Tag: Priest

Priest Shot Dead While Hearing Confessions In Mexico, Second Cleric Murdered In Country In 5 Days

Priest Shot Dead While Hearing Confessions In Mexico, Second Cleric Murdered In Country In 5 Days

Father Juan Miguel Contreras Garcia, 33, was shot dead late Friday in Tlajomulco de Zuniga by unidentified attackers in his parish office, reportedly while hearing a confession.

We make an urgent call to build a culture of peace and reconciliation. These lamentable events call all of us to a much deeper and sincere conversion. It is time to look honestly at our culture and society, and to ask ourselves why we have lost respect for life and for the sacred,” said Cardinal José Francisco Robles Ortega, the Archbishop of Guadalajara.

The cardinal asked the Catholic faithful to accompany their priests with prayer and in the pastoral service to the communities entrusted to them.

“We ask those who despise and take their lives for any reason to allow themselves to be seen by the loving face of God; and to get rid of not only weapons, but hatred, resentment, revenge, and all destructive emotions,” Robles Ortega said in an April 20 statement.

The cardinal also called on the authorities to investigate the crime and not allow it – and other crimes in Mexico – to go unpunished.

According to the Catholic Multimedia Center, at least four priests have been slain in Mexico this year, and 23 have been murdered since 2012.

On Wednesday 18 April, Father Ruben Alcantara Diaz was stabbed to death in his church on the outskirts of Mexico City.

Blood In The Church! Mexican Priest Murdered On His Way To Mass

Blood In The Church! Mexican Priest Murdered On His Way To Mass

The Mexican Church is again in mourning

Few minutes before officiating a 6:30 p.m. Mass, father Rubén Alcántara Díaz (50 years old) was murdered Wednesday as he made his way inside the Nuestra Señora del Carmen church, located in Cuautitlán Izcalli, State of Mexico (north of Mexico City, on the outskirts of the metropolis).

A few minutes later, municipal and state police officers arrived at the scene and cordoned off the area, located between Miraluna and Miramar streets in the Cumbria neighborhood. The Attorney General’s Office of the State of Mexico has begun their investigation.


The vicious attack came with no apparent reason.

Eye witness accounts are still contradictory. However, according to the neighbors of the temple, Father Alcántara walked to the temple in conversation with two parishioners. As he was about to enter the parish, he was unexpectedly attacked by two alleged criminals armed with knives. The assailants stabbed the priest several times, which resulted in his death.

The Catholic Multimedial Center (CCM), an organization that has dedicated itself to denouncing the assassinations of priests and the violence against them which occurs unceasingly in the Mexican nation, lamented the assassination of Father Alcántara and recalled that so far in the six-year term in charge of President Enrique Peña Nieto, 22 priests have been murdered.

“With deep sadness we report the murder of Father Rubén Alcántara Díaz, who was Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of Izcalli. Unfortunately with the death of Father Alcántara, there are already 22 priests killed so far in the present administration,” the CCM published on their social networks.

The CMM reported that there was no immediate explanation for the murder. The priest was seen arguing with his killer prior to the attack, who fled the scene quickly afterward. CMM has previously commented that Mexico leads Latin America in the killing of clergy.

Count of horrors

The last deadly attack on Mexican priests happened in the State of Guerrero, on February 5, when Father Germaín Muñiz García, 39, of Mártir de Cuilapan, was gunned down along with Father Iván Añorve Jaimes, 37 years old, originally from Acapulco.

In 2017, four priests were killed. Father Felipe Altamirano Carrillo, indigenous priest of the premature Nayar, in Nayarit; Father Joaquín Hernández, from the Diocese of Saltillo; Father Luis López Villa, 73 years old, from the diocese of Nezahualcóyotl; and Father José Miguel Machorro, who was brutally attacked with a knife, after celebrating Mass in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City.

Since the current Mexican administration began, in 2012, Mexico has witnessed the murder of 22 priests. With three murders in the first four months of 2018, this year is proving, once again, to be a terrible year for the priesthood in Mexico, a nation which boasts the second largest number of Catholics in the world.

May the soul of Father Rubén Alcántara Díaz, and souls of all the fateful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace, Amen. 

What Is the Difference Between a Friar, a Monk and a Priest?

What Is the Difference Between a Friar, a Monk and a Priest?

These are somewhat flexible terms; popularly they are all understood to involve a life of sacrifice and poverty. But while all variation of priesthoods may be equivalent, their vocations are not exactly alike, except in that they are meant to live their lives in service. A priest may be monastic, or religious, or “secular” (also called “diocesan”), but they are all clergy.

A priest in the Catholic Church is a man who has received the sacrament of Holy Orders and has therefore undertaken the duties of celebrating the Sacrifice of the Mass, hearing confession, giving absolution and other sacraments “in persona Christi” and to perform other duties of pastoral ministry and, sometimes, administration.

A priest may be connected to a diocese or to a religious order, or to a monastic house (an abbey or priory/convent). All priests, whether diocesan or religious, address celibacy and obedience to their superiors:

* A diocesan priest promises solemn obedience to his bishop.
* A religious priest (like a Dominican or Franciscan) vows obedience to his superior, usually called a “provincial.”
* A monastic priest vows obedience to his abbot (if living in an abbey) or prior (in a priory).

