He is the first major archbishop from the Kerala-based Syro Malankara Church to be elevated as a cardinal, and the youngest from India.
Catholicos, 53, is one of the 89 among the 211 cardinals who can elect the Pope.
Five others from non-European countries were made cardinals along with Catholicos by Pope Benedict XVI.
With Catholicos' elevation, the total number of cardinals in India is now seven, but only four of them have voting rights to elect or contest for the post of the Pope.
Image:Newly elected cardinal Cleemis Thottunkal of India, arrives for an audience with Pope Benedict XVI, in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, Monday Nov. 26, 2012.