Rome (Agenzia Fides) – "A kind and generous man, born in Milan, but with a great Turkish affection." This is how Bishop Luigi Padovese was described by Archbishop Fahrat, Nuncio emeritus in Turkey, speaking of the Bishop of Iskerendum who was killed last June 3, at the exhibition "Glimpses of the Christians of the Middle East," which closes today, October 22 in Rome.
"He loved peace, but was a man of science who sought the truth. He was a man loved by everyone and respected by all." One question will always remain unanswered: why was he killed? There are memories filled with admiration and affection also in the words of Monsignor Louis Pelatre, Apostolic Vicar of Istanbul, who worked with Bishop Padovese in the Bishops' Conference in Turkey.
"We have such a vivid, living memory of him - added Fra Paolo Martinelli, Dean of Franciscan spirituality at the Pontifical University Antonianum - it seems incredible that he's dead: death does not make sense for a man who was so alive." He is still "a man of dialogue and communion, 'doors and not walls', the pastor of a small flock open to the friendship of peoples." He was - and always preached to others to be-a 'repairer of churches', a bridge builder. A man who knowingly accepted the risk that 'he would be asked to give it all'. " "With his death - said Martinelli - the plight of Christians in the Middle East was brought into the limelight, that plight that they suffer every day amidst the complicitous silence of the West." (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 22/10/2010)