THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Former Archbishop of Changanacherry Mar Joseph Powathil passed away in Kottayam district on Saturday afternoon. He was 92.
He was leading a retired life at the Changanacherry Syro Malabar Catholic Church campus which he headed from 1985 till he retired in 2007.
Ordained as a priest in 1962, Mar Joseph Powathil was consecrated as a bishop by Pope Paul VI in 1972 and was known for his positions that he took and was a hugely respected bishop cutting across religions. He also studied Economics at the prestigious Oxford University.
Later, he taught the subject at the famed St Berchmans College Changanacherry and was the teacher of two-time former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
He was a former president of Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) (1994-1998), chairman of Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (1993-1996), and chairman of Education Commission of the CBCI. He has been a member of the Post Asian Synodal Council in Rome, Italy since 1998.
In late 2006, he stepped down from the role of Changanasery Archbishop and since then he had been the Metropolitan Emeritus.
Condolences have started to pour in from various quarters and the Church is yet to decide on the conduct of the last rites of the departed.
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