Indian cardinal in key Vatican councils

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 02, 2013 08:09 hrs

Thiruvananthapuram: Pope Benedict XVI has nominated Cardinal Mar Besalios Cleemis from India in two important panels, including the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, of the Vatican.

Cardinal Cleemis, head of Kerala-based Syro Malankara Catholic Church, was also made a member of the Council for Eastern Congregations which oversees the affairs of those hierarchies in the Catholic-fold that follows eastern traditions including Syro Malankara and Syro Malabar churches.

According to an SMC spokesman here, the council for inter-religious, formed in 1964, is entrusted with the task of promoting understanding between Catholic church and other religions.

The Pontifical council would also promote studies on all other major religions of the world and train churchmen to engage themselves in meaningful dialogue with those following different traditions of faith.

Mar Cleemis, 53, Major Archbishop and Catholicos of SMC, was elevated to the status of Cardinal in November last year.

He is one of the youngest cardinals in the apex body of the Catholic church, entrusted with the power of electing the Pope when a need arises.

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