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June 9, 2010

Report: Bishop Padovese canceled Cyprus trip to avoid assassination of Pope

This is a new development in the story out of Turkey about the grisly stabbing-decapitation murder of Catholic Bishop Luigi Padovese by his Muslim chauffeur. Different theories for what happened have emerged in recent days (e.g., insanity, jihad, retaliation for abuse, etc.), and obviously it's not clear yet what exactly happened. But if what this Catholic News Agency report says is true about the chauffeur, then the Jihad theory may be the more likely scenario.
An Italian Vatican expert is saying that Bishop Luigi Padovese, Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia and President of the Turkish Bishops’ Conference, canceled his trip to Cyprus because he feared that his driver –who later confessed to killing the bishop- 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.”

Speaking to the Spanish daily El Pais, Fr. di Giacomo added that “knowing this, Padovese canceled the tickets he had reserved to Cyprus for himself and Altun (his driver). He preferred to stay home rather than to make the trip because he feared that his driver would take advantage of his proximity to the Pope and make an attempt on his life. . . ” (continue reading)