Friday, 1 April 2011

Frère Roger’s Murderess is Murdered?

On 16th August 2005 Frère Roger, the founder of the Taizé community, was stabbed to death in the Church of Reconciliation by a mentally unstable Romanian woman, during evening prayer. Such a violent death for such a gentle, peaceful man was, and still is, shocking and the news sent ripples across the Christian world.

When I saw the news today I was shocked to learn that Luminiţa Solcan, the lady in question, hangs between life and death having been stabbed by her roommate in the mental hospital ( in Dijon) that she has been confined to since that fateful day.

Some would say that Ms Solcan deserves what she has received, comments on newspaper sites that have run the story go along the lines that she deserved it, that you reap what you sow. But whilst those people are saying “an eye for an eye” I would agree more with Mahatma Gandhi when he said "An-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye ... ends in making everybody blind". She should be brought to justice, she should be made to accept what she has done no matter her mental state and that she should apologise and ask for forgiveness, she shouldn’t be stabbed to death.

What will be in the minds of the brothers of Taizé as they hear this news, will she be in their prayers at the moment? Will they be able to repeat the prayer spoken by Brother Alois at Frère Roger’s funeral: “God of goodness, we confide to your forgiveness Luminiţa Solcan, who in an act of illness put an end to the life of our Brother Roger. With Christ on the cross we say: Father, forgive her, she does not know what she has done.” I hope so.

The photo is from the Taizé website. Copyright © Ateliers et Presses de Taizé, 71250 Taizé, France.

La Tuilerie Website


  1. Wow, what a twist of fate and so very sad also. I was shocked when I first learned of Frere Roger's death, but also amazed at the community's reaction (which I learned about by reading the letters written on the subject). This turn of events is so sad, that a woman's entire life has been so controlled by her illness, leading her to harm others and then be harmed herself. I have no doubt that the Brothers will continue to pray for strength to forgive her and send prayers on her behalf as well.

  2. Just in case you're still interested: I was in Taizé as a permanent when the attack on Luminita Solcan happened and really liked how they dealt with those sad news. Though the brothers did not tell officially when she finally died (to prevent some people from getting all exited about this?), it was quite impressive how they mentioned the attack on her during the prayer the day it happened, expressing their hope for her to survive and asking everyone to pray for her... that is how forgiveness should be...

  3. Thank you for that Anonymous. I didn't realise that she had actually died, very sad news indeed.


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