“I was afraid. I’d rather have my life, so I gave him the ring — the ring with which I was consecrated by the archbishop when I was made a bishop,” Barber said. “The ring that means I’m married to the Diocese of Oakland. It’s as precious to me as your wedding ring is to you.”
The bishop said he prayed to God and wondered whether he would die.
“I had just given a sermon that morning, I ordained two new priests in the Cathedral and my sermon was about a Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep... go figure, you know,”
The encounter lasted about five minutes. The robber left the scene on a bicycle, the bishop said, estimating his age to be in his early twenties.
The Oakland Police Department told McClatchy News they are “actively investigating” the alleged armed robbery. Oakland has seen a 50% increase in armed robberies over 2020, the police department said.
(Story continues below)
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Some forms of crime have spiked nationally in the last year, with shootings and murders especially rising during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Bishop Barber spoke about the need to forgive.
“I have to forgive him,” he said, according to ABC7 News. “I’m supposed to react like Jesus did, and I keep thinking, ‘gee I hope they catch that guy, I hope he doesn't rob somebody else’.”