KOCHI: Verapoly Archbishop Daniel Acharuparambil, head of the Latin Catholic Church in Kerala, passed away here at 11.10 a.m. on Monday. He was 70. He was rushed to the Lourdes Hospital, Kochi, in a critical condition on Saturday afternoon.
Though he was put on ventilator his health deteriorated due to infection in internal organs.
The funeral will be held on Wednesday.
Archbishop Acharuparambil was president of the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC), the Kerala Region Latin Catholic Bishops Council (KRLCBC) and the Kerala Regional Latin Catholic Council (KRLCC). He was a member of the Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCD), Manjummel Province.
The body, currently kept in the mortuary, will be shifted to the St Francis Assisi Cathedral for the public to pay last respects. It will be taken to St Albert’s School grounds for Holy Mass on Wednesday morning. The body will be laid to rest in a crypt being prepared under the altar of the Cathedral at 3.30 p.m.
Born to Rocky Acharuparambil and Monica at Pallipuram in Vypeen on May 12, 1939, Daniel Acharuparambil joined the Carmelite order in 1956 after school education. He studied philosophy and theology at the St Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Aluva, and was ordained priest on March 14, 1966. On August 5, 1996, he was nominated as the Archbishop and was consecrated on November 3, 1996 by Joseph Cardinal Tomko, the then prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
Apart from the bishops in Kerala, Vatican Nuncio to India Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana and Cardinal Archbishop of Bombay Oswald Gracias will attend the funeral function. Verapoly Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Karikkassery has been appointed as the administrator of the Archdiocese.
A scholar in Indian philosophy, Archbishop Acharuparambil is a holder of Licentiate in Philosophy from the Pontifical Athenaeum, Pune, and a post graduate in Indian Philosophy from the Banaras Hindu University. He also secured a PhD from the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas, Rome, in 1978.
Archbishop Acharuparambil, who started teaching at the Pontifical University of Urbaniana(PUU), Rome, in 1972, became the dean of the Faculty of Missiology in 1986 and served in that capacity until 1994. He was the first non-European Rector Magnificus of the PUU. He was the consulter of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue for five years, since 1990. He served as consulter of the Congregation for Evangelisation of the Peoples.
Acharuparambil has also served as the Apostolic Administrator of the Kochi Diocese, after Vatican suspended Bishop John Thattunkal following the adoption controversy.