DAILY CATHOLIC     WEDNESDAY     December 16, 1998     vol. 9, no. 243

from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO


          GUATEMALA CITY (CWNews.com) -- Archbishop Prospero Penados del Barrio of Guatemala City has expressed concern about the health of Father Mario Orantes, the priest who has been jailed as a suspect in the April death of Bishop Juan Gerardi.

          Father Orantes, who remains the only official suspect in the case -- despite persistent complaints by Church officials -- is "deteriorating very fast," Archbishop Penados reported, after visiting the ailing priest in a hospital where he is being treated for an ulcer. The archbishop met this weekend with the physicians assigned to the case, and concluded that the priest should have been transferred from his prison cell to a hospital room much earlier than was actually the case. "I think the authorities did not realize how bad Father Orantes' health is, and that contributed to his problems," he said.

          Archbishop Penados also told reporters that he and the other Catholic bishops of Guatemala remain convinced that Father Orantes is innocent of any involvement in the killing of Bishop Gerardi, and that government investigators have failed to pursue the more obvious leads in the case. Referring to a report on human-rights violations which Bishop Gerardi released just two days before his death -- a report which found the Guatemalan army responsible for 55,000 human-rights violations -- the archbishop said: "Those most directly affected by Bishop Gerardi's report killed him."

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

December 16, 1998       volume 9, no. 243


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