Mar Paul Chittilappilly, 86, former bishop of the Thamarassery diocese of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, passed away following cardiac arrest at a private hospital here on Sunday.
He was in charge of the diocese between 1997 and 2010, and was leading a retired life for the past 10 years. Chittilappilly had made immense contributions to the social and educational development of the diocese.
His remarks related to the last rites of former CPI(M) MLA Mathai Chacko had led to a controversy after the then party State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan criticised him in strong words. Born on February 7, 1934, at Mattom in Thrissur district, he was ordained in 1961. He holds a doctorate in canon laws from Pontifical Lateran University, Rome.