Murder of priest will not stop the work of the Church on the Mexican border, says bishop

Bishop Renato Ascencio León of Juarez, Mexico, together with the clergy of his diocese, has published a statement lamenting the murder of a priest in the area, but adding that violence will not stop the work of the Church in the region.

In the statement, Bishop Leon expressed his profound grief at “the devious murder of our brother, Fr. Ramon Navarrete Islas, another dramatic manifestation of the insecurity, violence and culture of death that marks our daily life.”

At the same time, he reaffirmed “our faith and our hope in the Lord of life and of history, and we confirm our decision to continue struggling to bring about a new heaven and a new earth where justice abides, uniting ourselves with those praised in Scripture for loving life so much that they did not fear their own deaths.”

The bishop expressed his solidarity with the family of the victim and with “all families in our diocese that have suffered the loss of a loved one because of violence and the lack of security.”

Likewise, he thanked the parishes for “the affection, understanding and support which they have continuously shown us.  May they know that despite our failings and human weaknesses, a sincere desire of brotherly service towards all of you spurs us on, as a sign of our faithfulness to the Lord, who has called us to work with Him in the building of the Kingdom of God, in the here and now of our Diocese of Juarez.”

Bishop Leon called on authorities for a “full investigation into this case and all those that are unresolved, quick and expedited justice and a definitive halt to impunity.”

Lastly, he prayed that “the peace of Christ reign in the hearts of each and every man and woman of good will that seeks to build a more just, fraternal and unified society in our diocese.”

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