Mexican bishops will put pictures of dead priests in churches

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s Council of Roman Catholic Bishops on Monday called on parishes across the country to put pictures of deceased nuns and priests in their churches this Sunday and hold masses for all those killed in the gang-fueled violence.

The call for special celebrations throughout July came after two Jesuit priests and a tour guide were murdered on June 20. Authorities have identified a local gang leader believed to be affiliated with the Sinaloa Cartel as a suspect in the killings. He remains free.

The council also called on the faithful to pray on July 31 for the conversion or redemption of the killers.

Meanwhile, another priest said he was beaten over the weekend in the violence-ridden western state of Michoacan.

Reverend Mateo Calvillo wrote in an open letter that men traveling in another vehicle cut into his car, forcing him to stop, and one of them approached his window and pulled him over. savagely beaten. The priest said he did not know any motive for the June 29 attack in the town of Querendaro, saying the man seemed irrational.

On June 24, the Council of Bishops issued an open letter telling the government that “it is time to revise the failing security policies.”

The two slain priests – Reverend Javier Campos, 79, and Reverend Joaquín Mora, 80 – had spent much of their lives serving the indigenous peoples of the Sierra Tarahumara mountains. The Jesuits were shot in the small church in the town of Cerocahui.

The church’s Catholic Multimedia Center said seven priests have been murdered under the current administration, which took office in December 2018, and at least two dozen during the former president’s six years.

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