Priest Slain in Venezuela

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CARACAS, Venezuela, JAN. 8, 2008 (Zenit.org).- A diocesan priest was murdered Sunday in what investigators believe was a case of robbery turned homicide.

The body of 50-year-old Father Pedro Orellana Hidalgo showed that he had been strangled. Several objects were stolen from the priest's residence, including a television and money.

Pedro Orellana was born in Caracas and carried out his pastoral work for years in the Archdiocese of Cumana.

His most recent ministry was in the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Caracas.

In a communiqué, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas, and his auxiliary bishops sent "their condolences to his family and other relatives, reaffirming their faith in the resurrection of the dead and praying for the eternal repose of his soul."

The note added, "This unfortunate loss confirms the need for effective policies of civic security for all Venezuelans."