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A bishop in India is to donate one of his kidneys to save the life of a poor Hindu. Bishop Mar Jacob Muricken of the Syro-Malabar Eastern church is an auxiliary in the Palai diocese, in the southern state of Kerala. The recipient is E Sooraj, a 30-year-old poor lower-caste Hindu man from Kottakal in the south of India. He was diagnosed with kidney failure two years ago, and has been on dialysis since then, and struggling to support his wife and his mother. Bishop Muricken was inspired by hearing Fr Davis Chiramel, chairman of the Kidney Federation of India, speaking at a convention. Fr Chiramel had donated one of this own kidneys to a Hindu in 2009. “This is perhaps the first time in history that a serving bishop is donating one of his kidneys to save a life,” said Fr Chiramel. He said it was significant that he was doing it “in the Holy Year of Mercy, following the call by Pope Francis to love each other without the barrier of caste or creed”, adding “30-year-old Sooraj is getting life from this Catholic bishop, who’s forming the bridge of love and God’s grace”.
Catholic News Agency adds:
Fr. Anithottathil Gervasis, secretary of the Palai diocese, reflected that “This is a great selfless act of Bishop Muricken in the spirit of the Year of Mercy. Bishop Muricken’s generosity has practically taught us a moral example in reaching out to save life.” Fr. Gervasis said the bishop’s act is no publicity stunt, and that he is regarded as one of the simplest persons among the bishops. He added that the bishop is happy and has only asked for prayers so that he could continue to work and be a witness for Christ and to his people.