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Abu Dhabi : Bishop Paul Hinder says 'crucified' Fr Tom still alive


Abu Dhabi, Mar 29 (Agencies) : There are 'strong indications' that a kidnapped Indian Catholic priest is still alive despite fears he had been crucified by his ISIS-linked captors on Good Friday, it has emerged.

Father Thomas Uzhunnalil was taken by Islamist gunmen who attacked an old people's home in Aden, southern Yemen, killing at least 15 people, on March 4.

The Archbishop of Vienna Christoph Schönborn had claimed that the 56-year-old had been murdered after reports emerged that the terrorists had threatened to crucify their hostage.

But he has since retracted his statement and there are now hopes that Father Thomas is still alive.

It was reported last week that several religious groups had received threats that Father Thomas would be crucified on Good Friday, but this was denied by his church in hometown of Bangalore.

However, Schönborn reportedly told a congregation gathered in St. Stephen's Cathedral in the Austrian capital that the priest had been crucified on Good Friday.

It is understood that he made the announcement on the basis of incorrect information from Archbishop Moras in Bangalore.

Bishop Paul Hinder of Southern Arabia, statoned in Abu Dhabi, capital of UAE, told the Catholic News Agency that he has 'strong indications that Fr. Tom is still alive in the hands of the kidnappers.'

'Cardinal Schönborn has already corrected his statement which he had made on the basis of the wrong statement of Archbishop Moras in Bangalore.'

A spokesperson for the cardinal yesterday admitted that while he did say that the priest had been crucified, he had no confirmation of Father Thomas' fate.

'The cardinal based his statements on news published on Arabic language web sites. The validity of this information has, however, not been confirmed,' said Arhdiocese Vienna's head of media relations, Michael Prüller.

'The cardinal doesn't himself have any sources that have confirmed the death of Father Tom.

'Thus, for the time being, there's still basis for hope that Father Tom is alive,' said Prüller.

Yemeni authorities have blamed ISIS for the March 4 attack on the refuge for the elderly operated by Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in main southern city Aden.

Four gunmen posing as relatives of one of the guests at the home burst inside, killing four Indian nuns, two Yemeni female staff members, eight elderly residents and a guard.

'According to our information, the extremists who attacked the elderly care home in Aden have kidnapped priest Tom Uzhunnalil, a 56-year-old Indian, who was taken to an unknown location,' a Yemeni security official said.

'We are aware that no group has yet claimed the criminal attack... but information points to the involvement of Daesh,' said the source, who asked to remain anonymous, using an Arabic acronym for IS.
However, members of Father Tom's order have denied that he is due to be crucified, saying they have no information on his health or whereabouts.

We have absolutely no information on Fr Tom,' Father Mathew Valarkot, spokesman for the Salesians' Bangalore province, told UCANews.

'But even today we do not know who has taken him and what their motives are because no one has claimed responsibility.'

The Vatican's Secretary of State Pietro Parolin said earlier this month that Pope Francis 'was shocked and profoundly saddened' to learn of 'this act of senseless and diabolical violence.'

Aden had been racked by lawlessness since Hadi supporters, backed by Gulf Arab military forces, drove fighters from Yemen's Iran-allied Houthi group from the city in July last year.

The Yemeni government has repeatedly vowed to restore security to the city but so far had had little success.

Al-Qaeda and IS have stepped up attacks in Aden, targeting mainly loyalists and members of a Saudi-led coalition battling Huthi rebels and their allies since March last year.

Al-Qaeda distanced itself from the mass shooting Friday, saying it was not responsible.

President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi has declared Aden to be Yemen's temporary capital as Sanaa has been in the hands of rebels since September 2014.

 

Comment on this article

  • Alwyn Crasta, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    Let's all hope and pray, that Fr.Tom is safe and will be released from captivity, soon.

