KOCHI: The concept of God for Archbishop Cornelius Elanjikal was always beyond the borders of Christian theology. His pursuit for perpetual truth (Sanathana Satyam) made him a scholar in Hinduism. Archbishop Cornelius has secured doctorates in philosophy and Canon Law from the Propaganda University, Rome.
His PhD was on the subject ‘Transformation in dependence of God with special reference to Brihadaranyaka and Chandokya Upanishads.’ His in-depth knowledge in Hinduism prompted him to respect other religions.
Though his professor invited him to teach philosophy at the university, Cornelius refused and returned home to serve the Archdiocese of Verapoly.
Bishop Cornelius can be termed as a person who is a mix of sanctity, knowledge, humility, compassion, vision and had a good sense of humour. Bishop Cornelius is best known as a lyricist of popular Christian devotional songs. He has written over 500 songs, with most of them being on Virgin Mary. Songs written by him are still sung at churches during prayers. Bishop Cornelius first wrote songs for the Novena of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
The Latin Liturgy is rich with songs. For Cornelius, who had gained in-depth knowledge in Latin during his studies in Rome, translation of Latin songs without losing its essence was easy.
Bishop Cornelius has also written around 10 books in English and Malayalam, including his autobiography ‘Mangaatha Smaranakal.’