Pope Francis expressed “sorrow and dismay at the killing, in Mexico the day before yesterday, of two Jesuit religious – my confreres – and a layman.”
“How many killings there are in Mexico!” he said.
The pope offered this lament at the end of the general audience on June 22, at the news of the death Monday of Jesuit Fathers Javier Campos and Joaquín Mora, ages 79 and 80.
They were killed in Cerocahui, Tarahumara, in the state of Chihuahua in northern Mexico, as they were trying to protect a man who ran into a church in search of refuge as he was fleeing from an armed individual. This man was also killed.
“With affection and prayer, I am close to the Catholic community affected by this tragedy. Once again, I repeat that violence does not solve problems, but increases unnecessary suffering,” the pope said.
This area of Mexico is plagued by organized crime.
The leader of the Jesuits, Father Arturo Sosa, shared his sorrow, saying, “We have to stop violence in our world and so much unnecessary suffering.”
According to Fides, three priests were killed in Mexico in 2021, and the death of these two is added to another priest killed earlier this year. More than 30 priests have been murdered in the country in the last 10 years.
A Twitter thread the day after the slaying offered a poignant reminder that the slain priests are not just anonymous victims: