DAILY CATHOLIC     THURSDAY     September 17, 1998     vol. 9, no. 182

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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

PAPAL CONDOLENCES FOR SLAIN COLOMBIAN PRIEST AND ITALIAN PRIEST IN KENYA AS POPE IDENTIFIES NEW PAGE IN HISTORY OF MARTYRS

          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II has expressed his profound sorrow" over the killing of a Colombian priest last week.

          Father Alcides Jimenez Chicangana was gunned down on September 11 as he said Mass at his parish in Puerto Caicedo, near Patumayo, Colombia. In a telegram to Cardinal Ivan Marin Loppez, Cardinal Angelo Sodano conveyed the Pope's sorrow and his "firm repugnance" at the "unjustifiable violence" which continues to plague the South American nation.

          Father Chicangana, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano revealed, had participated in a peace demonstration, calling for an end to the country's civil war, just hours before his death. He was beginning an evening Mass when two gunmen burst in, chased him from the sanctuary, and killed him as he fled toward the parish rectory.

          Government authorities say that the assassination was the work of the rebel group FARC. But L'Osservatore Romano cited anonymous witnesses in reporting that the killers appeared to be members of an right-wing paramilitary group. Right-wing forces in Colombia have charged some priests with helping the guerrillas. These two contrasting charges, the Vatican newspaper observed, "show that the single religious role is to work for peace and national reconciliation."

          The Pope also has sent a telegram of condolences to Bishop Ambrogio Ravasi of Marsabit, Kenya, in response to the killing of an Italian missionary, Father Luigi Andeni.

          In response to the murder in Kenya, along with the story of another priest killed in Colombia, L'Osservatore Romano today carried the headline: "In Africa and Latin America, a new page in the contemporary martyrology."

          Father Andeni was shot when he confronted a group of armed bandits at his parish in Archer's Post. Severely wounded, he was rushed to a hospital in nearby Wamba, but was pronounced dead on his arrival there.

          His family in Italy issued a statement, saying of Father Andeni, "He was not afraid of anything. For him, Africa was everything."


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September 17, 1998       volume 9, no. 182
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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