24 October 2012
On 7 August 2012, CNEWA President John Kozar, left, met with Major Archbishop Baselios Mar Cleemis of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church on his visit to our New York office. Today, Pope Benedict XVI announced that the major archbishop will become a cardinal in November. (photo: Erin Edwards)
Surprising a crowd of some 20,000 pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict XVI today announced the creation of six new cardinals, including two with whom CNEWA works closely.
Cardinal-designate Patriarch Bechara Peter guides more than 3.2 million Maronite Catholics, more than half of whom live outside the church’s traditional center in Lebanon. For decades, the patriarch has been a close advisor, friend and partner of CNEWA, forging partnerships and promoting projects and plans to benefit all Lebanese, Christians and non-Christians alike.
Cardinal-designate Baselios Mar Cleemis leads some 430,000 Syro-Malankara Catholics from his see in southwestern India. A tireless advocate for the poor, Mar Cleemis witnesses the love of Christ through acts of compassion, charity and simple piety.
“We do that,” he said during a visit to our offices in August, “through education, through health care, through caring for those with H.I.V. and leprosy. It has to do with human dignity. I am proud and happy of how our people give witness with how they live.”
Both cardinals lead an Eastern Catholic church of the Syriac tradition — neither Greek nor Latin — both of which are rooted in the earliest Jewish-Christian traditions of the church.
Tags: Lebanon CNEWA Kerala Maronite Patriarch Bechara Peter Syro-Malankara Catholic Church