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Church \ Church in Asia

Card. Gracias appeals for release of abducted Indian priest ‎

Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil SDB - RV

Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil SDB - RV

02/04/2016 16:01

Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias has appealed for prayers for the release of Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, a Salesian priest ‎abducted by unknown gunmen early March in Yemen.  At the triduum leading up to Divine Mercy ‎Sunday, the cardinal who is Archbishop of Bombay appealed on Friday for prayer and mercy to save ‎the 56-year-old priest, kidnapped by suspected Islamic State group gunmen.   The attackers stormed the ‎Missionaries of Charity compound in Aden, March 4, slaying of 16 people at a home for the elderly‎ run ‎by the Missionaries of Charity (MC) nuns.  Four of the dead were the nuns themselves.  India’s bishops ‎have also appealed to the government, calling for "urgent action" to secure the release of the Salesian ‎priest. ‎

Speaking to AsiaNews, Card Gracias, who heads the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences ‎‎(FABC) as well as the Latin-rite bishops of India (CCBI) noted that the Jubilee of Mercy proclaimed ‎by Pope Francis is a "privileged moment".  The prelate called on "prayer groups, parishes, religious ‎institutes, chapels, monasteries and also private homes "to pray for Fr Tom.  "I pray that each of us ‎entrust Fr Tom to the Divine Mercy,” Card Gracias said. “I also ask you to pray that he may safely ‎come back to us, and I encourage all of you to partake in his suffering. Let us ask that he may soon ‎regain his freedom."  “Saint Pope John Paul II said that only Divine Mercy is able to impose limitations ‎on evil,”  Cardinal Gracias recalled.  Therefore, “Let us pray through Mary, Mother of Mercy also for ‎those who perpetrated the barbaric killing of our 4 missionaries of charity and kidnapped Fr Tom,”   he ‎added. ‎ (Source:AsiaNews)

02/04/2016 16:01