06/11/2008, 00.00
PHILIPPINES
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A year after Father Bossi’s abduction, Payao has changed

A fellow missionary writes that the area where the missionary for the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions was taken away has changed. There have been no reports about the fate of his captors as Father Boss’s fellow clergymen say no to violence.

Manila (AsiaNews) – A year after the abduction of Fr Giancarlo Bossi, a missionary with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) in the Philippines, Payao (where the abduction too place) “has changed and this is helping Father Giancarlo plan for the future with less nostalgia,” writes Fr Luciano Benedetti, one of Father Bossi’s fellow missionaries, on the PIME community blog page set up during his captivity.

Currently Father Bossi is working at the Mary Queen of the Apostles Parish in Paranaque, Manila. He has been there since March.

After being taken by force near Bulawan, the 58-year-old PIME missionary was held by his kidnappers for 39 days.

Upon his release he travelled to Italy for rest and medical treatment. Here he met the Pope at the young people agora in Loreto where he gave a moving account of his ordeal before thousands of youths.

Back in the Philippines he declined a permanent police escort.

On 31 March Father Bossi went to his old mission in Bayog where he took part in the inauguration of a new parish church dedicated to Saint Joseph, “father and mason,” which he had helped build.

Now, writes Father Benedetti, “a year later Father Giancarlo’s kidnappers are still faceless. This is what struck us the most during the abduction. Where were they? Even today they seem so far away, invisible. Yet we cannot be too fanatical about it. It is much better to put reason before hatred and ask ourselves if what we are doing now can be useful to prevent further abductions and crimes, and if the authorities can be useful to fight organised crime or just benefit from it.”

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PIME missionary, Fr Giancarlo Bossi, abducted in Mindanao
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