07/19/2016, 12.53
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Card Dolan is guest of honour at event celebrating the founder of the Syro-Malankara Church

by Nirmala Carvalho

The archbishop of New York praised the great diversity of the Indian Catholic Church, speaking at the celebrations in honour of Aboon Geevarghese Mar Ivanios, founder of the rite and "Servant of God." Strong bonds of friendship have tied the Archdiocese of New York and the Syro-Malankara Church since the late forties.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – The Syro-Malankara Church in India has commemorated the 63rd anniversary of the death of Aboon Geevarghese Mar Ivanios, the founder of the rite.  Card Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, was present at the event as guest of honor.

The US prelate came on the personal invitation Card Baselios Cleemis, head of the Syro-Malankara Church and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI).

Speaking to AsiaNews, Card Cleemis expressed joy for Card Dolan’s presence, noting the long-standing bonds between the Syro-Malankara Church and the Archdiocese of New York.

In 1948, he said, "Archbishop Mar Ivanios visited the diocese and since then we have always maintained a close bond of friendship".

Over the years, for the celebrations of the anniversary of the founder’s death, now Servant of God, the leaders of the Catholic rite invited various members of the universal Church.

"We had the privilege of hosting Card Luis Antonio Tagle (archbishop of Manila), and Card Peter Turkson (president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace), along with other prelates and Eparchs," the CBCI president said.

Card Dolan spoke at the memorial ceremony held on 15 July for Mar Ivanios in Thiruvananthapuram, capital of the state of Kerala. On that occasion, he praised the Indian Catholic Church for its "great diversity".

The day before he attended a candlelight vigil. The day after, 16 July, he celebrated Mass and then met the Latin Patriarch and the laity.

He left the capital of Kerala for Poland, where next week he will participate in the meetings of the World Youth Day in Krakow.

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