Vatican mourns slain bishop

The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano praised the slain Bishop Luigi Locati as a "heroic witness to the Gospel" in Kenya.

Catholic World News reports that the paper responded quickly to the killing of Bishop Locati, who had headed the apostolic vicariate of Isiolo in Kenya. Bishop Locati was gunned down by three men near his home on Thursday evening.

Archbishop Alain Lebeaupin, the apostolic nuncio in Kenya, told a Vatican Radio audience that he thought the murder was an act of "banditry," and that it did not seem to be connected with local political or religious conflicts. Archbishop Lebeaupin added that the slain bishop was well loved by the people of Isiolo, where he had spent most of his 77 years.

An old friend, Dr. Gianfranco Morino, agreed that the bishop was popular, because "he had done a lot for the people." But Dr. Morino-- who himself has spent 20 years working with AIDS victims in Kenya-- also observed that Bishop Locati, may also have had enemies. "For people of a strong character it is normal, probably, to have some enemies," he said.

Isiolo, in central Kenya, has often been the scene of ethnic conflicts, as well as occasional religious disputes between Christians and Muslims. The town is some distance away from Marsabit, where ethnic clashes earlier this week resulted in 80 deaths.

Vatican mourns slain bishop (Catholic World News 15/7/05)

Murder of Bishop Locati, Apostolic Vicar of Isiolo, Kenya (Vatican Information Service 15/7/05)
Vatican says Catholic bishop shot dead in Kenya (Irish Times 15/7/05)
Pope 'saddened' by shooting of bishop (Irish Times 16/7/05)
Bishop murdered in Kenya (catholicireland.net 15/7/05)
Italian bishop killed in Kenya (ABC/AFP 15/7/05)
Italian missionary bishop shot dead in northeast Kenya (Catholic News Service 15/7/05)
Italian Bishop murdered in Kenya; police, Vatican still asking why? (Catholic News Agency 15/7/05)
Kenyan bishop murdered (Catholic World News 15/7/05)
Catholic bishop killed in northern Kenya near tribal fighting (Ecumenical News International 15/7/05)
Roman Catholic Bishop Killed in Kenya (The Herald-Sun Durham North Carolina/Associated Press 15/7/05)
Bishop killed (Herald-Sun 16/7/05)
Apostolic Italian vicar killed (Missionary Service News Agency 15/7/05)
Apostolic Italian vicar killed/2 (Missionary Service News Agency 15/7/05)
From editor's desk: Fr. Andeni, Fr. Kaiser, Monsignor Locati… (Missionary Service News Agency 15/7/05)
Italian apostolic vicar killed, "it was not a robbery" (Missionary Service News Agency 15/7/05)
Murder of Monsignor Locati - contested school might be motive? (Missionary Service News Agency 15/7/05)
Murder of Monsignor Locati: Pope sends telegrams of condolences (Missionary Service News Agency 16/7/05)
Bishop Luigi Locati Slain in Kenya (Zenit 14/7/05)

18 Jul 2005