My friend Fr. Mike Mendl, of the Salesians, sent this my way, from his order’s website, dated March 30. Translated from the Italian:
(ANS – Rome) – In the face of hearsay and rumors circulating on the net about the current situation of Don Uzhunnalil, we asked for authoritative answers to Father Mathew Valarkote, Secretary of the Province of Bangalore…
Any news on the situation of Father Tom? According to Msgr. Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, which is our primary source of information, there are still strong indications that Don Tom Uzhunnalil, who was kidnapped March 4, 2016 in Yemen, is still alive and there is no reason to believe otherwise. According to his information, what you are doing for the liberation of Father Tom? The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of India is in touch with the authorities in Aden and is following the issue closely. Sushma Swaraj, Minister of Foreign Affairs, wrote a tweet last Saturday, saying that his ministry is making all efforts to secure the release of Father Tom. We also received a copy of the second letter that the Minister wrote March 22, 2016 on the parliamentary. Jose K. Mani, which informs him about what his ministry is doing to secure the release of Father Tom. Mgr. Hinder, the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia, is closely monitoring the situation. It’s still very confident and through diplomatic channels is doing everything within the limits of its possibilities, for the safety of Don Tom. What is the position of the Province in the face of “wild rumors” circulating on the network? We are well aware that social media are not under our control. We tried to counteract false uncontrolled messages by publishing denial statements, but with little success. We have appealed to the public to refrain from multiplying and spreading these false rumors, as it may compromise ongoing efforts to save the hostage’s life. These days, we are still going through a very difficult period, because every time we are forced to confront new voices coming from inside or from outside the country. The family of Don Tom how they are living this situation of waiting? We are in constant contact with siblings and close relatives of Father Tom. Of course, they are very anxious and worried, especially when they receive news baseless and conflicting and contradictory versions that emerge from social media, as well as from traditional media. We reassured them that you are sparing no effort to secure his release.