Former Italian Hostage Moves To Manila Parish

April 3, 2008 at 9:09 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

Manila, Philippines – An Italian priest who was held hostage last year for 40 days by Islamic militants in the southern Philippines has been assigned to a parish in the Philippine capital, Manila, the Catholic news agency, Adnkronos International said.

Father Giancarlo Bossi is expected to lead the Mary Queen of the Apostles parish in Paranaque City, an outlying suburb of Manila, it said, quoting reports from the Episcopal Conference of the Philippines.

Bossi was kidnapped at gunpoint by Abu Sayyaf, an Islamic militant group linked to al-Qaeda, on his way to mass in Zamboanga City on the southern island of Mindanao on June 10 last year.

He was released by his captors on a month later and was sent back to Italy. On 25 March he returned to Mindanao.

In a statement on the website of the Episcopal Conference, the parish priest of the Manila church, Father Baumbusch Steven, said that Bossi would arrive from Zamboanga City in two weeks and remain in the Philippines for a year.

It is not clear if Bossi will return to Mindanao after this period at the Manila parish.

Bossi has been based in the Philippines since 1980, apart from a three-year stint in Italy between 1996 and 1999.

When he was kidnapped last June, he was the third Italian priest to be abducted in the Philippines since 1998.

The two others were Luciano Benedetti, released after two months in 1998, and Giuseppe Pierantoni, who managed to escape from his kidnappers after six months in 2001.

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