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Fourteen priests murdered in line of duty this year so far

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
August 12th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

As the most visible face of the Catholic Church, priests stand in harm's way.Fourteen priests have been killed since the beginning of this year. The last such murder took place in the town of Marano, in the Northern Italian Province of Trento.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Of the murders of priests this year, four took place in Colombia. The murder of Jose' Francisco Velez Echeverri on January 16 was after he was found shot to death on the patio outside his home in Buga, near the nation's capital city of Bogota. Neighbors reported that they saw a person ride away from the priest's home on a bike just hours before his body was found.

Police suspect the murder could have resulted from a robbery attempt that went awry. In addition, Father Luis Alfredo Suarez Salazar was killed on February 2 by two unknown assailants in the northern Colombian city of Ocana. The 50-year-old priest was visiting the city on vacation before planning to return to his home Diocese of Villavicencio.

Eighty-four-year-old Father José Ancízar Mejía Palomino was assassinated on February 16 in the central-northern department of Caldas. Father Jose' Valle Bayona was later murdered on May 7.
Two priests were killed in Mexico; Father Jose' Flores Preciado, pastor of the church "María Auxiliadora", was killed in his home in the city of Ensenada, in the region of Baja California on February 5. Also in Mexico, Father Ignacio Cortez Alvarez was murdered last month. Venezuelan Priest Jose' Ramon Mendoza was murdered February 17.

In Canada, Father Louis Bourgeois was attacked on 15 October 15 of last year and later died from his injuries in February. In Haiti, Canadian priest Richard E. Joyal was killed on April 25. In Brazil, Father Elvis Marcelino de Lima was killed July 13.

Asia is the second continent with the highest number of priests killed this year, although figures are much lower than in America. One priest was murdered in India. Father K. J. Thomas on April First, and the other in Syria, Father Francois Murad on June 23.

Africa and Europe tail the list with one priest killed in Tanzania (Evarist Mushi - February, 17) and Fr. Giuseppe Peterlini who was killed in the Italian town of Marano.

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