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Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, referred to ‘at home’ as Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis, Major Archbishop (Trivandrum) and Catholicos of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, did not get a traditional red biretta or even a red zucchetto at the November 24, 2012 cardinal creating consistory. He also did not wear the familiar red robes. Instead of a biretta he received a black turban of sorts with a red peak crowned with a gold cross. He looked like a sultan, a Cardinal Sultan.
Yes, I know it has all to do with him being a Syro-Malankaran. But does eschewing ‘the red‘ mean that he is exempt from having to shed blood, if called upon, on behalf of the Church? The red is not to just make them look dandy, it does carry significance and symbolism. So not sure why they make such exemptions — when in the end they are all supposed to be Catholics.
My compatriot and occasional contributor, ‘Kenny L.‘,
who currently resides in Canada and is an expert of many matters ‘Catholic’ sent me these relevant links.
They should definitely be perused.
1/ The Skull Cap of the Syrian Priesthood: Kenny points out ‘It’s usually called the “masnapto” worn in black, but i believe it must be the same in red. I could be wrong. Not so sure on this. May have to check with someone good with the Eastern Rite Catholics’ and then provides this link to a ‘Voice of Orthodoxy’ Website.
2/ Discussion, comments and aside as to why the cardinal wore black, including 3 new pictures. It is the ‘Catholic Answers’ Website.