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Patron of Organization





Prof. K.C.MANI

 Inauguration of Convention



¨      Classes

¨      Discussion of different topics

¨       Visits to Maccommia, Itarsi Mission Centres.

Delegates from different locations are participating in the annual convention. Approximately 80 delegates along with HG Geevarhese Mar Osthathious will attend the meeting from Kerala.

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by Binu Thomas Mathew ,

KOTTAYAM  (India)  December 26- 29:  Ninety third   annual conference of  MGOCSM  witnessed   the coming together of 198 delegates representing  41 units from Kerala, Madras, Bangalore , Bombay, Doha and  Kuwait area units at Mar Theophilos Study Centre Kottayam., India on the theme 'Witnessing Christ' (Acts 1:8)

The program was comprised of  public meeting, study classes, group discussions, workshops, seminar, retreat, music sessions,  and so on .

The conference began at  4.00 p.m. with the hoisting of the flag by the MGOCSM president H. G. Philipose Mar Eusebius. In his inaugural address, His  Grace called upon the participants to remember all the people who were responsible for setting the spark to the first students conference 93 years ago and all those who guided its fortune in the following years, and thanked God for their wonderful work. He also reminded the gathering of the contribution of the MGOCSM in producing many leaders of the church among the clergy and the laity.

Fr. Dr. K. J. Gabriel  from  Orthodox  theological  Seminary  Kottayam , led the first Bible study .He  spoke  about witnessing Christ  in  our  lives . He  stressed  the  need  to  recognize  the  witness  of  womenfolk  in  the  church .

The following session consisted of talks by people from various walks of life who spoke about their experiences in witnessing Christ in their respective areas of work. The speakers were Dr .Jacob Thomas , MGDM Hospital Kangazha ; Sr. Sophia  Principal SGM Nursing School, Parumala ; Advocate Alex George Eruthical , Kottayam Bar Council and Ms. Angel Kuriakose  a student.

On 27th Dec  Geevarghese Mar Coorilos Metropolitan celebrated  Holy Qurbana. The main address of the day was by Fr. Bijesh Philip, Nagpur Orthodox Seminary, who spoke about witnessing Christ in Church and Society. "we live in a consumerist society which has a 'disposable culture'- a dispose after use culture" He added.. Another fast  growing culture is that of violence which is leading to the glorifying of violence. He emphasized that our lives should be aimed at  witnessing  Christ.

Justice Benjamin Koshy of the Kerala High Court  in his speech , spoke  how he witnesses Christ and prays for God's guidance in taking right decisions before giving a verdict and before the hearing of a case.. He   remembered  with  gratitude  the  inspiration  he  had   received  from  MGOCSM  during  his  student  days .

The highlight of the day was the warm reception accorded to the newly ordained    Thomas Samuel, Bishop of the Madhya Kerala Diocese of the CSI, and  Geevarghese  Mar  Coorilos  Metropolitan ,Vice  president  of  MGOCSM , who  was  elected  as  President  of  National  Council  of  Churches  in  India  ( NCCI ) .

In the afternoon  Geevarghese Mar Ivanios, Metropolitan of Kottayam  diocese led the retreat with three talks interspersed with meditation. This was followed by Holy Confession in preparation of the Holy Qurbana next day .

On 28th Dec  the Holy Qurbana was celebrated  in English. All the delegates received Holy Communion .

The day's bible study was an interactive session led by Geevarghese Mar Osthathios Metropolitan who fielded hundreds of questions from the participants. His Grace    pleaded  to  the  warring  factions  in  the  church  to  unite  to  witness  Christ  in  India .  This was followed by  an address by  Dn. Isaac  B. Prakash on the topic Witnessing Christ in Personal and Family Life which was well received and appreciated the participants engaged in active discussion and debate while  group discussion session. The outcomes of these discussions were rather enlightening. In the evening, Mr. P.C. Cyriac I AS,  of  Christian TV channel ('Jeevan TV') sponsored by the Orthodox, Catholic, CSI, Marthoma, Jacobite and Chaldean churches in Kerala, addressed the gathering on Attaining Our Goals in the Christian Way'.  

The  program ended  with a  'Talent Night' presentation by  the participants..

Philipose Mar Eusebius Metropolitan celebrated Holy Qurbana on 29th ,  the concluding day. This was followed by the plenary session, evaluation, and the concluding session and the  veil of the conference dropped down at 1 p.m.

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Mar  Theophilos Study Centre is Dedicated By The Head Of The Indian Orthodox Church 

by Bonnie George ,

KOTTAYAM (India ) December 26 : The Consecration and Inauguration of the  Newly Constructed  Mar Theophilos Study Center  Kottayam , India was held on  26th Dec  by H. H. Baselius Marthoma Mathews II , the supreme head of the Malankara Orthodox Church . The students from various states of India  and Gulf area  attended the ceremony.  After the consecration ceremony the  MGOCSM General Secretary Fr. Dr. M. C. Cherian celebrated the first Holy Qurbana in the new chapel of  the MTSC complex.  