Diocesan priests do not take vows (or promises) to poverty and maypossess and inherit property.

Priests vowed to a religious order (like the Franciscans, Dominicans, etc) or a monastic community (like the Benedictines or Cistercians) do make vows of poverty, surrendering any income they generate through their works to their superiors. So a Dominican writer earning profits from his books will turn those royalty checks over to the Order of Preachers. A Trappist writer will turn his earnings over to his abbot or prior, for the benefit of the whole community.

The word “friar” is from fraire (from the Middle Ages — the fraire Provençal), which means “brother.” The word arose with the creation of the mendicant (traveling/preaching) orders in the late Middle Ages, most predominantly by Saint Francis (Franciscans) of Assisi and Saint Dominic (Order of Preachers, or “Dominicans”). These “new religious” were no longer tied to monasteries and convents but went out among the people, to preach and to pray, to educate and to serve the sick.

A priest who is part of a mendicant religious order is also a friar; a priest who is part of a conventual/monastic community (contemplative/stationary) is also a monk. But monks and friars need not be priests. Some monks and friars discern their vocations as religious, content to simply be brothers within their order or community; they do not pursue the priesthood.

The word “monk” comes from the Latin monachus, a word for hermits, rooted in a meaning of “solitude.” It is related to the emergence of the first experiences of contemplative men and women, such as the Desert Fathers and Mothers. Saint Benedict of Nursia (480-547) is considered the founder of Western Monasticism.

Finally, it is possible for a priest to be neither “secular”, nor “friar”, nor “monk” but still be a religious. A Jesuit priest (Society of Jesus), or a Pauline priest (Society of Saint Paul), or a Salesian priest (Society of St. Francis de Sales, aka Salesians of Don Bosco) is fully a priest and will make the same vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to their religious superiors, just like friars and monks, but they are simply priests of their respective communities.

Catholic Priest Murdered In Berlin Germany 

Catholic Priest Murdered In Berlin Germany 

Padre Alain-Florent Gandoulou (center)

Berliners mourn death of African priest Alain-Florent Gandoulou.

A popular Francophone African Catholic priest killed in his Berlin bureau, Alain-Florent Gandoulou, has been mourned at a Church Mass. German media say the suspected assailant was from Cameroon.

Deutschland Berlin - Charlottenburg: Pfarrer tot im Büro gefunden (picture-alliance/dpa/P. Zinken)

Berlin’s French-speaking Catholic community held funeral rites for Padre Gandoulou on Sunday February 26, in the city’s St. Thomas Aquinas church, still shocked by the 54-year-old’s violent death on Thursday night.

The Berlin police discovered a lifeless body shortly before midnight, after a phone call from a witness on Thursday night reporting a violent dispute between two men speaking in French inside the Catholic pastoral office. This happened shortly after choir practice according to the eyewitness.

 

The investigation is ongoing and a motive had not yet been established, according to a police spokeswoman quoted by the Protestant church news agency EPD.

Father Gandoulou had been beaten on the head with office objects and was then stabbed in the head with the tip of an umbrella, Germany’s tabloid newspaper Bild reported.

In his home country, Brazzanews described his death as a possible assassination, in connection with a long-standing insurgency in Congo’s Pool region.

Father Gandoulou, a graduate of Bonn University, had been named as a possible future bishop in Congo, it added.

Screenshot der Seite Brazzanews.fr zum Tod von Alain Florent Gandoulou (Brazzanews.fr )

In Berlin, Gandoulou’s pastoral work included counselling refugees.

Suspect in psychiatric detention

A suspect, a 26-year-old man from Cameroon, was found on Friday in the attic of an apartment house in another Berlin district, Reinickendorf, and was taken to a psychiatric institution, according to police. 

The priest’s remains was found inside this building

Gandoulou's body was found inside this Charlottenburg-Berlin building

The Berliner Zeitung (BZ) quoted community member Joachim Moche: “Our priest was always there for us. He brought with him the power to believe and conveyed it to the community. He baptised my son. I am so sad.”

The Francophone pastorate is part of Berlin’s Catholic bishopric and caters for 10,000 French nationals and many thousands of Francophone residents from around the world, according to the Catholic news agency KNA.

‘Very sad moment’

At Sunday’s Mass, the Berlin bishopric’s Vicar General Father Manfred Kolling described Gandoulou’s sudden death as a “very sad moment” and extended condolences from all Berlin Catholics.

Already on Friday, numerous mourners of African origin had gathered outside the church to mourn their highly popular priest public Berlin-Brandenburg broadcasting (RBB) had reported.

Popular in Berlin

Gandoulou was born in Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo in 1963. He was ordained as a priest in 1991 and was awarded his doctorate at Bonn University’s theological faculty in 2008.

His topic was “the Battle for Truth and Justice,” focused on the Congolese priest and journalist, Louis Badila, between 1962 and 1990.

In 2009 Gandoulou was assigned to lead the pastoral mission of Berlin’s Paroisse Catholique Francophone, established in 1945.

Brazzanews said he was a keen exponent of music and the arts.

Eternal rest grant unto Padre Alain-Florent Gandoulou oh Lord, and let your perpetual light shine upon him, may his Soul rest in peace. Amen. 

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