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Mexican bishops don't see explosion as attack on church


The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City is seen Dec. 10, 2016. An explosive device was detonated outside the offices of the Mexican bishops' conference, which sits directly across the street from the country's most visited religious site. (CNS photo/Sashenka Gutierrez, EPA)

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MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- The Mexican bishops' conference does not believe an explosive device detonated outside its offices -- adjacent to the country's most visited religious site, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe -- is an attack on the Catholic Church.

The motive for the July 25 explosion remains a mystery, though some in the conference said it reflected the violence suffered by society at large in a country with soaring homicide rates and a decade-long drug cartel crackdown.

"This act invites us to reflect emphatically, to reconstruct our social fabric to provide better security for all citizens," Auxiliary Bishop Alfonso Miranda Guardiola of Monterrey, conference secretary-general, told media the day of the explosion.

Humberto Roque Villanueva, Mexico's undersecretary for population, migration and religious matters, called the explosion "a message of hate," during an interview with the newspaper El Universal.

"I believe it is the regrettable need for priests to be very close to those in conflict ...," Roque said, "but I do not see that it is an orchestrated action, nor is it in itself a deliberate action or joining other actions against the Catholic Church."

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.

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