Papal Condolences for Missionary Slain in Uganda

GULU, Uganda, APRIL 4, 2004 ( John Paul II sent a message to express his sympathy for the murder of a 76-year-old Comboni missionary last week in Uganda.

The papal telegram, sent by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, was read on Friday by Archbishop Pierre Christophe, the apostolic nuncio in Uganda, during the funeral of Father Luciano Fulvi. Some 3,500 attended the funeral.

In his note the Pope expressed his condolences and called on the Ugandan government to protect civilians and innocent people.

Father Fulvi, originally from Pescia, Italy, was found dead Wednesday in his room of the Layibi mission, on the outskirts of Gulu, in northern Uganda. His throat had been slit. Two knives were found near a wall surrounding the courtyard of the mission.

The Missionary Service News Agency reported that “Religious sources underlined the absence of government representatives” at the funeral.