Bishop found dead in Hatay home

Bishop Luigi Padovese, the pope’s apostolic vicar in Anatolia, was found dead at his house in the southern province of Hatay yesterday afternoon. The bishop had been stabbed to death, according to news sources.
Hatay police initiated an investigation into the incident. Police believe the murder could be the work of Padovese’s driver. Hatay Governor Mehmet Celalettin Lekesiz said the driver, Murat A., was detained shortly after the murder, and was being interrogated by the time Today’s Zaman went to print.

Padovese made his last public appearance on Tuesday at the Syriac Catholic Church in Ä°skenderun where he condemned the killings of at least nine peace activists on a Gaza-bound aid ship in international waters by Israeli naval commandos. Hatay is home to various religious communities that have been residing in the city in peace and harmony for centuries.

The killing of Padovese, however, is reminiscent of the killings of Catholic priest Father Andrea Santoro in Trabzon and three Christian missionaries in Malatya. The priest was stabbed to death on Feb. 5, 2006, in his church by a youngster in the northern Black Sea port city of Trabzon. The Christian missionaries were brutally killed at a Christian publishing house in April 2007. They were tied to chairs, tortured and stabbed at the Zirve Publishing House before their throats were slit. The publishing house they worked for printed Bibles and Christian literature.