Cardinal Simon Pimenta, archbishop emeritus of Bombay, passed away on Friday. He was 93.
The cardinal, who retired 16 years ago, was at the Clergy Home, the residence for aged priests in suburban Mumbai, when the end came, a church official said. The details of the last rites will be decided and announced on Sunday.
Born on March 1,1920 in Marol, in suburban Mumbai, Pimenta was ordained a priest on December 21, 1949. He obtained a doctorate in church law from the Pontifical Urban University in Rome in 1954, and after returning to Mumbai, he was given different responsibilities.
He was secretary to Cardinal Valerian Gracias, taught liturgy at the seminary and was in charge of the formation of young priests. He also published some works.
He was appointed titular Bishop of Bocconia and Auxiliary of Bombay in June 1971. Some years later, Pope Paul VI nominated him coadjutor archbishop of Bombay and on September 11, 1978 he became archbishop.
As archbishop, he called for a special conference of religious and lay people, he was active in pastoral and charitable activities like managing hospitals and dispensaries, and dedicated much to Catholic education. He was president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India for three consecutive terms until 1988.
Created and proclaimed cardinal by John Paul II on June 28, 1988, he chose to retire in November 8, 1996.