CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 23 September 2017

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Kidnapped Marawi priest rescued

MANILA (SE): “I am physically strong and sound,” CNS reported Father Chito Soganob as telling a press conference at military headsquarters at Camp Aguinaldo, Manila, The Philippines, on September 18 as day after news of his rescue from captivity in Marawi broke.
 
Father Soganob, the vicar general of Marawi, had been held captive by Islamic State-inspired Maute group since conflict erupted in the city on May 23. 
 
He asked Filipinos to pray for the remaining hostages before military doctors whisked him off for a medical check up.
 
News of the rescue first broke via a short post on the Facebook page of presidential peace adviser, Jesus Dureza, on the morning of September 17. 
 
Dureza said that Father Soganob along with another person had been rescued near the Marawi’s second biggest mosque located in Marawi’s Bato district.
 
CNN reported a colonel, Edgard Arevalo, chief of the Public Affairs Office of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, as saying on September 16 that the Bato mosque and the Amaitul Islamiya Marawi Foundation had been retaken by members of Joint Task Force Marawi.
 
“I am happy receiving messages about Father Chito’s rescue no matter how hazy they are,” CPCP News reported Bishop Edwin dela Peña, from Marawi, as saying on September 17. 
 
The bishop was at Abu Dhabi International Airport en route back to Manila after speaking at a conference in Rome on September 15 about the situation in Marawi and the ongoing interreligious dialogue in the area.
 
UCAN reported Father Soganob’s younger sister, Marilyn Soganub-Ginnivan, as expresssing the family’s joy at the news that the priest was now free and safe. 
 
She said that the family are planning to hold a homecoming party for him.
 
“We have been praying for his freedom and for the other captives since they were abducted. God answered our prayers,” Soganub-Ginnivan said.

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