01/22/2008, 00.00
ITALY – PHILIPPINES
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“I am very happy” to go back to the Philippines, says Father Bossi

The clergyman, a missionary with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions abducted in June of last year in the southern Philippines, leaves tonight for the Asian country. His first stop will be Manila to see his brethren who are meeting in assembly.

Rome (AsiaNews) – “I feel good and I am happy to go back to my mission,” said Fr Giancarlo Bossi, a missionary with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions who was abducted in June of last year in the southern Philippines. In this state of mind he talked to AsiaNews a few hours before he began his journey back to the Asian country.

The clergyman, who spent 39 days in captivity, is set to leave Italy this evening. His first stop will be in Manila where he will meet his brethren who have gathered in assembly.

“I am very happy to go back to the Philippines and I feel very good,” he told AsiaNews.

He was abducted by some thugs in Payao on 10 June, on the southern island of Mindanao.

After a long period of captivity he returned to Italy on 10 August where he received medical care.

In Italy he met the Pope at the Youth Agora on 31 August in Loreto (Italy). Both men, who embraced for a long time, were moved by their meeting.

Father Bossi said as early as on his release that he wanted to go back to his missionary work. As he addressed at night the Youth Agora he explained why.

“I want to go back as soon as possible to my parish in Payao, to my children. The poor need people who can give them unlimited and unconditional love, and in Payao people are poor,” he said.

“Whilst I was physically a prisoner, too many people are imprisoned by poverty. And their captivity can last a lifetime.”

Here in Italy, he added, “I saw children look at food and say: ‘That’s yucky.’ In the Philippines I see kids of the same age rummage through garbage and thank God when they found something. There is something really wrong in this. We must go back to values that afford life more humane conditions.”

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