The Holy See Press Office stated that they are still looking into reports that Jesuit Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, who was kidnapped in Syria several weeks ago, was killed by his captors.
“Nothing is confirmed. We are still evaluating the information,” Fr. Ciro Benedettini, vice director of the Holy See Press Office told Vatican Radio. The unconfirmed reports first appeared on Arabic news site “Zaman Alwasi” regarding the Jesuit priest who disappeared two weeks ago in Northern Syria.
Fr. Dall’Oglio, an Italian priest who has worked in Syria for the past 30 years, was kidnapped in July by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, a militant rebel group that has ties to Al-Qaeda. During last week’s Mass on the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Pope Francis expressed his concern for Fr. Dall’Oglio during his homily, saying that he was “thinking of our brother in Syria.”
Vatican Radio also reported that the citizens of Raqqa, the village where Fr. Dall’Oglio was last seen, took to the streets calling for the release of the Jesuit missionary as well as for those who have kidnapped in the ongoing conflict in Syria.