Catholic Priests Murdered in South Africa

A Catholic priest was shot dead as he prepared to celebrate Mass at Tzaneen Cathedral in South Africa.

Newsroom (19/03/2024 19:21, Gaudium Press) Priest William Banda, 38, a member of the Society of the Foreign Missionaries of St. Patrick, was shot dead twice in the sacristy of the cathedral as he prepared to celebrate morning Mass on Wednesday, March 13.

The faithful who were present in the cathedral said that the priest was coordinating the prayer period before morning Mass when a well-dressed man sat down next to Father Banda.

Once he had finished reciting the rosary, the priest went to the sacristy to begin Holy Mass and was followed by the unknown man. In the sacristy, the man shot Father William twice in the head before running off and getting into a car that was waiting for him outside the church.

Father Banda was rushed to a nearby hospital, but was lifeless when he arrived. The police have opened a murder investigation and are looking for information that could lead to a suspect in the crime.

The murder of three Orthodox monks

The death of the Catholic priest came a day after the murder of three Orthodox monks at the monastery of St. Mark and St. Samuel in Cullinan, about 30 km east of the capital, Pretoria. The Coptic Orthodox Church reported that the murdered priests were the vicar of the diocese, Father Takla El-Samouili, and two other priests, Youstos Ava-Markos and Mina Ava-Markostre.

The Egyptian religious were stabbed; a fourth priest survived the attack as he managed to hide in a room in the house. Police have arrested a 35-year-old suspect, but the motives behind the murder of the Orthodox monks are still unclear. (FM)

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Compiled by Teresa Joseph



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