.- The reported murder of a priest in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Friday marks the second killing of a priest in less than a week in the country.
Fr. Juan Miguel Contreras Garcia, 33, was shot to death the afternoon of April 20 inside Saint Pio of Pietrelcina church, in Guadalajara, Jalisco State, authorities reported.
The murder of Fr. Contreras Garcia makes the second murder of a priest in Mexico in less than a week, following the killing of Fr. Rubén Alcántara Díaz, the vicar general of the Diocese of Cuautitlán Izcalli, on April 18.
According to the Catholic Multimedia Center, this makes a total of 23 priests murdered in the country in the last six years.
The Attorney General’s Office of Jalisco State reported that Fr. Contreras Garcia was believed to have been attacked by two men from the Hacienda Santa Fe neighborhood in the town of Tlajomulco, in the Guadalajara metropolitan area.
The attorney general’s office indicated the killers “entered the sacristy of the parish and straight away attacked the victim, fleeing afterwards in a compact vehicle.”
“The victim was found in the church with several gunshot wounds,” the office said.
In a message released by the Archdiocese of Guadalajara, Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, his auxiliary bishops, the clergy and the faithful expressed “our deepest grief.”
The Archdiocese of Guadalajara urged “the state and municipal authorities to investigate and determine the facts of this deplorable incident.”
In addition, they called on “those that commit these atrocities against people’s lives to reconsider the damage they do to society and the climate of anguish they bring upon the citizens, so that their minds and hearts be moved to repent of their actions.”
“We unite in prayer so that this climate of violence that afflicts our state of Jalisco would come to an end.”
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