Crozier of Murdered Mexican Prelate Placed in Rome Church

Ceremony in Remembrance of Cardinal Posadas of Guadalajara

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ROME, SEPT. 28, 2005 ( The crozier of murdered Mexican Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo was placed in the chapel dedicated to Latin America’s martyrs, in the Church of St. Bartholomew on Rome’s Tiberina Island.

Monday’s ceremony was presided over by Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, the murdered prelate’s successor as archbishop of Guadalajara, and attended by Mexican bishops who are on their “ad limina” visit to Rome. Ambassadors of Latin American countries to the Holy See also attended.

Auxiliary Bishop Ramón Castro of Yucatan described the ceremony as “extremely significant for the whole of Mexico.”

Cardinal Posadas was killed, purportedly by drug traffickers, on May 24, 1993, shot 14 times in the chest, in an exchange of fire at the Guadalajara airport, when he was on his way to welcome the papal nuncio.

Since the Jubilee Year 2000, a large icon on the central altar of St. Bartholomew Church has been dedicated to the memory of the martyrs and testimonies of faith of the 20th century.

Opposed drug trafficking

This homage to recent “martyrs” — although many of them have still to be officially recognized as such by the Church — is an initiative of the Community of Sant’Egidio.

Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Sant’Egidio Community, wrote that “the cardinal was known for his commitment against drugs: He had repeatedly condemned organized crime and traffickers. His death manifested the arrogance of the drug traffickers and the situation of violence that the city was living through.”

“The cardinal was a pastor and was formed during the harsh years for religious freedom in Mexico, when there was a clandestine seminary in his aunt’s house,” recalled Riccardi.

“He was one of the promoters of the beatification of the Mexican martyrs and not long before his death, had attended their canonization,” explained Riccardi, a historian. “Cardinal Posadas represents those Christians who opposed the mafia culture and practice. In fact, he was killed by drug traffickers.”

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