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.
Ucanews.com 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 Pope 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 had 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,” Bishop 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.
Pope Francis was scheduled to travel from Myanmar to Bangladesh Nov. 30.