By David Dishneau, AP in The Huffington Post
The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland is offering forgiveness and a funeral service for a homeless man who killed himself after fatally shooting a priest and church secretary last week.
Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton and an academic expert on forgiveness likened the diocese's attitude to that of an Amish community in Lancaster County, Pa., that forgave the man who fatally shot five school girls there in 2006.
"That is a painful, hard process," Sutton told The Associated Press after last Thursday's shooting. "But we learned something a few years ago, made manifest by the Amish community, when a gunman came into that school: Eventually, that community went to the family of that murderer and extended forgiveness."
Church officials said Wednesday that the family of Douglas Franklin Jones hasn't decided whether to accept offers from several parishes to hold a Christian burial service for the man police have deemed responsible for the bloodshed at St. Peter's Episcopal Church.