Syro Malabar Catholic Archbishop Vithayathil passes away

April 1st, 2011 - 7:19 pm ICT by ANI  

Kochi, Apr.1 (ANI): The Major Archbishop of Syro Malabar Catholic church, Cardinal Mar Varkey Vithayathil, passed away at Kochi’s Lisi Hospital on Friday afternoon. He was 84 and was ailing for some time from heart disease.He was the serving Major Archbishop of the Ernakulam-Angamaly region and a member of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.

His Holiness Pope John Paul II nominated Mar Varkey Vithayathil a member of the College of Cardinals on January 21, 2001.

Born on May 29, 1927 to Thresiamma and Justice Joseph Vithayathil, Archbishop Varkey Vithayathil had his schooling in North Parur and Thiruvanathapuram and his college education at the University College Thiruvanathapuram, and St. Joseph College, Trichy.

In 1955 he went to Rome for his studies in common law from where he took his doctorate in 1959 on ‘The Origin and Progress of the Syro-Malabar Hierarchy’.

He participated in the funeral rites of Pope John Paul II and in the conclave which elected Pope Benedict XVI. His body would be laid to rest at St Marys Baselica, Kochi .

Kerala’s Christian community expressed its shock over Cardinal Mar Varkey Vithayathil’s death.

The funeral of the departed church leader is expected to fixed at a later date as all major bishops are in Italy attending a conference. (ANI)

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