Sunday, April 3, 2016
Indian Government rules out rumors about crucifixion priest Father Thomas Uzhunnalil.
Indian Government rules out rumors about crucifixion priest Father Thomas Uzhunnalil. (ucanindia).
The Indian government has ruled out crucifixion rumors about a Catholic priest abducted in Yemen early March and said hectic efforts are on to secure his freedom.
The release of Father Thomas Uzhunnalil is “imminent,” said Father Joseph Chinnayan, deputy secretary general of the national bishops’ conference after meeting External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Saturday evening.
Swaraj has assured the Church delegation that Father Uzhunnalil is “safe” and that the government was adopting “all possible means for the quick and safe release” of the priest, Father Chinnayan said.
Father Uzhunnalil, a Salesain priest of Bangalore province, was taken away on March 4 by suspected Islamic terrorist after they attacked a home for the aged in Aden run by Missionaries of Charity nuns, and gunned down 16 people.
Church officials last week requested government’s help to establish the “real fate” of the abducted priest after rumors spread in the media that terrorists have tortured and crucified the priest on Good Friday.
Captors of Catholic priest Father Thomas Uzhunnalil have sent a video to the Indian government demanding millions of dollars in ransom, sources said on Tuesday.
The video showed Father Thomas, a Salesian priest, asking for help with a man standing behind him. However, there is no confirmation on whether Father Thomas Uzhunnalil is now dead or alive.
However, the church authorities said that they have no knowledge of the ransom video.
The central government has reportedly received vital information from its Yemeni counterpart on the involvement of an ISIS affiliate group in the incident.
Even if the Central Government had received such demands from abductors, we assume that the former would not reveal the details as it would affect the efforts to secure his release, the church authorities said.
“We are pinning hopes on the central government’s positive approach to the issue. We strongly condemn the efforts on part of political parties to communalise such an unfortunate incident,” they added.
Father Chinnayan said the government refused to “divulge the details of the negotiations and the technicalities” as it would endanger the ongoing process.
However, she shared with the delegation “the strenuous effort” her ministry has taken to ensure a safe passage for Sister Rema, the only surviving nun in the Aden attack.
The Church delegation thanked the government on behalf of the “whole Church in India” for the various steps taken to rescue Father Uzhunnalil. Hmmmm.....It seems the Christian community pays ransoms to ISIS to get their flock members back.