to any critisism of their horrid ideology!
Cardinal: Murdered priest a ‘Catholic martyr’
By Cindy Wooden
ROME – Cardinal Camillo Ruini, papal vicar for Rome, said he intends to open a cause for the sainthood of Father Andrea Santoro, a Rome missionary murdered in Turkey.
"In the process for beatification and canonization I intend to open, we will respect fully all of the rules and times of the church, but already I am internally persuaded that all of the elements of Christian martyrdom are present in the sacrifice of Father Andrea," Cardinal Ruini said Feb. 10 as he celebrated the priest's funeral.
Father Santoro, a priest of the Diocese of Rome who had worked in Turkey since 2000, was shot and killed Feb. 5 as he prayed in St. Mary Church in the Black Sea coastal city of Trebizond.
Turkish police arrested a 16-year-old male in connection with the murder.
Church rules would require Cardinal Ruini to wait five years before opening the official process to have Father Santoro declared a martyr, a formal recognition that he was killed out of hatred for his faith.
During the funeral at Rome's Basilica of St. John Lateran, Cardinal Ruini said Father Santoro knew and accepted the fact that his pastoral activity in Turkey would be largely hidden and quiet.
"In fact, he was convinced that a prayerful presence and the witness of his life would speak for themselves and would be an effective sign of Jesus Christ and a leaven of love and reconciliation," the cardinal said.
Cardinal Ruini also spoke about the reaction of the priest's mother, who sat in the front row, nodding in agreement.
"With all her heart the mother of Father Andrea forgives the person who armed himself to kill her son, and she feels great pain for him because he, too, is a son of the one God who is love," the cardinal said.
Copyright (c) 2006 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops