Saturday, August 13, 2011

Archbishop Elanjikal passes away

Archbishop Dr Cornelius Elanjikal, one of the oldest Catholic bishops in India, passed away at a private hospital in Cochin on Sunday.

Archbishop Elanjikal had been under treatment for diabetes and heart disease. He was hospitalised on July 18 with a severe case of pneumonia.

Elanjikal was the former Archbishop of Verapoly Archdiocese. He also served as the President of Kerala Catholic Bishop Council (KCBC).

Hailing from Kara in Kodungalloor, Kerala, Elinjakal was ordained a priest on March 18, 1945, in Rome, and has to his credit doctorates in Hindu Philosophy in Upanishads and in Canon Law.

The archbishop was a renowned poet and had written more than five hundred Christian devotional songs in Malayalam. He was also author of more than ten books.

“During his episcopal ministry, both at Vijayapuram and Verapoly, his top priority was the work of evangelization and deepening of the faith of his flock. He was able to maintain good relationship with the leaders of the other religions,” Kerala Catholic Bishop Council said in a statement.

“He was a friend of all, ever soft spoken and obliging, always exuded human warmth that made any one in his presence feel at ease. He left an indelible mark of unflinching loyalty to the Church and its teachings. His deep love of the Church and the nation is praiseworthy and remarkable,” the statement added.

Several leaders, including Defence Minister A K Antony and Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy expressed grief over the death of the archbishop.

Chief Minister Chandy said the Archbishop had always worked for the poor and his death was an irreparable loss to society. 

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