This is not yesterday’s news.. yet another Catholic priest killed in Turkey.
Bishop Luigi Padovese, Vicar Apostolic of Anatolia, had his throat cut by his driver and bodyguard in the garden of his summer house in a seaside town near Iskenderun, in the southern province of Hatay, news reports said.Â AFP
“The bishop treated him almost like a son,” he said. He said the driver, who was a Muslim, had always seemed “devoted” to the bishop…
All in one country! The guy who tried to assassinate the Pope years ago, which resulted in the Pope’s use of the shielded Popemobile, was Turkish.
This is just the latest stabbing, besides the Catholic clergy who have died from their attacks, there have been others as well. They keep saying the man’s motives were not political ~ and we don’t even know the man’s name!! And all this happens the day before the Bishop is about to travel to Cyprus to meet the Pope. If this is not disturbing!
ROME â€” A Roman Catholic bishop was stabbed to death in eastern Turkey on Thursday, a day before he had planned to travel to Cyprus for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI.
The bishop, Luigi Padovese, 62, the apostolic vicar of Anatolia, or the Vatican’s representative to eastern Turkey, was found dead outside his home in the Mediterranean port of Iskenderun, officials said. The police arrested his driver, who officials said had psychological problems.
The officials said the killing was not believed to be politically or religiously motivated. (WTF?) It nevertheless raised tensions between the Vatican and Turkey ahead of the pope’s visit to Cyprus, where he was expected to discuss the challenges facing Christians as religious minorities in the Middle East.
“We have no reason to believe that the homicide had a political motivation, but an investigation will determine that,” Alessandro Azzoni, the second in command of Italy’s embassy to Turkey, said in a telephone interview. A Franciscan friar, Bishop Padovese had been outspoken about the challenges facing Christians in Turkey and had urged dialogue.
In Turkey, Christians represent less than 1 percent of the population of 70 million. In recent years, several priests have been attacked in Turkey; one was shot to death in 2006 amid widespread Muslim anger over the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the Vatican was “deeply saddened” by Bishop Padovese’s death. He said that the Vatican understood that the killing did not have a “political” motivation, but that the assailant was a man of Kurdish origin who had worked as a driver for the bishop and of late had shown signs of “unbalance” and “depression.”
“His motives weren’t political,” Father Lombardi told Italian national television. The Turkish Foreign Ministry released a statement expressing dismay at the death and calling Bishop Padovese “a friend of Turkey.”
The suspect’s full name and age were not immediately known, but Archbishop Antonio Lucibello, the Vatican’s nunzio, or ambassador to Turkey, said the man was called Murat and had confessed to the crime.
Reached at his office in Ankara, Archbishop Lucibello said that Bishop Padovese had been close with his driver. “The bishop treated him almost like a son,” he said. He said the driver, who was a Muslim, had always seemed “devoted” to the bishop, while the bishop had shown “great attention and preoccupation” to the man’s depression. Archbishop Lucibello described Bishop Padovese’s relationship with the driver as “the same relationship he had with everyone: he was a very sensitive man, very attentive, very kind.