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Mother Teresa’s appeal is universal, says Chief of Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India

Currently, Indian Catholics have three native saints and besides the two canonizations in 2014, Sister Alphonsa was the first Indian to be canonised in 2008

Mother Teresa, Wikimedia

Thiruvananthapuram, August 31, 2016: Mother Teresa’s appeal is universal- cutting across caste, creed and religious barriers, every individual can seek inspiration from her life, work and sacrifice, the head of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India(CBCI) has said.

“Her appeal is universal. Her life is a role model worth emulating, cutting across caste, creed or religion. Her sympathy and empathy for the poorest of the poor is what made her great and on September 4, her name and fame will reach greater heights,” Cardinal Moran Mar Baselios Cleemis Catholicos, 57, popularly called Old Cleemis, said.

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In a chat with IANS, just before his departure to the Vatican to take part in the canonization rituals, Old Cleemis, who is the head of the Syro Malankara Catholic Church here, said he was delighted to be a part of the celebrations.

“Definitely, it’s a moment of personal joy that I am taking part in the canonization of the Mother, whom I have met,” he added.

Cleemis was part of the celebrations in 2014 when two native saints, Kuriakose Elias Chavara (Chavara Achen) and Sister Euphrasia (Evuprasiamma), were canonised.

He never had the opportunity to meet the two, but he proudly recalled his meeting with Mother Teresa. As a young theology student, he had briefly interacted with the Mother when she came to Kottayam in 1980 for the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Malankara movement.

“She undoubtedly was the star of the moment and won the hearts of everyone through her gentle behaviour,” recalled Cleemis, who himself created a record of sorts by becoming India’s youngest cardinal in 2012.

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Currently, Indian Catholics have three native saints. Besides the two canonizations in 2014, Sister Alphonsa was the first Indian to be canonised in 2008.

Cleemis also pointed to great the honours that Mother had been conferred with- the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, Bharat Ratna in 1980 and now this, the crowning glory, when she will be elevated as a saint.

“The greatness of the Mother is the way she took care of the poor and downtrodden by showing them mercy. The orphans should know that they are not alone as she has laid the path for many to follow and many have already taken up her cause,” Cleemis said. (IANS)


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  • Michael

    Nobody calls the Catholicos of the Malankara Syriac Catholic Church “Old Cleemis”.

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Iran invites Pakistan to join Chabahar project with India

India, Iran and Afghanistan signed a trilateral agreement in 2016

Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons
  • Iran has invited Pakistan to join Chabahar port project
  • It is a very crucial port of great importance
  • India, Iran and Afghanistan have already signed a trilateral agreement in 2016

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has invited Pakistan to participate in the Chabahar Port project that connects India to Afghanistan, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, a leading Pakistani daily reported on Tuesday.

Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons

The move may be seen as Zarif’s bid to allay concerns here over the Indian involvement in the Iranian port, Dawn online reported. The Iranian minister also, meanwhile, extended the invitation to China.

“We offered to participate in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). We have also offered Pakistan and China to participate in Chahbahar,” Zarif, who is on a three-day visit to Pakistan, said while delivering a lecture at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) on Monday, according to the daily.

India, Iran and Afghanistan signed a trilateral agreement in 2016 to jointly develop the Chabahar port, opening a new strategic transit route between the three nations and other Central Asian nations, bypassing Pakistan. In November 2017, India delievered the first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through the Chabahar Port.

Also Read: All You Need To Know About India’s Strategic Chabahar Port

Zarif had earlier held bilateral talks with his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Asif and addressed a trade conference. The visiting Foreign Minister is being accompanied by a large trade delegation from Iran.

He also said that Gwadar Port and Chabahar Port needed to be linked through sea and land routes for development of deprived Eastern and South-eastern Iran and South Western Pakistan. “We are taking measures to do that and there is an open invitation to Pakistan to participate in that,” Zarif said.

Chabahar Port will make India's trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port will make India’s trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons

He also said that the Chabahar port project was not meant to “encircle Pakistan … strangulate anybody”, adding that Iran would not allow anybody to hurt Pakistan from its territory, much like Pakistan would not allow its soil to be used against Iran.

Zarif likened Iran’s relations with India to Pakistan’s ties with Saudi Arabia. “Our relations with India, just like Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia, are not against Islamabad as we understand Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia are not against Iran.” IANS