By: Dan Bergin
The Salesian priest kidnapped in Yemen over a year ago has been shown making an appeal for help in a new video broadcast by Aden News on Monday, 8 May. Father Thomas Uzhunnalil is shown seated with a cardboard sign dated 15 April, 2017.
Fr Uzhunnalil was kidnapped in Aden on 4 March, 2016, in an attack at a home for the elderly in which four Missionaries of Charity and at least 12 others were killed.
In the new video, Fr Uzhunnalil begins by stating his name and date of birth and thanking "my dear family people" for their messages of concern, which he said he has received. He says: "they are treating me well to the extent that they are able… My health condition is deteriorating quickly and I require hospitalisation as early as possible," he said.
Fr Uzhunnalil said his captors have contacted Indian government authorities "several times" and the replies, which he said he has seen, were "very, very poor."
"They also contacted the bishop, bishop of Abu Dhabi. There, too, the response was not encouraging. Neither the bishop nor the Indian government authorities ask them what they really want to get me released. It is a poor response, and I am sad about that."
Fr Tom says: "Please, please, do what you what you can to get me released. May God bless you for that."
Pope Francis has made several appeals to the kidnappers to release Fr Tom. Most recently in a meeting on 3 May with Salesian novices studying in Italy, Pope Francis prayed with them for the kidnapped priest.
See the latest video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQvGuxTZPCk
See earlier reports: ICN 27 December 2016 Priest kidnapped in Yemen appeals for help in new video www.indcatholicnews.com/news/31627
ICN 18 March 2016 Yemen: Church prays for priest missing after nursing home massacre www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=29672
ICN 29 March 2016 - Rome: Official statement from Salesians on Fr Tom Uzhunnalil www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=29754
ICN May 3, 2016 Yemen: Negotiations continue for release of kidnapped priest www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=29994
ICN 20 July 2016 Yemen: Possible image of kidnapped priest posted online www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=30549
Tags: Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, Salesian, Yemen