Zamboanga (AsiaNews) – At the moment, “there is no certainty about the identity of the kidnappers of Fr Giancarlo Bossi”, a missionary of the Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions (PIME), who was kidnapped from his parish of Payao on 10 June. So it is “impossible to say that his kidnappers are Islamic extremists or separatist guerrillas”, a brother priest of Fr Bossi told AsiaNews. Fr Luciano Benedetti has been following developments in the kidnapping case from the very beginning, from the regional house of PIME in Zamboanga.
The three photographs of the abducted missionary which came into the hands of his brother friends yesterday “are a positive sign, but the only thing to do now is to wait for secure contact that is worthy of trust, to wait for the abductors to emerge and to give concrete evidence about the health of Fr Bossi.”
In the meantime, searches continue for the priest. The military, which is running the operations, has deployed men and means across practically the entire southern peninsula of Mindanao, but they have warned that the wait “could be a long one”.
While waiting for news, PIME has called an international day of prayer for the release of Fr Bossi on 10 July, exactly one month after his kidnapping.
The cloistered sisters in Italy have joined in this initiative on the invitation of the Pontifical Missionary Union. A letter to the religious sisters by the national secretary, Fr Ciro Biondi, read: “Knowing that you are united with us in prayer... makes us feel strong in the hope that the Lord will move in the hearts of those people who, surely just because of unreasonable calculations, are keeping him far from the place where the Lord Jesus sent him.”