NOTIMEX 10 january 2004
Fr. Sergio Navarro, 66, presbyter at Santiago Ap+Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦stol Church in Tula, Hidalgo, was removed as parish priest this week, according to a bulletin issued by the local Diocese.
Although no reason was given for the removal, the priest had been involved in several incidents of intolerance since last year, in a region hit by ocassional disputes between Catholics and members of Evangelical denominations.
In March, a young pastor was beaten by angry Catholics while he was preaching in one neighbourhood. News reports informed that the priest Fr. Sergio incited the people to expell Evangelical famillies, and actively opposed the acceptance of Protestant children in the local school.
Although an agreement between local leaders and the government allowed the construction of an Evangelical Church, the temple has not opened for religious services because the priest suddenly dennounced the agreements previously signed and another unfortunate incident in which Catholics burnt an American flag in front of the Evangelical worship place.
Although the divisions he caused within the community are the reason of the priest removal from the parish, announced by the office of Bishop Octavio of Tula last wednesday, the local press informed that some parishioners had repeatedly complained about the "too conservative" way he celebrated mass and the way he attacked the Pope in his sermons. "He was turning the people against the Bishop and the Pope" a young parishioner said.