The inauguration was followed by a Public Meeting presided over by His Holiness Catholicos . Philipose Mar Eusebius Metropolitan - President of the MGOCSM , Geevarghese Mar Coorilos Metropolitan -Vice President , Paulose Mar Pachomios Metropolitan Vice President , and Sunny Kalloor- Municipal Chairman spoke on the occasion. A message from K. M. Mathew -Chief Editor , Malayala Manorama , was read out in his absence. The architect and contractor who were instrumental in completing the construction of the study centre in record time were felicitated on the occasion. The  president   appreciated  Fr. Dr. M. C. Cherian  for  all  his  efforts  put  in  to  raise  the  funds  and  greeted  him  with  a "Ponnaada".

Rs. 75 lakhs were raised for the construction of the new centre. Ten percent of the total amount will be utilized  for  providing  scholarships to deserving students and sewing machines  to needy women to make their a livelihood . Mar Theophilos Study Centre is a beautiful three-storied building , which houses the office of the MGOCSM and the study centre  with conferences hall , library, etc.  It is dedicated to the memory of late Philipose Mar Theophilos  Thirumeni ,who  served  MGOCSM  first  as  the General  secretary  and  then   as the  President for a long  time . It was during  Mar Theophilos'  time, the students centers at Trivandrum and Aluva  were started.

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Setback to church unity: Patriarchal faction walks out.

by Fr. Johnson Punchakonam

KOTTAYAM, DEC. 20. With the Patriarchal faction walking out of a meeting called by the Supreme Court observer, Justice V. S. Maleemath, the steps to hold elections for the constitution of the Malankara Syrian Christian Association, considered the last hope for bringing to an end the century-old schism in the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church through legal measures, appears to have received a set back.

Mr. Maleemath was to arrive here on December 11, but his arrival was delayed by technical factors.

On his arrival here today, the observer had called a joint meeting of the leaders of the warring factions. The differences appear to have cropped up mainly on three counts. According to the Patriarchal faction, they had objections to the `kalpana' issued by the Catholicos, Moran Mar Baselius Marthoma Mathews II, and the issues have been brought to the notice of the apex court through an interlocutory application. Any further steps should be taken only after its disposal, they maintained.

According to them, there still existed differences regarding the number of churches to be included in the election process and unless a consensus was arrived at, there was no legal validity for the `kalpanas' issues by the Catholicos. They, therefore, wanted the letters to be cancelled. According to them, the observer was of the opinion that instead of waiting for the verdict, the election process should move head. As such, they found no meaning in continuing with the dialogue, they said.

Meanwhile, the Catholicos said he was keen to bring unity based on truth and justice in the Church. They will participate in the meeting called by the observer, with an open mind, he said. All the arrangements are going on for the proposed Malankara Association at Parumala Seminary on 20th March 2001, with the permission of Mr. Maleemath.

The Patriarchal side was led by Thomas Mar Thimothios of the Kottayam diocese and accompanied by among others, the legal advisers, Mr. P. J. Philip and Mr. Venkatachalam, the K P C C vice-president, Mr. P.P. Thankachan, the lay trusty, Mr. George Mathew, Mr. Benjamin Paul and others.

The Catholicos faction was represented by, apart from H H the Catholicos, H. G Thomas Mar Athanasius, the clergy trust, Fr. Mathai Nooranal, the lay trusty, Mr. P.C. Abraham, the Malayala Manorama Chief Editor, Mr. K. M. Mathew, Sri. Kochu Koshy I AS and others.

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Malankara Malpan Passed Away

REV. FR.N.K.KORUTH MALPAN of Orthodox Theological Seminary passed away Sunday 23, 2001 afternoon 2.30(Indian Time) .He was 88 years old. He was serving as Syriac Professor of Orthodox Seminary Kottayam. He was admitted in a private hospital at Ernakulam while he passed away. The body was taken to his native place Vadavukode and the Funeral will be at Vadavukode St.Mary's Orthodox Church at 2.30 P.M on Monday. H.H.Baselios Marthoma Mathews will give leadership of the Funeral Service.

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Pope Tells to Patriarch Bartholomew: Vatican Is Ready

Pope John Paul II has sent a message to Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople for the Feast of St. Andrew, the patriarchate's patron saint.

"The Catholic Church is ready to do all that is in her power to promote the development of relations with the Orthodox Churches," John Paul said in the traditional message carried to Istanbul by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity for Friday's feast day.

"The difficulties met this last year by the international joint committee for theological dialogue must be analyzed and overcome," he said, adding that his wish was that the dialogue find "the initial positive spirit and be animated by the will to solve the real problems." He added, "It must show as a certain enthusiasm as only the theological virtues of faith and the hope can nourish."

The last session of the joint committee for dialogue was in 2000 in Baltimore and the principal stumbling block in the dialogue was the situation of "uniates" (Eastern Catholic Church as they called) in union with Rome.

