23rd priest killed while hearing confession
Another Catholic priest has killed was Friday 20 April in the west-central Mexican state of Jalisco – the second priest murdered within one week in the country. The Mexican Bishops’ Conference said Fr Juan Miguel Contreras Garcia, 33, was performing the sacrament of penance when attacked at a parish in Tlajomulco de Zuniga, on the outskirts of Guadalajara. Fr Garcia became a priest just two years ago.
The Jalisco state prosecutor’s office said two men entered the sacristy, fired directly at the priest and then fled in a car. Fr Garcia suffered multiple gunshot wounds, and paramedics who arrived at the scene were unable to keep him alive.
The attack, which took place immediately after the celebration of Holy Mass, is the latest in a series of attacks against priests in Mexico. Father Ruben Alcantara Diaz was attacked only two days before on 18 April just as he was due to say evening Mass at Our Lady of Carmen Parish in Cuautitlan Izcalli.
The day after Fr Garcia was killed, Mexico’s bishops launched an urgent appeal for a culture of peace and reconciliation.