27 July 2015, The Tablet

Pope remembers abducted clerics missing for two years

Pope Francis appealed on Sunday for the release of two archbishops and a Jesuit priest kidnapped by Islamists in Syria two years ago. After praying the Angelus with the assembled faithful in St Peter’s Square, Francis called for the release of Jesuit priest Fr Paolo Dall’Oglio, kidnapped in Raqqa in July 2013.

He also remembered the Greek and Syriac Orthodox archbishops of Aleppo, Boulos Yazigi and Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim, who were kidnapped in a separate incident in April 2013.

Almost nothing has been heard of Fr Dall’Oglio since his abduction. There have been some unconfirmed reports of his execution and others of his still being alive in captivity.

Before the Angelus, Pope Francis in his homily praised the “logic of giving” over reasoning in market terms, and suggested that participation in the Eucharist was in line with the former.

Reflecting on the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes, and St Philip’s statement that even 200 denarii would not buy enough to feed the assembled crowds, Pope Francis said: “The disciples reason in ‘market’ terms, but Jesus substitutes the logic of buying with the logic of giving.”

He went on: “Participating in the Eucharist means entering into Jesus’ logic, the logic of gratuity, of sharing.”

Pope Francis then became the first person to register for World Youth Day 2016, which takes place in Krakow. Tapping on an iPad he said: “Thanks to modern technology, I can register as a pilgrim electronically!”

According to the Vatican, in the first 24 hours since Francis registered, 45,000 others have signed up to attend the event.

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