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(from ONE magazine March 2007)

In Memoriam
Posted: 20 Mar 2007

Cyril Mar Baselios of Trivandrum blesses a man during the dedication of a new church, 2001.  (photo: Sean Sprague) 

Cyril Mar Baselios, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, died of a heart attack on 18 January at the age of 71. Appointed metropolitan archbishop of Trivandrum by Pope John Paul II in 1995, Mar Baselios became major archbishop one decade later when the pontiff elevated the 405,000-strong Syro-Malankara Catholic community to the dignity of a major archiepiscopal church.

One of the late major archbishop’s last acts was the erection of the new Eparchy of Mavelikara, Kerala, India, naming one of his auxiliary bishops, Joshuah Mar Ignathios, as its first bishop.

Mar Baselios was “a great visionary who understood the meaning of inculturation and encouraged the church to practice it,” said Roman Catholic Archbishop Oswald Gracias of Mumbai. The archbishop added that Mar Baselios “showed great understanding and always tried to see things from the others' perspective.”

The Syro-Malankara Catholic synod of bishops elected 47-year-old Isaac Mar Cleemis, Archbishop of Tiruvalla, as major archbishop on 8 February. Pope Benedict XVI confirmed his election two days later.

Tags: India Syro-Malankara Catholic Church