African guerrillas kidnap priest

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A DUNDEE priest who returned to his African homeland was kidnapped within weeks by armed rebels.

Jean-Pierre Ndulani left his post at the Wellburn Home for the Elderly in late September so he could to visit the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Catholic clergyman, described as “kindness itself”, was abducted by gun-wielding men on Friday night as he sat quietly with colleagues.

Father Jean-Pierre was one of three church officials abducted in the from the Notre Dame des Pauvres Parish Church house in Mbau – 70km from Butmebo in Eastern Congo.

Mother Marie-Aimee, a Little Sister of the Poor and the Superior of Wellburn Convent, is terrified for the safety of the former Scots priest.

She said: “We are all in shock and struggling to take in this horrendous event.

“Father Jean-Pierre is a wonderful priest and loved by the whole community. He is such a kind, caring and holy man.

“He was kindness itself to all our elderly residents and treated them with such respect.

“We are praying night and day that he will be returned safely to their community.”

 

Locked in

At the time of the abduction the holy man was in the living room of the church house with two colleagues – a fourth was in a bedroom.

According to the colleague in the bedroom, voices were heard from the lounge but he thought these were his co-workers.

He then heard a knock at the bedroom door but before he could answer it he was locked in from the outside.

The three men from the lounge, including Father Jean-Pierre were then abducted by the rebel fighters.

The priest’s last public address in Scotland was on Septemeber 22 at St Clement’s Church.

He appeared alongside Bishop Vincent Logan and priests from the Diocese of Dunkeld to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the parish.

It was at the end of this service that the African clergyman announced his return to the Congo.

Bishop Logan said: “We are all distraught at this news about Father Jean-Pierre and his fellow priests.

“He is a dedicated priest, a man of God for whom any display of violence would be abhorrent.

“In the six years in our diocese he made an enormous contribution and touched the lives of many people.

“My prayers too are for the members of his order and for Jean-Pierre’s family and the families of his companions – we can only imagine their anguish.”

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