Fathers Javier Campos Morales and Joaquín César Mora Salazar had served as Jesuit priests for nearly a century combined. The gunmen who carried out the June 20 attack on the church in Cerocahui, Chihuahua also took their bodies.
According to the Chihuahua State Attorney General’s Office, both priests tried to protect a person who sought refuge in the church while being chased by at least one other man, both armed, El Sol de Mexico newspaper reported. The chaser reportedly shot and killed all three men.
Luis Gerardo Moro Madrid SJ, Provincial of the Jesuits of Mexico, condemned the killings and said they are “working with the federal and state authorities to ensure the safety” of the parish’s two remaining priests.
Pope Francis expressed his sorrow at the death of the priests in an appeal at the end of his Wednesday general audience.
He also said he is praying for victims of a powerful earthquake in Afghanistan, which struck just after 1:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday.
At least 920 people have been killed, and hundreds injured, according to Taliban officials, the BBC reported.
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