Friday, February 10, 2006

Another dead, another attacked

Vatican Grieves Murder of Portuguese Missionary in Angola

Elderly Priest Killed at Short Range

BAILUNDO, Angola, FEB. 10, 2006 ( The Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples expressed its sadness over the murder of Portuguese missionary Father José Afonso, 80.

The priest of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, "was shot seven times at close range in the face," a church source in Angola told Fides.

"The missionary had just gone to bed when about 15 armed men broke into his room and shot him dead without even giving him time to get out of bed," reported Fides.

Police think the motive was robbery. "[T]he modest house was turned upside down and the catechist, the missionary's assistant, was threatened and ordered to hand over objects of value," Fides reported.

While Father Afonso was killed by thugs looking for valuables, Father Kmetec managed to escape with his life:

Priest Is Attacked in Turkey

ANKARA, Turkey, FEB. 9, 2006 ( A group of youths attacked a Franciscan friar in Izmir, Turkey, only days after an Italian missionary priest was murdered in Trabzon.

"The boys grabbed him by the throat shouting, 'We will kill you all,'" Bishop Luigi Padovese, apostolic vicar of Anatolia, told AsiaNews.

According to the bishop this latest aggression is the "fruit of rampant fanaticism." The attack against Father Martin Kmetec took place within a monastic compound. The priest hails from Slovenia.

Bishop Padovese said that Father Kmetec reported the incident to local police but "they took little heed of the attack."

Only today the Vatican officially confirmed that Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer has invited Benedict XVI to pay an official visit to the nation this Nov. 28-30. The Pope has accepted the invitation.

Last Sunday, Italian-born Father Andrea Santoro was shot and killed in his parish church.

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