Matamoros bishop confirms priest was kidnapped

      Bishop Ruy Rendon / Telediario Reynosa Image

      Bishop Ruy Rendon has about a month on the job in the Diocese of Matamoros but he's learning that he's got his work cut out for him.

      At a recent press conference, Bishop Rendon confirmed that Catholic priests in the northeastern Mexico are not immune to the drug cartel violence around them.

      Bishop Rendon told Telediario Reynosa and other media outlets that one of his priests was recently kidnapped by gunmen.

      Priest Safe

      The priest's name and details were not released but Bishop Rendon said the priest was released and is back at his parish.

      "I really admire and value the work and the presence that these priests bring," Bishop Rendon told Telediario Reynosa. "There are faults, failures or limitations but they remain present."

      No suspects have been publicly identified or arrested in the kidnapping but the bishop said the Catholic Church will stick to attending their flock south of the border.

      In Harm's Way

      The sprawling diocese includes an area easily includes more than two million people in Matamoros, Reynosa, Camargo, Rio Bravo, Valle Hermoso and San Fernando.

      The northeastern Mexican cities have been plagued by cycles of drug cartel violence following a February 2010 rift between former allies the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas.

      Numerous arrests, murders and deaths of innocent civilians have taken place.

      Among the dead is Father Marco Antonio Duran who was killed in the crossfire of a Matamoros gun battle back in July 2011.

      No suspects have been publicly identified or arrested in the death of Father Duran.

      Prayers For Peace

      Bishop Rendon made the comments about the kidnapped priest at a Monday press conference.

      The Catholic Church is planning to hold a special service to pray for the City of Matamoros on Friday.

      Church leaders plan to hold a mass public rosary at the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas (UAT) campus in Matamoros at 6 p.m. Friday.

      The church held a 'Day of Prayer for Peace' back in August on the same day of a battle between gunmen and soldiers.