‘They had no defense but their faith in God.’


Catholic dioceses throughout Mexico are condemning the murder of two priests who tried to prevent drug traffickers from killing a man inside their church in Cerocahui, Mexico.

“It is with great sadness and pain that we mourn Father Javier Campos Morales, Father Joaquin Mora Salazar and the man who, unfortunately, lost his life along with them,” the Diocese of the Tarahumara region of Western Chihuahua said in a statement Tuesday.

The diocese said its priests were gunned down inside the church “with no defense but their faith in God” while exercising their duty of aiding a man whose life was in danger.

The diocese said the assassins removed the bodies of the priests from the church and have not been located as of Tuesday morning.

The Chihuahua state police said its operators received a 911 call at 6 p.m. on Monday reporting the murder of three people in Cerocahui, near the regional farming center of Urique. The agency said it has received information that at least one individual pursued a man into the church and shot him and the two priests.

“The state government laments and condemns these violent actions in which two priests became circumstantial victims,” the agency said in a statement.

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Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them …