After the murder of Bishop Luigi Padovese in Iskenderun, Turkey, charges have been filed against the alleged perpetrator. The 26-year-old Murat Altun, chauffeur of the clergyman, has confessed to the crime, said his lawyer Cihan onal, according to Turkish media reports on Friday. Speculation continues about the motive.
At the same time onal rejected representations, its mandator converted from Islam to Christianity. The 63-year-old Padovese, vicar apostolic in Anatolia since 2004 as well as president of the country's bishops' conference, was stabbed to death Thursday at his home. According to media reports, the suspected driver and bodyguard of the bishop, Murat Altun, said in police interrogation that he had followed a religious inspiration in committing the crime. His lawyer emphasized that Altun was mentally disturbed. This was also confirmed by the mother of the crime suspect. The Italian episcopal press service SIR, citing the vicar general of Iskenderun, Domenico Bertogli, reported Altun had been under clinical treatment for mental problems just over a month ago. According to Vatican press service asianews, doubts are growing in Iskenderun's Catholic community that mental illness should be the only explanation for the bloody deed. Several attacks on Catholics in recent years, attributed to mentally unstable youth, later revealed a Turkish nationalist and anti-Christian background, asianews said.
Funeral service on Saturday
Meanwhile, Padovese's body was forensically examined in Adana and then returned to Iskenderun. A funeral service is to take place there on Saturday in the bishop's church at the laid out coffin. Governor Mehmet Celalettin Lekesiz had also spoken out in favor of such a celebration. Padovese's funeral is to be held in his hometown of Milan. This will be Wednesday at the earliest, reports asianews. Milan's Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi expressed dismay at Padovese's violent death. The bishop preached "the gospel of peace and mercy" in Turkey, Tettamanzi said, according to SIR (Friday). A message of condolence was also received from Turkish President Abdullah Gul.
Pope expresses pain over murder of Bishop Padovese
Pope Benedict XVI. Has expressed his deep pain over the murder of Bishop Luigi Padovese in Turkey. Padovese has contributed much to the preparation of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East, which he is now launching in Cyprus, Benedict XVI said. on Friday. "But this shadow has nothing to do with the ies and the reality of the journey," Benedict XVI said. It was "certainly not a political or a religious murder". The exact causes still need to be clarified. Benedict XVI. Cautioned against mixing the tragic situation with dialogue with Islam or with the journey's course, concerns and worries. The act is sad, but should not obscure the dialogue and the intentions of the trip.