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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.



Copyright 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved