Italian missionary priest freed by Abu Sayyaf, Benedict XVI rejoices
Fr. Giancarlo Bossi at a press conference after being freed
Fr. Giancarlo Bossi at a press conference after being freed
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The Italian missionary priest, Fr. Giancarlo Bossi, who was kidnapped this past June 10th was is now a free man. Pope Benedict XVI, who has been following the situation closely and has been praying for his release every day, has said he is filled with joy to hear of Fr. Bossi’s release.

Father Bossi was recovered by police in the southern Filipino town of Karumatan yesterday, after having been held captive for 40 days by followers of the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf.

Throughout the ordeal, the identity of the organization responsible for his kidnapping was uncertain, with some saying that the Islamic separatist group the Moro Islamic Liberation Front was responsible and others claiming that it was Abu Sayyaf. Fr. Bossi put the guesswork to rest, saying, "From the beginning, they told me they were Abu Sayyaf.”

According to Fr. Bossi, the motive behind his kidnapping was purely, “to have some ransom.” Rumors had circulated that money changed hands to secure his release, but the Filipino Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno, who was with Bossi at the news conference, said that demands for ransom were ignored. The International Herald Tribune reported that the ransom demanded for his release was $1 million.

Although he lost weight due to the diet of rice and dried fish he subsisted on for over a month, Bossi said he was otherwise unharmed.

If anything good came out of the ordeal, he joked at a press conference, it was that he had to stop smoking. A self-professed chain smoker, Fr. Bossi recounted how one night when he was trying to climb a mountain with his captors, he said to himself, "…if I want to survive, I have to keep my breathing. Better stop smoking - and I stopped smoking."

Reaction to the safe return of Fr. Bossi continues to come in from all corners of the world. The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, conveyed that his being freed, "brings great joy to the entire Church and also for the Holy Father." The Italian and Filipino Bishops Conferences have also responded with joy to the news. 

When Fr. Bossi was asked what he would like to do now that he is free he replied that if his superiors let him, he would go back to Payao, a fishing town in Zamboanga Sibugay where he has been ministering. "I have to go back to Payao," he said. "My heart is still in Payao…. They say that a priest must also be a father and so as the father of my community it is my duty to return to my people, to my children.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 26, 2015

Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, Bishops

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30