Prominent Turkish Bishop Stabbed to Death

The president of the Turkish bishops' conference, Bishop Luigi Padovese, was stabbed to death June 3 at his home in Iskenderun, said the Vatican nuncio in Turkey. Archbishop Antonio Lucibello confirmed the death of the 63-year-old bishop, reported Vatican Radio. The bishop's driver was arrested as the prime suspect in the murder and confessed, Vatican Radio said. Deniz Kilicer, counselor at the Turkish embassy to the Holy See, told Catholic News Service that the embassy was told that Bishop Padovese had been killed by his driver and close friend, Murat Altun, a Christian. Altun "was under psychiatric treatment for the past month and Msgr. Padovese was taking him to the hospital for his treatment" when he attacked the bishop, she said. The attack occurred about 1:30 p.m., and the bishop was rushed to the hospital and died about an hour later, she said. Citing the bishop's longtime assistant, Sister Eleonora de Stefano, who said Murat had been showing signs of depression and confusion for several days, Vatican Radio said the murder did not appear to have a political or religious motive. Kilicer, who knew Bishop Padovese, described him as "very charming, very intelligent. He was one of the best experts on St. Paul." "As an embassy, we are shocked," she said. "We lost a friend of Turkey."

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