Amid reports that an Indian priest was “crucified” by the Islamic State in Yemen on Good Friday, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has decided to meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to seek clarity on the issue.
Father Joseph Chinnayyan, deputy secretary general and director of the CBCI, said the Indian church could not confirm reports of the priest’s death. “We have checked with all reliable sources, no one could confirm the news. I even spoke to the Austrian agency that put out the news. It got its information from informal sources, so it’s not a baseless report,” he said, adding CBCI would meet Swaraj Monday night.
Reverend Thomas Uzhunnalil, a Salesian priest, was kidnapped in Yemen on March 4 during a raid on a nursing home run by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, the Washington Times reported.
Sixteen people, including four nuns, had died in the Islamic State attack. Uzhunnalil’s execution was reportedly confirmed at the Easter Vigil Mass by Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna. The External Affairs Ministry has not confirmed reports of the execution so far.