Priest shot dead in Mexico marks 2nd clerical murder in week

(SACRAMENTO BEE) — A young Roman Catholic priest was shot dead in the west-central Mexican state of Jalisco, becoming the second cleric slain this week in a country said to lead the region in such killings.

Juan Miguel Contreras Garcia, 33, was murdered late Friday at a parish in Tlajomulco de Zuniga, on the outskirts of Guadalajara, the Catholic Multimedia Center said Saturday, adding that he was apparently performing the sacrament of penance at the time of the attack.

The Jalisco state prosecutor’s office said early indications suggest two men entered the sacristy, fired directly at the priest and then fled in a car. It said Contreras suffered multiple gunshot wounds, and paramedics who arrived at the scene were unable to keep him alive.

The center said Contreras became a priest just two years ago.

The killing came two days after Rev. Ruben Alcantara Diaz, 50, was stabbed to death in his church on the outskirts of Mexico City. Local media reported he had argued with his killer, who fled after the attack.

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