Pope prays for liberation of 317 kidnapped Nigerian students

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is praying for the quick release of 317 schoolgirls in Nigeria so they can return to their families. Addressing the public in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, Francis said he was adding his voice to others including Nigeria’s bishop in condemning what he described as “the vile abduction” of the girls. Police on Friday in Nigeria said gunmen had abducted the students from their boarding school in the north of the nation. Several large groups of armed men operate the area and are known to kidnap for ransom money and to press for the release of their jailed cohorts.