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Priest, a seminary rector, slain in El Salvador

Last Updated Aug 8, 2020 at 3:24 pm EDT

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — A Roman Catholic priest has been shot to death along a road in El Salvador and church authorities on Saturday called for investigation of the slaying.

The church celebrated a Mass on Saturday for the Rev. Ricardo Antonio Cortez, who was rector at the seminary named for recently canonized Oscar Arnulfo Romero in the city of Santiago de Maria.

Officials say Cortez was intercepted and shot by unknown attackers while on his way to that city in eastern El Salvador. The motive for the killing wasn’t immediately known.

“We reiterate most energetically our condemnation of this terrible crime,” said Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas, speaking for the Central American nation’s conference of bishops.

The bishops also called for justice in the slayings of two other priests, Walter Osmar Vásquez Jiménez, killed on March 29, 2018, and Cecilio Pérez, on May 18, 2019.

“It is very sad to be unable to trust in justice, to not feel secure, that anything can happen at any moment,” said Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chávez, who participated in the eucharist.

The Associated Press