Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tragedy in Moscow

Two Jesuits working in the Russian capital -- including the Society's superior for the whole of the former Soviet Union -- have been stabbed to death:
Otto Messmer, who heads the Russian Independent Region of the Society of Jesus, and Colombian priest Victor Betancourt, were found dead in their apartment on Petrovka Street, with severe bodily injuries.

"They did not answer telephone calls, so their brothers in the order went to their apartment, where they found them already dead," Igor Kovalevsky, the general secretary of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Russia, told reporters.

The motive for the killing is not known, he said.

Earlier reports said the priests were injured in a fight near their house involving two other individuals. A local police source said the clerics died from injuries sustained in the fighting....

The Russian Independent Region of the Society of Jesus, which was officially registered in June 1992, carries out educational and missionary work throughout the Commonwealth of Independent States.