A priest on the outskirts of Guadalajara has been murdered, the second priest in a week killed in Mexico.
Father Juan Miguel Contreras Garcia, 33, was shot dead late Friday in Tlajomulco de Zuniga by unidentified attackers in his parish office, reportedly while hearing a confession.
“We make an urgent call to build a culture of peace and reconciliation. These lamentable events call all of us to a much deeper and sincere conversion. It is time to look honestly at our culture and society, and to ask ourselves why we have lost respect for life and for the sacred,” said Cardinal José Francisco Robles Ortega, the Archbishop of Guadalajara.
The cardinal asked the Catholic faithful to accompany their priests with prayer and in the pastoral service to the communities entrusted to them.
“We ask those who despise and take their lives for any reason to allow themselves to be seen by the loving face of God; and to get rid of not only weapons, but hatred, resentment, revenge, and all destructive emotions,” Robles Ortega said in an April 20 statement.
The cardinal also called on the authorities to investigate the crime and not allow it – and other crimes in Mexico – to go unpunished.
According to the Catholic Multimedia Center, at least four priests have been slain in Mexico this year, and 23 have been murdered since 2012.
On Wednesday, Father Ruben Alcantara Diaz was stabbed to death in his church on the outskirts of Mexico City.