FRI-SAT-SUN
March 31 - April 2, 2000
volume 11, no. 65
To print out entire text
of This weekend's issue, go to
SECTION ONE
SECTION TWO
SECTION THREE

NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

GUATEMALA PRIEST DENIES ROLE IN BISHOP'S MURDER

    GUATEMALA CITY (CWNews.com) - A Guatemalan priest charged with the murder of a bishop in 1998 denied that he had anything to do with it on Wednesday.

    Father Mario Orantes spoke to reporters from his hospital bed for the first time since returning from the US to face charges on February 9. He had been in the US seeking treatment for chronic medical problems brought on by his first incarceration on the charges of murdering Auxiliary Bishop Juan Jose Conedera Gerardi in April, 1998.

    Bishop Gerardi was bludgeoned to death in his garage two days after releasing a report that blamed the majority of death's in the country's 36-year civil war on the military and its supporters. Human rights groups and Catholics blamed the murder on the military, and faulted investigators for focusing immediately on Father Orantes and the housekeeper.

    "I didn't see anything, I didn't hear anything, I didn't do anything," Father Orantes said. "All I did was find my brother, Bishop Gerardi, murdered." He spent seven months in jail after being arrested after the murder, but was released and allowed to travel to seek treatment for a nervous system problem. He was ordered to return after the current judge in the case re-examined the evidence in the case.

    Father Orantes was charged with murder again on March 10 along with his former housekeeper and members of an elite military unit. "After all this time here I still do not know the reasons I have again been charged. If the evidence was so important you would think I would have heard about it by now," he said.

    Two previous prosecutors and two judges in the case have stepped down during the investigation, some of them citing threats against them and their families by unidentified parties.

          

March 31 - April 2, 2000
volume 11, no. 65
NEWS & VIEWS

To print out text of Today's issue, go to:
SECTION ONE | SECTION TWO | SECTION THREE

The DAILY CATHOLIC Search for anything
from the last three
years in past issues of
the DailyCATHOLIC: