ROME, (C.M. Paul) — Pope Benedict XVI today (24 October 2012) elevated one more cardinal for India His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Mar Cleemis, Major Archbishop of Malankara Archdiocese, Trivandrum and Vice-President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, to the rank of cardinal. Other cardinals of India are at Mumbai, Ranchi and Ernakulam.
In the note to the Catholic Bishops Conference of India members, Deputy Secretary General of CBCI, Fr. Joseph Chinnayyan, said “it is glad news which is primarily a recognition of the personal achievements of His Beatitude, a recognition of the contribution of the Syro-Malankara Church to the Universal Church and a recognition for the Church in India by the Supreme Pontiff, the Pope”.
His Beatitude Baselios Mar Cleemis who is currently in Rome participating in the Synod of Bishops is expected to return to Trivandrum on 31st October, 2012.
The official announcement was made in Rome today at 12 noon, corresponding to 16.30 hrs IST during his weekly General Audience when the pope announced a consistory for the creation of six new Cardinals of the Catholic Church. The announcement was made in front of thousands gather in St. Peter’s Square after the Holy Father’s catechesis.
“It is with great joy that I announce my intention to hold a consistory on November 24th in which I will appoint six new members of the College of Cardinals. Cardinals have the task of helping Peter’s Successor carry out his mission to confirm people in the faith and to be the source and foundation of the Church’s unity and communion,” the Holy Father said to the crowd.
“The new cardinals fulfill their ministry in the service of the Holy See or as fathers and pastors of particular Churches in various parts of the world.”
Other five persons made cardinals are:
– Archbishop James Michael Harvey, prefect of the Pontifical Household who, Benedict XVI said, “I intend to appoint as arch-priest of the papal basilica of St. Paul’s Outside-the-Walls”.
– His Beatitude Bechara Boutros Rai, patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, Lebanon.
– Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria.
– Archbishop Ruben Salazar Gomez of Bogota, Colombia.
– Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle of Manila, Philippines.
The new members of the College of Cardinals will bring the number to 122 Cardinals who are eligible to vote in the conclave.
The official Investiture Ceremony will take place in Vatican on November 24, 2012.