Guadalajara (Agenzia Fides) – “We make an urgent appeal to build a culture of peace and reconciliation. These latest deplorable events call every one of us to profound and sincere conversion of heart. It is time to look honestly at our culture and our society and to ask ourselves: how did we lose respect for life and for the faith”. With these words Cardinal José Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of Guadalajara and President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Mexico (CEM), together with Bishop Alfonso G. Miranda Guardiola, auxiliary of Monterrey and CEM Secretary, express “deep pain, sadness and consternation” regarding the murder of yet another priest, Fr. Juan Miguel Contreras García of the archdiocese of Guadalajara.
In the evening of 20 April Fr. Juan Miguel Contreras García, aged 33, recently ordained a priest, was shot dead at the end the Holy Mass he had just celebrated in the parish of S. Pio da Pietrelcina in Tlajomulco, Jalisco state, having taken the place of another priest who recently received death threats. According to eyewitnesses, the commando broke into the church headed for the sacristy and shot the priest dead.
In the report to Fides, the Bishops of Mexico ask the Catholic faithful “to support our priests with prayers especially in pastoral service in the communities entrusted to them”, and the Bishops ask “those who despise and destroy life for any even trivial reason to open their hearts to the loving kindness of God, so they may lay down not only their weapons, but also resentment, revenge and all destructive sentiments ”. Lastly “we urge our competent authorities once again to undertake in-depth investigations to clarify the facts in conformity with justice to ensure that this and any crime in our country does not go unpunished”. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 24/04/2018)