Pontiff Pleads for Release of Kidnap Victims

Asks Captors to Reflect on Their Evil

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 10, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI pleaded for the liberation of all people who have been kidnapped, particularly in Colombia.

The Pope's plea, after his midday Angelus address today, came as news arrived that Father Giancarlo Bossi, 57, was kidnapped in the Philippines.

"Unfortunately, I receive frequent requests for intervention on behalf of persons -- some of whom are even priests -- who have been seized for different reasons and in different parts of the world," the Pontiff said after praying the Angelus.

He added: "I carry all in my heart and they are present in my prayer. I think, among other cases, of the painful situation in Colombia.

"I direct my solicitous call to the authors of such detestable deeds that they reflect on the evil they have done and return those they hold prisoner as soon as possible to the affection of their loved ones."

The Pope entrusted "the victims to the maternal protection of Mary Most Holy, Mother of all men."

His appeal on behalf of kidnapping victims in Colombia reflects the struggle in that country to liberate the numerous persons held by the rebel Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Among the kidnapped persons, there are three Americans and a former Colombian presidential candidate, Ingrid Betancourt.