Monday, December 17, 2007

Priest stabbed after Sunday mass in Turkey

Italian Roman Catholic Ariano Franchini is seen in the western Turkish coastal city of Izmir in this undated file photo. Franchini was stabbed on December 16, 2007 at his church in the city of Izmir in western Turkey, police said, in an incident that recalled the fatal shooting of another Italian priest in Turkey in 2006. REUTERS/Cihan News Agency (TURKEY) QUALITY FROM SOURCE. TURKEY OUT

Another Catholic priest is stabbed in the so called moderate Muslim country of Turkey. But will the Christians take to the streets and riot? Will they demand the blood of Muslims?

No, they will follow the lead of the Lord Jesus and pray for the priest, for the thugs and for the conversion of the world. That's what I'll be doing and that what I urge you to do as well.

Suzan Fraser in Ankara
Monday December 17, 2007

The Guardian


A Catholic priest was stabbed in the stomach after Sunday mass yesterday in the latest in a series of attacks on Turkey's tiny Christian minority.

Italian Roman Catholic Ariano Franchini (R) poses with other priests in the western Turkish coastal city of Izmir in this undated file photo. Franchini was stabbed on December 16, 2007 at his church in the city of Izmir in western Turkey, police said, in an incident that recalled the fatal shooting of another Italian priest in Turkey in 2006. REUTERS/Cihan News Agency (TURKEY) QUALITY FROM SOURCE. TURKEY OUT

A police spokesman told the Reuters news agency that Capuchin Father Adriano Franchini, the superior of the Custody of Turkey, was expected to survive. Three people were arrested as suspects.

The stabbing occurred in the Bayrakli parish church, in Izmir.

Franchini is responsible for the Capuchin order in Turkey and heads the Church of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus, the Italian embassy said.

The news channel Haberturk said the assailant approached the priest asking for information about Christianity. An argument broke out and the man stabbed the priest, the report said.

A plainclothes policeman leads a suspect (R, in blue), believed to have stabbed Italian Roman Catholic priest Adriano Franchini, into a police van after he was questioned in the city police department in the western Turkish coastal city of Izmir December 16, 2007. Franchini was stabbed on Sunday at his church in the city of Izmir in western Turkey, police said, in an incident that recalled the fatal shooting of another Italian priest in Turkey in 2006. REUTERS/Stringer (TURKEY)

There have been a number of similar attacks over the past two years. In February 2006, at a time of widespread anger in the Islamic world over the publication in European newspapers of caricatures of the prophet Muhammad, a 16-year-old boy shot and killed a priest as he prayed in a church in the city of Trabzon.

A view of the St. Antoine Catholic church in the western Turkish coastal city of Izmir December 16, 2007. Adriano Franchini, an Italian Roman Catholic priest, was stabbed on Sunday at the church in the city of Izmir in western Turkey, police said, in an incident that recalled the fatal shooting of another Italian priest in Turkey in 2006. REUTERS/Stringer (TURKEY)

After that murder a Catholic priest was attacked in Izmir and another was stabbed in the Black Sea port of Samsun.

In November this year an Assyrian cleric was abducted in south-east Turkey and rescued by security forces.

In April three Christians were killed at a publishing house that produces Bibles. Last week Turkey began an investigation into alleged collusion between police officers and at least one of the suspects charged in the killings. The three victims, a German and two Turks who had converted to Christianity, were tied up and had their throats slit.
Associated Press

The Unam Sanctam coverage of the murder of Fr. Santoro can be found here:
http://andrew4jc.blogspot.com/2007/02/remembering-fr-andrea-santoro.html