Archbishop Jose Luis Chavez Botello of Antequera-Oaxaca issued a statement this week condemning the murder of Father Salvador Carlos and calling for reconciliation in Mexico.
In his message, the archbishop noted that the death of the elderly priest, who was tortured and killed during a robbery, “is just one of so many instances” showing “how much our society has deteriorated.”
“Whether out of ambition, necessity or hunger, people are being robbed, corruption is on the rise … and murders are taking place,” the archbishop stated. "A group of people were willing to beat and hang an elderly 82-year-old priest at his office in the parish of Our Lady of the Snows just to rob him. The society of Oaxaca has felt the impact and is hurt and outraged over this murder,” he added.
Archbishop Chavez underscored that the Church promotes reconciliation, peace and authentic justice, despite many false accusations and attacks on her freedom to exercise her mission. “From this painful experience we want to hear what God is telling us and what God is asking of all Catholics, especially the priests of this diocesan church because only from God and with God will we be able to remake ourselves and raise up our society,” he said.
For this reason, reconciliation is an urgent need that is “no longer an option, but rather a question of survival,” the archbishop said, urging that Mexicans struggle to overcome their resentment, hatred and feelings of vengeance, so “our wounds can be healed from within.”