House Minority Whip , who sustained near-fatal injuries after being shot during a 2017 congressional baseball practice, said he is continuing to work on forgiving his shooter.
The Louisiana Republican said he was moved after speaking with a pastor of one of the three predominantly black churches that were recently attacked in his district, who told him he had already forgiven the alleged arsonist.
Scalise talked to the clergyman at a reception last week with the pastors affected that was attended by Vice President Pence.
“We met at one of them, the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, one of the churches, and it was a warm gathering,” he told reporters Friday.
“The minister of the church that we were holding the reception at talked about how he’s already forgiven the arsonist. And I talked to him about that afterward, because I still have to address forgiveness for, you know, the shooting two years ago. And so it was very good to talk to him and kind of get an understanding of how he got to that point.”
Scalise said that hearing the pastor discuss his reasoning for forgiving the alleged arsonist, who is being charged with hate crimes, was “powerful,” adding he plans to speak with him again.
“I’ve never internally fully forgiven the shooter from the baseball shooting, and it’s something I struggle with as a Catholic. I mean, part of my faith is forgiveness and I’m, I’m working to get there, and it was actually helpful to talk to him afterward about it,” he continued. “And we agreed to talk some more — I asked him if we could talk some more and he wants to so we’re going to do that.
Scalise said while he is a practicing Catholic, the Baptist pastor’s outlook is helpful as he continues to work to move on from the attack.
“You know, we respect everybody’s faith and his faith is surely helping me in my faith,” he said.
In June 2017, Scalise was gravely wounded having been struck by a bullet in his hip after 66-year-old James Hodgkinson — who was killed in a shootout with police — opened fired at the group of Republicans who were practicing baseball in a field in Alexandria, Va., ahead of a charity game.
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Scalise says he’s working to forgive his shooter after talk with pastor of burned down church
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