Venezuelan Bishop Mariano Parra Sandoval of Ciudad Guayana issued a statement this week in response to the murder of Father Esteban Wood, 75, in the town of Unares. The prelate expressed his sorrow, saying that the wave of violence and crime in Venezuela only has one solution: “love and forgiveness for all.”
After expressing his “profound sorrow and emotion for the vile murder of our brother priest,” Bishop Parra thanked “the entire parish community and all the people of Unares and Guayana for the affection they showed to Father Esteban Wood.”
“According to the results of the autopsy and police investigation, we can confirm that this crime was committed by more than one person,” the bishop said. However, “love and forgiveness for all, including for one’s enemies, is the only solution to overcoming the violence that is wiping out our people,” he added.
“That same love also demands justice and reparation so that evil is not perpetuated. For this reason, we demand that the competent officials fully investigate this crime and not allow it to go unpunished, as unfortunately occurs with the vast majority of homicides committed in our country,” the bishop warned.
He then exhorted Venezuelans to join in the “Walk for Life and for the Family” that the diocese has organized for Saturday, May 8.