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  • » 04/02/2013, 00.00

    INDIA

    Bangalore, seminary rector murdered on Easter

    Nirmala Carvalho

    The attackers killed Fr. K.J. Thomas hitting him in the face and head with a brick. Motive and identity of the killers still unknown. Archbishop of Bangalore "brutal and senseless murder, this is a great loss for us all." The funeral will be held in Ootacamund, his native diocese.

    Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Dozens of priests, seminarians and lay Catholics celebrated a mass in memory of Fr. K.J. Thomas this morning, the rector of the seminary in Bangalore (Karnataka) murdered yesterday morning at dawn. Meanwhile, the police continue to investigate a murder described as "brutal, terrible and senseless" by Msgr. Bernard Moras, Archbishop of Bangalore, speaking to AsiaNews. In the coming hours the priest's body will be transported in Ootacamund, his native diocese, where the funeral will take place. The local bishop will communicate the date as soon as it has been decided.

    According to preliminary reports, the murder took place between 2:30 and 3 am on April 1, at which time cries were heard. The battered body was found at the table of the pontifical St. Peter's seminary at dawn. According to police, the rain that hit Bangalore on Easter night helped cover the murderers' actions, allowing them to enter the building undisturbed. The motive is not yet clear, but it seems that the attackers hit Fr. Thomas over the head and face with a brick to prevent him from raising the alarm. The face and body of the priest were so mangled that priests and seminarians struggled to recognize him. Police suggest the motive for the attack was theft, given that some documents were missing from the office of Fr. Thomas and the administration. However, his computer, iPad and other assets were not touched.

    Yesterday morning, Fr. Thomas, in his second term as rector of the seminary, was supposed to pick up his sister, a nun at the airport. Seeing that her brother did not respond to her repeated calls, the nun went on her own to the seminary, where she received the terrible news.

    The murder of Fr. Thomas has shocked the entire community, because he appeared to have no enemies, no problems. Archbishop Moras describes him as "a devout and calm priest, whose death is a great loss for all of us and especially for the seminary." Card. Oswald Gracias, as president of the Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), expressed "my sincere condolences to the family of Fr. Thomas, students and staff of the seminary. He was a dear friend and a humble priest, compassionate, respectable and good-hearted, loved by everyone. "

     

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    See also

    06/04/2013 INDIA
    Thousands of faithful attend funeral of Bangalore seminary rector, brutally murdered at Easter
    The ceremony took place yesterday in Ettumanoor (Kerala), his native village. Thousands of people, including priests and lay people, wanted to bid a final farewell to a man of faith and "true witness" of Christ. Police investigations are continuing, according to which the murderers are "acquaintances" of Fr. Thomas.

    03/04/2013 INDIA
    Fr Thomas's martyrdom spurs us to dedicate our lives to Jesus, Card Gracias said
    The rector of a Bangalore seminary who was killed overnight on Easter will be buried in his native village on Saturday. The authors of the crime remain unknown. For the president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), "his death proclaims the death and the resurrection of our Lord."

    22/04/2013 INDIA
    Bishops call for justice after seminary rector murdered in Bangalore
    Bangalore archbishop and 15 prelates write to the government of Karnataka and the police, urging them to find the culprits as soon as possible. Fr K J Thomas was murdered overnight at Easter, between 31 March and 1 April.

    20/11/2006 INDIA
    Attack against Carmelite sisters in Bangalore, statue of Our Lady desecrated
    The church condemns in no uncertain terms the incident, the latest in a string of violent episodes that is sweeping the whole of Karnataka.

    01/04/2010 INDIA
    Christ’s love overcomes Calvary, even here in Orissa, says Fr Chellan
    Attacked during the 2008 anti-Christian pogrom, the clergyman speaks about Easter and its mysteries. For him, we must accept with confidence and love the cross we bear. He is homesick for the district where he was attacked and misses the mission that ties him to his flock.



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