Rome, June 2 :
Pope Francis condoled the death of Indian Cardinal Simon Lourdusamy, who passed away in Rome early Monday after being hospitalised with failing health, a media report said.
The funeral service of 90-year-old Lourdusamy, the former prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Oriental Churches, will take place Thursday in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome at the end of which Pope Francis will conclude the last rites, the official broadcaster of the Roman Catholic Church, Vatican Radio reported Monday.
In a condolence message to Archbishop Anthony Anandarayar of Pondicherry and Cuddalore, the Pope recalled with gratitude the Cardinal’s priestly life spent in spreading the Gospel first in India and subsequently in service to the Universal Church in numerous capacities and finally as Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
Born on Feb 5, 1924 at Kalleri near Puducherry, the Cardinal became a priest in Puducherry in 1951.
St. John Paul II made him a cardinal in May 1985 and later that year appointed him Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, a post he resigned in 1991 for health reasons.
There are currently five Indian cardinals in the Catholic Church.