Monday, March 05, 2007

Ceremonies begin to install new Syro Malankara head

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM (ICNS): With thousands of laity and religious in attendance, the ceremonies to install Archbishop Isaac Mar Cleemis Thottunkal as the head of the Syro Malankara Catholic Church and Major Archbishop of Thiruvananthapuram began this morning at 8 here.

The function is being held at St Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom, which has been witness to several significant events in the history of the Oriental Church.

Archbishop Thottunkal will assume the title of Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos. He was elected at the synod of Syro Malankara Bishops February 7-10, in the wake of the passing away of His Beatitude Cyril Mar Baselios on January 18.

Today’s functions, which began at 8 am, is being attended among others by Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, president of the CBCI, Archbishop Oswald Gracis, the president of CCBI, Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil of the Syro Malabar Church, numerous other Archbishops, Bishops, religious and several leaders from social and political life of Kerala.

A public meeting to felicitate the new head of Syro Malankara church would be held immediately after the morning function. Kerala chief minister VS Achuthananthan would chair the meeting to be inaugurated by Cardinal Vithayathil. Union minister Vayalar Ravi, state ministers, Cardinal Toppo and several others are expected to address the gathering, estimated at a few thousands.

Elaborate arrangements have been made to accommodate the hundreds who have been pouring into the Cathedral premises since early morning. Several dozen CCTVs have been installed outside the cathedral for the devotees.


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