The murder of Chatham, New Jersey priest Edward Hinds has led to the arrest of a 64-year-old janitor at the church, Jose Feliciano. Police found bloody clothes and Hinds’ cell phone, which the priest is believed to have used to call 911 when he was attacked. (The call dropped and when emergency personnel called back, police say, Feliciano told them there was no emergency; no police were dispatched, and Hinds’ body was only discovered after he failed to show for morning Mass.)
In Sunday services Rev. Owen Moran called for forgiveness for the attacker, which was covered distinctively in three New York papers: The Times headline is, “In Parish of Slain Pastor, Talk of Forgiveness,” and quotes largely celebrate the slain pastor; in the Daily News allows as “some parishioners said they’re not ready to forgive,” despite the prscription of the “fill-in” minister; the Post brays, “Holy hell in priest slay — Flock hisses at call to forgive.”
Though the community St. Patrick Church serves in Chatham is said to be prosperous, the church had been forced to make cutbacks of late, and it is suggested Feliciano disputed with Hinds about his employment prior to the assault. Hinds was stabbed 32 times.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 26, 2009