Church in Medellin Condemns Attack on 2 Priests

MEDELLIN, Colombia, FEB. 6, 2003 ( The Archdiocese of Medellin condemned an attack against two priests and pleaded for calm in the area.

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César Ramírez, director of the archdiocese’s Communications Department, said two assailants were waiting for the priests before the Monday night attack.

Father Carlos Mario González González, pastor of Our Lady of Carmen and rector of the Parish Carmelite School, and Father Luis Ángel Hurtado Henao, parish vicar, were beaten by assailants outside the parish, located in the Bello municipality 10 kilometers (6 miles) north of Medellin, Radio Cadena Nacional reported.

The priests were returning by car to the church, when the two men came up alongside them on a motorcycle. Spokesman Ramírez said the priests were beaten with firearms and had their car set on fire.

Recently the priests had received an anonymous telephone call warning them that «we don’t want you in the neighborhood.»

In a statement issued Tuesday, Archbishop Alberto Giraldo Jaramillo of Medellin lamented the attack and expressed his solidarity with the Bello community in condemning the act.

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