Aden (Agenzia Fides) - "There is no news about the kidnapping of Father Tom. But the appeal Pope Francis launched for his release yesterday from St. Peter's square gave us comfort. Now we hope it also reaches the conscience of those who kidnapped him. This is now the important thing". This is what His Exc. Mgr. Paul Hinder, OFMCap, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, reported to Agenzia Fides expressing the feelings of the Catholic communities scattered in the Arabian Peninsula. During the Regina coeli Pope Francis appealed for the immediate release of Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, SDB. The Indian Salesian priest was taken captive on March 4th during the course of a murderous terror attack on a home for the elderly operated by the Missionaries of Charity in Yemen, in which four religious sisters were slain along with a dozen other people at the facility (see Fides 04/03/2016).
"In the hope given us by the Risen Christ", said the Bishop of Rome yesterday, after the Sunday recitation of the Regina Coeli in St. Peter, "I renew my appeal for the liberation of all persons seized in areas of armed conflict: in particular, I desire to remember the Salesian priest, Tom Uzhunnalil, kidnapped at Aden in Yemen this past March 4th".
On Sunday, April 3, a delegation of the Bishops' Conference of India had met the Indian Minister for Foreign Affairs Sushma Swaraj, who had confirmed that the Indian government is working to facilitate the release of Father Tom. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 11/04/2016)