Malankara Cathedral Declared Basilica 11.11.2008
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM (ICNS): Senior
Vatican official Cardinal Leonardo Sandri declared Malankara
Church’s St. Mary’s Cathedral in Kerala a Basilica. Cardinal Sandri,
prefect of the Vatican congregation for Oriental Churches, read out
the papal declaration on Tuesday inside St. Mary’s, the cathedral of
Syro Malankara Rite in state capital Thiruvananthapuram.
The bishops of all six diocese of the Church were present at the
function. The Church is a faction came to the Catholic fold in 1930.
The declaration was made during a reception accorded to the cardinal
by the Syro Malankara Church.
With the declaration, Kerala now can be proud to house four
Basilicas. The other three Basilicas are at Ernakulam and Thrissur
of Syro Malabar Church and Vallarpadam of Latin Church. This is the
first Basilica declared for the Syro Malankara Catholic Church.
"This is a day of blessing not only to the Syro Malankara Church in
Kerala, but for the capital city of this beautiful land, Cardinal
The title Basilica is honorary in nature and originally means a
grand building in a Roman town. After the Roman Empire became
officially Christian, the term was extended to mean important church
buildings, and pope granted them ceremonial rites. The title now has
both architectural and the ecclesiastical significance.
In the order of ranking Papal Basilicas outrank all other churches
all over the world. A Cathedral, the seat of a bishop or archbishop,
stands ahead of all other churches in a diocese, even if they have
the title of basilica. St. Mary’s is now both Cathedral and
St. Mary’s is the top ranking Church in the Malankara Church now as
it is the seat of its Major Archbishop and Catholicose. The primacy
of the Cathedral depends on the primacy of the prelate, whose seat
it holds. The word cathedral comes from cathedra, which simply means
seat or chair.
[Kindly Note:: Under previously published article, the photo
was wrongly posted. It is corrected here.]