see my own child. However, I can’t believe this guy was not read his Miranda rights. He is an American citizen. What is our government’s definition of a terrorist? A Muslim? Someone who kills people with explosives? That’s just wrong.

    • marye

      If you are a U.S. citizen, do you have to be read your Miranda rights before asking for legal representation? I’ve always been unclear about that. By all reports, he’s smart (well, “book-smart”) and he became a citizen last September, so I’m sure he’s aware of his rights.

      • Beadgirl

        You have to be read your Miranda rights only if they are going to question you, which he will be. He can ask for an attorney at any time he wants, regardless of whether he’s been Mirandized, if he has the wherewithal to do. Whether they *will* read him his rights, and give him an attorney should he ask, is a separate question entirely.

        • Andy, Bad Person

          They don’t have to read him his rights, or give him a lawyer, at all. However, until he has been Mirandized, anything he says (and anything that those things lead to in investigation) are categorically inadmissible in court.

      • FrMartinFox

        Generally, yes. There is such a thing as an enemy combatant, and there are rules of war, and if someone is an “unlawful combatant”–say, a soldier out of uniform who infiltrates–then the rules are different. And that is true, even if one is a U.S. citizen.

        Since September 2011, the U.S. government has applied this template to the “War on Terror”–how the government has done that, as well as many other things the government has done in the name of fighting terror–is the source of so many debates and concerns over due process, torture, indefinite detention, the President’s kill list, etc.

        But, with all that, it’s worth mentioning that, yes, properly applied, there are circumstances arising from wartime in which a U.S. citizen might lawfully not be “Mirandized,” etc. Please, please note, I said, “properly applied”–therein lies much of the civil liberties struggle of our time.

  • Elmwood

    Why not attempt to convert him to Catholicism? Using reason and logic, show him the errors of Islam which there are many and only give him a bible in his cell. We should be focused on evangelizing the muslims, and not just bombing them.

  • tom in Ohio


    I am sure you know this. Catholic challenging of the death penalty is a relatively new thing. It is not part of the apostolic deposit. It is not the teaching of the Fathers. There are no conciliar statements.You don’t find too many saints condemning it . Yes the modern Church says it is not to be practiced except in circumstance which in the modern world might not exist.

    You make a convincing case that torture for any reason is intrinsically evil; I don’t think you can do the same for the death penalty. It is imaginable that at some point in the future circumstances might arise in which those exceptional circumstances make the death penalty again the right thing to do, as it was in, in my opinion, in Nuremberg.

    • Oregon Catholic

      There is also the issue that the only way society (including prison populations and employees) can be protected from murderers with any certainty is to lock them up for life in super-max style prisons. But then you have to be willing to have the conversation about whether a life sentence in super-max is torture or at least cruel and unusual punishment. Maybe the only way around that is to let prisoners elect to get the death penalty if they want it over life in a super-max.

  • eneubauer

    Since we really don’t know a thing about these men it might be wise to slow down and let law enforcement unearth the truth – if it can be found. I am a little surprised with the content of this post. I hope it brings you relief to make statements in ignorance since all we really have to go on are media reports that have been wrong thus far and conflicting testimony from family members. These men did do horrific acts of violence and need to be brought to justice – no doubt. However, in light of my own ignorance and hoping for a positive conclusion may God draw out the truth, bring justice, redemption and healing to all those who were affected by this act of terrorism. It is in Christ that we will find peace. Let us pray!

  • Pattie

    I have always struggled internally about the death penalty, with the strongest argument against (other than the Church’s position) is the possibility of an innocent person being put to death. It is not a commutable sentence once imposed. At least this suspect will have some sort of trial, if he survives his rather serious injuries, from recent reports.

    I am still on the fence when it comes to cases where the evidence is 100% irrefutable of unspeakable evil in the commission of murder or murders. I can think of at least one case (not this one) where scissors to the base of the neck might be a perfectly appropriate sentence.

    • Oregon Catholic

      I might agree with you on Gosnell except for one thing. Our culture and our laws have sent too many messages about ‘fetuses’ not being humans with rights. I think a DA may have a hard time proving he intended to murder a human with rights. In fact his very callousness toward the live babies and their dead bodies can be used as proof of that.

