Paolo Bizzeti, who was appointed as the vicar apostolic of Anatolia by the Vatican in August, assumed office yesterday by presiding over his first Mass at a Catholic Church yesterday in southern Turkey.
Archbishop Bizzeti, who replaced Luigi Padovese, who was killed five years ago by his driver, said he was "back home" in Turkey where he has been organizing tours for the Catholic faithful for years. The Italian archbishop was ordained in 1975, and is author of a book on Turkey.
"I always wanted to live in Hatay, and God helped me fulfill my wish today," he told the congregation in the city of Hatay where the İskenderun Catholic Church is located. Hatay is known for its diverse ethnic and religious population, and is seat of a Vatican vicariate.