The Institute is sad over the death of the murdered missionary but is grateful for the solidarity of friends. It offers prayers for the clergyman’s relatives, other missionaries and his killers. The press statement by the head office of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) follows.
Rome (AsiaNews) – Mass media in Italy, in the Philippines, and in the world have already reported the killing of our confrere Fr. Fausto Tentorio in Arakan, on the Filipino island of Mindanao. We confirm the principal facts of the case, that is, that an unknown gunman fired several times at Fr. Tentorio as he was about to get into his car in front of the parish church. The killer fled on a motorcycle driven by an accomplice. So far, we know neither the identity of the killer nor the precise reason for this crime.
None of our confreres has the intention of being a hero, but simply of being faithful to his missionary vocation. Some time ago Fr. Fausto Tentorio signed a declaration in which he stated: “Thankful to God for the great gift of a missionary vocation, I am aware that it involves the possibility of finding myself in situations of serious risk for my health and personal safety on account of epidemics, abductions, assaults and wars, up to the eventuality of a violent death. With trust in God I accept everything as coming from His hands, and I offer my life for Christ and for the spread of His Kingdom.” That is what he declared and that is what he lived. His sacrifice took place only a few days before World Mission Sunday and coincided with the call of Pope Benedict XVI to give a new impetus to the new evangelization and to the mission ad gentes.
We are grateful to all those who have expressed their closeness to us in this moment of sorrow, whether directly to the PIME community in the Philippines or to the entire Institute through our Superior General. For our part we pray, and ask everyone to pray, for the repose of the soul of Fr. Tentorio and for those suffering the most from this sad event: his family members, among his faith and love were nurtured; the Church and the people of Mindanao, whom Fr. Tentorio served and whom he loved so much; the PIME community in the Philippines, suffering once again because of the violent death of a confrere. Finally, we pray for the conversion of the killer and those who commissioned him, so that they may open their hearts to the Lord, who desires not the damnation of the sinner, but that he repent and have eternal life.