Sinton Priest Speaks About Attacker’s Sentence

| March 14, 2010

SINTON–A man charged with stabbing a priest plead guilty in a San Patricio County courtroom. The judge sentenced him to 12 years in prison.

The stabbing happened about ten months ago and shocked many in the Coastal Bend. All along, the priest has said he forgives his attacker, who is also a former parishoner.

"I've already forgiven him," said Father Shaji Varghese, who is the pastor at Our Lady of Guadalup Church in Sinton.

Father Varghese said he realizes what David Rodriguez did last May was wrong. Rodriguez stabbed the Catholic priest nearly a dozen times after morning mass.

Today, he plead guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon from his attack inside the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church. Father Shaji, who is from India, saw his attacker inside the court where Rodriguez opted for a plea agreement.

A judge sentenced him to 12 years in prison. Rodriguez will have to serve at least half of his sentence before he's eligible for parole.

"To error is human, but to forgive is divine," Father Varghese said. "I preach that so I must be practicing that so I believe God will forgive him also."

The Father said the parish at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church isn't upset with Rodriguez anymore. He said his own family from India prays for his attacker everyday.

Father Shaji said he's still recovering from his injuries suffered in the attack. He has scars around his kidney and neck area and he knows some of the pain will never go away.

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Category: Church Security

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