RELIGION

Pope: Slain Mexico priests victims of 'inexcusable violence'

  • A person prays in Our Lady of Fatima Church in Poza Rica, Veracruz state, Mexico, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. Two of the church's priests were found dead on Monday, and were last seen Sunday. Their bullet-ridden bodies were found on a roadside. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

    A person prays in Our Lady of Fatima Church in Poza Rica, Veracruz state, Mexico, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. Two of the church's priests were found dead on Monday, and were last seen Sunday. Their bullet-ridden bodies were found on a roadside. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)  (The Associated Press)

  • Mourners pay their last respects to slain Rev. Jose Alfredo Suarez de la Cruz at Our Lady of Asuncion Church in Paso Blanco, Veracruz state, Mexico, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Mourners packed the church for the funeral Mass in memory of the Roman Catholic priest who was murdered along with another cleric in the troubled Gulf coast state of Veracruz. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

    Mourners pay their last respects to slain Rev. Jose Alfredo Suarez de la Cruz at Our Lady of Asuncion Church in Paso Blanco, Veracruz state, Mexico, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Mourners packed the church for the funeral Mass in memory of the Roman Catholic priest who was murdered along with another cleric in the troubled Gulf coast state of Veracruz. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)  (The Associated Press)

  • People gather at Our Lady of Asuncion Church in Paso Blanco, Veracruz state, Mexico, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Mourners packed the church for a funeral Mass in memory of a Roman Catholic priest who was murdered along with another cleric in the troubled Gulf coast state of Veracruz. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

    People gather at Our Lady of Asuncion Church in Paso Blanco, Veracruz state, Mexico, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. Mourners packed the church for a funeral Mass in memory of a Roman Catholic priest who was murdered along with another cleric in the troubled Gulf coast state of Veracruz. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)  (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis has sent his condolences over the murder of two priests in the Mexican state of Veracruz.

A letter from the Vatican says Rev. Alejo Nabor Jimenez and Rev. Alfredo Suarez de la Cruz are the "victims of inexcusable violence."

It was posted online early Wednesday by the Mexican Conference of Bishops and signed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state.

The priests were last seen Sunday in the city of Poza Rica. Their bullet-ridden bodies were discovered the following day on a roadside miles away.

State prosecutors say they believe the clerics knew their attackers and had been drinking with them. But some of their parishioners are skeptical. They say organized crime has plagued Poza Rica with killings and disappearances.