Catholic Priest Freed Two Years After Kidnapping by Jihadist Group

The 59-year-old priest, from Crema in northern Italy, was kidnapped on Sept. 17, 2018, in an isolated parish in southwest Niger, near the border with Burkina Faso.

Fr. Pierluigi Maccalli pictured before he was kidnapped.
Fr. Pierluigi Maccalli pictured before he was kidnapped. (photo: Courtesy photo / Society of African Missions.)

WASHINGTON — An Italian Catholic priest was freed Thursday two years after he was kidnapped by a jihadist group.

The office of the president of Mali announced Oct. 8 the liberation of Fr. Pierluigi Maccalli, a member of the Society of African Missions.

He was one of four hostages released this week by fighters believed to be linked to al-Qaeda, including another Italian, Nicola Chiacchio.

The news was confirmed by Italy’s foreign minister Luigi Di Maio.

“Good news: Fr. Pier Luigi Maccalli and Nicola Chiacchio are finally free and well,” he wrote on Twitter, thanking the Italian intelligence services for helping to secure their release.

The 59-year-old priest, from Crema in northern Italy, was kidnapped on Sept. 17, 2018, in an isolated parish in southwest Niger, near the border with Burkina Faso. 

He appeared in a short video in April, filmed by his captors, which confirmed that he was still alive.

He is believed to have been liberated in northern Mali.

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Sacré-Cœur) in Paris

Catholics in France, and Pro-Life News (Jan. 22)

The Church in France has long been called the “eldest daughter of the Church,” but today there are challenges and crises for French Catholics in all directions. But there are also signs of hope and promise. This week on Register Radio we talk to Register Senior Editor Jonathan Liedl about his recent trip to France. And then, as the nation marks the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the pro-life movement marches in Washington, DC, and around the country, we are joined by Lauretta Brown with an update on pro-life news and a look ahead to the Supreme Court’s decision on Dobbs v. Jackson.