Mexican bishops plead for peace, call violence a ‘national crisis’

by David Agren  |  published on November 14, 2014

The Mexican bishops’ conference issued an impassioned plea for peace and an end to the bloodshed in a country consumed with the crisis of 43 teacher trainees allegedly captured by crooked cops, killed by organized crime and burned.

“With sadness we recognize that the situation of the country has worsened” — since 2010, when the bishops published a pastoral letter on violence — “unleashing a true national crisis,” the bishops said Nov. 12 during their semiannual planning sessions in suburban Mexico City. “Many people live subjected to fear, finding themselves helpless against the threats of criminal groups and, in some cases, the regrettable corruption of the authorities.

The same day, at the end of his general audience at the Vatican, Pope Francis said he wanted to express to the Mexicans present in St. Peter’s Square, “but also to those in your homeland, my spiritual closeness at this painful time.” While the students are legally missing, “we know they were killed,” the pope said. Their disappearance and deaths “make visible the dramatic reality that exists behind the sale and trafficking of drugs.”

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