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    » 02/20/2013, 00.00

    INDIA - VATICAN

    Card Thottunkal: Benedict XVI and what it means to be a true Christian and Catholic



    The major archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, Trivandrum, looks back at the pontificate of Benedict XVI. The pope's devotion to the Church and God's law, his Encyclical Deus Caritas Est and every one of his writings bear witness to his divine mission. The prelate has no one in mind as the next pope but is certain that he has to unite all the Christians of the world. Lay and consecrated people are called to work for the Church and bear witness to the faith.

    Trivandrum (AsiaNews) - "No pope spoke about his divine mission in so a powerful and conscious way," said His Beatitude Mar Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, major archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, Trivandrum. Speaking to AsiaNews about Benedict XVI and his pontificate, he noted, "he is a true disciple of Christ who showed others what it means to be a true Christian and Catholic".

    The pope announced that he would give up the Petrine Ministry on 28 Ministry. The Indian prelate is one of the 117 cardinal electors who will pick a successor. Pundits are already trying to imagine what would make an ideal pope and who he might be. But for Card Thottunkal, "rather talk about the problems and challenges the new Holy Father will face or how old he ought to be, we should reflect instead on what his main task will be."

    "For many people, especially in Asia, it is clear that he must be someone who can travel the world, and continue on the ecumenical and interfaith path" laid down by Benedict XVI. Above all, we need a pope who is "involved in every aspect of his Petrine Ministry, who is first of all vicar of Christ and bishop of Rome, someone who can, with hope, charity and courage, bring together and unite Catholics from all continents and rites, whilst proclaiming the Gospel to all places."

    "It is important for all those who live in the Catholic Church to cooperate" in this mission, lay as well as consecrated people, "so that each one of us can bear witness to our Christian faith".

    The pope who will come out of the next conclave will have the good fortune of Benedict XVI's example, the prelate said, "especially his devotion to the Church and God's law."

    "Benedict XVI took on a difficult inheritance, that of John Paul II, a great pope who travelled a lot and met millions of people. It was not going to be easy for anyone to be Pope Wojtyla's successor. Yet, Benedict XVI was able to perform in his divine mission in wonderful way."

    We saw this "from the start with his first Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, 'God is love', and in all his homilies, catecheses, encyclicals and apostolic exhortations."

    Benedict XVI elevated His Beatitude to the dignity of cardinal last 24 November, after the Synod of Bishops on the new evangelisation (7-28 October 2012).

    For the prelate, Pope Ratzinger is "humble, gentle, loving and understanding man who reminded the world that it needs God's presence and that it must follow Jesus Christ, whom the Lord sent us as our Saviour. In Benedict XVI, I found a true disciple of Christ."  (GM)

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    See also

    25/11/2012 VATICAN
    Pope to the new cardinals: the Church is Catholic because Christ embraces all humankind in his mission of salvation
    In ordinary Consistory, Benedict XVI creates six new cardinals, from three continents: Asia, America and Africa. For Asia, there is Bechara Boutros Raï, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch (Lebanon); Baselios Thottunkal Cleemis, Major Archbishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankaran Church (India), and Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila (Philippines). Fidelity and love for the Church; the gift of self to the shedding of blood, and above all witness of the Church's ability to be "the Church of all peoples," which "expresses itself in the various cultures of the different continents."

    29/10/2012 VATICAN - INDIA
    Card Baselios Thottunkal: Without Hindus, India would not have Christians
    His Beatitude Mar Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, Major Archbishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankara Church, will be made a cardinal on November 24 along with five other prelates. His appointment is "an honor and a recognition of" India and the Syro-Malankara Church. Religious radicalism "belongs to all faiths" and is "a form of selfishness," to be fought “within ourselves." A prayer for the imprisoned Chinese bishops and priests.

    13/02/2014 INDIA
    Card. Thottunkal: I will invite Pope Francis to India
    The Major Archbishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankara rite is the new president of the Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI). His Beatitude explains his "work program" for the Church in the country, inviting all the bishops and local clergy to an "inner renewal to help build society and the country”. The cardinal recalls that "the Church is at the service of the poor: this is a sign that the Gospel is alive in our country".

    10/11/2008 INDIA
    Kerala celebrating St-Alphonsa, first Indian saint
    Celebrations in honour of the Clarist nun end in the presence of former Indian President Abul Kalam and Card Leonardo Sandri. In mentioning the recent wave of anti-Christian violence the prefect of the Congregation for Oriental Churches said: “Orissa is a name that is alive in our hearts and on our lips as well as those of the people of Europe—we are with the persecuted Church. We ask for freedom of religion in order to live in freedom and peace.”

    16/07/2012 INDIA - VATICAN
    Msgr. Machado: India is also materialistic and needs the Year of Faith
    The Bishop of Vasai has translated the Pope's letter into Marathi and distributed it throughout the diocese. With materialism, which stops at appearances, life becomes a huge burden. The example of Mother Teresa for a testimony of faith that enlivens even inter-religious dialogue and ecumenism.



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