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The scene outside Santa Maria Church in Istanbul yesterday, where an armed attack took place (EWTN/Rudolf Gehrig)

Two masked assailants opened fire in a Catholic church in Istanbul during Mass yesterday morning, reportedly killing one person during the consecration. Source: CNA.

Bishop Massimiliano Palinuro, the apostolic vicar of Istanbul, told EWTN News yesterday that a man was killed “during the consecration” in the attack in Santa Maria Church in Istanbul’s Sariyer district.

Turkish Minister of the Interior Ali Yerlikaya confirmed that the attack occurred around 11.40am local time and that “a full-scale investigation” has been launched as authorities work to apprehend the assailants.

Mr Yerlikaya said the victim, referred to only as CT, was “the target of a gun attack and lost his life”.

Video footage of the attack obtained by EWTN News shows two armed men dressed in black following a man with white hair into the church and shooting him in the back of the head. Parishioners hid under the pews after the man was shot. It is not clear from the video if the assailants continued to fire shots as they aimed their weapons in several different directions in the church before quickly exiting.

“We strongly condemn this vile attack,” Mr Yerlikaya said.

In an interview with EWTN News less than two hours after the attack, Bishop Palinuro said that the victim was “shot by a gun inside the church during the consecration while all the congregation was praying”.

“We don’t know the reason … we have to wait to understand why this tragedy happened, happened in the church during the Mass,” Bishop Palinuro said.

The bishop has asked people to pray for the victims and the Catholic Church in Türkiye.

“We are worried about the future because if this is a sign of the religious intolerance, for our community it could be a bad sign. Let us pray.”

Pope Francis yesterday expressed his closeness to the “community of the church of Santa Maria Draperis in Istanbul” during his Angelus address in St Peter’s Square hours after the shooting.


One person killed in shooting at Catholic church in Istanbul, manhunt underway (By Courtney Mares, CNA)


Pope decries attack on Catholic Church in Istanbul (Vatican News)