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CBCP Photo - COURTESY OF ILSA REYES

Philippines: Third Priest Murdered in Past Six Months

Fr. Richmond Nilo was Preparing for Mass on June 10 When Shot

Fr. Richmond Nilo was gunned down while he was about to celebrate Mass in the chapel of Brgy. Mayamot, Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija, Philippines on Sunday, June 10, 2018. Fr. Nilo is the third priest to be murdered in the recent months, after Fr. Tito Paez in December last year, and Fr. Mark Ventura in April.

Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said the killing of Fr. Richmond Nilo is nothing but an “outrageously evil act!” His comments were reported in CBCP News, the Bishops’ news service.

“We make our appeal once again to the police authorities to act swiftly in the investigation and to go after the perpetrators of this heinous crime and bring them to justice,” Valles said.

The archbishop lamented that the recent attacks against church people happen in the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons.

The attack happened just four days after Fr. Rey Urmeneneta, a former police chaplain, survived an assassination attempt in Calamba City on June 6.

Nilo, 43, was the parish priest of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Zaragoza town and, at the same time, the Financial Administrator of the Diocese of Cabanatuan.

Aside from serving vital positions, he was also known for his active involvement in the apostolate for the deaf and mute in the diocese.

 

CBCP statement on the killing of Fr. Richmond Nilo

Beloved People of God,

We are deeply saddened and terribly disturbed that another priest is brutally killed. Fr. Richmond Nilo, parish priest of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in the Diocese of Cabanatuan was gunned down and died on the spot early evening yesterday inside the barangay chapel of Mayamot, Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija, just as he was about to celebrate the Sunday Holy Mass.

We strongly condemn this outrageously evil act!

We pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Fr. Nilo. We also offer our prayer for his bereaved family. We join in prayer Bp. Sofronio Bancud, SSS, the clergy, the religious, and the lay faithful of the Diocese of Cabanatuan as they face the brutal death of their own priest at the hand of bloody murderers in this time when the whole Philippine Church is celebrating 2018 as the Year of the Clergy & Consecrated Persons.

Fr. Nilo is the third Catholic priest to be murdered in the recent months. Fr. Tito Paez in December 2017, Fr. Mark Anthony Ventura in April 2018.

We make our appeal once again to the police authorities to act swiftly in the investigation and to go after the perpetrators of this heinous crime and bring them to justice. O Merciful Lord! Have pity on us!

For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines

(Sgd) +Romulo G. Valles
Archbishop of Davao
CBCP President
June 11, 2018

 

 

 

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