07/08/2007, 00.00
PHILIPPINES

Search for Fr Bossi: between anticipation and hope

The brother priests of the missionary who was kidnapped on 10 June in the Philippines say the emergence of photos of Fr Bossi have boosted hopes but have also sparked dangerous speculation. Today, across the nation, fervent prayers were said for his release and deliverance from his captors.

Zamboanga (AsiaNews) – Search operations to find Fr Giancarlo Bossi, a missionary of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) kidnapped from his parish of Payao on 10 June, “are proceeding as usual: we are living this long wait in the hope that good news will come soon, and that we will soon know for certain who is behind the kidnapping.” This is what Fr Luciano Benedetti told AsiaNews; a brother priest of Fr Bossi, Fr Benedetti has been following developments in the kidnapping case closely from the start, from the regional house of PIME in Zamboanga.

The emergence of photographs of the kidnapped priest two days ago, “has raised hopes, but now there are speculations and requests coming from strange people, who we prefer to keep at bay. The interest of the media can also be dangerous if it is not well managed: we are interested in Fr Bossi as a person, not as an object of curiosity.”

This is just why prayers for his release are being organized continuously: the community of PIME in the Philippines has invited the nation’s faithful – as it has done every day so far – to “pray incessantly” for the liberation of Fr Bossi and for his deliverance from those who kidnapped him.

The international day of prayer called by PIME, due to be held on 10 July, exactly one month after the kidnapping of the missionary, will be held in the Philippines at the Euntes Centre in Zamboanga. The diocese of Milan has also taken up the invitation of the Institute, and today prayers for Fr Bossi and for all Christians who suffer for the sake of the Gospel are being said in all Masses. In Rome, a prayer meeting will be held at 8.30pm in the chapel of the Generalate House: here, the Superior General, Fr Gian Battista Zanchi, will preside over a Mass.

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