KILLING A PRIEST AT THE CONFESSIONAL: ON THE MURDER OF FR JOSEPH
Fr A. N. Abiagom, CM.
Human beings could manufacture different things but create nothing. Whatever is manufactured on earth, is made from what God already created. Innovations come from the mind, who made the mind? What about material manufacturings and productions? Did humans create matter?
The 5th Commandment prohibits killing. Life is sacred. Since life comes from God, He alone could take it. Unfortunately, humans kill each other everyday. Recently the report concerning the murder of a Dominican Priest (Fr Joseph) surfaced online. A young missionary born in 1981 who was stabbed to death at the Confessional.
Killing a priest is already a difficult pill to swallow, what then can one say, when a priest is killed at the Confessional?
Exclusive to the ministry of a Catholic Priest is the celebration of the Eucharist and the administration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. These two sacraments are very special because “the concept of blood” is involved in them. Life is in blood.
At the Eucharistic table, the Sacrifice at Calvary is celebrated in the context of a meal (Luke 22:17-20). At the Confessional, the priest acting in the person of Christ (John 20:21-23), forgives sins through the merit of the Paschal mystery (the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ).
A priest was killed in a place where sins are forgiven. A place that should be approached with a humble and contrite heart was visited with a knife. Someone left a place where he could have been washed clean by the blood of the Lamb, a more hardened and unrepentant sinner.
Stabbing a priest at the Confessional is stabbing Christ. Killing a priest at the Confessional is an attempt to kill Christ. But unfortunately for the culprit (s), Christ lives forever, and his priest joins Him in heaven to live forever.
May the soul of Fr Joseph, and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace (Amen).