A member of India’s Legislative Assembly is encouraging the Church to raise money for the release of kidnapped priest Father Tom Uzhunnalil, claiming a need for concrete action beyond prayer.
Legislative member P.C. George expressed concern that prayer and words are the only action taken to release Fr. Tom, and said the terrorists only “want money."
“The Catholic Church should take initiative to raise the fund to pay as ransom to them," he said, according to Manorama on May 27.
The legislator said he would be willing to donate money, and suggested local churches set aside a particular collection to raise the money necessary for the freedom of priest, who was kidnapped last year by terrorists while serving the poor in Yemen.
George’s words followed a similar call to action from Kerela chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan a day before. Vijayan emphasized the serious nature of kidnapping and the need to speed up the process of his rescue.
“I will directly request Prime Minister to speed up efforts for his rescue during our next meeting in New Delhi," he said, according to the Deccan Chronicle, adding that little interest has been shown so far to hasten the process.
Fr. Tom is an Indian priest who was kidnapped last year during a raid on a house of the Missionaries of Charity in Yemen, which left four nuns dead. The attack was carried out by unknown militants, making it difficult for Indian officials to broker an agreement.
In ransom videos, Fr. Tom has said that the government’s response to his abduction has been poor.