by David Agren
MEXICO CITY (CNS) — An explosive device was detonated outside the offices of the Mexican bishops’ conference, directly across the street from the country’s most visited religious site, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
A statement provided to Catholic News Service by Armando Cavazos, bishops’ conference media director, said an explosion occurred July 25 at around 1:50 a.m. outside the main entrance to its offices in northern Mexico City.
The type of device used remained unknown, and detectives were investigating the explosion, the statement said. Motives for the detonation were unclear.
“It appears this is not the first case that has occurred in this area of CDMX,” the statement said, using Mexico City’s abbreviation.
The bishops’ offices occupy a busy strip across the street from the sanctuary of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The area is swarmed by pilgrims and tourists during the daytime and is transited by commuters in rush hour.
Bishop Ramon Castro Castro of Cuernavaca released the first images of the detonation via Twitter early July 25.
“I believe this reflects the situation in Mexico,” said Bishop Castro, who has spoken against violence affecting his diocese, just south of Mexico City.
Mexico recently suffered its most murderous month in 20 years with 2,234 homicides recorded in June. Mexico City also has experienced an upswing in crime, according to federal statistics.
The violence engulfing Mexico has not left the Catholic Church untouched, even though census data shows 83 percent of the population professing the faith. At least 18 Mexican priests have been murdered over the past five years, according to the Centro Catolico Multimedial.