Mourning for victim of violence

With a requiem Saturday evening in Nuremberg, relatives and religious brothers commemorated the two Jesuits murdered in Moscow. Archbishop Ludwig Schick of Bamberg, speaking in Nuremberg's Church of Saint Clare, demanded that the murders be solved. The church, she said, has lost two important workers with the two people killed.

German-born Otto Messmer, 47, and Ecuadorian Victor Betancourt, 42, were found dead Tuesday in their Moscow apartment. They were apparently beaten to death. The incident is being dealt with at the highest level by the Russian side. President Dmitry Medvedev's administration has intervened in the case. Moscow Patriarch Alexy II also. Expressed his "deepest sympathy" over the deaths of the priests. He prays for the eternal rest of the two murdered religious, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said.At the service in Nuremberg, two brothers of the slain sexton, who are also priests, were also at the altar. His mother, who lives in Nuremberg, and other family members also attended the requiem service.The German Provincial of the Jesuits, Stefan Dartmann, recalled encounters with Messmer, who was Superior of the Russian Province. He had "openly shared concerns, fears and problems with the other European provincials and from that we know that he did not always have it easy".The head of the Jesuit mission, Klaus Vathroder, described Messmer as a peaceful and gentle person. Messmer's confrere Betancourt had fulfilled in Russia with his work as theology professor a mission at the intellectual apostolate of the Jesuit order.

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