In his remarks to journalists during his flight to Cyprus today, the Holy Father clarified that the theme of his apostolic visit to the country has nothing to do with the recent killing of a Catholic bishop in Turkey nor with Islamic fundamentalism in general.
The Pontiff's comments follow the death of Bishop Luigi Padovese, Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia, who was reportedly stabbed to death in Iskendurun, Turkey on Thursday by his driver, who also served as his aide. According to Italy's ANSA news agency, Turkish police have detained the alleged killer and have not yet established a motive. The accused is said to be Muslim.
Benedict XVI clarified for reporters on the papal plane that the bishop's death had nothing to do with either the Apostolic Journey to the Mediterranean, which he was about to attend, nor Islamic fundamentalism, according to L'Osservatore Romano.
Pope Benedict also told journalists that he was convinced that the murder was without political or religious motive and highlighted the necessity of a full investigation.
The Pope made sure to stress that the recent events in no way change dialogue with Islam.
Transmitting his sorrow over the murder, he remembered the bishop for his efforts in helping craft the working document that will be consigned during this papal journey.