Mexico’s Roman Catholic Church has suspended a controversial priest who advised parishioners to bear arms to fight drug cartels.
better known as “Father Pistolas”, Reverend Alfredo Gallegos is a priest from the violence-ridden western state of Michoacan who has at times carried a gun.
A circular from the Archdiocese of Morelia, the state capital, ordered other priests not to allow Reverend Gallegos to celebrate Mass.
While the archdiocese did not respond to phone calls asking to confirm the ordinance, a priest from a neighboring diocese who was not authorized to be named confirmed the ordinance’s authenticity on Wednesday, October 12. .
The order, dated September 21, did not specify the reason for the indefinite suspension imposed earlier that month, saying only that Gallegos “had been reprimanded multiple times” for something.
Even for Michoacan, it was surprising when Reverend Gallegos called from the pulpit in 2021 for parishioners to arm themselves against warring drug gangs.
“The cartel gunmen come, they take the cattle, they fuck your wife and your daughter, and you do nothing,” Reverend Alfredo Gallegos said in a sermon. “Well, get a gun, the government can go to hell.”
“We have to defend our lives,” Gallegos continued.
Mexican law prohibits most civilians from owning almost any firearm except shotguns or very small caliber shotguns.
But Michoacan has a history of armed civilian self-defense militia movements dating back to 2013 and 2014. At the time, vigilantes succeeded in driving out the dominant Templar cartel, but rival cartels like Viagras and the Jalisco Cartel are installed. , killings and shootings prompted thousands to flee their homes.
At the time, Gallegos was supported by some Roman Catholic clergy.
Reverend Gregorio López, a priest known for once wearing a bulletproof vest when celebrating Mass, has spent the past few years running shelters for people who have fled their homes due to violence. He also tried to help secure asylum or refugee status for Michoacan residents in the United States.
Source: A M