All we need to do is look at Jesus Christ, our model at all times. His example leads us to say, yes, it is possible to pray when one knows how to distinguish between the crime and its perpetrator. When we pray for those who kill so savagely, we don’t deny the evil of their deeds nor the need to bring them to judgment before the law. There is no justification for evil. Violence is indefensible. But intransigence with evil is surely compatible with something that goes to the heart of the Church’s mission—pardoning sinners. Justice is not in conflict with mercy.
Following the attack of March 11 [in Madrid], you spoke of praying for the terrorists. Is it possible to pray for people who are capable of such savage acts?