Thursday, August 18, 2005

Brother Roger has been killed

Aug. 17 ( - Brother Roger, the founder and leader of the ecumenical Taize community, was killed by a knife-wielding attacker during a prayer service in France on August 16.

A Protestant theologian, Roger Schutz was 25 when he first set up an ecumenical house of prayer in Taize, a village near Cluny in eastern France, in 1940. At first the community was a haven for refugees-- particularly Jews escaping the Nazi regime-- during World War II. Over the years, the Taize community became established as an ecumenical monastery, with Brother Roger as its prior, and more than 100 members, including both Catholics and Protestants. The Taize community, dedicated to reconciliation among Christians, attracts thousands of visitors each year, and Brother Rogers' books of prayers and meditations have proved popular among Christians of many different denominations.

Brother Roger was participating in an evening prayer service at a church in Burgundy when he was attacked. More than 2,000 participants witnessed the killing, as an assailant stabbed the 90-year-old Brother Roger in the throat. He died instantly.

Let us pray for his soul, and those of all who have died tonight.

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