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PIME: Bossi, abductors both needs freedom

MANILA, 13 July 2007—The missionaries of the Pontifical Institute of Foreign Mission this time called on for "true freedom" not just for Fr Giancarlo Bossi but for his captors as well.

Saying they are locked in a cycle of sin, the religious group stressed that Bossi's abductors must be freed from the "chains of selfishness and evil".

This is the thrust of the special prayer made for the Italian priest to mark his one month in captivity.

"The kidnappers of Fr Bossi might believe that they are in control of the situation. To them we say: Brothers, don't you realize that when you engage in this criminal activity, you become trapped in a cycle of violence and sin?" asked PIME.

"You too are in need of freedom; you need to be freed from the chains of selfishness and evil."

After some pictures of the Italian priest were seen in televisions and in the newspapers, the PIME said they very much worried for Bossi’s safety, because he is being held "unjustly by criminal elements".

"We see in his face the hardships he is enduring and we are filled with concern for his welfare. Of course, we continue to pray fervently for his freedom," it said.

The PIME also appealed to the groups and individuals concerned not to use Bossi's case for political or selfish interests.

The religious organization noted the tendency of some to use the suffering of the kidnapped missionary to further their political and ideological ambitions.

They too, the PIME said, must be freed from any "sinful inclinations that might come in the guise of righteousness".

"We pray that all those who involve themselves in this situation will be free from self-interest and political maneuverings. Lord, set them free!" the PIME said.

Bossi was abducted last June 10 in the vicinity of his parish in Payao, in the southern province of Mindanao.

But despite the efforts of the Italian and Filipino governments including the extensive search operations conducted by the Philippine army, neither the reason for abduction nor the identity of the abductors is clearly known. (Roy Lagarde)

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