Louisiana Investigators make an arrest in the murder of an Episcopal Priest 15 years ago

Watch it all. It is a horrible story, but there is a beautiful plaque shown at the end. Prayers for all involved–KSH.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Parishes

13 comments on “Louisiana Investigators make an arrest in the murder of an Episcopal Priest 15 years ago

  1. Tikvah says:

    I remember the day that my mother called to tell me her priest had been murdered. The sadness of it all comes back in a flood of memories, but I’m glad there can finally be that ‘closure’ we all talk about. Pray for the perpetrator.

  2. Larry Morse says:

    Why would you want to pray for the perpetrator? Or perhaps, for what would you pray? LM

  3. Kendall Harmon says:

    Larry are we not called to pray for all because God so loved the world (John 3:16)? If Jesus called us to pray for our enemies how can we not pray for someone like this?

  4. Will B says:

    Well said Kendall! No matter how vicious, evil and cruel this act was, and it was all that, the perpetrator is still a person for whom Jesus Christ gave his life on the cross.

  5. DRT says:

    Many people’s lives were damaged by this murder (I was the rector of St. John’s for 8 years following Horgan) and I don’t know why we should be urged to “pray for the perpetrator” without being asked to pray for Hunter’s family and the members of the parish. The murderer here is not a victim….but many others were. GTW+

  6. DRT says:

    I watched the WWL video clip, and just want to note that Horgan was murdered in the office of the parish house, and that is the building named in his memory. The church is still named “St. John’s”……

  7. fishsticks says:

    DRT: You said you “don’t know why we should be urged to ‘pray for the perpetrator’ without being asked to pray for Hunter’s family and the members of the parish…”

    I would point out that Kendall’s original post stated: “Prayers for all involved.” (I presume that “all involved” refers to the victim and all affected by his death, as well as the man who killed him.) The second comment to the original post asked why we should pray for the perpetrator at all; Kendall answered in comment #3 (in essence, because Jesus calls us to pray for our enemies). I don’t think anyone suggested that we should pray [i] only [/i] for the perpetrator.

  8. DRT says:

    Fishsticks: I agree. I failed to completely read Kendall’s original post. I was responding to Tikva’s comment. GTW+

  9. John316 says:

    I still remember the day I heard the news, but I remember also Hunter+ and the impact he had on me and so many other once young people in our diocese. We were all so blessed by his ministry among us.

  10. Tikvah says:

    #5, Fr. George, our first reaction is to pray for those we love and care about, as you do for the good folks at St. John’s, and for Fr. Horgan’s family. Those prayers come easy. The hard part is to pray for the ‘sinner’ … for the one who causes the pain, and grief and suffering; but that’s what we’re called to do as Christians. Like it or not, it is our duty. How does Jesus see this man?
    Consider this: The perpetrator was 14 years old when he killed Hunter…he is now 28… a lifetime criminal… in and out of the juvenile system, has served time as an adult…there is a question of how he will be tried for the murder, committed in 1992. The La. law allowing 14 year olds to be tried as adults was not passed by the legislature until 1994… there is a possibility he will “walk” based on time already served if he is tried in the juvenile courts for murder and armed robbery… he has already served more time than the equivalent of age 14 to age 21… which is considered the longest sentence in La. Juvenile Court… no matter how heinous the crime. According to Thibodaux’s Sheriff Webre, Derek Odoms shows no remorse, and is likely capable of more violent actions. How can we not pray for this man, for many reasons?

  11. Larry Morse says:

    Kendall in #3. first of all, you have no idea, not do I, what love means in this context. Indeed, we cannot begin to know, for the actor and His action are outside human comprehension. Would I so place my only son that he would die on a pillory so that others could live forever? Indeed, I would not, because I would have murdered my son and tht would be foreign to my nature,, but I WOULD let him take that action if he did it of his own free will. If I have made the universes move and have made leviathan, what can I tell a mere mortal of what my motives are? Did you really expect Job to call God to judgment? You are so sure of God’s motives, like so many of the pious, but you can know nothing of them, no, not one iota nor does any man.
    Should I pray for my enemies? I daresay, but this man is not one of them. He is a heartless and remorseless killer. This is the heart of the matter:Tell me, what am I praying for? What should my prayer be? That God forgive him?
    That God show mercy on him? Can not a man, by his actions, put himself beyond God’s mercy? If he can’t, then sin and evil and the jaws of hell are meaningless, even for the worst of mankind. Should I pray that he roast for an eternity? No indeed, but the best I should permit myself is that I pray he get justice far beyond what any human court can provide, and he will get that, we are told, whether we pray or not, for we shall all get it.

