Rousing reception for Mar Cleemis
By Express News Service | Published: 01st November 2012 10:22 AM |
Cardinal-designate Baselios Mar Cleemis, reigning Archbishop and Catholicos of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, arrived here to a rousing reception on Wednesday morning, on his homecoming after being elevated to the coveted stature by Pope Benedict XVI recently.
Hundreds of church faithful, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and his colleagues in the government and well-wishers of Mar Cleemis from various walks of life were there to greet the church supremo, as he arrived from Rome at the international airport here and later at a public meet held at the Pattom Archbishop’s house.
Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien, Assembly Speaker G Karthikeyan, Health Minister V S Sivakumar, government chief whip P C George, Anto Antony MP, Malankara Catholic church metropolitans and other dignitaries in addition to a large number of church followers from various parts of the state were present at the airport to receive Mar Cleemis.
The cardinal designate was led in a motorcade to his abode at Pattom, where he offered his benedictory prayers prior to the public meet.
Addressing the gathering, Mar Clemis said that he would like to consider his new assignment as an opportunity to reveal to the world the rich heritage and legacy of India. ‘’Our land is pristine. What is needed is to value and protect relationships. Relationships should be strengthened on a warm note,’’ he reminded. He also said that he had learnt many lessons from other religions including Hinduism and Islam.
‘’I need the support from all quarters to work for our land and involve in activities which are good for society,’’ he said. Felicitating Mar Cleemis, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that the ascension of the supremo is a great recognition for the state and the country. Archbishop Soosai Pakiam, Bishop Mar Mathew Arackal, Palayam Imam Moulavi Jamaludeen Mankada, Santhigiri Ashramam head Guru Gjana Tapaswi, Finance and Law Minister K M Mani, Rural Development Minister K C Joseph and Excise Minister K Babu, Shashi Tharoor MP, Raju Abraham MLA, CPM politburo member M A Baby, poet Sugathakumari, chief whip P C George, former ministers V M Sudheeran, M Vijayakumar and N K Premachandran, Joseph M Puthuserry ex-MLA, PSC chairman K S Radhakrishnan and others were present to greet the cardinal-designate.
Mar Cleemis offered his birthday wishes to the CM, on the latter’s 69th birthday, before receiving the bouquet of flowers. The consecration of Mar Cleemis will be held at Vatican on November 24, with Pope Benedict XVI as the main celebrant.