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Pope happy with return of Bossi

MANILA, 21 July 2007— Pope Benedict XVI expressed “great joy” now that life of the Italian priest Fr Giancarlo Bossi is back to normal, a Vatican official said yesterday.

Fr Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, said the liberation of the 57-year old missionary from the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) “brings great joy to the entire Church and also for the Holy Father”.

Upon arriving at the Italian alpine region of Lorenzago di Cadore early this month for a short vacation, the Pope said he’s praying daily for the immediate and safe release of Bossi.

“My thoughts turn each day to Father Bossi,” the Pope said prior to Bossi’s release as he affirmed that he had been updated with the progress of the investigation into the kidnapping.

“It seems that our prayers have been answered. We now hope that Fr Bossi may tranquilly return to his duties and that there be no further abductions or other episodes of violence in the region,” said Lombardi. (Roy Lagarde)