National / World

Rescued Kerala Catholic priest reaches Vatican


Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 13 (IANS): Kerala Catholic priest Father Tom Uzhunnallil, rescued from Islamic State terrorists who had abducted him in Yemen in March last year, has reached the Vatican, a Church spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Uzhunnallil, kidnapped from a care home in Aden, was brought to Muscat on Tuesday after 18 months in captivity.

Speaking to the media, Father P. Varghese, spokesperson of the congregation to which Uzhunnallil belongs, said on Wednesday that it would take a while for the rescued priest to return to India.

"The reason he was flown to Vatican is because the head of the congregation (Celestin) to which he belongs is based there.

"Moreover, the need of the hour now is rest and recuperation for Uzhunnallil, as his health has to be taken care of," said Varghese.

The arrival of Uzhunnallil in the Vatican was also confirmed by the Ministry of External Affairs.

Uzhannallil is an employee of the Vatican.

The latest pictures of Uzhunnallil showed him clean shaven. His first picture soon after his arrival in Muscat on Tuesday showed him with long hair and a flowing white beard.

The release of the Catholic priest became a reality after the arrival of a papal representative to Oman in August and his meeting with the King of Oman, who took the lead in ensuring the rescue.

In March 2016, militants had barged into the care home for the elderly set up by Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity in Yemen's Aden and shot dead many people, including four nuns, among whom one was from India.

They had then taken the Catholic priest away. Since then, other than a few videos released from time-to-time, there has been no news of Uzhunnallil's whereabouts.

 

Comment on this article

  • Aubb, Kuwait

    Thu, Sep 14 2017

    External ministry of India, Indian media tried to give full credit to the govt. of India, while hiding the fact on the crucial role played by Vatican and Sultan Qaboos of Oman.

    Very narrow minded frogs!!!

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • prr, sullia

    Wed, Sep 13 2017

    Indian pastor rescued in Afganistan, aid worker Judith rescued in Afganistan, Catholic priest rescued in Yemen, Aplhons becomes minister, thousands of muslims rescued during Yemen crisis, Tripple talaq banned. So many good things happening to minorities under Modiji.

    DisAgree [13] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Janet Crasto, Dubai

    Wed, Sep 13 2017

    Thank you God for answering our prayers.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • L n T, Mumbai

    Wed, Sep 13 2017

    GOD bless Oman Rler who har tåken task of rescuing the priest.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • R. S Fernandes, Mangalore

    Wed, Sep 13 2017

    His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said of Sultanate of Oman is a great and vice leader loved by all Citizens as well as all those worked and currently residing. I am grateful to Oman to get an opportunity work there. I am really missing now such a beautiful country, and peace loving and respectful people of Oman

    DisAgree Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Veronica Rego, karama Dubai/Kinnigoly

    Wed, Sep 13 2017

    Appreciate the efforts of all those involved in the release of our dear Rev. Fr. Tom, who is now back
    in safe hands. Prima facie, we must thank God Almighty for putting an end to Rev. Fr. Tom's ordeal and bringing him back safe and sound to where he belongs, because nothing is possible without the divine intervention.

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • RAY M, mangalore

    Wed, Sep 13 2017

    PRAISE GOD! ITS A MIRACLE THAT FR. TOM IS ALIVE GOD IS FAITHFUL IN DELIVERING TO ALL THOSE WHO PRAY WITH FAITH.
    Credit to all those prayer warriors who waited for 18 months. credit to fr. Tom a Brave heart in deed and his family and all those who worked tirelessly in bringing him back. GOD IS LOVE AND PEACE BE WITH YOU ALL!
    Deuteronomy 32:4 "The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.
    2 Timothy 2:13
    If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.
    Hebrews 3:2-6
    He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Wed, Sep 13 2017

    Always hold Mr. Modi's name in high esteem.
    He has extra ordinary powers to solve any problem.
    You will be rewarded.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwyn Crasta, Mangaluru/Bengaluru

    Wed, Sep 13 2017

    Thank God, Fr. Tom, who had gone to Yemen to serve suffering humanity despite a great risk to his life, is back safe, due to the efforts & prayers of numerous people.

