Kidnapped Missionary in Philippines Still Missing

Video Contradicts Rumors That Father Pierantoni Was Dead

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

PAGADIAN, Philippines, NOV. 23, 2001 ( Confusion surrounds the October kidnapping of an Italian missionary in the Philippines.

But now, Muslim rebels showed an emissary of the Philippine government a video of Dehonian Father Giuseppe Pierantoni. The film proves that the missionary is still alive, Philippine presidential adviser Jesus Dureza said.

A ZENIT report last week incorrectly indicated that the priest had already been freed by his captors.

On Sunday, military sources announced the discovery of a body while searching for the missionary. At first, it was feared that the body was that of the kidnapped priest. His superior and the local bishop later excluded this possibility.

According to Dureza, Father Pierantoni was filmed by his kidnappers, immediately after the discovery of the body. «Perhaps they made [the video] to deny reports that he was already dead,» Dureza said.

The missionary, 44, was kidnapped Oct. 17 on the Island of Mindanao. Responsibility for the kidnapping is yet to be established.

In a letter written to the priest´s family on Monday, Bishop Zacarias Jimenez of Pagadian asked for forgiveness for the disrespect and irresponsibility shown by politicians and the media in the case, and expressed the grief of the local community, the Vatican agency Fides reported.

Referring to rumors about the death or liberation of the missionary, Bishop Jimenez said, «What happened is a disgrace. The Catholic leaders following the case are tense and frustrated.»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation