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Jakarta Post

'He has been forgiven', says priest Prier to assailant after church attack

  • Bambang Muryanto

    The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta   /   Thu, February 22, 2018   /   11:40 am
'He has been forgiven', says priest Prier to assailant after church attack Catholic Priest Karl Edmund Prier SJ (wearing hat), flanked by Yogyakarta Police chief Brig. Gen. Ahmad Dofiri, speaks to reporters on Wednesday. Prier SJ says he no longer holds a grudge against Suliyono, the suspect in an attack at St. Lidwina Church in Sleman, Yogyakarta (JP/Bambang Muryanto) (JP/Bambang Maryono)

Catholic priest Karl Edmud Prier SJ says he no longer holds a grudge against Suliyono, the suspect in an attack at St. Lidwina Church in Sleman, Yogyakarta nearly two weeks ago.  

“I have forgiven him, just as Jesus said ‘forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us’,” he said during a meeting with Yogyakarta Police on Wednesday.

The 80-year-old Jesuit priest visited the police to thank them for providing protection and assistance following the attack.

Aside from Prier, three churchgoers also sustained injuries in the attack. 

“I am recovering now. I’m not experiencing any nausea or headaches anymore,” said the Frankfurt-born Prier, who has been serving Catholics in Yogyakarta since the 1960s.

Prier has long been known for introducing inculturation in  Catholic churches in Indonesia. He founded the Center for Liturgical Music of Yogyakarta (PML) in 1971.

Atma Jaya Yogyakarta University graduate school director Lukas Ispandriarno, who accompanied Prier in the meeting, said Prier stood still at the altar while the attack took place.

“He was sure that he would survive because he was in a house of God,” he said.

Prier encouraged his congregation members to stay brave. 

“Don’t be afraid. I am not worried. Learn how to overcome your fears,” he said.

Meanwhile, Yogyakarta Police chief, Brig. Gen. Ahmad Dofiri said the incident was a reminder for members of all faiths to maintain unity amid diversity in the country.  

“We have to maintain unity and combat any practice that harms humanity,” he said. (gis/dmr)