Bishops in Chile have condemned the murder of Daniel Zamudio, a gay man who was gruesomely beaten and succumbed to his injuries on March 27 after being in a coma for nearly four weeks.
Chilean bishops' conference leader and Archbishop of Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, voiced solidarity with Zamudio’s friends and family and called for justice in the case.
“The Chilean society was rightly moved by the death of young Daniel Zamudio, whose condition we monitored with great attention and concern, as we prayed to God for him and his family,” the archbishop said in a March 27 statement.
Zamudio, 24, was found alive but brutally beaten and with swastikas carved into his body on March 3 in a Santiago park.
The attack, which lasted over an hour, is believed to have been carried out by a neo-Nazi group, the Associated Press reported. Four suspects, some with an apparent history of attacks on homosexuals, have been arrested.
“Daniel’s passing took place in such painful and reprehensible circumstances, in which the denigration of a human person is translated into intolerance, aggression and violence, a foundation upon which the future of a human community cannot be built,” he continued.
Speaking for the Catholic Church in Chile, Archbishop Ezzati reminded the bishops and the faithful to adhere to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's 1986 document on pastoral care for homosexual persons.
The document condemned violence against gay individuals and said the dignity of each person must always be respected in word, deed and legislation.
“We are all sons and daughters of the same Father who loves us. Nobody should be attacked, reviled or excluded because of race, sex, age, status or beliefs,” the archbishop said.
“The attack that caused the death of this young man, like many other expressions of violence against persons, must not leave our society indifferent.”
“We hope that the investigation into this crime will bring out the truth and that justice will be done,” he concluded, reiterating the Church's prayers for Zamudio’s family and friends.