‘I don’t know if we will be able to see it in person on earth. Spiritual closeness and love will always be with you’… This is how the letter he sent to Mar Joseph Pouvati, who maintained a close relationship with Benedict XVI during his service period and after his retirement, on the occasion of Navati celebration ends. This letter was a reminder of a rare friendship after four and a half decades.
The two met while working as Oriental Congregation Consultants at the Vatican. Since 1985, when he began attending synods as a special invitee of the Pope, the closeness has grown.
It was Pope Benedict XVI who gave the epithet “Crown of the Church” to Mar Joseph Pouvat. When the bishops of the Syro-Malabar Church arrived at the Vatican in May 2011 for the function of visiting the Pope once in 5 years, Pope Benedict addressed Mar Pouvati as the ‘Crown of the Church’. Benedict XVI had inquired about the health information of Mar Pouvathil from the visitors from Kerala. During his retirement, Benedict XVI visited the Vatican in March.
English Summary: Mar Joseph Powathil and Pope Benedict XVI