(Vatican Radio) Cardinal Ivan Cornelius Dias, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and Archbishop Emeritus of Bombay in India, died in Rome on Monday at the age of 81.
On Tuesday, Pope Francis sent a telegram expressing his condolences to Francis Dias, the brother of the late Cardinal:
To Mr Francis Dias
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.
Cardinal Dias was born on 14 April 1936 in Mumbai, India. He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Bombay on 8 December 1958 and held a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Lateran University.
He entered the Holy See’s diplomatic service in 1964 and was posted to the Nordic countries, Indonesia, Madagascar, La Réunion, the Comorros, Mauritius and the Secretariat of State.
Cardinal Dias served as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Urbanian University from 2006 until 2011.
With his death, the College of Cardinals numbers 220, of whom 116 are Cardinal-electors.