Former Archbishop Cornelius Elanjikkal passes away in Kochi

United News of India

Kochi, August 7, 2011

Metropolitian Archbishop Emeritus of Verapoly and former Bishop of Vijayapuram Cornelius Elanjikkal passed away at a private hospital here today. He was 93.

The funeral will take place on August 9 at the St Francis Assissi Cathedral of the Verapoly Archdiocese at Ernakulam, Kerala Catholic Bishop’s Secretariat said.

The late Archbishop was born in Kara, a village near Kodungallur in Trichur district, in Kerala on September 8, 1918. After school education at Kara and Ernakulam, he had his seminary studies at St Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Mangalapuzha, Aluva and Urbaniana Seminary, Rome.

He obtained doctorates in Hindu Philosophy in Upanishads and in Canon Law from the Propaganda College in Rome. After completing his studies in philosophy and theology he was ordained a priest on March 18, 1945, in Rome.

In February 1971, he was appointed bishop of Vijayapuram. In February 1987 he was appointed by Pope John Paul II as the Archbishop Verapoly. He was installed the Metropolitan Archbishop of Verapoly on March 19, 1987. He retired from the office on August 5, 1996.

He was author of more than ten books as well as hundreds of articles. His famous book, "Concept of God in Upanishads" was widely accepted even by the Hindu scholars. He was also a renowned poet and had penned more than five hundred Christian devotional songs in Malayalam.

Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy condoled the death of Dr Elanjikkal. He said the Archbishop had always worked for the poor and his death was an irreparable loss to society.

In his condolence message, Union Minister of State for Food K V Thomas said the Archbhiship would always live in the hearts of hundreds through his religious lyrics.