Pope Francis Criticizes Violence in Mexico After Murder of Jesuits in Chihuahua

Javier Campos Morales, 79, and Joaquin Cesar Mora Salazar, 80, were killed Monday inside the Church in Cerocahui.

A man who was being chased by a drug gang had reportedly taken refuge in the temple, and the assailants killed him and the priests when they found him, according to authorities.

Francis tended to drug addicts when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires and for years has condemned the “death traffickers” who fuel the drug trade, which he attributes to the “devil” and the thirst for money.

During a visit to Mexico in 2016, he urged Mexicans to avoid drug trafficking.

The pope on Wednesday denounced the violence plaguing Mexico and lamented the murder of two of his Jesuit “brothers” who were killed in a remote church in the country allegedly at the hands of members of a drug gang.

Francis, an Argentine Jesuit, offered his prayers to the Jesuit community at the end of his weekly general audience and said he was “sad and dismayed” after learning of the killings in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

“How many murders there are in Mexico!” he said. “Once again, I repeat that violence never solves problems, it only increases useless suffering.”