Metropolitan Herman offers diocesan faithful prayers, comfort in wake of DC sniper shootings

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, recently issued a pastoral letter to clergy and faithful of the diocese in the wake of the sniper shootings plaguing the nation’s capital.

“In addition to his duties as Primate of the Church, which has over 700 communities across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, Metropolitan Herman also serves as Archbishop of Washington, DC, a diocese which includes a growing number of parishes in the immediate vicinity of the US capital,” according to the Very Rev. John Matusiak, OCA Communicatons Director.

The text of Metropolitan Herman’s pastoral letter reads as follows.

“Dearly Beloved in the Lord:

“These recent weeks have been a time of anxiety and distress for all the people living in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia as we witnessed the horrific and senseless murder of innocent individuals who were going about their daily lives. The entire nation and, indeed, the world, observed the terror which two individuals used to paralyze the lives of citizens of an entire region. The tactics used by the alleged snipers were calculated actions used to rob millions of people of their basic freedom to live their lives in peace and security.

“It now appears that the perpetrators of these senseless acts of violence have been apprehended and that a semblance of normal life is beginning to return to those affected. Be assured of my continued prayers for those who have suffered as a result of their evil deeds. We continue to pray for the snipers’ victims, for the families and friends they have left behind, and for the return of peace and security to those they robbed of these basic human rights. Be assured, also, of my prayers on behalf of the clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Washington. May the Lord restore to you the freedom and security which this nation guarantees to its citizens.”