Pope shocked by killing of Jesuit priests in Mexico


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Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned the killing of two Jesuit priests and a lay person in Mexico, saying it was a shocking reminder of the level of violence in the country.

“So many killings in Mexico,” Francis said at the end of his general audience for thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square.

The state prosecutor’s office in Chihuahua, along the U.S. border, said three people were killed in the town of Cerocahui after a man took refuge in a church to protect himself from an attack.

Two of the victims were Jesuit priests, the same religious order to which the pope belongs.

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Pope Francis is helped by his aide Monsignor Leonardo Sapienza, left, as he walks with a cane to his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square at The Vatican on June 1, 2022. Pope Francis added fuel to rumors about the future of his pontificate on Saturday by announcing he would visit the central Italian city of L’Aquila in August for a feast initiated by Pope Celestine V, one of the few pontiffs who resigned before Pope Benedict XVI stepped down in 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File)
((AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, File))

“I also express my pain and shock over the killing in Mexico the day before yesterday of two religious brothers of mine, Jesuits, and one lay person,” Francis said.

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“I am close in prayer and affection to the Catholic community hit by this tragedy. Once more I repeat that violence does not resolve problems but increases episodes of suffering,” he said.

Pope Francis holds his homily during  a Mass on  the Solemnity of the Epiphany at St. Peter's Basilica on Jan. 6, 2022, in Vatican City, Vatican. 

Pope Francis holds his homily during  a Mass on  the Solemnity of the Epiphany at St. Peter’s Basilica on Jan. 6, 2022, in Vatican City, Vatican. 
(AleVatican Pool/Getty Images)

The bodies of the three were taken away by a group of men in the back of a pickup truck, Luis Gerardo Moro, head of the Jesuits in Mexico, said in a radio interview.

Cross necklace hanging in front of a window

Cross necklace hanging in front of a window
(do seongyun via Getty Images)

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The two priests worked at the church in the small town in the Sierra Tarahumara mountain chain, home to the Raramuri indigenous group and the site of increasing cartel violence.



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