Pope Francis today lent his support to the bishops of Mexico and their efforts to defend the family and life.
After celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Square for the Jubilee of Catechists, the Holy Father mentioned Mexico in his greetings prior to the midday Angelus.
“I am very happy to associate myself with the Bishops of Mexico, in supporting the commitment of the Church and of civil society in favor of the family and of life, which in this time require special pastoral and cultural attention in all the world,” he said.
The Holy Father added, “I assure my prayer for the dear Mexican people, that the violence, which has in recent days reached even several priests, might cease.”
On Saturday, hundreds of thousands marched in Mexico City in defense of marriage and in opposition to President Enrique Peña Nieto’s moves to legalize same-sex marriage.
The march Saturday was a follow-up to Sept. 10 marches held in cities across the nation, which drew more than a million Mexicans to the streets in defense of marriage.
The Pope’s reference to the violence against priests in Mexico came as two priests were found shot dead last Monday.
The Pope’s secretary of state sent the Holy Father’s condolences later in the week to Bishop Trinidad Zapata of Papantla, Mexico, for the killing of the two priests of his diocese, Father Alejo Nabor Jimenez and Father Alfredo Suarez de la Cruz.
Papantla is in the state of Veracruz in central Mexico, on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico.
Also on Monday, Father José Alfredo López Guillen of the state of Michoacán, was kidnapped and it is not known if he is still alive or where he is being held.
The Holy Father’s message urged the clergy and pastoral workers of Papantla to “continue energetically your ecclesial mission despite the obstacles, following the example of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.”