BUENOS AIRES — Pointing to his faith in Christ and reliance on the mercy of God, a man in Argentina has voiced public forgiveness to the man who murdered his brother.
“If God forgives us every day and gives us the chance to ‘start over,’ how can I not forgive somebody else?” Hernan Prado said with tears in his eyes during a march his family convened for forgiveness and repentance.
Around 3,000 people took part in the Sept. 9 march.
“The man who killed my brother is also my brother. That is what I want to instill in my nephews and children. I choose to forgive and to extend forgiveness,” Prado said.
Prado’s brother, Sebastian, was killed outside his house in Mendoza, Argentina, as he sat in his car with his two children Sept. 6.
Sebastian was preparing to leave for a family reunion, when a man approached and tried to steal his car, according to reports. Although Sebastian fought back, he was shot three times and eventually died in the emergency room, despite efforts to save his life. The killer is still at large.
Prado said his offer to forgive the killer comes from his faith.
“I am a Catholic, and I believe in Jesus Christ,” he said.
If he ever meets his brother’s murderer face-to-face, Prado said he “would hug him, cry a lot and tell him I could be like a brother to him: that I weep for him, and I weep for my brother.”
“In fact, if he comes to talk to me, I would not turn him in,” Prado added. “The police have that job. If he asks for forgiveness, that’s enough for me. I am not going to hold him or anything.”
Prado recalled the instruction of Pope Francis to go to “the peripheries, where there is sorrow, where the people are in need of love.”
“A person who kills is a person who has not experienced love,” Prado said. “If we don’t begin with that, it’s going to be very difficult.”