The Holy See
back up


8-10 February, 2007


The Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church elected His Excellency Msgr. Isaac Mar Cleemis Thottunkal, Metropolitan Archbishop of Tiruvalla as the Major Archbishop of the Malankara Catholic Church. The Major Archiepiscopal See of Trivandrum became vacant after the demise of His Beatitude Cyril Mar Baselios on January 18, 2007. The election of the new Major Archbishop was held at Malankara Catholicate Center at Trivandrum, Kerala on February 8, 2007. The result of the election was submitted for the confirmation of the Holy Father according to the norms of CCEO canon 153§2. The announcement was made at St. Mary’s Malankara Cathedral, Trivandum, Kerala on February 10, 2007, having obtained with the concurrence from the Holy See. It is surely a sign of blessing that this day corresponds to that in 2005 which His Holiness Pope John Paul II elevated  the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church to the status of a Major Archiepiscopal Church. Following the tradition of the Malankara Church the new Major Archbishop has assumed a new name, Baselios Mar Cleemis.

His Beatitude was born on June 15, 1959 at Mukkoor in the District of Pathanamthitta in Kerala, India. Mar Cleemis aspired to priesthood since early childhood and entered the Seminary in 1976. He was ordained in 1986. He pursued his post-graduate studies in Theology at Bangalore from 1986 to 1988. During this period he organized the Malankarites in Bangalore and established a parish church. He acquired a doctorate in Ecumenism from the St. Thomas Aquinas Pontifical University in Rome. After returning from Rome Mar Cleemis undertook various offices in the Diocese of Bathery such as parish priest, Rector of the Minor Seminary, Chancellor and Vicar General. On June 18, 2001 he was nominated as Auxiliary Bishop of Trivandrum and Apostolic Visitor for North America and Europe. He made a remarkable contribution to co-ordinate the Malankara community in North America and Europe and to establish a Malankara center in New York. On September 11, 2003 His Holiness Pope John Paul II appointed Mar Cleemis as Bishop of Tiruvalla. Following the consultation with the Holy See, the Syro-Malankara Episcopal Synod has elevated the Eparchy of Tiruvalla to the status of Metropolitan Archeparchy, and thus Isaac Mar Cleemis was designated as the first Metropolitan Archbishop of Tiruvalla on May 15, 2006.

His Beatitude Mar Cleemis is the current Vice-President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI). More over he is Vice Chairman of the various Commissions of the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council and of the Malankara Catholic Episcopal Synod. With the announcement on  February 10, 2007 Mar Cleemis became the fourth in succession to Archbishop Geevarghese Mar Ivanios, the modern “Prophet of Reunion”.