Attacks on Priest Continues
|Missing Priest, Rev. Gregorio Lopez Gorostieta|
Borderland Beat posted by DD from AP, and ABC News and Sin Embargo
Dozens of Roman Catholic priests and hundreds of parishioners marched through the southern Mexico city of Ciudad Altamirano on Wednesday to demand the release of a kidnapped priest and protest a series of kidnappings, killings and robberies of priests.
The marchers were led by Bishop Maximino Martinez and about 30 white-robed priests. They called for the release of the Rev. Gregorio Lopez Gorostieta, who apparently was kidnapped from a local seminary early Monday morning by a group of four armed persons who entered the Catholic seminary that morning.
|Bishop Maximino Martinez|
On Monday when the Bishop issued the call for the Wednesday march, the church also used social media to spread the message;
“To the whole people of God on pilgrimage to the diocese of Ciudad Altamirano, they are told of the disappearance of the father Gregorio Lopez Gorostieta, on the night of Sunday December 21, so at this time what is important is to unite us all in prayer with the confidence that he is okay. If anyone has information that can help locate him please call the seminar”.
In his call for the faithful to join the march, he also said called for an end to the violence in Tierra Caliente and for the release of Father Gregorio. He also said he does not think that there is any direct problem against the priests, in spite of the cases that have happened in last years, “ because we devote ourselves to serve the people either God, to preach the gospel, we do not do anything more, our work is the redemption of the person ”.
He added that "on the occasion of Christmas, it is very important that we manifest in the march that we call for peace for our country, and to set aside all this atmosphere of violence".
"Enough Already!" and "Return Father Gregorio!" read banners carried by the marchers, who sang hymns as they marched to the city's cathedral.
"Enough, is the cry of all the bishops of Mexico and the diocese. Enough of those who provoke lawlessness, corruption, impunity of complicity and indifference while all they have done to provoke violence, fear and disappearance, 'the document says.
|seminary in Ciudad Altamirano, Mexico|
Lopez Gorostieta's pickup truck was found abandoned and locked near the main plaza which is also near the seminary, but no blood stains were found inside. The church has filed a crime report with police, but the motive remains unclear.
"We haven't received any demand for ransom," said Martinez, who noted his diocese "has suffered a lot" from the drug cartel violence that has made the hotlands region of southern Guerrero state one of the most dangerous in all of Mexico.
At least two priests have been killed in Guerrero state this year and several others have been abducted, robbed or wounded in robbery attempts.