3 Missionaries Murdered in 1991 in Peru to Be Beatified

Vatican Says They Were Killed ‘in Hatred of the Faith’

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Three missionaries murdered in Peru in 1991 will be beatified.

A week ago, the Vatican announced that Polish Order of Friars Minor Conventual Michael Tomaszek and Zbigniew Strazalkowski, along with Italian diocesan priest Father Alessandro Dordi, were killed “in hatred of the faith” and would become blessed, reported Fides.

While attending to the sick in their parish in Pariacoto, Fathers Michael Tomaszek and Sbigneo Strzałkowski, 30 and 32, were killed on Aug. 9, 1991, after being abducted in front of their many parishioners.

After Fr. Alessandro Dordi celebrated Mass on Sunday Aug. 25, 1991, and was returning from the Vinzos community to his parish in Santa, he was murdered.

Monsignor Luis Armando Bambarén Gastelumendi, bishop emeritus of Chimbote and former president of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference, opened the cause of beatification of the three victims.

In a statement sent to Fides from Peru, Father Angelo Paleri, postulator of the Friars Minor, explained, “At the time, the Shining Path guerillas in the area had created a kind of parallel government, this meant the integration of existing authorities and the elimination of elements that were against this purpose.”

Attached to the cause of beatification, the report of the “Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación” describes the terrible actions committed by the Shining Path guerillas against the Church.

With satisfaction, the editorial of the Journal of the Shining Path announced, “the Maoist forces have murdered three priests.”

The same editorial said the two Polish priests were part of a conspiracy that “seeks to exploit religious faith of the people to strengthen the system of oppression in the country,” when in fact the priests were distributing the aid of Caritas as agents sent by the Pope.

The Vatican announced the beatification Feb. 3, the same day it announced that of Archbishop Oscar Romero.

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ZENIT Staff

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