.- Earlier today, Pope Benedict XVI expressed his personal condolences for the assassination of a Roman missionary priest, killed in Turkey Sunday shortly after celebrating Mass.
The Pope sent a telegram of personal condolences to Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar General for the diocese of Rome, spiritual home of Father Andrea Santoro, a missionary fidei donum priest working in Trabzon, Turkey.
The Pope said that "While I hope that his blood shed may be a seed of hope for the building of authentic fraternity among people, I raise fervent prayers for the brave witness to the Gospel of love, and I impart with all my heart the consoling apostolic blessing on his family, in particular, the elderly mother so saddened, and others who mourn his violent death."
The Holy Father sent a separate telegram to Bishop Luigi Padovese, apostolic vicar of Anatolia (Turkey), in which he praised the priest’s generosity and apostolic dedication to his ministry.
He served, the Pope pointed out "in favor of the Gospel and in service of those marginalized and in need."
The Holy Father utilized “this sad moment", to express his particular closeness to the Christian community and reiterate his “firm condemnation of all forms of violence."