Indian Salesian Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, who was kidnapped in Yemen more than a year ago, has pleaded in a video message for the Indian government and the Church to do more to secure his release. The video was posted on YouTube by the news site Aden Time.
The heavily bearded and very thin Fr Uzhunnalil is shown seated with a cardboard sign in his lap with the date April 15, 2017. A similar video was posted in December.
An official at the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia, which includes Yemen, said the person in the video is the kidnapped Salesian, but he would not comment further. Bishop Paul Hinder, the apostolic vicar, was away from the vicariate headquarters in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on a pastoral visit.
Fr Uzhunnalil was kidnapped in Aden on March 4, 2016, in an attack in which four Missionaries of Charity and at least 12 others were killed at a home for the aged.
In a meeting earlier this month with Salesian novices studying in Italy, Pope Francis once again offered prayers for the kidnapped priest.
In the new video, Fr Uzhunnalil began by stating his name and date of birth and thanking “my dear family people” for their messages of concern, which he said he had received.
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