More on the killing of Bp. Padovese

The strange case of the assassination of Bp. Luigi Padovese in Turkey,  – by his Muslim driver – becomes curiouser and curiouser.

Bp. Padovese, Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia and President of the Turkish Bishops’ Conference, was stabbed eight time by his driver, who then dragged him outside and decapitated him before heading up to the roof to shout "Allahu Akbar".

Now we read in an EWTN/CNA story that Bp. Padovese canceled his trip to Cyprus for the papal visit because he feared that his driver might attempt an attack on Pope Benedict XVI during his stay on the island.

Analyst Fr. Fillippo di Giacomo, who writes for publications such as L’Unitá and La Stampa, revealed that “hours before Padovese was killed, the Turkish Government called him to say that his driver, who they themselves had put in his service four years before, had gotten out of hand. That is to say, he had embraced the fundamentalist cause.”

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  1. Esther says:

    Why did he not fire his driver?

  2. Supertradmum says:

    Sadly, the media in some Western countries,such as ours, has become so politically correct that bad journalism is allowed to flourish. Mr. Gibbs, Mr. Holder,and Mr. Posner have all blamed America for Islamic resentments, or have Marxist views of Islamic violence which supposedly give a good excuse for jihad. Thankfully, EWTN/CNA speak the truth, but who in the larger world, besides us small groups of Catholics and interested Christians, listen to those news agencies/media? Most people watch the politically correct views of distorted and selected facts.

  3. TomG says:

    Why can we not see that the Islamists hate us (i.e. Jews and Christians and even “compromising” Muslims) and want to kill us simply because we EXIST! And that there are 100 million Muslims who support Islamism!

  4. I don’t mean to jump to conclusions, but “Bp. Padovese cancel[ing] his trip to Cyprus for the papal visit because he feared that his driver might attempt an attack on Pope Benedict XVI” sort of makes the bishop an unwitting martyr for the Pope!

  5. chonak says:

    Two observations:

    It appears the bishop died because he acted to protect Pope Benedict.

    His killer struck eight times at the heart, which is the symbol of human and divine love.

  6. momoften says:

    Other parts of the article which should raise the ire of ALL Americans is below. Yes TomG they are a threat to us….

    According to El Pais, “the death of the Capuchin Franciscan bishop, known as an intellectual open to Islam, and who adored Turkey, occurred at a dramatic moment in the Middle East, right after Israel killed nine people (eight Turks and an American) in their assault on the humanitarian flotilla in international waters that attempted to pass through the Israeli blockade of Gaza.”

    Another less-covered topic, which is nevertheless of concern to the Vatican, was the expulsion of 28 Christians from Morocco, El Pais added. The Spanish daily argued that the Moroccan government took advantage of the international chaos to deport the missionaries who worked with the poor because they “perturbed the mentality of the good Muslim.”

    In his interview with the Spanish daily, Fr. di Giacomo asserted that the expulsion was a consequence of the “fatwa promulgated by 7,300 Moroccan Muslim doctors who recently declared that Christian charity ought to be considered religious terrorism.”

  7. TrueLiturgy says:

    Basically, I see three possibilities for the reasoning behind the death”

    1. The accused was insane.

    2. The accused was being abused and he snapped (not likely!)

    2. The accused was a religious radicalist, most likely to Islam, believing it was his duty to kill the Bishop, if he couldn’t kill the Pope (sounding more and more like the case)

  8. Geoffrey says:

    “Other parts of the article which should raise the ire of ALL Americans is below…”

    ALL mankind.

  9. Frank H says:

    Have we heard from any Muslim clerics decrying this murder?

  10. We’ll only hear from Muslim clerics as they whine about possible backlash.

  11. Incaelo says:

    I am somewhat unpleasantly surprised by the readiness of some to see this horrific murder as proof that 100 million people want to kill almost everyone else. Of course, terrorists and madmen exist, but this is sounding like a conspiracy theory. Why not wait for the result of legal actions before jumping to conclusions and manning the barricades?

    Frank H: I came across one response from a Muslim cleric. The mufti for Hatay province, where Bishop Padovese lived, said: “I have been deeply affected by the death of a colleague with whom I had been working together on projects for the region, Turkey and world peace.”

  12. Traductora says:

    I just got back from Spain, and the expulsion of the Christian aid workers from Morocco was big news there (although it doesn’t seem to have even made it to the press here). Note that the fatwa was promulgated by 7,300 Muslim doctors…thus showing that even education is incapable of overcoming the insanity that is Islam.

    As for this driver, I imagine (since he seems to have presented himself as a Catholic, originally) that he was placed in the service of the bishop by the Turkish government essentially as a spy. Clearly, he dropped the Catholic mask some time ago, and was obviously becoming so radical that even the Turkish government felt they couldn’t control him. Leaving aside the ravings of Ahmadinejad, I think Turkey is fast becoming the most dangerous Islamic country. I read another article in the Spanish press that said that Erdogan considers himself the new “caudillo” of the Islamic world. This is not good.

