By Devin Watkins
Two young gunmen entered the Church of the Immaculate Conception as a formation course for new catechists was wrapping up.
They began shooting at random. One bullet struck Margeli Lang Antonio. She died on the spot.
The attack took place on Saturday in the town of Acacoyagua, in Mexico’s southern Chiapas State.
Bishop Jaime Calderon, the local bishop of Tapachula, expressed his closeness to the woman’s family and called on authorities to investigate the incident.
He told Fides News Agency that the violence demonstrates “social and moral degradation”.
At a press conference on Sunday, Bishop Calderon blamed such social decay on “a lack of integral health of local communities.”
“When there is no work, rampant injustice, impunity, excessive greed, when a price is put on human life and everything revolves around money,” he said, “the result is that anything can be bought and the rich command.”
According to the Catholic Multimedia Center, violence against the Catholic Church in Mexico, and against priests in particular, is carried out with the aim of “social destabilization”.
The Center’s Director, Fr. Omar Sotelo Aguilar, SSP, says the Church stands up for people’s rights, putting it in direct opposition to organized crime.
Killing a priest or terrorizing a church, Fr. Aguilar says, destabilizes the community and creates a culture of silence that allows corruption to flourish and cartels to operate with impunity.
Separately, two Catholic students were killed in similarly violent circumstances over the past couple of weeks.
Hugo Leonardo Avendaño Chávez and Norberto Ronquillo were kidnapped, tortured, and strangled to death.
Mexico’s Bishops have openly called on the government to get to the root of the security crisis that is gripping the country.