Prelate Begs Cartels: Free Mexico From Your Grip

Recalls That No Sin Is Greater Than God's Mercy

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LEON, Mexico, MARCH 29, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The archbishop of one of the most historically Catholic areas in all the Americas is making a plea to drug traffickers to repent and release the Mexican people from their ministry of death.



Archbishop José Guadalupe Martín Rábago made his appeal during last Sunday's Mass in the Cathedral of Leon. Mexico's war on drugs has left some 35,000 people dead in the last four years.

Archbishop Martín begged drug traffickers "to leave that activity of death to obtain God's forgiveness."

"Repent and believe in the Gospel," he said. "We address particularly those who, for whatever reason, are involved in the different forms of organized crime. God is calling you to conversion and his forgiveness is always available, but you must repent."

The 75-year-old prelate reminded that "no sin -- even the most serious that can be imagined -- is greater than God's mercy."

"Of course they will have forgiveness," the archbishop affirmed.

In religion's name

The Mexican prelate also clarified that God in no way condones "activities that are in the line of death, that cause suffering, sadness."

"All this, undoubtedly, goes against the Lord's plan expressed in the commandment, 'do not kill,'" he stated.

The prelate's clarification responded to an idea sometimes asserted that God protects the gangs' illicit activities, particularly through the devotion to "Santa Muerte" (holy death), a cultic practice in some regions of Mexico.

"The criminals separate themselves from the Church in the measure in which they live a life of death, of aggression, of perversion," Archbishop Martín affirmed.

He urged all those who produce and transport drugs, hired assassins and all those involved in this business to repent of their activities so that "they may seek life and not death."

"God is always ready to forgive you," the prelate said. "He only asks you to acknowledge your errors, to repent for committing them, to repair the damages and to leave this activity of death."