05/13/2005, 00.00
INDIA

With faith everything is possible, says Archbishop Baselios

by Nirmala Carvalho
On the eve of his installation as Archbishop of the new Major Church of Trivandrum, Mgr Baselios talks about faith, the future and Benedict XVI.

Trivandrum (AsiaNews) – Evangelisation, Christian unity and enhancing the faith are Mgr Cyril Mar Baselios Malancharuvil's key goal. Tomorrow, the head of the Syro-Malankara Church will be installed as the Archbishop of the newly-elevated Major Church of Trivandrum.

In an interview with AsiaNews he said "the elevation of the Church of Trivandrum from Metropolitan to Major Archiepiscopal Church is how the late Pope John Paul II wanted the new era for this Indian Church to start."

He explained that "according to Canon Law, now the Church has a new legal status and tomorrow [i.e. Saturday, May 14] I shall be installed as Major Archbishop".

With tomorrow's installation and the recognition by the Holy See, the Church of Trivandrum acquires powers of "self-government"—it will come directly under the Pope and will be able to set up its own autonomous administration.

"The Church has always highlighted the need to defend human rights, at both the individual and collective levels, as an intrinsic part of its message and mission," he said.

Now, the Church will have independent administrative tribunals so that it can give visible signs of "its will to defend human rights".

Archbishop Baselios made it clear that "evangelisation and the unity of Christian Churches were [his] major challenges.

His motto will be "believe in love" and "enhancing the faith" is what he most frequently urges people to do.

"Everything is possible when there is faith," he insisted, because "the human spirit can do wonders when it is infused with the Holy Spirit, which is boundless".

The Archbishop also spoke about Benedict XVI's elevation to the Pontifical Throne.

"I am full of joy and give thanks to Heaven for the appointment of Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope," he said. "I know him personally and I am certain that he is the right person for the times we live in. His openness and desire for unity with other Christian Churches will lead the Church of this generation into a new era".

The appointment of the new Pontiff is for him an encouraging sign. "His simplicity, his ardent hope and desire for ecumenism are inspiring to me; they confirm my mission as head of the Malankara Church."

In his opinion, "the Catholic Church will be witness to full unity during Benedict XVI's pontificate".

Tomorrow, Ignatius Moussa Dahoud, Prefect of the Congregation of the Oriental Churches, will read the Pontifical message of congratulations for the new installation during a solemn mass.

The Prefect and the Apostolic Nuncio to India Pedro Lopez Quintana will co-celebrate tomorrow's service in both English and the local Malayam language.

Various dignitaries, both ecclesiastic and civilian, are expected to attend.

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