PAPHOS, Cyprus (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI says he is "deeply saddened" by the killing of a Catholic bishop in Turkey but adds that the killing is not political and would not cloud his pilgrimage to Cyprus.
The pope told journalists en route to Cyprus on Friday that "this has nothing to do with the themes and realities of this trip."
Benedict began a sensitive, three-day visit to Cyprus just a day after the killing in Turkey of Bishop Luigi Padovese, who had been scheduled to meet with the pontiff.
He said that "we must not give responsibility to Turkey or the Turks."
The pontiff appeared to accept Turkey's explanation about the killing, saying it was not "a political or religious assassination, it was something personal."