The chief prosecutor for Michoacan said Fr Jose Alfredo Lopez Guillen was killed after meeting with the men at his residence

A Catholic priest abducted in September was killed by two men who were visiting him at his residence, Mexican authorities claimed on Monday.

The chief prosecutor for the western state of Michoacan said Fr Jose Alfredo Lopez Guillen was meeting with the men at his residence in the rural town of Janamuato on September 19.

“It was a social meeting during which there was a falling out between those present,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement. It gave no further details on the gathering, but added, “At some point, there was an argument.”

The office said that after the argument, the two men stole some of the priest’s possessions, tied him up and put him in the trunk of a car. The men drove the car to a rural area and shot the priest dead, it said.

Two suspects have been arrested. One was found with a mobile phone that apparently belonged to the priest.

The killing came about a week after the slaying of two priests in Mexico’s Gulf coast state of Veracruz, and the Church harshly criticised Veracruz prosecutors for saying the two victims in that case had been drinking with their attackers.

The Church suggested that prosecutors in the two states were trying to blame the victims to deflect attention from rampant crime and drug gang violence.

The Michoacan prosecutors’ office said of Fr Lopez Guillen’s murder: “This was not a kidnapping, nor organised crime or an attack on the Church, this was a social meeting in which there was a falling out among the participants.”

The deaths brought to at least 31 the number of priests killed in Mexico since 2006.