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Catholic bishop protests deportation from Mexico

April 09, 2024

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CWN Editor's Note: A Melkite Catholic bishop has angrily protested after he was stopped at a Mexico City airport, his Vatican passport was taken, and he was deported to Venezuela.

Bishop Joseph Khawam heads the Melkite eparchy (diocese) of Venezuela, but also serves as apostolic administrator for the Melkite eparchy in Mexico. Noting that he arrived in Mexico City wearing clerical attire and carrying papers to show his authority, he said that the refusal of Mexican officials to respect his mission was “a great insult to the universal Church and the Church of Mexico in particular.”

Bishop Khawam said that he was detained and deported because of his Syrian origin, and decried the “flagrant practice of racial discrimination and an insult to human dignity.”

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