Mexico City priest found murdered

MEXICO CITY -- A Catholic priest was found murdered in his Mexico City parish, a victim to what local authorities said was an early morning robbery attempt.

The body of Father Jose Francisco Sanchez Duran was found April 26 by a sacristan in St. Joseph Parish in the Coyoacan borough of Mexico City, where police sources told the newspaper Reforma that the priest had been sleeping.

The newspaper reported Father Sanchez, 63, suffered head injuries inflicted with a chair.

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Armando Martinez Gomez, president of the College of Catholic Lawyers of Mexico, confirmed the death, telling Catholic News Service, "It was a homicide." He was unable to provide additional details.

Attempts to reach a local public security secretariat spokesman April 26 were unsuccessful. The Archdiocese of Mexico City spokesman, Father Hugo Valdemar, called for churches and priests to be provided more protection.

"Unfortunately, in Mexico City, we've had, unlike any other city in the country, a series of priests killed. This is one more," Father Valdemar told Reforma.

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