Catholic Church inaugurated

Staff Reporter

Joshua Mar Ignathios installed as Metropolitan

ALAPPUZHA: The Mavelikara diocese of the Malankara Catholic Church was inaugurated at a solemn function at St. Mary's Cathedral, Punnamood in Mavelikara on Friday. Joshua Mar Ignathios was installed as the first Metropolitan of the diocese at the function. The Mavelikara diocese is the sixth diocese of the Malankara Catholic Church.

Prior to the installation ceremony a vehicle rally was held from the ancestral home of the late Bishop Mar Ivanios to the cathedral at 7 a.m. This was followed by a reception to the metropolitan and other guests at the cathedral. A holy mass was held at 8.30 a.m. It was followed by the installation ceremony in which the decree appointing Joshua Mar Ignathios as metropolitan of the Mavelikara diocese was read out.

Later inaugurating a public meeting, Archbishop Joseph Powathil said the opinions of the Church on social issues should not be interpreted as an effort to control the State. The interferences made by the Church should also not be construed as communalisation of issues, he said.

The Archbishop said as a community Christians believed in the gospel `Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.' But at the same time the State should not think that it could solve all the temporal and spiritual problems of man. The Church had a responsibility to fight social evils and it could not turn a blind eye towards social evils, he added.

Administrator of Malankara Catholic Church Geevarghese Mar Dionysius presided over the meeting.

Those who delivered benediction address included Archbishop of Mumbai Oswald Gracious, Major Archbishop-designate Baselios Mar Climmis Catholicose, Zacharias Mar Theophilus Metropolitan of Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, Archbishop Susaipakiam of Thiruvananthapuram Latin

Archdiocese and CSI Bishop Sam Mathew.

Those who offered felicitations included Law Minister M. Vijayakumar, Transport Minister Mathew T. Thomas, Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy, KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala, C.S. Sujata and P.J. Kurian, both MPs., M. Murali, MLA., Chief Secretary Lissy Jacob, Mavelikara municipal chairperson Lalitha Ravindranath and NSS taluk union president K.M. Rajagopala Pillai and SNDP taluk union president R. Subhas.

Mar Ignathiose delivered a reply speech.

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