06/27/2020 Philippines (International Christian Concern) – It has been two years since Catholic Bishop Nilo’s murder on June 10, 2018. Father Richmond Nilo was a priest of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Zaragoza. Unidentified shooters came in and shot him seven times when he was preparing for the evening mass, as the tragedy unfolded before the eyes of 70 parishioners. He became the fourth Catholic priest to be shot in the Philippines since 2019.
The chapel where he died, Nuestra Señora de la Nieve, was one of the many chapels he visited every Sunday of every week to hold Mass for those who could not afford to commute to the central parish in the town. “To kill a priest, for whatever purpose, is not only unchristian and inhuman, it is also un-Filipino,” Bishop Bancud, part of the diocese where Fr Nilo’s murder happened, told UCA News.
The motive is still unclear for the murder, and since the killing, authorities have arrested only one suspect. With such little progress, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is renewing calls for justice for the 43-year-old prelate. On the second anniversary, Archbishop Valles, the CBCP’s president, addressed the police, “. . . to act swiftly in the investigation and go after the perpetrators of the heinous crime and bring them to justice.”
Saddened by his fellow priest’ death, Cabanatuan Father Jeffrey dela Cruz said, “We [priests] are being killed or being prosecuted for crimes that we never commit. We are just doing God’s call as pastors, that is, to see Christ in the poor and the marginalized.”
Fr Nilo inspired those around him to love and defend the Catholic faith, to serve the poorest of the poor.
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