Two Jesuit priests murdered in Mexico
By Benedict Mayaki, SJ
Two Jesuits, Fathers Javier Campos and Joaquín Mora, were killed in Cerocahui, Tarahumara, Mexico on Monday.
Both priests were murdered while they were trying to protect a man who ran into a church in search of refuge while he was fleeing from an armed individual.
Father Luis Gerardo Moro Madrid, SJ, provincial of the Mexico province of the Society of Jesus, announced the sad news in a statement.
“It is with deep pain and a sense of anguish that I inform you that in the afternoon of 20 June, in Cerocahui, Tarahumara, Jesuit Fathers Javier Campos, SJ, and Joaquín Mora, SJ, were murdered while trying to defend a man who was seeking refuge in the church and who was being pursued by an armed person."
The Provincial said that the Jesuits were also working with federal and state authorities for the safety of three other Jesuits: Esteban Cornejo, Jesús Reyes, and Jesús Zaglul; and the pastoral team of the parish.
Father Madrid restated the congregation's public condemnation of the tragedy and demanded "a prompt investigation” as well as “safety for the community," as the murders happened "in the context of the violence that this country is experiencing."
“I ask you to join us in prayer for them,” Fr. Madrid said.
Appeal against violence
The General of the Society of Jesus, Fr. Arturo Sosa, also expressed sorrow upon hearing of the murder of the Jesuits.
"I am shocked and saddened by this news," he said. "My thoughts and prayers are with the Jesuits in Mexico and the families of the men. We have to stop violence in our world and so much unnecessary suffering."