Dutch-born Jesuit Father Karl-Edmund Prier, 80, was the victim of a sword-attack on Feb. 11 when he was celebrating Mass. (Photo courtesy of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference)
A priest in Indonesia attacked and wounded in his church by a sword-wielding man says he has forgiven his attacker.
A suspected Muslim extremist called Suliyono attacked Dutch-born Jesuit Father Karl-Edmund Prier, 80, during a Mass at St. Lidwina Church in Yoyakarta on Feb. 11.
Three other Catholics were injured in the attack, which also saw the attacker decapitate Mary and Jesus statues, before being shot and wounded by police.
"I forgive Sulyono with sincerity. Every day I pray the Our Father prayer, which states that as we forgive those who trespass against us," wrote Father Prier in a letter posted on the bishops' commission on social communication website on Feb 24.
Father Prier said he could of run away during the assault but did not.
"However, my conscience said: 'Do not go. The good shepherd should not run when wolves come.' I remained standing on the altar to divert the attacker's attention to me," he said.
"Through the middle aisle of the church, with a long sword raised high, he shouted, Allahhu akbar!" he added.
He also said Muslims were very kind and helped clean up the church after the attack.
Archbishop Robertus Rubyatmoko of Semarang appealed for no acts of revenge over the attack.
"Let us just pray for the recovery of the victims and the change for the perpetrator's life," he said.
Anti-terrorism police are still investigating.
….as we enter the last months of 2021, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.