Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 23 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Pio of Pietrelcina
home iconNews
line break icon

In Mexico, a Priest Who Has Received Death Threats Celebrates Mass with a Bulletproof Vest

Vitaly V Kuzmin

Jaime Septién - published on 01/22/14 - updated on 06/08/17

Finally, Father Cortés stated: "It would be a mistake if the federal government were to seek to disarm the self-defense paramilitaries rather than seize the weapons of an organized crime syndicate that does not show its face without first ensuring the security of Michoacan’s population, although,” he clarified, “this is by no means an endorsement of the militias. In fact, we disapprove of unauthorized use of weapons.”

The Priest with the Bulletproof Vest

One person who has become an emblem of ecclesial solidarity with the people of Tierra Caliente is the Rev. Gregorio López, who is Pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption in Apatzingán. Fr. “Goyo,” as he is called, is 46 years old and a native of Apatzingán, and over the past ten years, and has publicly denounced the breakdown that exists in the region of Tierra Caliente. He knows full well that his repudiation of the violence may lead to his death. "To die for a cause such as the freedom of my people is well worth the risk," he said in an interview by the Mexican newspaper, El Universal.

Fr. Goyo has become an reference for those who point to individuals who have stood together with the people in opposition to the Knights Templar, who have devastated the area and terrorized the people, especially the farmers, ranchers and merchants of Tierra Caliente. "Why has this region been invaded by so many drug cartels? It’s the agriculture – avocados put us in the world market, and that means a significant inflow of foreign capital. Drug gangs have enjoyed the support of state governments,” stated Fr. Goyo in the interview, who since October of 2004 has worn a bulletproof vest underneath his cassock while celebrating Mass.

The Fr. Goyo has said that he will support the disarmament of the self-defense groups once the Templars disappear. In the same impromptu interview, Fr. Goyo said the leaders of the self-defense militias are noble people – ranchers and lemon harvesters among them. “That these people are members of a ‘drug cartel’ is a lie concocted by the Templars. They are members of the community who have no civic authority and who do not necessarily know what is in the law books. All they know is that this criminal group has raped their wives, kidnapped their parents, robbed their homes. The government ought to respect what the people decide."

When questioned about his leadership and whether his role could make him a leader of the resistance of the people of Tierra Caliente against drug traffickers, Fr. Goyo acknowledged that his role “is not exercised through arms, but through conscience. Our most powerful weapons are truth, consciousness, and justice. We must make it clear to the people that we are being violated, defiled, and trampled."

  • 1
  • 2
Tags:
LiturgyMexicoVocations
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
ANMOL RODRIGUEZ
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
2
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
3
OUR LADY
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
4
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Pray this Psalm when you successfully recover from an illness
5
SLEEPING
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
6
RESURRECTION
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
7
ORTHODOX COMMUNION
Philip Kosloski
Why do some Eastern Catholics use spoons for Holy Communion?
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.