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BREAKING: 1 person killed in shooting at Catholic church in Istanbul

The scene outside a Catholic church in Istanbul, Turkey, where a reported armed attack took place on Jan. 28, 2024. / Credit: Rudolf Gehrig/EWTN

Rome Newsroom, Jan 28, 2024 / 06:53 am (CNA).

Two masked assailants opened fire in a Catholic church in Istanbul during Mass on Sunday morning, reportedly killing one person during the consecration.

Bishop Massimiliano Palinuro, the apostolic vicar of Istanbul, told EWTN News on Jan. 28 that a parishioner was killed “during the consecration” in the attack on Santa Maria Church in Istanbul’s Sariyer district.

Turkish Minister of the Interior Ali Yerlikaya has confirmed that the attack occurred around 11:40 a.m. local time and that “a full-scale investigation” has been launched as authorities work to apprehend the assailants.

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

Turkish Police stand guard outside the scene of an armed attack at a Catholic Church in Istanbul, Turkey, on Jan. 28, 2024. Credit: Rudolf Gehrig/EWTN

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,” Palinuro said.

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

“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.”

This is a developing story. EWTN journalists Colm Flynn and Rudolf Gehrig contributed to this report from the scene of the attack in Istanbul, Turkey.

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