DAILY CATHOLIC WEDNESDAY December 16, 1998 vol. 9, no. 243
NEWS & VIEWS
HEALTH CONCERNS FOR PRIEST CHARGED WITH BISHOP MURDER
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.
NEWS & VIEWS