Mar Cleemis elected CBCI president

February 14, 2014 by  
Filed under newsletter-lead

Cardinal Cleemis & Pope FrancisKerala, February 12, 2014: Sixth person to be elected from Kerala to the august office

Cardinal Baselios Cleemis Catholicos, head of the Syro-Malankara Church, has been elected president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) at its 31st plenary session being held at Pala, near here, a press note has said.

He is the sixth person to be elected from Kerala to the august office and succeeds Cardinal Oswald Gracias who has completed his term.

Born into a middleclass family at Mukkoor in Pathanamthitta district on June 15, 1959, the Catholicos is the youngest Cardinal.

His Episcopal life began as auxiliary bishop of Thiruvananthapuram in 2001 and was elevated as Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Church six years later.

Mar Cleemis was elevated as Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI on November 29, 2012. At present president of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council (KCBC), the Cardinal had functioned as vice-president of the CBCI in 2006.

Archbishop Andrews Thazhath of Thrissur is the first vice-president and Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao of Goa the second vice-president of the CBCI. The secretary general of the CBCI Archbishop Albert D’Souza of Agra will continue in his present capacity.

The demand for a resident bishop for the CBCI will be realised soon, according the official spokesperson of the CBCI Joseph Chinnayyan. The meeting also elected chairmen to the various commissions under the CBCI.

Mar Joseph Kallarangattu, Bishop of Pala, has been re-elected as chairman of the Commission for Doctrine, while Bishop Joshua Mar Ignatius has been elected chairman of the Commission for Education and Culture.

Other commission chairmen are Bishop Salvatore Lobo (Commission for Social Communication), Archbishop Felix Anthony Machado (Commission for Dialogue and Ecumenism), Archbishop Prakash Mallavarappu (Commission on Health Care), Bishop Jerald Almeida (Commission for Justice, Peace and Development), Bishop Oswald Lewis (Commission on Labour), Bishop Anthonisamy Neethinathan (Commission on Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes), Bishop Vincent Barwa (Commission on Tribal Affairs), and Bishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto (Commission on Clergy and Religious Vocations).

The Postal Department issued a commemorative stamp in memory of the 31 plenary session.

The stamp was released by Bishop Kallarangattu at a function at Bharananganam on Tuesday.

– the hindu

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