Islamic State crucifies Catholic priest on Good Friday, cardinal says
The Islamic State reportedly committed a grisly Good Fridaycommemoration, crucifying a Catholic priest.
The Rev. Thomas Uzhunnalil, a Salesian priest, was kidnapped in Yemenin early March during a raid on a nursing home run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity.
His execution by the Islamist sect, using the same method used by the Romans on Jesus and marked on Good Friday every year, was confirmed at the Easter Vigil Mass by Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna according to a report in the Salzburg News.
However there was no official confirmation from the priest’s order or home diocese.
In addition, Bishop Paul Hinder of Southern Arabia told Catholic News Agency on Monday that he has “strong indications that Fr. Tom is still alive in the hands of the kidnappers.”
Bishop Hinder also told CNA that Cardinal Schonborn’s statement at the Easter Mass was made in error — hearsay based on rumors from India, the native land of Father Uzhunnalil.
The priest had been the object of both prayers and diplomatic efforts — and threats of a Good Friday crucifixion — since the March 4 raid where 16 Christian nuns and nurses were killed.
Bishop Paul Hinder, who heads the Catholic Church in Yemen, said the Missionaries home had been the object of numerous threats but they refused to leave.
Pope Francis already had honored the slain nuns as martyrs.