Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez

Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez released the following statement October 13 on the death of Officer Richard Mendez who was fatally shot in the line of duty on October 12.


I was deeply saddened to learn that Officer Richard Mendez of the Philadelphia Police department was shot and killed while serving our city in the line of duty.

On behalf of the bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated religious, and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, I extend prayerful condolences to Officer Mendez’s family and many friends as they mourn his tragic and untimely death.

Our heartfelt sympathy also goes out to Interim Philadelphia Police Commissioner John Stanford and the faithful men and women of the Philadelphia Police Department as they cope with the death of a brother in blue who served the Philadelphia community faithfully for more than two decades.

I have asked all people in the Church of Philadelphia to join me in praying for the happy repose of Officer Mendez’s soul and that God may bring peace and consolation to all those suffering at this painful moment. May the Lord pour His mercy upon them and hold them in His loving embrace.

In addition, I ask all people of goodwill to join me in fervently praying for the speedy recovery of the officer who was wounded in the line of duty. We owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude to all of the first responders who put their lives on the line to protect us each day. May God watch over and protect them.

Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez, D.D.
Archbishop of Philadelphia