MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A former prominent Roman Catholic bishop on Monday said he was shot in the neck as he was traveling by car through his home state at the weekend.
Felipe Arizmendi, formerly of the Diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas in the southern state of Chiapas, said in a statement he was struck by a bullet in his neck and suffered injuries to his hands from broken glass.
Arizmendi, 80, said the attack happened near Chiltepec in the State of Mexico, and that he appeared to have been hit accidentally when gunmen fired from one car at another they were pursuing. He said a doctor removed the bullet.
“Miraculously, I am fine,” he said.
Arizmendi’s time as bishop coincided with turmoil in Chiapas following the Zapatista armed indigenous uprising in southern Mexico in 1994 that garnered worldwide attention.
In 2010, he blamed child abuse by priests on eroticism depicted on television and internet pornography.
Arizmendi was in charge of the formation of priests for two decades in Mexico, home to the world’s second-largest Roman Catholic population after Brazil.
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