The pope is following closely the saga of two Italian nuns who were abducted from north-eastern Kenya and are being held by bandits in an unknown location in Somalia.
A statement issued on Thursday by the Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. noted that the plight of the two nuns, Sr. Maria Teresa Olivero and Sr. Caterina Giraudo, had touched the pope’s heart.
“The Holy Father is following the protraction of their kidnapping with concern and remains close in prayer to the suffering, not only of the two kidnapped nuns, but also to that of their families and of the Contemplative Missionary Movement of Fr. de Foucauld” of which they are members."
The hope is that this painful and gravely unjust situation, of which entirely innocent and praiseworthy people are victims, may be resolved as soon as possible”.
Efforts to secure the release of the nuns continue. Meanwhile, a Somali national was on Monday charged in a Nairobi court with kidnapping the nuns.
Abdikadir Mohamed Omar, also accused of hijacking three government and robbery with violence during the attack on El Wak Town, denied the charges.
Nairobi Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei remanded Omar in custody until January 5, 2009 when the case will be heard.