Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday appealed for mutual respect for religious belief as he mourned an Italian nun slain in Somalia in an attack some have speculated was linked to Muslim anger at his recent remarks about Islam and violence.
"In reaffirming the firm denunciation for every form of violence, his holiness hopes that the blood spilled by such a faithful disciple of the Gospel becomes the seed of hope to construct authentic brotherhood among peoples in the mutual respect for the religious convictions of each other," read a papal condolence telegram released by the Vatican.
The 65-year-old nun, who taught and worked at a pediatrics hospital in Mogadishu, was slain Sunday. There was no claim of responsibility, but many speculated the shooting was linked to Muslim anger toward Benedict.
In a speech last week, the pope quoted a Medieval text that characterized some of the teachings of Islam's founder as "evil and inhuman" and linked Islam with violence.