One month after the abduction of Fr. Giancarlo Bossi in the Philippines, his congregation is still waiting for some communication, either from the Italian missionary himself or from his abductors.
From his mountain retreat home, the Holy Father is also eagerly awaiting any news. Benedict XVI said that, “Fr. Bossi is in his thoughts and prayers everyday.” “We are hoping and praying that the Lord helps us.”
Fr. Bossi, a member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), was kidnapped June 10 on the southern Philippine Mindanao Island. His community dedicated a day of prayer for his liberation yesterday, reported MISNA. Fr. Gian Battista Zanchi, general superior of the PIME, celebrated mass at the congregation’s general house in Rome for the same intention.
“We are in the same spirits as the day in which Father was kidnapped,” said Fr. Zanchi.
Photographs that have been in circulation since Friday show a much thinner Fr. Bossi. Fr. Zanchi said the congregation still does not know why he was abducted and by whom.
The congregation speculates that a group which split from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front is behind the kidnapping. The group has made no contact with the congregation. Immediately following the abduction, the government fingered the radical group Abu Sayyaf, but no substantial evidence that the group is involved has been produced.
The Italian missionary is thought to be held not far from Payao, where he was kidnapped a month ago.
“All we can do is wait,” said Fr. Zanchi from the general PIME house in Rome, “wait for a precise channel to open.”