In a telegram, the Pope sent upon learning of the death of Cardinal Ivan Dias to his brother, Francis Dias, Francis lamented the passing away of the 81-year-old cardinal in Rome on Monday, June 19, 2017.
Born in Mumbai, India, on April 14, 1936, Ivan Dias would later be ordained for the Archdiocese of Bombay on Dec. 8, 1958 and would hold a doctorate in Canon Law from Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University.
In 1964, he entered the Holy See’s diplomatic service, and was given assignments in the Nordic countries, Indonesia, Madagascar, La Réunion, the Comorros, Mauritius and the Secretariat of State.
From 2006, until he retired at age 75 in 2011, the Indian cardinal served as prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Urbanian University.
Cardinal Dias was a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Pontifical Council for the Laity, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.
Below is the Vatican-provided text of the telegram of condolences Pope Francis sent this morning:
Deeply saddened to learn of the death of your dear brother, I offer heartfelt condolences to you and the Dias family. I recall with gratitude the late Cardinal’s years of faithful service to the Apostolic See, especially his contribution to the spiritual and physical reconstruction of the suffering Church in Albania and the missionary zeal demonstrated in his work as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. I likewise unite my prayers to those of the faithful of the Archdiocese of Bombay, where the pastoral concern and broad apostolic vision that marked his service as Archbishop are fondly remembered. In union of prayer with all who mourn his passing in the sure hope of the Resurrection, I commend the soul of this wise and gentle pastor to the merciful love of God our heavenly Father and cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of consolation and peace in the Lord.
[Original text: English]