His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew expressed his support and condolences to the Roman Catholic bishop of the city; see below.

For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in Turkey, see here.

“Armed assailants launched deadly attack on Catholic church in Constantinople,” Orthodox Times, January 28, 2024:

An armed attack occurred at a Catholic church in Constantinople, resulting in the tragic loss of one life.

At approximately 11:40 in the morning, during the Sunday Divine Liturgy, two masked assailants, armed and unidentified, entered the Catholic church of Santa Maria in Buyukdere on the European side of the Bosphorus, opening fire.

Among the churchgoers, an individual succumbed to a fatal gunshot wound to the head during the attack.

Heavy police forces and ambulances swiftly responded to the scene.

The Turkish Minister of Justice announced via social media that a prosecutor’s investigation is underway into the incident. To facilitate this, two heads of the Constantinople General Prosecutor’s Office and one deputy prosecutor have been appointed.

Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya, in a statement on platform X, denounced the attack and indicated that it may have been targeted against an individual with the initials CT, who lost their life during the incident….

Ömer Çelik, spokesperson for the Justice and Development Party (AKP), posted about the attack: “We strongly condemn the attack against one of our citizens during the service at the church of Santa Maria in Constantinople. Our security forces are conducting thorough investigations into the incident. Those who turn against the peace and security of our citizens will never achieve their goal.”

And Constantinople Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu condemned the attack in a post: “I condemn the armed attack during the Sunday service at the Santa Maria church in Sarıyer. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of CT, who lost his life, and wish a swift recovery to the injured. We will never allow those who try to disturb our unity and peace by attacking the places of faith in our city.”

Pope Francis says he is by the side of the Italian Catholic Church in Constantinople

“I declare that I am on the side of the community of the Church of Santa Maria Draperis in Constantinople, which during the service was attacked by an armed attack with one dead and many injured,” the Pope said after the end of the prayer in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican.

Source: ANA-MPA / Translated by Thanos Chrysanthopoulos

“The Ecumenical Patriarch expressed his support to the Bishop of the Roman Catholics in the City and the community around him for the attack on the Church of Santa Maria Büyükdere,” a translation of “Ο Οικουμενικός Πατριάρχης εξέφρασε τη συμπαράστασή του προς τον Επίσκοπο των εν τη Πόλει ΡΚαθολικών και την περί αυτόν κοινότητα για την επίθεση στον Ναό Santa Maria Büyükdere,” Ecumenical Patriarchate, January 28, 2024:

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, as soon as he was informed of the armed murderous attack that happened during the Sunday Divine Liturgy at the Catholic Church of Santa Maria Bathyrryakos (Büyükdere), contacted by phone the God-loving Bishop of the Roman Catholics in the city, Massimiliano Palinuro, expressing his support and the warm condolences of himself personally and of the Mother Church to the family of the victim and to the Roman Catholic Community as a whole. His All-Holiness expressed the certainty that the competent authorities will do what is necessary to clear up the tragic event, and pointed out that no one should allow fear to prevail at the expense of social peace and the harmonious coexistence of religious communities in the country.