    In view of the severe sufferings (physical, mental & emotional) undergone by Fr. Tom in pursuit of his mission of selfless service to humanity, it would never be easy for any selfless/humanitarian person/s to risk their lives in such an uncertain environment.

    Hope we get to see an end to the evil of terrorism, which is turning humanity upside down.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Wed, Sep 13 2017

    Praise the Lord ...

    DisAgree [2] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Wed, Sep 13 2017

    D.Shetty, Mangalore
    It's not only the government who are part of the success.
    - Saudi Arabia
    - Oman
    - Vatican delegation
    - Power of prayers
    - Fr. Tom's luck
    Etc...
    Looking into well being of citizens within or out side the country is the prime duty of countires leadership and responsiblity irrespective of Party name.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [36] Reply Report Abuse

  • D.Shetty, Mangalore

    Wed, Sep 13 2017

    thanks to Modi Govt , and the cooperation of external affair minister the best govt we ever had and also good luck to all the handpicked new team. hope will preform better and harder to cleanse the rotten system.

    DisAgree [91] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • RAAZ, MANGALORE

    Wed, Sep 13 2017

    Sir what about Qaboos bin Said Al Said..your forget?

    DisAgree [5] Agree [40] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dsouza, Belman

    Wed, Sep 13 2017

    The release of the Catholic priest became a reality after the arrival of a papal representative to Oman in August and his meeting with the King of Oman, who took the lead in ensuring the rescue.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [60] Reply Report Abuse

  • Roshan, Mangalore / Abudhabi

    Wed, Sep 13 2017

    Modiji is busy in realising the bullet train. Don't disturb him

    Thanks & salute to Ms Sushmaji

    Praise to God Jesus Christ

    DisAgree [7] Agree [36] Reply Report Abuse

  • Peter, KSA

    Wed, Sep 13 2017

    Shetre, don't be in a hurry to bag undeserved credit. Read the news properly which says "The release of the Catholic priest became a reality after the arrival of a papal representative to Oman in August and his meeting with the King of Oman, who took the lead in ensuring the rescue". Please ask somebody to translate this to you. Of course, you can bag the credit only for releasing the news to media. Thanks to Sultan Qaboos, Vatican and one of the best Bishops in Abu Dhabi and also to all people who prayed unceasingly for the safe release of our beloved Priest. Praise the Lord Jesus who saved His follower.
    Sushma madam, please do something for the release of over 30 poor north Indian laborers held up in Iraq.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [38] Reply Report Abuse

  • Surendra Poojari, Mangalore

    Wed, Sep 13 2017

    You nailed it Peter. I was wondering why some people are praising our external affairs ministry. 100% agree with your views. Modi government is just waiting to take credit for everything. Yesterday one of the ministers Ravi Shankar Prasad praised government of India (dog praising its own tail) for the release of priest. I am sure our external affairs ministry didnot do any effort for the release of priest.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

  • Satya, Mangalore

    Wed, Sep 13 2017

    D. Shetty, Nobody denies that Mrs. Sushma Swaraj as External Affairs Minister is doing a excellent job and has helped many a citizen in difficulties overseas. It is one of the few of Modi ministries which are doing a good job. However, please note that this is not a favour done to citizens. It is the duty of a government to help its citizens, which is why they are elected in the first place. In this case nobody denies that the Ministry of External affairs put in a lot of efforts to get Fr. Thomas released, but in the end it was the efforts of His Majesty the Sultan of Oman together with assistance from the governments of Saudi Arabia, UAE and the Vatican which got him released. Take and give credit where it is due, but do not try to steal it.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [40] Reply Report Abuse

  • ozzie, bendur

    Wed, Sep 13 2017

    Isaiah 41:10
    Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

    Thanks be to God.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [31] Reply Report Abuse

  • HENRY MISQUITH, Bahrain

    Wed, Sep 13 2017

    The joint effort of govt of India , Oman & Vatican helped the release of priest.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [46] Reply Report Abuse

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