Pope Hopes Priest's Murder, Linked to Cartoons, Will Lead to Dialogue

February 8, 2006

Source: BBC News


On February 8, 2006 BBC News reported, "Pope Benedict XVI has paid tribute to an Italian priest shot dead in Turkey. The Pope said he hoped the 'sacrifice' of Andrea Santoro would contribute towards dialogue between religions.

There has been speculation that the shooting may have been linked to the controversy over cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad.

A 16-year-old boy is under arrest in connection with the killing, which took place at the priest's church in the Black Sea port of Trabzon.

Speaking at his weekly audience, the Pope said a letter from the 61-year-old priest, dated 31 January, had arrived after his death.

In it, he spoke of his work with the minority Christian community in Turkey.

'May the sacrifice of his life contribute to the cause of dialogue among religions and peace among peoples,' the Pope said...

Turkish politicians have condemned the killing of Father Santoro and say they hope there is no link to the widespread outrage over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

The priest's work with prostitutes in the area has also been suggested as a possible motive for the attack."