Vatican calls for release of Nigerian schoolgirls

2014-05-08 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Vatican on Thursday made an urgent appeal for the release of over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls who were kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram on the night of April 14th. Responding to journalists’ questions, the head of the Holy See Press Office, Fr Federico Lombardi noted that the abduction of so many young girls is just the latest episode of “other horrible forms of violence” for which the militant Islamic group has become known in Nigeria.

“The denial of any kind of respect for life and for the dignity of the human person, even the most innocent, vulnerable and defenseless,” Fr Lombardi said, “calls for the strongest condemnation, arouses the most heartfelt feelings of compassion for the victims and instills a sense of horror for the physical and spiritual suffering and the incredible humiliation they have suffered.”

He said the Holy See adds its voice to the many appeals for the liberation of the girls and for them to be returned to normal life again. “We hope and pray,” Fr Lombardi concluded, “that Nigeria, thanks to the commitment of all who are in a position to help, “may find the way to end the situation of conflict and hateful terrorism which is a source of incalculable suffering.”

The kidnapping and subsequent threat by Boko Haram's leader to "sell" the schoolgirls has provoked international outrage and brought offers of support for rescue efforts from China, the U.S, France and Britain