Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We are totally shocked and in utter disbelief to hear about the brutal killing of Fr Mark Ventura, Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao. Right after celebrating the Sunday Eucharist at 8 o'clock in the morning today, he was shot to death by murderers riding in tandem.
We offer our prayers for Fr Ventura, for his bereaved family, and the lay faithful of Tuguegarao. We also pray for Archbishop Sergio Utleg, his priests, and the religious of the archdiocese, who this year, in union with the whole Church in the Philippines, are celebrating the Year of the Clergy and Consecrated Persons.
We condemn this evil act!
We make our appeal to the authorities to act swiftly in going after the perpetrators of this crime and to bring them to justice.
May God have mercy on us all!
From the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines
Archbishop Romulo G. Valles
April 29, 2018