    #4 and #1. He did give His life on the cross, that man might live forever, but that doesn’t tell us WHERE he will live forever, does it? And you are praying exactly for what, what are the words? Begging your pardon elves, but #4 and #1’s wish is a sentimentality, and a cliche, always a thought substitute.

    It always infuriates me top see the Christian, anxious for the rush of feeling virtuous, hasten into into public to pray for a sinner, and the worse he is, the greater the demand for prayers. Who dashes into print to demand universal prayers for the occasional pickpocket? There is something exhibitionistic in this, the pharisee praying publically so that everyone will see him. We know Christ’s opinion of this.

  12. fishsticks says:

    Mr. Morse: Do you truly believe that we cannot [i] ever [/i] have even the smallest understanding of God’s motives or desires, or what His love means? If so, then it seems to me you must believe that the Bible is entirely without meaning, nothing more than random words strung together by happenstance. (I do not claim that any human can know all of God’s desires or motives, or completely understand Him, but if we are really entirely in the dark, then what is the purpose of reading the Bible at all?)

    You seem angry, but don’t seem to recognize that you express the same sort of certainty which you deride in Kendall, and others.

    You ask if you should pray that God forgive this man; the short answer is, yes, you should pray for that, among other things. Remember the Lord’s Prayer, in which we ask God to “forgive us our trespasses, [i] as we forgive those who trespass against us.” [/i] In other words, we have no right to ask God to be more generous or merciful to us than we are to our fellow man. (Admittedly, this can be a rather selfish reason to pray for someone else, since sometimes we may do it more to benefit ourselves than others, but the hope is that the discipline of praying for others will eventually help our better natures win out over our more self-centered desires.)

    You asked if a man can put himself beyond God’s mercy; if he can, then God is not omnipotent, but just as limited as we are – and what is there to give hope or inspire worship in that?

    You said that the best you can do is pray that he receives “justice far beyond what any human court can provide,” but then you went on to point out that “he will get that … whether we pray or not.” Indeed. As we all know, vengeance belongs not to us, but to God – and if we all will eventually be judged by God, then prayers urging that judgment are, in the end, irrelevant and unnecessary.

    Perhaps one thing to pray for would be this man’s redemption – which, as I understand it, would necessarily mean that he come to comprehend what terrible things he has done, and that he truly repent. I imagine that you won’t like this suggestion – you probably think it means he would get off easy – but I would ask you not to dismiss it without first considering that what I am talking about is not a simple, politician-style “I’m sorry if anyone was hurt or offended by what I did;” rather, I am talking about [i] true repentance, [/i] and all of the soul-searching and pain that it involves. (This would not, obviously, wipe away his sins, or make it all ok, but if you believe in the possibility of redemption, you have to believe that it’s possible for anyone, and not just the “better” grade of sinners. This also would not excuse him from earthly justice for his earthly crimes.)

    You complained that we cannot know anything of God’s motives, but apparently you are privy to some sort of motive data-bank which lets you understand the motives of all living Christians; otherwise, how would you know that Christians who “hasten into … public to pray for a sinner” are doing so because they are “anxious for the rush of feeling virtuous”? Have you considered that, sometimes, such statements might have more to do with a personal reminder, as well as a reminder to others? Certainly, it is not always [i] my [/i] immediate reaction to pray for those who have injured me or someone I know or care about; when I say something about praying for them anyway, I [i] remind [/i] myself to do so. (I am far from perfect; sometimes, I need reminders.) And in situations like this, when the mob begins to form and the public anger builds, it does not hurt to remind people that they have a moral obligation to try to be better than their base natures might urge in the heat of the moment.

    Personally, I [i] try [/i] to pray for all men – including murderers and pickpockets and children who lie about doing their homework so they can go out and play – but it is obviously not [i] easy [/i] to pray for someone who has done something truly horrible; I freely admit that it’s just not something that comes naturally to me. But this is part of why people often seem more likely to say these things in situations like this – because we all [i] need [/i] the reminder, because it [i] doesn’t [/i] come easily or naturally to us.

    I think exhibitionism would be more along the lines of drawing attention to the fact that I [i] am [/i] praying for someone, rather than me saying that we should pray for him.

    Oh, and by the way, I thought your statments regarding comments #1 and #4 were entirely uncalled for. Though I speak only for myself, I would appreciate it if you would refrain from making such personal attacks.

  13. Harvey says:

    Two thieves/murderers each on a cross. One received forgiveness but note he had to believe and trust Jesus (..remember me when thou enterest thy kingdom..” The other did not ask for forgiveness-if he had he would have die saved also-this man was very selfish “..If thou be the son of God then save thyself and us..”(no repentance no asking of forgiveness..) Which man did Jesus speak to when He said “..today shalt thou be with me in paradise..”?