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Major Archbishop Baselios Cleemis appointed Cardinal

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BELLARY, OCT 26: Archbishop of Thiruvananthapuram Siro-Malankara Church, Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal and five others were named as new cardinals by Pope Benedict XVI.

The announcement was made by Pope during his weekly general audience in Rome.

The other new cardinals are - the American James Michael Harvey, Lebanon’s Bechara Boutros Rahi, Manila’s Luis Antonio Tagle, Nigeria’s John Onaiyekan and Colombia’s Ruben Salazar Gomez.


After the consistory ceremony on November 24, they would join the Vatican’s College of Cardinals who will be eligible to elect the new pope.


Archbishop Baselios would be the 12th from India to be elevated to the rank of cardinals.


He was born on June 15, 1959 at Mukkoor in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala as Issac Thottunkal. After schooling, he attended the Minor Seminary Formation in Tiruvalla from 1976 to 1979. He received a Bachelor degree in Philosophy from St. Joseph’s Pontifical Seminary, Aluva where he attended from 1979 to 1982. He receiv

ed a Bachelor degree in Theology from the Papal Seminary, Pune where he attended from 1983 to 1986.


Isaac Thottunkal was ordained a priest on June 11, 1986. He studied for the Master of Theology in Dharmaram College, Bangalore where he attended from 1986 to 1989. Thottunkal took his Doctorate in Ecumenical Theology from Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas, Rome in 1997. On his return from Rome he became the Proto Syncellus of the Eparchy of Bathery.

Pope John Paul II appointed him on June 18, 2001 Auxiliary Bishop of Thiruvananthapuram and Apostolic Visitor for the faithful residing in North America and Europe. He was ordained bishop on August 15, 2001, assuming the name Isaac Mar Cleemis. The Holy See appointed Cleemis as sixth Bishop of the Eparchy of Thiruvalla on, September 11, 2003.


Cleemis was installed as the first Metropolitan Archbishop of the Thiruvalla archeparchy on June 10, 2006. Mar Cleemis was elected the Second Major Archbishop and Catholicos of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church on February 9, 2007. Baselios Cleemis was enthroned the Second Major Archbishop-Catholicos of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church on March 5, 2007 at St Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom.


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Bellary Arogya Mathe Shrine

Bellary-Mathe-small The Shrine of Bellary Arogya Mathe was blessed and dedicated on 8th September 2000 on the feast of the Nativity of our Blessed Mother Mary in memory of the great jubilee 2000 and the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese of Bellary


Diocesan Diamond Jubilee

This year is Diamond Jubilee of our Bellary Diocese.  It is completing 60 years in the service to God and His people.


Loss of Life and Property due to Flash Floods in Bellary Diocese

 Number of people affected : 151,934
Loss of life : 72
Villages affected : 1,296
Houses destroyed/damaged : 118,833
Relief being distributed to : 3,500 families
No. Catholic houses lost: 560
Number of medical camps held : 22