The Bishops’ Conference of Mexico has denounced media reports accusing the Church of “recognizing the kindness of drug lords,” saying the Catholic Church does not support “the conduct and actions of drug traffickers; on the contrary, she condemns it and will continue doing so because it is an attack on life and on the good of Mexico.”
The accusations against the Church came after statements made by Bishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Texcoco during Lent, in which he called for the conversion of all Catholics and especially of drug traffickers, some of whom, he said, have come to the Church asking for support with the intention of changing their lives.”
In response, the Bishops’ Conference issued a statement lamenting that “militants of some political parties, social organizations and the intellectual class” have made comments on “a issue as delicate as that of the call to change one’s life” without knowing the context of Bishop Aguiar’s statements.
The statement pointed out that Bishop Aguiar was asked by a journalist if drug lords could be converted, to which he replied that even though some want to, “current legislation does not encourage such change,” and therefore many prefer to remain as they are although others “risk their own lives by accepting the call to conversion.”
The bishops’ also noted that while Bishop Aguiar did say that “many drug traffickers are welcomed in their places of origin” because “they have provided services to the people there,” what he never said was that “the Catholic Church had received donations from drug traffickers.”
The Church has always exhorted those who have strayed from the path of goodness, “especially those who have fallen into drug use and the drug trafficking network, to change their ways,” the statement said.
Therefore, “the idea that the Church would seek out and promote repentance, forgiveness, unity, peace, stability and the overcoming of conflicts should not concern or scandalize us,” the bishops said, especially in Mexico, where “there are urgent needs for justice and reconciliation, as well as for an end to impunity”.