Opus Dei head says love terrorists, hate terrorism
Bishop Javier Echevarría, the second successor of Opus Dei founder St Josemaría Escrivá has said that Christ would have responded to terrorism by looking at the terrorist and praying for him.
He told Zenit that living the command to love one's enemy involves "Praying for [the terrorist's] conversion, that is, by praying for his redemption, beyond his just punishment in this life."
But he stressed that there is no justification for evil, and violence cannot be defended.
"In praying for those who kill in a brutal manner, we are not denying the evil of their action or the need for them to be judged according to the impartial norms of law."
"It is enough to look at Jesus Christ, the permanent model for man," he said. "In the light of his example, the answer is yes. It is possible to pray when one can distinguish between the crime and the one who commits it."
Bishop Echevarría criticised the association of Islam with terrorism, saying that it is important "not to disqualify a group of countries made up of millions of people, a whole culture, because of the action of a minority".
Advice on How to Love a Terrorist (Zenit 5/4/04)
Opus Dei | Bishop Javier Echevarría
7 Apr 2004