Following is the text of Fr Christian Pereiras
media release on the death of His Grace:
It is with deep regret and sorrow that I have to inform the
faithful and the wider national community that His Grace Archbishop Anthony Pantin,
Archbishop of Port of Spain, passed away unexpectedly and peacefully in the early hours of
this morning, Sunday, March 12, 2000.
His housekeeper, Ada Mars, became concerned when His Grace did not
come down for breakfast, so she called his brother, Michael Pantin, who came immediately
from his home in Ana Street. When he got no
response from the Archbishops room, he called me at the Cathedral and when I got to
the Archbishops House, I had to climb over an opening to his room. I found him lying very peacefully but lifeless. So then I immediately called his personal
physicians, Drs Richard Clerk and Gerard Farfan, who confirm d that His grace had died
probably around 5 a.m.
His sisters and brothers were also informed and arrived at Archbishops
House immediately. This news came as a great
shock to all of us who were close to him, as up to yesterday he seemed very well and
cheerful. He spoke to several of his friends,
including his secretary June Gonsalves, who reminded him that he had promised to continue
writing his autobiography.
His Excellency the Apostolic Pro-Nuncio, the Most Reverend Eugenio
Sbarbaro, came immediately upon hearing of the news, together with his Secretary, Fr Angelo Accattino.
I went to Presidents House and informed President Robinson, who
invited me to pray with him. Acting Prime
Minister Lindsay Gillette was informed and came to Archbishops House personally to
pay his respects. He has informed Prime
Minister Basdeo Panday.
Dr Neville Jankey performed the post mortem and said that about two
months ago, the Archbishop had a minor heart attack as indicated by a scar on the heart. He died from an acute left ventricular failure. There was cardiac hypertrophy (enlarged heart).
The protocol of the Church requires that when a bishop dies suddenly,
the College of Consultors composed of senior clergy and religious superiors must meet to
appoint an Administrator of the Diocese until a new bishop is appointed by the Holy
Father. The Consultors will meet shortly and
funeral arrangements will be decided then.
I ask prayers of all for the happy repose of his soul. May he rest in peace.
Fr Christian Pereira