Catholic priest found dead in Mexico


From CNA:

Catholic priest found dead in Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico, Jul 30, 2010 / 02:02 pm (CNA/Europa Press).- Local authorities have reported that a priest, Fr. Carlos Salvador Wotto, was found dead at the parish of Our Lady of the Snows in Oaxaca, Mexico. Signs of torture were evident on the priest’s body.

The 83-year-old Fr. Wotto was found bound and gagged inside his office. He had a bag over his head and cigarette burns on various parts of his body. Authorities have not ruled out that Fr. Wotto died from asphyxiation nor that the motive was robbery.

José Barragán, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Antequera confirmed that the priest’s body showed signs of torture. However, Barragán would release no further details. “We must wait until the investigation is concluded. Any commentary would be irresponsible.”

“We are all shocked,” he told the Mexican daily, La Jornada.

Several parishioners reported that they were waiting for the priest to arrive to celebrate the 6 p.m. Mass at the parish, which is located in the heart of the city. When the priest did not show up, they went to his office to search for him. It was there that they found his body.

A woman, who asked not to be identified, swore that shortly after 5 p.m. someone showed up at the priest’s office to give him a jello dessert. When the person knocked, Fr. Wotto responded through the closed door and asked that the dessert be left outside his office

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Jane says:

    This is horrible. Say a prayer for the conversion of whoever did this. (Perhaps mental illness is involved in this crime.) Lord please grant eternal rest to the soul of this priest.

  2. shane says:

    Horrific. RIP.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we start hearing a lot more of priests being murdered in western countries, especially if the economy sinks or the abuse revelations multiply. I already know of several priests who have complained recently of verbal harassment and, in two instances, physical assault, solely for the ‘crime’ of wearing clerical clothing in public.

  3. wanda says:

    Eternal rest grant unto the soul of Fr. Wotto. I pray for mercy for those involved.

  4. Thomas S says:

    What are people’s feelings on a priest facing martyrdom using violent force against his assailant in order to escape?

  5. Thomas S: Why limit it to martyrdom?

  6. wanda says:

    Last time I checked, a person may respond with equal force in self-defense.

  7. lucy says:

    May he rest in peace. Prayers for his soul.

  8. meunke says:

    Regarding the priest defending himself:

    First, this is mexico, where I believe the weapon laws for those who actually OBEY the law are VERY draconian.

    Second, short a weapon, the good father was in his 80s! And was probably caught totally flatfooted.

    May he wear his crown gloriously in heaven with Christ.

  9. A Filipino Catholic priest too was found dead in his room. He is a young priest and a seminary rector. Investigations are under way to determine the cause of his death.

    Rest in Peace, Fathers!

  10. Thomas S says:

    Fr. Z,

    I was just thinking along the lines of accepting a martyr’s death for Christ’s sake as opposed to just fending off a common mugger. My first impression was the latter would be a no-brainer, whereas possible martyrdom adds a different dimension to the question.

  11. boko fittleworth says:

    RIP. We need to do our part here by lessening the demand side of the drug trade.

    And as to responding to an attacker with “equal force:” hogwash. One may, and in certain cases (protecting others in one’s care) one is obligated to (at least try to), respond with force subjectively sufficient to repel the attack and render the attacker unable to cause further harm. Often, this will entail meeting the attack with overwhelming force.

  12. Hilleyb says:

    Rest in peace. Also, a prayer for our seminarians studying in Mexico City over the summer, who undoubtedly will be shaken by this.

  13. DHippolito says:

    This is absolutely despicable! Anybody who would torture an 83-year-old man, let alone an 83-year-old priest, is Satanic. My guess is that this has something to do with the drug cartels. My guess is the priest either preached against them or quietly worked against them, and this heinous death was the result. Boko, the problem in Mexico is so pervasive that even if the U.S. addicts ended their addiction all at once today, it wouldn’t go away. These cartels have power because of their ability to bribe government officials. Once that happens, the corrupt have an inroad into power that they will not easily relinquish.

  14. May he rest in peace…

  15. joan ellen says:

    Prayed an Act of Contrition and 3 Hail Mary’s for each Father.

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