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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.

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

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18 Jul 2005