Bishop Luigi Padovese, O.F.M.Cap., 63, Vicar Apostolic of Anatolia and president of the Catholic bishops conference of Turkey, was stabbed to death outside his home in the Mediterranean port of Iskenderun June 3. He was scheduled to leave for Cyprus the following day to meet with the pope.
According to first reports, he was killed by his driver of over four years, who was mentally unstable and was receiving psychological treatment. Others, however, doubt that and say the driver was very loyal to Padovese.
Born in Milan in 1947, Padovese entered the Capuchin novitiate in 1965, and for many years taught patristics at the Pontifical Antonianum University in Rome. From 1988 until he was named a bishop in Turkey in 2004, he directed the Franciscan Institute of Spirituality at the Antonianum. For many years he has been closely involved in ecumenical work and in dialog with Islam.
In 2007, Fr. Adriano Franchini, O.F.M.Cap., superior of the Capuchin Custody of Turkey, was killed in similar fashion in northern Turkey. At that time, Padovese said, "Our will to remain here has been reinforced by this act of aggression."