DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     May 11, 1998     vol. 9, no. 91

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Several Italian newspapers today carried slightly differing versions of what was said to be a suicide note written by Swiss Guard Corporal Cedric Tornay to his parents on the afternoon before the fatal encounter in which he apparently killed Colonel Alois Estermann and his wife, then turned his weapon on himself.

          No paper carried a photo of the letter-- a fact which suggested that the text had been dictated to reporters by an indiscreet investigator. And the versions published in different newspapers showed some small differences, presumably because of differences in translating the original French. But the different versions were not fundamentally incompatible, and the text of the letter was plausible. Corriere della Sera, considered one of the country's more respectable papers, carried the most complete text.

          The text, as it appears, matches the investigators' explanation of the crime. In the purported letter, Tornay asks his mother's forgiveness for what he is about to do. He indicates that he has been deeply wounded by the harshness of his superior, Colonel Estermann, and by the absence of any official recognition for his service. "I ask your pardon for leaving you alone, but my duty calls," he says, asking his mother to convey his love to the other members of the family.

          Investigators in Rome have not officially released any information about the contents of Tornay's last letter, and the Vatican has made it clear that the letter would not be made public without the explicit permission of the family. Tornay's mother, who came to Rome for her son's funeral, has avoided all contact with the press.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

May 11, 1998       volume 9, no. 91


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