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Papua New Guinea: Priest and lay worker killed

(Vatican Radio/FIDES) A Catholic priest and a lay minister have been killed in Papa New Guinea. Fr. Gerry Maria Inau and Benedict, a lay extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, were working in the remote regions of Bereina diocese, when they were killed on May 4th last.

The reason for their death is unknown, however announcing the news yesterday Fr. George Licini - spokesman for the Bishops Conference - noted that the two may have been victims of an ongoing tribal conflict in the area. Fr. Gerry had spent most of his pastoral mission among the tribes of the Kunimaipa Valley.

In a note sent to Vatican Radio, Fr. Casmiro Kito MSC, who knew Fr. Gerry says: "He was a priest of great faith. He had a big heart for his people and served them with love. May his death be a sacrifice for peace between the tribes of the Kunimaipa Valley".

“I knew Fr. Gerry Mary Inau as a minor seminarian. He was my senior in many ways - a very diligent, committed and a great believer in God. He never left his rosary beads. He believed that Mary his mother was on his side and in fact he adopted the name of Mary before his surname. The Bishop ordained him on that basis. Fr. Gerry had a heart for his people... He wanted to go back and serve them”.

“May his death be a catalyst for peace for the warring tribes in Kunimaipa Valley. Fr Gerry has become the victim, the lamb of sacrifice and the altar of oblation. He is our bread of life and the cup of eternal salvation if we see that in light of Jesus and the Gospels (cf. Jn 6:26-63). Let us pray that we may be converted from our old ways and start to believe in the Gospel and allow it to transform our lives”.