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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Earlier this week, Congresswomen Nancy Pelosi and other civic leaders sent a letter to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, requesting that he withdraw his participation in the upcoming “March for Marriage.” Archbishop Cordileone is scheduled to be a featured speaker and will voice his support of traditional marriage at the rally, which will take place on Thursday in Washington, D.C.
Archbishop Cordileone issued a response to his critics, which can be read below. The full media release, which includes the letter’s recipients, can be found on the Archdiocese’s web site.
Dear Fellow Citizens,
Your letter sharing with me your thoughts on the upcoming “March for Marriage” in Washington, D.C., was forwarded to me while I was attending meetings out of town, and I have reflected on what you have to say. I appreciate your affirmation of my Church’s teaching—not unique to our religion, but a truth accessible to anyone of good will—on the intrinsic human dignity of all people, irrespective of their stage and condition in life. That principle requires us to respect and protect each and every member of the human family, from the precious child in the womb to the frail elderly person nearing death. It also requires me, as a bishop, to proclaim the truth—the whole truth—about the human person and God’s will for our flourishing. I must do that in season and out of season, even when truths that it is my duty to uphold and teach are unpopular, including especially the truth about marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife. That is what I will be doing on June 19th.
With regard to your request that I not attend the March, and the reasons you give for this request, allow me to explain the following points.
1. The March for Marriage is not “anti-LGBT” (as some have described it); it is not anti-anyone or anti-anything. Rather, it is a pro-marriage March. The latter does not imply the former. Rather, it affirms the great good of bringing the two halves of humanity together so that a man and a woman may bond with each other and with any children who come from their union. This is precisely the vision promoted by Pope Francis, who recently said, “We must reaffirm the right of children to grow up in a family with a father and mother.” Rest assured that if the point of this event were to single out a group of individuals and target them for hatred, I most certainly would not be there.