03/06/2018, 11.12
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Kerala, the elderly mother of murdered priest, forgives her son's killer

Yesterday Thressia Thelakat visited the family of the former sacristan. The images of the woman who embraces the crying wife of the murderer shared on social media.

Kochi (AsiaNews) - The elderly mother of 52 year old Fr. Xavier Thelekkat, killed in Kerala after by his former sacristan, has forgiven his son's killer. Two days ago, Thressia Thelekkat visited the family of Johny Vattaparampil, who was captured on 2 March while hiding in the forest near the church of Kuruishmala, where the murder took place.

The images of the old woman who embraces and comforts Annie, the crying wife of the murderer, trended on social media. Annie, mother of two daughters, burst into tears, unable to speak. She could only hold out her hands begging for forgiveness. Later she had to be taken to the hospital: after the visitors had left, she collapsed with emotion.

Thressia told the media present during the meeting: "I forgive him". According to News Vision, a local television channel, "the Vattaparampil family had been isolated and lived in misery and discouragement. The visit gave them great comfort ".

Fr. Thelakkat belonged to the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly, of the Syro-Malabar rite, and was the rector of the sanctuary of St. Thomas in Malayattoor, a famous pilgrimage destination. Here the sacristan had worked for 37 years, before being fired by the priest about three months ago. The reason for the dismissal was the perennial state of drunkenness in which the man presented himself at work. The attacker had asked to be reinstated in his duties, but the priest had refused. In revenge, Johny stabbed him in the leg and then escaped. Xavier bled to death before he arrived at the hospital.

John Theckanath, pastor of the Malayattoor church, organized the meeting between the two families. Thressia was accompanied by her daughter of the same name, Sebastian (younger brother of the priest) and Pappachan (cousin of the deceased).

The killer is now in police custody. Saji Markose, head of the Kalady police station conducting the investigation, reported that the man "admitted responsibility for his act as revenge for being suspended for alcohol abuse. He had asked to be taken back on at the beginning of the pilgrimage season, but the priest had not consented ". At the time of his arrest, Vattaparampil was in precarious physical condition and asked for water and food. He reported to the police that he had attempted suicide, without success.

(Nirmala Carvalho Collaborated)

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