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • IVAN DSOUZA, Bendoor / Muscat

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    May God send his angels to rescue him from the clutches of evil people. Fr. Tom is extra courage human, stand firm for humanity service not in fear or favor on anybody. He kept his breath on the hands of Almighty so who can go against to Creator, sure he he will rescue him asp and God will hear everyone plea and very soon we will hear the answer. There are people spreading rumors and resting peace, is like horse riding. Instead of that if we can trust in the hands of Gods providence protection sure it will reap good benefits in our life. Fr. Tom worked for good as well as bad people and loved those who hate him, knowing the difficulties of life of others he worked for to sacrifice of his life, and served to them for many years so he is the winner at the end and will shine forever. Lift up your voice to hear of God for mercy and good news. Best wishes & prayers.

    DisAgree Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dinesh Kamath, Gandhinagar

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    ISIS have no blood in their eyes. They have no brothers, no sisters ,no parents, no family, no heart and no soul.

    I pray that Fr. Tom is still alive.

    DisAgree Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • B.Mohammad Ali, Bhatkal / Dubai

    Thu, Mar 31 2016

    I totally agree with Dinesh Kamath. May better sense prevail and see to the total destruction of ISIS immediately. The KORAN does not teach / preach killing / kidnapping, torture etc. We are all children of the same creator. The ones who preach hatred should not be on this earth.

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangaluru/Kuwait

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    Hemanth,

    Terrorist are terrorists and bad enough to be dumped in bad category.

    If Fr. Tom is still alive that means peoples prayers and God's power is having some influence in bad guys mind.
    Let us hope for the best.
    And pray that soon he will be out.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • hemanth, Bangalore

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    They seems to be GOOD TERRORISTS. Didn't kill him

    DisAgree [4] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • PETER RODRIGUES, GOA

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    I HAD FAITH THAT GOD THE ALMIGHTY WOULD HEAR THE PRAYERS WORLDWIDE TO KEEP FR.TOM ALIVE

    DisAgree [2] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Indian, Mangalore

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    I hope we 'Indians' will respond to this call for prayers, by breaking the walls of religion and its denominations... We all know and accept, serving the underprivileged is a call for all, and one will know its importance only when he/she go through such struggles of life... Let us remember, we too may become underprivileged within no time, one small disaster or inhuman is sufficient... and then cry for help from people like this person...

    Can we at least join our hands to support and console the family and loved ones of Fr. Tom?

    DisAgree [1] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    Totally agree with you Indian. Since Yemen is war-torn or civil war affected, aged/handicapped people over there do not have proper care taking . The healthier, physically fit one have fled the country. If the government was stable, families were united, surely no foreigners required to go there to look after the old and sick.

    A charity worker could have come from any community (Hindu, Muslim or Christian) but since Christians alone are doing it, it is seen as a religious service. Its not like that, the service is humanitarian.

    Lets all, beyond the barrier of religious affiliation, pray for Fr. Tom's early release.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangaluru/Kuwait

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    Survivor,

    You have a bad notion.
    Nurses, Doctors, Indian mission abroad, Missionary organizations and people work the benefits of others. They render their service to humanity risking their lives.

    Thum kyon tension lethe ho?
    Cool man.
    Within India there is no tension?

    DisAgree Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangaluru/Kuwait

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    I repeat my earlier comments:
    quote
    "Fr Vincent Matthew, a priest from the Salesian Bangalore Province, said: “We have absolutely no information from any reliable sources till date to confirm that Fr. Tom has been crucified"
    Resurrection is the concept of a living being coming back to life after death.
    God can bring miracles and let us hope that Fr.Vincent is still alive and will be released very soon"
    If God is with us nothing can go against us"
    If he is still alive it is God's mercy.
    Let us pray relentlessly.

    DisAgree Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vincent D'Souza, Belthangady

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    Father, they don't know what they are doing, but Fr. Thomas knew what he is doing, give these Radicals enlightenment to discern service to humanity and under privileged is out of bonds from all hatred, envy and retaliation. Let us pray for the early release of Fr. Thomas unharmed.

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Patrick L. Lewis, Those- Kallianpur/Dubai

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    Let us hope and pray for Fr. Tom

    DisAgree Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • SURVIVOR, Udupi

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    Indian Govt. already declared Yemen, Syria, Egypt as a Conflict country and trying to bring back our citizens from these countries, then why these Priests, Nuns & Nurses going to these countries for creating tension to us Indian people ?

