Tue, 14 April 2020
Tributes have been paid to Bahrain’s popular cleric Bishop Camillo Ballin, who passed away in Rome on Sunday evening. He is reported to have been undergoing treatment for lung cancer.
The Italian holy man was 76 years old and had been a priest for more than half a century. He had served in other Arabic countries such as Egypt and, in 2011, he was appointed as the first Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia covering Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
A popular and scholarly man, he was granted a Bahraini passport by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
Tributes have been received from across the world on the Sacred Heart Catholic Church social media pages. And Bahrain’s Kerala Catholic Association said: “A light has gone out from the world at a time when his blessings and wisdom would have been a source of strength to everyone. It is certain that, from heaven, he will continue to bless and intercede for the people of all faiths all over the world to overcome the unprecedented pandemic. His charisma and leadership have given the Christian community a new dimension and identity with the gift of a cathedral church, which gives us a reason to remember him for generations to come.”
A solemn requiem mass will be conducted when conditions allow and, in the meantime, local priests across the diocese are celebrating requiem masses without their congregations.