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Pastor invites faithful to forgiveness after Florida man tries to burn down Catholic church

The police are still investigating the case of a young man who tried to set a Catholic church on fire and caused serious damages in the building, but the parish priest of the church has already forgiven him and asks the faithful to do likewise.


On the 18th of September, a young man, shirtless and wearing a surgical mask and white gloves, broke into a Catholic church in Florida and poured a jug of clear liquid on several of the wooden pews before setting them alight. Luckily, the firemen arrived in time and put out the fire, but the man managed to escape.

Two days after the incident, in his homily, the church’s pastor, Fr Michael Cormier, urged prayers for the man and thanked God that the church survived the attack.

He admitted that originally he wanted to close down the church for the weekend to have work done to restore the pews, cancelling the weekend’s Masses.

“But we thought: if we did that, evil would win,” Cormier said.

“We wouldn’t have Mass for one weekend, and evil would win…we have been struck down by this, but not destroyed. In the end, evil never wins.”

Cormier reminded the congregation of the Gospel readings at daily Mass on Sept. 10, from Luke 6:27-38: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

He led the congregation in a prayer of thanks that the “act of evil” did not destroy the church, praying for the assailant “that [God] remove the malice and hatred from his heart.”

“May this terrible act cause us to unify, to love one another more than ever, and to continue to make [our parish] the bedrock of faith and strength it has always been,” he prayed.

Source, photo: CNA

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