Phoenix priest says of attacker: ‘I have forgiven him’

Father Joseph Terra, FSSP at St. Catherine of Siena on Monday. Photo credit: Cindy Carcamo / Los Angeles Times

Father Joseph Terra, FSSP at St. Catherine of Siena on Monday. Photo credit: Cindy Carcamo / Los Angeles Times

Father Joseph Terra, FSSP, who was wounded after a break-in at his parish in Phoenix, was recently asked about the man who attacked him and killed his fellow priest. Father Terra simply said:

“I have forgiven him.”

Father Kenneth Walker, 28, was shot and killed during the June 11 break-in  at Mater Misericordiae Mission in Phoenix. Father Terra, 56, was able to call 911, but sustained severe injuries during the attack. Father Terra said that he was able to administer last rites before Father Walker died.

Police arrested Gary Michael Moran, 54, on suspicion of breaking into the rectory and attacking the priests, in what appeared to be an attempted burglary gone wrong. Phoenix police chief Daniel V. Garcia said that Moran had just completed a 5-year prison term for a 2005 home invasion, during which Moran stabbed the homeowner with a knife.

After the requiem Mass for Father Walker, fellow member of the priestly fraternity, Father Carl Gismondi, FSSP said:

“There is always forgiveness. It’s important for us to remember the  man who committed this act … We should pray for him. … The hardest part of Catholicism is to pray for those who persecute us.”

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.

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