Monday, May 4, 2015

Jim Foley, 1973-2014

Mourning the loss of a courageous U.S. photojournalist

Jim Foley, 1973-2014

FILE - This file photo posted on the website freejamesfoley.org shows journalist James Foley in Aleppo, Syria, in July, 2012.In a horrifying act of revenge for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq, militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded Foley — and are threatening to kill another hostage, U.S. officials say. (AP Photo/freejamesfoley.org, Nicole Tung, File) NO SALES
FILE - This file photo posted on the website freejamesfoley.org shows journalist James Foley in Aleppo, Syria, in July, 2012.In a horrifying act of revenge for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq, militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded Foley — and are threatening to kill another hostage, U.S. officials say. (AP Photo/freejamesfoley.org, Nicole Tung, File) NO SALES

The humanity amid the heartbreak is staggering:

“There is no sense to be made of senselessness; you cannot find any kind of sanity in insanity,” the Rev. Paul Gausse told parishioners during his homily. “War begets war, the only answer is in prayer.

Gausse told the Roman Catholic congregation that he had joined Foley's parents, Diane and John Foley, at their home in Rochester on Tuesday night. As he was leaving, he said, Diane Foley turned to him: “She said, ‘Father pray for me that I don’t become bitter. I don’t want to hate.’ That’s a woman of deep faith.”

He urged the congregation to follow her lead, noting that there was a danger for all Americans to “become bitter and hate.”

“We are not just praying for us and the Foley family, but praying for those who have perpetrated this kind of evil,” Gausse told the congregation as he stood near the first few pews below the altar. “These people need prayer. ... This is being done in the name of God. How insane can that be?"

"That kind of insanity is demonic, my brothers and sisters.”

It is, indeed, extremely hard not to hate the barbarians who murdered Jim Foley. He wanted to document the atrocities that were being committed against the Syrian people, and for that he paid for his life. There are all kinds of journalists out there, but the people who do what Foley do are a rare and special breed. That's why their loss is so deeply felt, and it's another reminder why freedom of the press -- to document and share the events that matter, in the face of those who don't want the story told -- is such a cherished right.

About this blog
Will Bunch, a senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News, blogs about his obsessions, including national and local politics and world affairs, the media, pop music, the Philadelphia Phillies, soccer and other sports, not necessarily in that order.

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