Murder an evil act, in a place of worship it is even more heinous


Catholic Register, 3 February 2017

My first thought, upon hearing the news of the massacre at the mosque in Ste. Foy, was that there must be a special place in hell for those who kill men at prayer, all the moreso in a house of worship.

Dante, in his 14th-century travelogue of the netherworld, The Inferno, assigned no particular place for those who would kill those at worship. Seven centuries later it would be an oversight he would surely correct.

Recent years have brought a global litany of sacrilege with massacres in mosques, temples, shrines and churches — both Catholic and Protestant. Those who would kill those seeking to encounter God have forfeited their own place in His presence.

My second thought was of admiration for the necessary witness of prayer that Muslims often offer. There were a good number of them at prayer last Sunday evening at the Islamic Cultural Centre. The time of the shooting, 7:50 p.m., is during our Sunday evening Mass at the cathedral in Kingston. It’s the Lord’s day for us, but not for Muslims, yet they too were at prayer. I never thought myself in danger when at Mass; neither did the Muslims praying on Sunday night.

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