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Church suspends priest advising congregation to carry guns

by Kelly Valencia
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El Padre Pistolas YouTube

The Catholic Church in Mexico has suspended a priest who advised his parishioners to carry guns to fight off drug cartels. 

Fr Alfredo Gallegos, better known in the community as "Padre Pistolas" ("Father guns"), had been leading a church located in the violence-affected state of Michoacan for 17 years.

But on Wednesday, the Archdiocese of Moreli published and circulated a letter informing local churches of Fr Alfredo's suspension. 

Although the diocese did not confirm the reasons behind their decision it said Fr Alfredo had been previously "admonished on several occasions." 

The letter also instructed other priests in the area to forbid Fr Alfredo from celebrating Mass in their churches and encouraged them to communicate the news to the community to "avoid inviting him to celebrate mass or any sacrament."

In one of his sermons in 2021, Fr Alfredo can be heard saying from the pulpit: "The cartel gunmen come, they take the livestock, they screw your wife and daughter, and you do nothing."

"Well, get yourself a gun; the government can go to hell."

"We have to defend our lives," Gallegos continued.

Mexico is a notoriously dangerous country for priests' own personal safety.

Fr Alfredo is also known in the community for building a school and raising funds for building roads



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