[ by Charles Cameron — terror and anti-clericalism — a double parallel? ]
Imagine how Catholic Mexico feels at the murder of Fr. Jose Lopez Guillen, a priest, if even secular France is shocked by the killing of another priest, Fr Jacques Hamel.
From the RNS report:
Lopez was kidnapped on Sept. 19, the same day authorities discovered the bodies of two slain priests in the eastern state of Veracruz; that makes at least 15 priests slain over the past four years. [ .. ]
Mexico is the country with the second-largest Catholic population in the world, with nearly 100 million people, or more than 80 percent of the population, identifying as Catholic. But the country has a long history of anti-clericalism and in the past century the government officially and often violently suppressed the church. [ .. ]
Motives have not been established for the latest killings, but the Catholic Multimedia Center notes that violence against the clergy occurs disproportionately in states with high levels of organized crime, such as Veracruz and Michoacan.
The organization records 31 killings of priests in Mexico since 2006, the year then-President Felipe Calderon deployed troops to Michoacan in an effort to stamp out the drug cartels.
A decade on, the war across Mexico has claimed more than 150,000 lives, while Michoacan remains a hotbed of crime and civil unrest.
Note that France, like Mexico, has a history of anti-clericalism — dating back in the French case to the time of the French Revolution — see my LapidoMedia post, When laïcité destroys egalité and fraternité