The Bishops of Mexico announced this week they would be praying for the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Holy Spirit that drug traffickers in the country would abandon violence, after police interrupted a Mass this week in order to capture a renowned drug lord.
“We continue to implore the Holy Spirit to move our hearts in these times in which doubt and uncertainty are devastating our country. Sustained by our faith, we have the firm hope of building a Mexico of peace, justice and harmony,” the bishops’ conference said in a statement.
They also expressed their “support and solidarity” for Bishop Miguel Patino Velazquez of Apatzingan and for the priests and faithful of his diocese, “which has suffered the consequences of drug trafficking violence in that region.”
The Diocese of Apatzingan was the scene of a police raid on a Catholic church during a Mass celebrating the fifteenth birthday for the daughter of Miguel Angel Beraza, who is one of the biggest leaders of the Michoacan drug cartel.
Bishop Patino Velazquez expressed his support for the “fight against organized crime, but with respect for human rights and without violating the religious right to attend church.”
He also called on citizens involved in organized crime to “abandon their illegitimate acts and come to the Church and begin their re-conversion to Christ, in obedience to the law.”
Federal police officials have apologized to the Bishops’ Conference of Mexico for the police raid in Apatzingan, which took place at the parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.