Family of kidnapped Jesuit consoled by Pope’s appeal

Fr Paolo Dell'Oglio SJ in Syria
Fr Paolo Dell'Oglio SJ in Syria

The family of Fr. Paolo Dall’Oglio, the Italian Jesuit priest kidnapped in Syria two years ago yesterday, has thanked Pope Francis for offering them consolation in their moment of trial.  At this past Sunday's Angelus, Pope Francis appealed for the release of Fr. Dall’Oglio and of two Orthodox bishops of Aleppo who were also kidnapped during the raging confict in Syria in 2013. 

Francesca Dall’Oglio, sister of Paolo Dall’Oglio, said their family found hope in the Pope’s words and expressed their closeness to the families of other victims of the Syrian and other conflicts.  

Father Paolo Dall'Oglio (born 1954) became a Jesuit in 1975 and was exiled from Syria by the government of Bashar al-Assad in 2012 for meeting with members of the opposition and criticising the actions of the al-Assad regime during the Syrian civil war. He was kidnapped by rebels on 29 July 2013.

Before his exile, Fr Dall'Oglio had served for 30 years at the Deir Mar Musa, a 6th-century monastery 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Damascus. He has been credited with the reconstruction of the Mar Musa complex and its reinvention as a centre of interfaith dialogue.