    DisAgree [43] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    Survivor,

    You must understand the difference between common citizens going abroad to earn money and the priests/nuns going to serve the needy. Those who went there for money, do leave upon situation getting unsafe but those who do charity work, remain with the needy. Charity, meaning no monetary gain out of those whom they serve, unlike the other lot.

    The government, out of courtesy may extend help to rescue such volunteers but its not demanded yet appreciated. Let us wish the priest/nuns success in their field so that they may serve many more poor/troubled regions.

    I want you to make note that their service is selfless, please do not mistake them to have gone there for conversions.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

  • JD, mangalore

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    Praise you lord. God's creations can't be so cruel. Humanity has changed us into cruel beings and it is job of humanity, to turn away the cruelty from amidst us.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • PAM Suvarna, Karla

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    God is Great,let pray for Fr Toms safe return.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • gm, mlur

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    Lets pray for his safe return and god grant him the strength and courage to face the difficult time.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Santosh,K, Mangalore

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    Thank God Let us pray for his release from captivity.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • Santan Mascarenhas, Kinnigoli/Mumbai

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    Hope the news is true. But, even prolonged physical and mental torture by these barbarians is not less painful than death. Let all of us pray for him.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • Valerian D'souza, Udupi / Mumbai

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    Yes very true. Captivity with constant torture and threat to life is worse than death.
    Seed that falls to the ground it remains only a seed but if dies, it bears much fruit. "John 12:25"
    Life is very mysterious, everyone is put to test and judged in test.
    But we are all exhorted to work and pray for well being. God is judge.
    Hope God gives him strength to bear and return safely.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    Praise the ALMIGHTY ...

    DisAgree [4] Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse

  • Praveen, Udupi

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    I still believe Father Thomas is alive and will be rescued through our prayers.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • A. S. Mathew, U.S.A.

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    We all need to pray earnestly for him and the suffering innocent people there who are caught up in death and bloodshed.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Acchu, M,lore

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    Only pray will workout.
    If he come back it will be miracle of god.
    We all should pray for his safe return.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rita, Germany

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    with all News that he is alive or not ,we only have to wait for genuine News.Hope he on the safer side which I strongly doubt.because the People who took him are not of a soft heartedones.Lord ,give him the strength to bear it,and pray he is alive.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Edmond Noronha, Sharjah

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    If I have understood by the above news item, I am confused with the different versions and opinions.
    My prayer is: Fr Tom or anybody to that matter not suffer just because we r lesser human beings.
    God save us all.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joseph F. Gonsalves, Bannur, Puttur / Mangalore

    Tue, Mar 29 2016

    The evil possessed Anti-Christ Daesh are continuously/relentlessly suffer in the burning hell asking a of water for their lips from the martyred Rev. Fr. Tom from heaven.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joseph F. Gonsalves, Bannur, Puttur / Mangalore

    Wed, Mar 30 2016

    Corrected message:

    hell asking a D R O P of water for their lips from the martyred Rev. Fr. Tom from heaven.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Evans Christopher Sumitra , UDUPI/NEW YORK,USA.

    Tue, Mar 29 2016

    Let us all pray and hope that Fr Tom is still alive. Until now it is just a rumor and speculation that he has been crucified by the militants on Good Friday.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • HENRY MISQUITH, Bahrain

    Tue, Mar 29 2016

    If this is indeed true. It is nothing short of the miracle that all we Catholics, and Christians worldwide prayed for. We need more information.

    DisAgree [10] Agree [58] Reply Report Abuse

  • HENRY MISQUITH, Bahrain

    Tue, Mar 29 2016

    Regardless of whether he is living or not, he is likely in grave danger at the hands of ISIS, and needs our prayers more than ever!

    DisAgree [9] Agree [76] Reply Report Abuse

  • Evans Christopher Sumitra , UDUPI/NEW YORK,USA.

    Tue, Mar 29 2016

    Henry Misquith, Bahrain,
    You are absolutely right in your thinking and comments.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

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Title : Abu Dhabi : Bishop Paul Hinder says 'crucified' Fr Tom still alive


 
 
 
 

 
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