Fr Tom meets Pope Francis, 'always knew I was not alone'

Fr Tom lands in Oman
Fr Tom lands in Oman
Author

13 September, 2017

(Vatican Radio) The Indian Catholic Church has welcomed with huge joy and gratitude the news of the rescue of Indian Catholic priest Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil on Tuesday, following his abduction by unknown gunmen 18 months ago in Aden, Yemen. He is expected to return to his home in Kerala, India shortly, Catholic News Agency reports.

The Hindustan Times newspaper said the priest was flown from Yemen to Muscat, the capital of Oman, after his release.

The Catholic priest from Kerala was rescued in Yemen yesterday, 18 months after he was abducted by Islamic State terrorists during a deadly attack on a care home in the port city of Aden in the war-ravaged country.

In a September 13 letter, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, Major Rector of the Salesian order, said Fr. Uzhunnalil arrived to their community around 6 p.m. September 12, having flown to Rome directly from the Muscat airport in Oman. "We thank all who stood with us in trying times", the newspaper quoted the priest's older brother, Mathew, as saying. The group killed four nuns, two female staff members, eight residents residents, and a guard.

It was initially rumored that the kidnapped priest was going to be executed on Good Friday 2016.

In May this year, a video was posted online showing the priest in poor health, calling for help.

The minister said "no" when asked at the news conference in Thiruvananthapuram whether any ransom was paid for the release of the priest. Father Tom also said suggested that his Indian ethnicity contributed to the lack of assistance, adding that if he were a European priest, he would have been released already.

"My health condition is deteriorating quickly and I require hospitalisation as early as possible", he said.

Alphons said this in response to questions related to the role of the Indian government in getting the release of the abducted priest.

On his part, Pope Francis embraced Fr. Uzhunnalil and told him that he would continue to pray for him, as he had every day while the priest was imprisoned.

"Release of Father Uzhunnalil yesterday underlines one thing that the Ministry of External Affairs works quietly and without noise, but ultimately gets the work done", said Singh, the Minister of State for External Affairs.

Cardinal George Alencherry, head of the Syro-Malabar Church to which Fr. Uzhunnalil belongs, said that prayers by millions across the world had helped in the release of Fr. Uzhunnalil from captivity.


More news


  • NASA and JPL's Cassini spacecraft making final approach to Saturn

    NASA and JPL's Cassini spacecraft making final approach to Saturn

    Cassini has spent the past 20 years in space, including 13 years studying Saturn and its moons, and is now running out of fuel. When Cassini arrived, the northern hemisphere of Saturn was emerging from winter.
    Official Shadow of War Feral Tribe Trailer

    Official Shadow of War Feral Tribe Trailer

    In a new trailer, we get our first introduction to this particular tribe , which seems more aggressive than the previous ones . According to Warner Bros. the trailers are meant to show how "nothing will be forgotten" in the Middle-earth sequel.
    QB Andrew Luck committed to Colts, agent says

    QB Andrew Luck committed to Colts, agent says

    The only other healthy quarterback on the active roster is Brissett , who joined the Colts on September 2. He was placed on the physically unable to perform list in July and missed all of training camp.
  • Oklahoma senator booked on sexual battery charge and resigns

    Oklahoma senator booked on sexual battery charge and resigns

    Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City, resigned in April after allegations surfaced that he diverted campaign funds to personal use. Marlatt has served in Oklahoma's state Senate since 2008, representing District 27 in the western part of the state.

    Korea warns US of 'greatest pain'

    He expressed hope that the United States will pledge not to seek regime change or North Korea's collapse. "The choice is theirs". The UN sanctions passed against North Korea on Monday bans textile exports and restricts shipments of oil products to Pyongyang.
    Killer of eight in Texas shooting was estranged husband of one victim

    Killer of eight in Texas shooting was estranged husband of one victim

    She says he showed up at her daughter's home and opened fire. "We said, 'All right, we're 100 percent behind you'". At a news conference on Monday, Plano Police Chief Greg Rushin had said the gunman had a connection to the house.
  • What Really Matters? - Pfizer Inc. (PFE), Parsley Energy, Inc. (PE)?

    Pfizer accounts for approximately 0.8% of Ashburton Jersey Ltd's investment portfolio, making the stock its 29th largest position. Profit Management Ltd Liability owns 28,060 shares for 0.86% of their portfolio. (NYSE:PFE) for 285,000 shares. (NYSE:HBI).
    FHP: I-75 May Be Closed Due To Rising Santa Fe River

    FHP: I-75 May Be Closed Due To Rising Santa Fe River

    The closure would impact thousands of evacuees who are now returning home to central and south Florida following Hurricane Irma . An additional rise is expected within the coming days as water levels from upstream move southward down the river.

    The Rebrand: an Ancient Practice Giving Advantage in the Digital Age

    While their iconic red and yellow circles remained, they began favouring all lowercase letters and a streamlined sans-serif font. One of their finds includes seals with the fertility goddess Shiva, suggesting that, even before we had writing, sex sold.
  • MGM Resorts International (MGM) to Buyback $1.00 billion in Stock

    Perhaps most importantly where cash movements are concerned, the company saw about 833.69 million in net operating cash flow. On average, equities research analysts expect that MGM Resorts International will post $1.29 EPS for the current year.
    'America's Got Talent' 12: Angelica Hale, Christian Guardino Dominate Semifinals

    'America's Got Talent' 12: Angelica Hale, Christian Guardino Dominate Semifinals

    Colin is able to predict that they will choose Ellen, Rome and Cheese. "I hope that America agrees with me", she said. The stage design during Tam's act was a combination of fog, snow , and a mock-up hot air balloon, USA Today reported.
    99 people, 13 pets rescued from St. Thomas by Coast Guard

    99 people, 13 pets rescued from St. Thomas by Coast Guard

    The ship had been chartered by the Marriott hotel chain for guests who had to stay behind because the airport had closed. This was a decision of Marriott who did not let us get on this boat so we could get on flights home.