Priest in Bangladesh missing before papal visit

Priest in Bangladesh missing before papal visit

Women gather Nov. 29 outside Holy Rosary Church as they prepare for the arrival of Pope Francis in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The pontiff will visit Bangladesh Nov. 30-Dec. 2. (Credit: Damir Sagolj.Reuters via CNS.)

Father Walter William Rozario has been missing since the evening of Nov. 27. He disappeared while taking care of last minute details for the upcoming visit by Pope Francis.

DHAKA, Bangladesh — A priest in Bangladesh who was helping prepare for the visit of Pope Francis has gone missing, just days before the papal visit. report that Father Walter William Rozario, 41, assistant parish priest of Maria Virgo Potens Church in Borni, has been missing since the evening of Nov. 27. His cellphone has been switched off since then.

The priest went to the Bonpara Christian stronghold area to oversee printing of a souvenir magazine dedicated to two local deacons to be ordained by Francis in Dhaka Dec. 1. He disappeared on his way back to his parish by motorbike.

Local church officials filed a police report on the disappearance. Police have not determined whether abduction or personal enmity could be involved, ucanews reported.

Bishop Gervas Rozario of Rajshahi, whose diocese covers the district, expressed concern.

“We suspect this to be kidnapping case as we came to know he received calls from unknown people demanding money,” Rozario said.

In Myanmar, Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office, told reporters the pope had been informed of the media reports but the Vatican was awaiting further details.

Francis traveled from Myanmar to Bangladesh Nov. 30.

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