The Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) first of all wants to thank all those who have been praying and working for the release of Fr Giancarlo Bossi who was kidnapped on June 10 in Payao, Mindanao Island.
Since the beginnings the Italian government has gone into action in the Philippines through its ambassador and in Italy through the Foreign Ministry’s crisis unit to provide PIME with all the necessary support.
Indeed tomorrow a delegation from the crisis unit will arrive in Mindanao to work with local political and Church authorities as well as PIME missionaries.
So far PIME has neither received any demands nor does it know who the kidnappers are.
For this reason to view the event as a conflict between Christians and Muslims is for the time being unjustified.
PIME does not want to be involved in any political squabbles and is sorry that a person’s life is being used for someone else’s ends.
In fact, according to PIME officials in the Philippines, the recent controversy in Italy runs the risk of being counterproductive, making the release of our Brother even more difficult.
Hence in order to avoid any speculation, PIME will hereafter express its views by official press releases.
Fr Gian Battista Zanchi
PIME Superior General
July 2, 2007