Mexicans protest smear campaign against murdered priests

By Kenya Sinclair

Mexican prosecutors involved in the murdered priests case have suggested the men of God were involved in “questionable behavior,” including drinking alcohol with their murderers and insinuating one was guilty of pedophilia.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – The allegations have sparked outrage by both the Church and the city’s citizens, who believe the prosecutor’s smear campaign was fabricated to perpetuate government-level corruption.

The prosecutor claimed two of the three murdered clerics were drinking with their killers the night they were abducted, while media reports have been suggesting the third priest was last seen with a young boy.

The Catholic Herald reported Father Hugo Valdemar Romero, a spokesman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Mexico City, stated: “In these cases it has become clear that state governments that cannot handle the drug cartels are criminalizing the victims, depicting some as drunks and another as a pedophile, making it look like the crimes were not related to drug cartels but because of some immoral conduct.

“To physical death they are adding moral assassination, slandering the priests and holding them up to ridicule and that has caused deep indignation in the Church.”

One of the priests reportedly ordered enough food for four people the night he was abducted, but that was not enough evidence for the Church to accept allegations of him entertaining people of a questionable nature – specifically his abductors.

Local media reports indicate an image taken from a security camera revealed one of the murdered priests entered a hotel with a young boy but other reports later claimed the man in the image was not the priest.

The Michoacan state prosecutors’ office remains quiet and has not offered comments on the case.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Alberto Suarez Inda, the head of the archdiocese in Michoacan, claimed: “The publication of some images and malicious interpretations has made the situation more painful.”

The Mexican Council of Bishops wrote a letter to authorities, asking them to investigate the truth of the victims and not to allow the allegations of questionable behavior to interfere.

“We respectfully and urgently demand that the respective authorities get to the bottom of both cases…and with the same forcefulness, we demand that no priest, or anyone, be slandered, above all before the investigations are finished,” the Council stated.

Fr. Romero said, “the least we expect is a public apology.”

In Mexico, there have been too many murders, cases of missing persons and abductions of priests for the Church to accept the possibility of questionable behavior.

The Country continues to deal with drug-cartel and other crime problems, churches and priests are threatened, robbed and worse as corruption rises in Mexico.