, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 30 – Renowned Catholic Bishop of Eldoret Diocese, Cornelius Korir, is dead.
The 67-year-old Bishop was pronounced dead on Monday morning on arrival at the Moi Teaching & Referral Hospital in Eldoret after a short illness.
Officials at the diocese confirmed the passing on of the bishop.
The Chairperson of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops Chairman Philip Anyolo of Homa Bay Diocese said the bishop was scheduled to travel to Nairobi’s Karen Hospital for treatment on Monday morning.
“But when a father went to check on him in the morning, he had to be rushed to hospital where it was confirmed that he was no more,” Bishop Anyolo told journalists in Eldoret.
He described his death as a big blow to the diocese and the Catholic Church at large, describing him as a “person who was very close to very many people.”
Alex Tolgos, Elgeyo Marakwet Governor sent his condolences to the entire church, describing the deceased a “great man and leader.”
Bishop Anyolo said there will be prayers daily at the diocese as part of burial preparations but no tentative date has been given.
“I ask all of us in Kenya and all the people of good will to pray for him,” he said.
Bishop Korir will be remembered as a peacemaker, having played a pivotal role in quelling tensions in Eldoret and the larger Rift Valley in 2007 following violence sparked by the disputed presidential election that led to deaths of more than 1,100 people – many of them from the region.
President Uhuru Kenyatta mourned the deceased as a “great religious leader and an excellent peacemaker.”
“I join the Catholic Church in mourning a great religious leader whose exemplary service calls for emulation by others,” President Kenyatta said in a statement from his press team.
He added: “In this hour of sorrow, and on behalf of the people and Government of Kenya, I convey my deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the Catholic church, and the family and friends of the late Bishop Korir.”
President Kenyatta said Bishop Korir’s work for peace and understanding between Kenyans of different faiths deserves the warmest commendation, saying the Bishop discharged his duties of leadership.