Jesuit priest 'not kidnapped' in Syria, chose silence

Pope Francis remembers Dall'Oglio during Jesuit mass

31 July, 12:49

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, JULY 31 - The Italian Jesuit priest Paolo Dall'Oglio, who has been missing in Syria since Sunday, has not been kidnapped but has chosen to remain silent while he negotiates with jihadists, activists who accompanied the priest to Syria told ANSA on Wednesday.

    Pope Francis on Wednesday remembered him during a Mass in Rome marking the feast day of St Ignatius. St Ignatius is the founder of the Society of Jesus, better known as the Jesuits, the pontiff's order. The pope recalled two Jesuits who 'gave their lives' to their ministry, the 16th-century missionary St Francis Xavier and the 28th superior general of the order, Father Pedro Arrupe.

    'I think of Father Paolo,' the pope then said.

    On the sideline of the mass, the order's superior general, father Adolfo Nicolas, said he had no news of Dall'Oglio. 'The provincial superior of the Middle East from whom he depends also has no news, we only know what we are reading on the papers', said father Nicolas. 'We don't know what is going on and it is an odd situation: it would be easier to understand if a pro-government group had abducted him rather than one with the opposition because father Dall'Oglio has always spoken to defend the opposition'. 'It is an odd situation', he added.

    The private Mass was held at the Jesuit Church of Jesus (Chiesa del Gesù), where 800 Jesuit priests, employees working for the order and two congregations of nuns following St Ignatius were present. (ANSAmed)
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