Benedict XVI appoints apostolic administrator to replace murdered bishop in Turkey

ppfranceschinipadovese140610 2 Archbishop Ruggero Franceschini / Bishop Luigi Padovese

Following the recent murder of a bishop in Turkey, the Holy Father has appointed a new apostolic administrator of the apostolic vicariate of Anatolia.

Archbishop Ruggero Franceschini, 70, who has been serving as Archbishop of Izmir since 2004, will replace Bishop Luigi Padovese, who was stabbed to death in Iskendurun, Turkey on June 3 by his driver, who also served as his aide.

Although Turkish police have detained the alleged killer, they have not yet established a motive. The accused is said to be Muslim.

Archbishop Franceschini is a Franciscan who was appointed apostolic vicar of Turkey from 1993 to 2004, until he was made Archbishop of Izmir by Pope John Paul II.

Speaking to the Vatican Radio recently about Christians within Turkey, Archbishop Franceschini said that he is “convinced that we will succeed in putting this beautiful, little community, which has the will to live and survive, back on its feet.”

The Vatican reported on Sunday that there are currently 4,345 Catholics, eight priests, and 16 religious in the apostolic vicariate of Anatolia.

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