Priest calls for truth to be revealed in 2010 murder of bishop in Turkey


A parish priest in Turkey is calling for a “fair trial that establishes the truth” about the murder of  Bishop Luigi Padovese.

Bishop Luigi Padovese was the apostolic vicar of Anatolia and the president of the bishops' conference of Turkey. He was stabbed and killed by his chauffeur in June 2010.

Fr. Domenico Bertogli, a parish priest in the Turkish city of Antioch, spoke with the Italian news agency SIR on Jan. 26 calling authorities to move forward on the case. “There is no news about a possible trial in the homicide of Bishop Padovese. Perhaps the investigations are moving forward but we do not know.”

The priest noted that Murat Altun, the man who killed Bishop Padovese, was moved to Istanbul to receive medical treatment.

Fr. Bertogli also recalled a Jan. 23 gathering of Christians in Turkey to celebrate both the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  He emphasized that “these are special moments in which the small number of faithful our churches have can come together and regain our confidence and hope for the future.”

“As a small minority we often feel alone and abandoned.  We are anxiously awaiting the appointment of the man who will succeed Bishop Padovese,” Fr. Bertogli said.

Bishop Luigi Padovese

Bishop Padovese, 63, was stabbed to death at his home in Ikerendum by his chauffeur Murat Altun, on June 3, 2010. That morning, the bishop was preparing to travel to Cyprus to participate in Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the island.

Originally from Milan, Italy, he joined the Capuchin Friars Minors and was ordained a priest in 1973. He was elevated to bishop in 2004. 

He was very committed to ecumenical work, dialogue with Islam and the revival of the various Christian communities in Turkey.

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