Two Jesuits Murdered in Mexico While Offering Protection to Person Fleeing Armed Gunman
BY ISN STAFF | June 21, 2022
Jesuit Fathers Javier Campos Morales and Joaquín César Mora Salazar, were killed on June 21 inside the church of the community of Cerocahui, Chihuahua. Media reports state that Frs. Morales and Salazar were killed while trying to protect someone who sought refuge inside the church from an armed individual.
“We condemn these violent acts; we demand justice and the recovery of the bodies of our brothers who were taken from the church by armed individuals,” declared a statement from the Jesuit’s Mexican Province based in Mexico City (the full statement can be found below).
Fr. Arturo Sosa, Superior General of the Society of Jesus expressed sorrow in response to the news of the murdered Jesuits, according to a statement released by the Jesuit Curia in Rome via Twitter. “I am shocked and saddened by this news,” he said. “My thoughts and prayers are with the Jesuits in Mexico and the families of the men. We have to stop violence in our world and so much unnecessary suffering.”
Mexico has become one of the most dangerous places for Catholic ministers in the world in recent years. In 2018, media reports declared the country the most dangerous place for Catholic priests. Data shows that Catholic religious and lay leaders remain at risk to this day. While no Jesuit has been killed in Mexico in recent years, the Jesuit order is well aware of the risks of Catholic ministry in the region. Since 1973, more than a dozen Jesuits have been killed in Central and South America, including the six Jesuits who were murdered, along with two lay woman companions, at the campus of the Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas in San Salvador, El Salvador, in 1989. The Ignatian Solidarity Network commemorates the deaths of these and other modern Catholic martyrs each year at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice.
It’s a sad moment to all of us who believe life is sacred and a precious gift. Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord and let your perpetual light shine upon Fathers Javier Campos Morales and Joaquín César Mora. Strength and courage to all their loved ones.