.- Pope Benedict XVI has added his voice to Italian religious and civil leaders in calling for the immediate release of 17-month old Tommaso Onofri, who was kidnapped from his parentâs northern Italian home on March 2nd.
The kidnapping appeared to be organized but parents and authorities fear that the two men who took Tommaso were unaware that he suffers from a severe form of epilepsy and must be given medicine twice a day.
The Popeâs message was sent by way of Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano to Bishop Cesare Bonicelli of Parma, Italy, near the Onofriâs Casalbaroncolo home.
"The Supreme Pontiffâ, he wrote, âunites himself to Your Excellency's appeal for the immediate and unconditional release of little Tommaso Onofri.â
He likewise expressed Benedictâs âintense solidarity to parents and family members struck by such acute anguish for the brutal kidnapping of their relative.â
And, while entrusting the child to the special maternal protection of the Most Holy Virgin, he gives assurances of special recollections in his prayers and sends a heartfelt and comforting apostolic blessing."