      The one moral argument no pro-abort can successfully make is why it should be legal to kill a viable baby in the womb, but not 1 minute later when it’s born alive after a botched abortion. It’s the same baby. All they can say in defense of that is that it’s legal. I sincerely hope Gosnell will be found guilty of murder because it will help open up further the public discussion about the absurdity of late-term abortion laws. But I also think he may not even be found guilty of murder for the same reason – the abortion industry knows how harmful that would be to late-term abortion laws. As disgusting as he is, and even though groups like PP will want to publically distance themselves from him, I fully expect Gosnell will be getting plenty of quiet financial support for his defense from the abortion industry.

  • David Naas

    After reading as many of the comments as I was able to stomach, I went back to check the header. Sure enough, “Catholic”. Darn, and I alwasy thought “catholic” meant “christian”.. Not the hatermongering and spleen-venting typical of the WBC crowd. Mark had a good essay, and I sympathize with him. The flesh says onething (murder death kill), and Christ says another. Pity about all of you who crucify Christ again to slake your lust for revenge…

  • Mack Hall, HSG

    Mark, ya old grouch, you are bang-on about this one.

  • TeaPot562

    Even having a trial before 12 jurors, and presentation of known “facts” (as opposed to unknown facts) does not guarantee the correct (in terms of truth) verdict. Dr. Sam Sheppard in the 1950s was convicted of murdering his wife, in an atmosphere polluted by newspaper columnists. After an Appeals Court reversal, in the retrial he was found not guilty.
    If jurors in the US never wrongly convicted, we wouldn’t have so many prisoners released from death row AFTER checking DNA showed that the death row inmates were, in fact, not guilty.
    The ubiquitous nature of cell phones and instant photo recording just makes the difficulty of finding a jury of twelve w/o preconceived opinions that much worse.
    Despite our abhorrence of this criminal attack, a “life at hard labor w/o the possibility of parole” would seem, within the parameters of the US justice system, would seem preferable to what we do now.

  • Ed Stengel

    God will forgive if we ask for forgiveness. This applies to you and me and also to the people who committed this terrible act. I pray that they will ask for God’s mercy and that the rest of us will realize, we are all sinners and in need of Christ’s redemption.

  • SAAS

    Losers ? Saul was a loser, too. Watch your step

  • Paula

    The headline is perfect. It reminded me of something. Jesus has a thing for losers. He used them time and again. I hope this is one of those times where we can sit back and watch Him work his miracle.

  • Observer

    Presumption of innocence until proven guilty is a requirement, at least in practice, under law to ensure justice is done, justly. Every person is innocent until proven guilty, because, before the crime occurred, and the person who committed the offense had committed it, there were no guilty partakers of a crime that, at the moment, didn’t exist. The point of evidence under law, and the presumption of innocence is to mapout the course of actions taken, and to what purpose (motive) the said person being accused of a crime, had for committing it. All persons are, therefore, considered innocent.

    Think of the original fall. No soul on earth is culpable for the crime of infidelity between Adam and Eve in their relationship before God and man, any more than children are guilty for the harm and separation of their parents in a divorce, except for those parents and Adam and Eve themselves, and of course the devil (a temptor) on his part. Culpability of all sins, hence, which come out of the woodwork of the fall (separation from God’s love, law, and justice) do not necessarily result in the full weight of guilt and culpability falling upon the partakers of a crime. Again, if the partakers were fully guilty for their crimes, then they would not have never been innocent to begin with. But, since they had not committed a crime until the moment they had, it is then the requirement of justice and law to presume their innocence until they are proven guilty under law. And that of course is necessary, since a drunken man driving recklessly ends up hitting someone who ends up not living, would then, in a right and just manner, be convicted for involuntary manslaughter (motive.) If you didn’t have presumption of innocence, you couldn’t distinguish, in law, the difference between that of voluntary and involuntary. You have to also look into compulsion. Afterall, you are dealing with persons (motive), and must treat each person as a subject of responsibility before the law, in respect to what their culpability is for the effect and offense the crime had taken place (and not the other away around.)