Bodies of Jesuit priests found in Mexico, pope decries violence

by | Jun 23, 2022 | World

The Jesuit order has said the elderly priests were trying to defend a man fleeing an attacker when they were killed.Authorities have found the bodies of two Jesuit priests fatally shot in Mexico in violence condemned by Pope Francis.
The Jesuit order had previously said the two priests, Javier Campos, 79, and Joaquin Mora, 81, had been fatally shot in the town of Cerocahui in the northern state of Chihuahua on Monday “while trying to defend a man who was seeking refuge” from a pursuer. The fleeing man, identified as tour guide Pedro Palma, was also killed.
Authorities said the bodies had been moved from the scene of the attack but were recovered on Wednesday.
“We’ve found and recovered … the bodies of the Jesuit priests Javier Campos, Joaquin Mora and the tour guide Pedro Palma,” Chihuahua Governor Maria Eugenia Campos said in a video posted to social media.
The identity of the victims was confirmed by forensic experts, while the state prosecutor’s office announced a reward of $250,000 for information leading to the capture of the alleged murderer. Authorities have identified as a suspect a 30-year-old man already wanted over the murder of an American tourist in 2018.
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Speaking at the end of his weekly audience at the Vatican on Wednesday, Pope Francis, who is also a Jesuit, called the priests his “brothers”.
“So many murders in Mexico. I am close, in affection and pray …

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