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Belfast priest says forgiveness is only way forward

On Tuesday, a local priest told thousands of people held a vigil for a Catholic man shot dead by a loyalist paramilitary group in north Belfast that they should forgive rather than blame those responsible for the crime.

Gerard Lawlor, the victim, was 19 and a father-of-one. He was shot dead by the Ulster Freedom Fighters as he was walking home.

Speaking at the vigil mass for Lawlor, Fr Dan Whyte regretted a succession of events that has held back peace.

He said: "There is a feeling that what we have gained in recent years - and we have gained a lot - is not so much slipping away as being thrown away."

"There are very many people from both traditions who are genuinely looking for help to make the journey toward real peace and the reconciliation of those traditions.

"For that journey to take place, mutual forgiveness is an absolutely essential ingredient," he said. "Forgiveness is very difficult. If you want to know how difficult it is - just try forgiving and you will find how difficult it is."

Belfast: bishop speaks at funeral of murdered Catholic (Independent Catholic News)


26 Jul 2002