ASIA/YEMEN - Bishop Hinder: the martyred Sisters were loved by the Yemenite people. Still no news of abducted priest

Monday, 7 March 2016 martyrs  

Aden (Agenzia Fides) – The local people “loved the Mother Teresa Sisters killed in Aden, and admired their way of serving others regardless of religious belonging , putting first the most in need. This earned the Sisters the people’s warmth and affection, and perhaps that was precisely what some disliked”. This is how Bishop Paul Hinder OFMCap, Vicar Apostolic for Southern Arabia, in a conversation with Fides, suggests the root of the hatred, “diabolic hatred” – to quote Pope Francis– behind the action of the armed commando responsible for the massacre last Friday in the port-city of Yemen, where four Catholic Sisters, Missionaries of Charity were slaughtered together with 12 others, helpers and the elderly and disabled people whom they assisted at the Mother Theresa Home. The photograph shows that at the moment of the killing over their religious habit the Sisters were wearing kitchen aprons.
Bishop Hinder confirms that still nothing is known about the whereabouts of Salesian Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who was at the residence when the terrorists attacked : “We imagine he is still being held by the assailants, Yemen bureaucracy keeps searching for him but so far with no result” the Vicar apostolic tells Fides. In the meantime the only survival, Missionaries of Charity local Mother Superior, Sister Sally, also Indian from Kerala, is preparing to depart .
About a year ago when in that country war broke out between government troops and Huthi rebels, Bishop Hinder remembers discussing with the Sisters the risks of remaining in such a dangerous scenario. “They”, the Vicar apostolic of Southern Arabia recalls' “told me there was nothing to discuss: they would not leave whatever happened , because they wanted to stay with the people entrusted to their care. It was clear that on the part of the Sisters this was no exhibition of heroism, it was purely their desire to follow Jesus Christ. I respected the Sisters’ decision, and am convinced that their martyrdom will bear fruit also for the lives of other Christians living in the Arabian peninsula”. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 7/3/2016).

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