Thiruvananthapuram: Cardinal-designate Major Archbishop Catholicos Baselios Mar Cleemis of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church would be accorded a grand reception on his return from Rome on 31 October. State ministers, senior leaders in the opposition parties and Corporation Mayor would welcome the cardinal-designate when he reaches the Trivandrum International Airport in Kerala.
"We have planned the reception in a simple, but elegant manner," said Rev. Fr. Koshy Chirakkarottu, Chancellor of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, Major Archieparchy of Trivandrum.
Chief Minister Sri. Ommen Chandy, leader of opposition Sri. V. S. Achuthanandan and federal ministers hailing from the state are among the few expected to be present at the St Mary's Cathedral Church on his arrival.
"He will be garlanded at the church gate and the dignitaries and followers of the church will give a befitting welcome to the cardinal-designate at 10.30am,” Fr. Koshy Chirakkarottu ``said. The priest said that the cardinal designate would address the dignitaries and the gathering. After that, the dignitaries and the cardinal-designate would together enjoy a feast," he added.
Cardinal-designate is the only Indian among the six cardinals elevated to the rank in the latest expansion of the College of Cardinals. Pope Benedict XVI made the announcement Oct. 24. The formal ordination ceremony will be held at the Vatican on November 24. During the ceremony, he will receive the cardinal's insignia and the official apparel, including the red broad-brimmed tasseled hat. The cardinal designate will henceforth be known as Baselios Cardinal Cleemis.