Signs of the Times

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Tragic Week for African Missionaries

Priests in South Africa are targets for robbers because they are believed to have money, several clerics said after a French missionary became the fourth priest to be murdered in the country during 2009. Five people, including three teenagers, have been arrested for the murder on Dec. 7 of Louis Blondel, 70, a priest of the Mission-aries of Africa, in Diepsloot in the Archdiocese of Pretoria. The robbers, who made off with less than $10 and a few possessions, entered through a small window and shot Father Blondel when he opened his bedroom door. Blondel’s murder was part of a violent week for Catholic clerics and religious in Africa, tragically accompanied by the killing of the Rev. Daneil Cizimya Nakamaga, 51, and Sister Denise Kahambu in separate attacks near Bukavu, Congo, and the murder on Dec. 11 of Jeremiah Roche, 68, an Irish priest, at his home in Kericho, Kenya.

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