12/16/2007, 00.00
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Izmir: Fr. Franchini out of danger

Msgr. Luigi Padovese, Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia confirms to AsiaNews, adding: “They can only hypothesise on the author of this attack, what remains certain is that attacks against Christians continue. There are many diseased branches on the tree of Turkey”.

Izmir (AsiaNews) – The Capuchin friar knifed this morning in Izmir, Fr. Adriano Franchini, “has undergone surgery and is now out of ranger, because the blade did not damage any vital organs but only intestinal tissue.  Little is known as of yet about the assailant, but investigations are continuing”.  Msgr. Luigi Padovese, Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia confirms to AsiaNews.

The attack on Fr. Franchini, says Msgr. Padovese, “so far has no particular intent, because until the aggressor is caught nothing can be claimed about what motivated his actions.  They can only hypothesis, but what must be underlined is that once again, an act of violence has targeted a Catholic priest in Turkey”.

Of course, continues the prelate “one can say that it is not the best of situations: a certain anti-Christian and xenophobic strain is emerging from some of the Turkish press and it has also emerged that there was complicity between police and politicians regarding the Malatya slaughter [where on April 18 three Christians were murdered, two Turks and one German, who worked at a publishing house “guilty” of having published Bibles – ed].

Despite this, “it cannot be claimed that this strain has infiltrated the entire Nation: the healthy tree of Turkey has many diseased branches, which are trying their best to infect the situation.  These acts do not have the approval of the vast majority of the population, nor that of the government, because the realise how much they damage the national image”.

This is confirmed by the  “particular attention the government paid to the Christian minority following the attack which cost Don Andrea Santoro’s life, an escort was assigned to all Christian religious, to this day they are still with me.  Certainly the very presence of this escort confirms however, that problems still exist”.

Superior of the Custody of Turkey, Fr. Franchini, had only recently returned to Turkey after a long stay in Italy for medical reasons.  He was by chance at Bayrakli parish in Izmir this morning: he is in reality the curate at “Meryem Ana Evi” The House of Mary in Ephesus.


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