Salvatore Colombo

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Pietro Salvatore Colombo, OFM (October 28, 1922 - 9 July 1989) was the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mogadiscio (Somalia) from 1976 until his assassination.


Colombo was born in Carate Brianza, near Milan. He served the people of Somalia from 1946, after he had been ordained a priest in Milan, Italy, until his death 43 years later. He was appointed as the first Bishop of Mogadishu in 1975, and ordained as Bishop of Mogadishu on 16 March 1976.[1]

Bishop Colombo was well regarded by non-Catholics, whether Muslim or secular. Bishop Colombo was known for his pragmatic oversight of aid projects, making sure that aid projects could operate after the foreign aid workers went home. The government of President Siad Barre did not tolerate proselytizing, but was comfortable with the humanitarian aid dispensed by the Church.[2]

Bishop Colombo was killed in his cathedral by an unknown assassin. President Barre blamed radical Islamists and offered a bounty for their capture.[3]

No bishop has been appointed for Mogadishu since Monsignor Colombo's death. Currently, the welfare of Catholics in Somalia is overseen by an Apostolic Administrator, Dr. Giorgio Bertin, who is also the Apostolic Administrator of Mogadishu.

See also[edit]


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Antonio Silvio Zocchetta
as Vicar Apostolic
Bishop of Mogadiscio
1975 – 1989
Succeeded by
Giorgio Bertin
as Apostolic Administrator