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Slain bishop’s driver was assigned by government; confrere rips allegation of homosexuality

Catholic World News - June 09, 2010

A funeral Mass for Bishop Luigi Padovese, the slain vicar apostolic of Anatolia and president of Turkey’s episcopal conference, took place on June 7 at the cathedral in Iskenderun. “For us Christians, in particular, his death reminds us that fidelity to the Gospel, in certain situations, may be paid with the spilling of blood,” said Archbishop Ruggero Franceschini of Izmir during the funeral homily. “As a father, brother and friend, full of pain but forcefully remembering Venerable Pope John Paul II, I say to you, to you all: ‘Do not be afraid!’ Do not lose heart, be happy, like the apostles, to live in suffering and trial, without abandoning your faith, which is why we hope.”

Bishop Louis Pelâtre, vicar apostolic of Istanbul, described as “calumnies” the assertions attributed to Murat Altun, the bishop’s driver and admitted murderer, that he had killed Bishop Padovese because he was defending himself from the bishop’s homosexual advances. According to a Spanish-language Zenit report, the driver was not chosen by the bishop, but was assigned to the bishop by the Turkish government four years ago.

The murderer’s reported allegation represents a marked change from initial reports, which claimed the driver was insane. Asia News reported:

As the days pass, new details emerge on the story of murder and the alleged "insanity" of the assassin.

The doctors who performed the autopsy reveal that Mgr. Padovese had knife wounds all over his body, but especially in the heart (at least eight). His head was almost completely detached from his neck, attached to his body by only the skin of the back of the neck.

Even the dynamics of the killing is clearer: the Bishop was stabbed in his house. He had the strength to go out the door of the house, bleeding and crying for help and there he was killed. Perhaps only when he fell to the ground, was his head cut off.

Witnesses said they heard the bishop cry out for help. But more importantly, is that they heard screams of Murat immediately after the murder. According to these sources, he climbed on the roof of the house shouted: “I killed the great Satan! Allah Akbar!”

This call coincides perfectly with the idea of beheading, making sense that it is like a ritual sacrifice against evil. This correlates with the murders of ultranationalist groups and Islamic fundamentalists who apparently want to eliminate Christians from Turkey.

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