(Oct. 30, 2006) Pope Benedict XVI condemned the crime of kidnapping in the world
and expressed his closeness with its victims. "From several sides I am getting requests
to intervene in favour of people who are victims of kidnappings in different countries
around the world," the Pontiff said after praying the traditional midday 'Angelus'
on Sunday with the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square. "While I reiterate the
firmest condemnation of this crime I remember in prayer all the victims, their families
and friends," the Holy Father said speaking from his window overlooking the vast square.
The Pontiff added his voice expressly to the appeal made recently by the archbishop
and community of Sassari, on the island of Sardinia, "for Giovanni Battista Pinna,
kidnapped last September 14, so that he will soon be returned to his loved ones."
37-year old Pinna is a stockbreeder from Bonorva. Archbishop Paolo Atzei of Sassari
expressed on Vatican Radio the "immense gratitude" with which the local community
received the Pope's appeal. He said the national press has given little attention
to the case. During Sunday’s 'Angelus' prayer, Pope Benedict also announced
that he will be attending the meeting of young Italian Catholics in the city of Loreto
next year. The Italian youth jamboree is planned for Sept. 1 and 2, 2007 in Loreto,whose
main basilica, is believed to house the Nazareth home of the Virgin Mary. "In that
cherished Marian shrine we will live together a moment of grace, in the joy of the
faith and in the perspective of the mission, also in preparation for the World Youth
Day in Sydney, Australia, in 2008," Pope Benedict told the faithful in St. Peter’s