By Vatican News
The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, conveyed his unwavering support to the Catholic community in Türkiye, in the wake of the attack against the Church of St. Mary Draperis in Istanbul, in which a 52-year-old man was killed.
Upon receiving the news, the Patriarch contacted the Apostolic Vicar of Istanbul, Bishop Massimiliano Palinuro, and expressed his condolences to the grieving family of the victim on behalf of both himself and the Patriarchate. No injuries were reported in the incident.
ISIS claiming responsibility for the attack
At least 47 suspects have been arrested in relation to the assault conducted by two masked gunmen during Sunday Mass.
Two of the arrested suspects are believed to be affiliated with the so-called Islamic State, which reportedly claimed responsibility for the shooting on Sunday.
It would be the first terrorist attack by the group in the country since the Istanbul New Year Reina nightclub attack on 31 December 2017, in which 39 people lost their lives.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a video posted on social media that all security forces and resources have been mobilized across the country.
During his phone conversation with Bihop Palinuro, Patriarch Bartholomew expressed confidence in the authorities’ commitment to thoroughly investigating the incident and highlighted the need to prevent fear and disrupting the peaceful coexistence of religious communities Türkiye.
Pope Francis also noted the attack during the Angelus at St. Peter’s Square. “I express my closeness to the community of Istanbul, which during the Mass suffered an armed attack with one dead and some wounded,” he said.