Uzhunnalil’s release: Bishops’ body lauds Indian minister’s role

September 17, 2017 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-india

New Delhi, September 17, 2017: The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has lauded India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s role in getting the release of Father Tom Uzhunnalil.

The minister on September 16 shared on her Twitter a letter from CBCI secretary general Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas that described Swaraj as a “compassionate” person.

Father Uzhunnalil was released from IS militants on September 12 with the help of the government Oman. The Salesian priest was abducted on March 4, 2016, from a Missionaries of Charity home in Aden, a port city in Yemen.

“I am really touched by your compassionate nature and for the very personal interest with which you undertook the matter. Every time we met you, we came reassured that sooner or later Father Tom Uzhunnalil would be released,” Bishop Mascarenhas’ letter to the minister says.

“Please do accept the gratitude of the whole Catholic Church in India and each of its 20 million members are praying for you that God may grant you good health and strength to continue the marvelous work you are doing,” the letter further says.

Swaraj has always maintained ‘optimism’ that the priest would be rescued and released. She had reportedly taken keen interest with Yemen authorities to get Father Uzhunnalil released.

A definite indication that the priest was alive came earlier this year when Yemen Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister Abdulmalik Abduljalil Al-Mekhlafi visited India.

– matters india

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