Priest Killed in Colombia

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VILLAVICENCIO, Colombia, SEPT. 30, 2009 ( The archbishop of Villavicencio is decrying the violent death of Father Oscar Cardozo, who was strangled last Sunday afternoon in his residence.

Archbishop Oscar Urbina Ortega lamented the “culture of violence that is spreading in our region” and which does not even spare the lives of “ministers of the Lord.”

Father Cardozo, 57, had been pastor at the parish where he was killed since 2003. He was found by members of the parish who went to his house to look for him when he did not arrive for one of the Sunday Masses.

The archbishop’s statement affirmed: “In face of this deed which saddens us profoundly, we affirm the inalienable value of life as ‘each life is unrepeatable, each person is irreplaceable, each death is irreversible.’ No one has a right over the life of his brothers but God alone, who says to us: I hear the blood of your brother that cries to me from the earth.

“Supported by the Lord of life and conqueror of death, and in the midst of our grief, we will continue to defend, love, protect and celebrate life.”

The police have offered a reward for information leading to those responsible for the crime.

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