Skip to comments.Joy over Syro-Malankara appointment (Church head becomes its first ever cardinal)
Posted on 10/26/2012 7:00:13 AM PDT by NYer
Half a million faithful across the globe were today celebrating yesterdays papal announcement appointing Major Archbishop Catholicos Baselios Mar Cleemis, the head of the Syro-Malankara Church in India, a cardinal.
The 53-year-old cardinal-designate becomes the Syro-Malankara Churchs first ever cardinal and the youngest in the Catholic Churchs College of Cardinals which elects the Pope.
Metropolitan Archbishop Thomas Mar Coorilos of Thiruvalla made the announcement at St. Marys Cathedral in Pattom in the southern state of Kerala yesterday afternoon.
Its a historic moment for our church and a great honor. We thank God for this great gift, he said.
He has always strived to spread the belief of the Church and to uphold Indias heritage on a global platform. This is recognition for his great work, the archbishop added.
Celebrations by the clergy and the laity were marked with prayer sessions, the tolling of church bells and many firecrackers.
Auxiliary Bishop Samuel Mar Irenios of Thiruvananthapuram said the honor will inspire us to do better.
Cardinal-designate Cleemis was one of six new cardinals appointed by the pontiff yesterday.
He is the fifth person from Kerala to become a cardinal in the 2000-year-old history of the Catholic Church.
State chief minister Oommen Chandy, who called Cardinal-designate Cleemis in Rome to congratulate him, said his elevation was an honor not only for Kerala but for India too.
I know the Catholicos personally. He is a man of vision and action. He has always stood for peace and communal harmony, the chief minister told ucanews.com.
Cardinal-designate Cleemis is due to return to India on October 31 from Rome.
We are making elaborate arrangements to welcome our church head on his return, a Syro-Malankara official said.
Cardinal-designate Cleemis ordination will be held at the Vatican on November 24. During the ceremony, he will receive the cardinal’s insignia and official apparel, including the famous red hat.
Born in Mallappally in Keralas Pathanamthitta district on June 15, 1959, Cardinal-designate Cleemis was ordained a priest in 1986 and later served for a number of years as a parish priest in Bathery diocese.
He later obtained a doctorate from the Pontifical Seminary at the Vatican.
In 2001, Pope John Paul II appointed him apostolic visitor for North America and auxiliary bishop of Thiruvananthapuram archdiocese.
Its a historic moment for our church and a great honor. We thank God for this great gift,
There is a similar reaction today in the Maronite Catholic Church. The announcement that Patriarch Bechara Al-Rai will be elevated to cardinal marks the first time in the history of the Maronite Church that it will have two cardinals serving at the same time. There is much joy and celebration!
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The Apostle of India is smiling especially broadly today.
On receiving the letter [from Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone] I straight away went to St. Peters Basilica, to Peters tomb and I knelt down and prayed, the prelate said. And then I spent an hour at the tomb of Blessed John Paul II, who in fact appointed me as bishop in 2001, at the age of 42. Then after praying the rosary there I went to St. Mary Major, this is a place that gives me a lot of consolation, strength and confidence where I can pray unnoticed by anyone.
If you recall the Papal Conclave of 2005, as each of the cardinals processed into the Sistine Chapel, he each took an oath of secrecy.
The oath rested on the Book of the Gospels. When Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, Patriarch of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church completed the oath, he bent over and kissed the book.
The reactions of both these eastern catholic prelates, is indicative of their profound faith and humble humility. It attests to their total trust in God.