  13. FrCharles says:

    We’ve been praying for the rest of our Capuchin brother, and for an end to violence. May our holy father Francis, who managed to preach to the sultan Al-Kamil with no one ending up dead, pray for us.

  14. doanli says:

    I remember 5 years ago getting scoffed at by a fellow reader (British) of another blog when I suggested the rise of Islamism in Turkey should preclude it from joining the European Union.

    At least our “invaders” are Mexicans and other assorted Central Americans who are fellow Catholics. I shudder to think what Europe will be in the next 50 years. That is what happens when a society abandons God, I believe.

  15. Jacob says:

    I would be interested in a comprehensive list of Catholic and Orthodox religious who have been killed in Turkey in the last five years. I know of course of Father Santoro and I think there are a few others, but that’s just off hand from my memory.

    When Father Santoro died, I remember Cardinal Ruini intended to open a cause of beatification for the slain priest. Did anything ever come of that?

  16. MichaelJ says:

    Why are you surprised? When it comes down to it, the only reason Catholics do not go around murdering non-Catholics is because of the Grace that Christ gratuitously and freely gives to all who (at least nominally) follow Him. Do you really expect good behavior from a group of people whose core beliefs include an explicit rejection of Christ?

    That all moslems do not behave as raving lunatics is more a testament of Christ’s love (even for those that hate Him) than any inherent goodness found in the moslem faith.

  17. Jacob says:

    When it comes down to it, the only reason Catholics do not go around murdering non-Catholics is because of the Grace that Christ gratuitously and freely gives to all who (at least nominally) follow Him.
    Comment by MichaelJ — 9 June 2010 @ 12:39 pm

    I’m not sure I take your meaning by that.

  18. Gail F says:

    I take MichaelJ to mean that without grace, human beings typically go around murdering people they disagree with, but that the grace of God prevents most Christians from following their nature and doing so. A highly debatable proposition, to say the least.

    Does anyone know about this “fatwa” by thousands of Muslim doctors? I have not heard of that before.

  19. terryprest says:

    See the Annual Report of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom May 2010 (Covering April 1, 2009 – March 31, 2010) on Turkey at (.pdf file)

    Pages 304 et seq

  20. MichaelJ says:

    Not quite what I meant, but close. The Grace of God is necessary to give us the strength necessary to overcome our fallen nature. We cannot resist resist our sinful inclinations without His Grace.

  21. Leonius says:

    When God removes His grace from a person that person does not immediately become a homicidal murderer MichaelJ.

  22. MichaelJ says:

    I never suggested a timeframe, Leonius, but I am not sure if I understand the underlying principle you are trying to get across.

    One reading of what you say could be that the souls who have damned themselves to Hell are able, for a while at least, to do good.

    Additionally, I do not think God removes or witholds his Grace from anyone while they are alive. Instead, it is my understanding that he allows us to put up barriers to His Grace. I would think that an individual – for whatever reason – rejecting God Himself would be erecting a significant barrier.

  23. sirlouis says:

    Is there any reason why Bishop Padovese should not be recognized as a red martyr for the Faith, and therefore eligible to be raised to the Altar immeditely?

  24. Incaelo says:

    sirlouis: I would think the ongoing investigation into the facts of the case would be a reason.

    MichaelJ: I believe that God loves all His creation and is ready to give His grace to all people, despite their religion. That does not mean that Christ is not the most direct way towards full grace. His grace is not simply a barrier between civilised, moral behaviour and the savage urge to murder anyone.

    At the root of such antagonistic behaviour lies a black and white worldview of ‘we are good and they are evil’, and I see that trend as much in some Catholics replies on the blogosphere as in extremist Muslim circles.

  25. wanda says:

    doanli, Our invaders are not all from Central America and Mexico. Recently on Fox News they had a chart showing how many people had illegaly crossed our southern border and they were from everywhere. Somalia had a large number, for example. I do not have the specific numbers, but there was quite an array.

  26. MichaelJ says:


    It appears that I did not explain myself sufficiently. I agree, that ” God loves all His creation and is ready to give His grace to all people”, but take exception to your suggestion that Christ is simply the “most direct way towards full grace”. Sorry, He is the only way towards full grace. There is no indirect, hidden back road path toward Salvation.

    Getting back to the original point I was trying to make, there need be no antagonism nor a “black and white worldview of ‘we are good and they are evil’” to suppose that those who explicitly reject Christ are less likely to exhibit moral behavior.

    I, for example, am a Catholic who attends Mass frequently and avail myself of the Sacraments. I do not reject Christ, know with certainty that He will provide all that I need, and realize that His burden is truly light and His yoke is truly sweet.

    And yet…I continue to sin and often fail to behave morally. Does it really indicate antagonism or hatred to believe that others who do not accept the freely given Graces available to me will also sin and behave immorally?

  27. catholicmidwest says:

    Are you really surprised that this happened? He should have had a sane and Christian driver.

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