Words from a martyr

In the midst of the wars in the Middle East and the wanton killing of civilians, I offer these quotes from Bishop Pierre Lucien Claverie, French bishop of Oran, Algeria, a proponent of active solidarity and dialogue with Islam, who was killed on August 1, 1996.

“There is no life without love. There is no love without letting go every possession and giving oneself.”

“That is probably what is at the basis of my religious vocation. I wondered why, throughout my Christian childhood when I listened to sermons on loving one’s neighbor, I had never heard anyone say the Arabs were my neighbors.”

“It is my conviction that humanity can only exist in the plural. As soon as we claim to possess the truth or speak in the name of humanity we fall into totalitarianism and exclusion. No one possesses the truth; everyone seeks it.”

“So that love vanquishes hate, one must love to the point of giving one’s life in the daily combat from which Jesus himself did not escape unscathed.”


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