AFRICA/NIGER - Six months of silence for father Maccalli, missionary kidnapped: "The only free person among us"

Saturday, 16 March 2019 human rights   mission   missionaries   missionary institutes   kidnappings   religious minorities  

Niamey (Agenzia Fides) - Father Pierluigi Maccalli, a priest of the Society for African Missions was kidnapped six months ago (see Fides 17/9/2018). "It is an eternity for us. He was taken hostage by strangers who took him away one night in September. They did not suspect in any way the extent of the gesture they carried out", says, in a heartfelt message sent to Agenzia Fides, his confrere Father Mauro Armanino, of the Society for African Missions (SMA).
"Six months of emptiness that pierces the appearances that besiege our life today. In reality, we are prisoners - the missionary continues – pretending to be free, to move, talk, act and betray. And we do not realize that we have been, for some time now, hostages of the fears and hypocrisies. Maccalli is the only free person among us. He is a witness of the madness and of the lie of the violence that migrated from the Golgotha to the Sahel. Even the resurrection, however, is here and six months is three days or forty years".
Father Armanino wrote of his brother with poetic and moving words: "Never before is Father Luigi Maccalli the only missionary buried in the sand of the Gospel. The stones do not become bread and the kingdoms, seen from here, are fleeting and deceiving. The essential is invisible to the eye and for this reason Pierluigi is the only one to see the glory that is hidden in poverty" (MA/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 16/32019)