Remains of Bishop Padovese to Rest in Native Milan

Istanbul Apostolic Vicar Urges Search for Murder’s Motive

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MILAN, Italy, JUNE 8, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The archbishop of Milan has announced the date and time for the final funeral Mass of Bishop Luigi Padovese, whose remains will rest in Milan next to those of his family.

Bishop Padovese was serving as the apostolic vicar in Anatolia and president of the Turkish bishops’ conference. He was murdered Thursday in Iskenderun, hours before he was to travel to Cyprus to participated in Benedict XVI’s apostolic trip to the island.

Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop of Milan, will preside over the solemn funeral rites on Monday at 10:30 a.m.

A statement from the archdiocese affirmed that during the funeral, the Church of Milan will “express its gratitude to the Lord for the gift of this son of the Ambrosian land.”

The cardinal is inviting all faithful, particularly priests, religious, missionaries and youth to attend the funeral.

The Church in Turkey already held a funeral for the 63-year-old bishop last Monday.

Unfounded rumors

Meanwhile the apostolic vicar in Instanbul, Bishop Louis Pelâtre, reacted to the murderer’s current story regarding his motives for killing the prelate.

The bishop was stabbed repeated and nearly decapitated by his driver, who has admitted to the murder and is now claiming the bishop was homosexual.

Bishop Pelâtre characterized the murderer’s story as “authentic calumnies,” the Italian bishops’ SIR news agency reported.

Though the driver is recognized as having recently suffered a severe depression, there is still no clarity regarding his motives.

Bishop Pelâtre affirmed that “in this moment it is more necessary than ever to clear this up as soon as possible. Theories circulate that are just that — theories — given the lack of proof.”

“What this young driver has done is, for the moment, unexplainable,” he added, “and because of that, explanations must be sought.”

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