Priest in Mexico hospitalized after being kidnapped, shot

Priest collar Credit alphaspirit via wwwshutterstockcom CNA alphaspirit / Shutterstock

A Mexican priest who had been kidnapped is in the hospital in serious condition after having been discovered released on the side of a highway with four gunshot wounds.

Fr. Roly Candelario Piña Camacho, a Piarist priest from the Diocese of Tlaxcala, was found wounded on the side of the México-Puebla federal highway Jan. 6, the diocese said.

Local media reports did not specify when the priest was kidnapped, but said his family members paid the unspecified ransom request to his captors. He had suffered four gunshot wounds and was transported to a local hospital, where the National Guard is offering protection against further violence, according to reports.

In a Jan. 7 statement, the Diocese of Tlaxcala said that the priest is "in serious condition."

"The Diocese of Tlaxcala expresses its solidarity and spiritual closeness to Father Roly, the Piarist community and his family. We pray for an end to the violence and for human life to be respected," the statement says.

The Mexican bishops called for prayers for the priest's recovery.

"We join in prayer for the swift recovery of Fr. Roly Candelario Sch.p (Piarist) and deeply deplore the violent situation the country is going through," the bishops' conference said on Facebook.

More than two dozen priests have been murdered in Mexico in the past decade, according to the Catholic Multimedia Center, which tracks violence in Mexico.

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