John Paul finally thanked Bartholomew for "responding favorably to the Catholic Church's request for collaboration and for encouraging initiatives by the Orthodox Churches which foresee the participation of the Church of Rome." The Pope particularly quoted as an example the participation of a "fraternal delegate of the ecumenical patriarchate in the recent general assembly of the ordinary synod of the bishops of the Catholic Church."

Each year, a delegation is sent by the Holy See to Istanbul to take part in the patronal feast of the ecumenical patriarchate, that of St. Andrew, brother of St. Peter, and on the feast of St. Peter, patron of the Church of Rome, on June 29, a delegation from the patriarchate goes to Rome.


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Preparing a new Curriculum for the Sunday Schools
in the dioceses of Bombay,Calcutta, Delhi and Madras

OVBS in Outside Kerala Dioceses (including Gulf parishes)
are conducted by the Seminary in Nagpur. This year we cover 50 parishes in three phases. An audio cassette and a song book with more English and Hindi songs is ready.

A journal (bi-monthly) for the youngsters
who are born and brought up outside of Kerala will be published from next Easter onwards.

Interview for the 2002-7 batch
will be held on Jan.15-16 at Nagpur. This year there are 15 applicants from the four dioceses and the Mission board.

for more information e-mail at:

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Sosamma Chacko Charity Fund

Kottayam: H. G Geevarghese Mar Ivaniose, Metropolitan of Kottayam Diocese has kindly consented to present the Two lakh Rupees fund collected by IOIF for the educational purpose of Sosamma Chacko as a very Special Christmas Gift to Ms. Sosamma Chacko on behalf of IOIF in a simple function at The KTM Diocesan Centre (Kuriakose Mar Gregorios Centre) which is near the MD School (between Collectorate Jn and Manorama )at 11:00 hrs on Saturday, 22nd Dec 2001. Rev (Dr.) KM George, Principal, Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam who is a member of this forum has also kindly volunteered to be present on the occasion.

Manarcad Village of Kottayam Dist is overwhelmed to know about this Gesture by IOIF for remembering this less fortunate daughter of their's during this Christmas. Their Panchayath President Dr. Sosamma Mathew and Fr. Andrews Chiravathara representing her home parish (St. Mary's Jacobite Church, Manarcad) have intimated their desire to attend the function after knowing about this from the girl's family.

The members and well-wishers of IOIF around the Globe responded with a lot of enthusiasm to this noble cause [A corpus Fund for the Long term educational assistance to Ms. Sosamma Chacko of Manarcad, Kottayam who passed the Technical Higher Secondary Exam. of Kerala (March '01) with First Rank] in such a short notice.

The organizers of this fund feel it will exceed the target of Rs. 2 lakh by 18th December 2001.

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Supreme Court verdict  on  Malankara Association Election

In The Supreme Court of India
Civil Appellate Jurisdiction

Civil Appeal No.  of 2001
(Arising out of S. L. P. c No. 7593/2001)

Moran Mar Thoma Mathews  _.   Appellant
Versus Most Rev. Thomas Mar D. Metropolitan & Ors.  Respondents


Leave granted.

This Appeal arises from the judgment of the Kerala high court which had
disposed of an application under order LX V Rule 15 of C. P.C. filed by the
respondents for the transmission of the decree of the Court in Most Rev.
Thomas Mar D. Metropolitan & Ors. Vs. Moran Mar Mar Thoma & Anr. (1995
Suppl. (4) SCC 286) for execution. In the impugned judgment, the court did
not go in to the dispute as to weather the said decree had been complied
with by the calling of election, as had been claimed by the appellant
herein. The Court, however herein had not been claimed by the appellant
herein had not been elected as the Malankara Metropolitan. This finding of
the High Court is contested by the appellant in the appeal.
Both the parties belong to Marthoma Syrian Orthodox Church. Apparently there
are two factions in this and there has been an effort made by this Court to
see that there is unity and reconciliation among them.
This is quite evident from the following passage in the aforesaid judgment
of Hon'ble Jeevan. J (Retd. Judge of this Court:-
"159 we hope that the unity and integrity of the Malankara Church will be
maintained and continued by the above arrangement which is wholly consistent
and indeed in furtherance of the objectives underlying the Mulanthuruthy
Synod resolutions. Elections to the Malankara Association shall have to be
held periodically so as to keep its representative character alive and

We have heard the Council for the parties at length and are glad to know
that there is a sincere effort by both sides to see that the disputes are
amicably settled. A compromise formula has been agreed to between the
parties which would envisage an election of the Malankara Association, which
was the direction issued by the Court in the aforesaid decision, read with
the subsequent orders of this Court reported as 1996(8) S CC 470 and (10) S CC
614. It would be in our opinion, appropriate to direct the execution of the
decree stands complied with or is to be executed by the trial court. This is
a suggestion which has been accepted both the parties.

With the consent of the both the parties, we give the following directions:-  

(i)         The impugned judgment of the Kerala High Court dated 6th April 2001
passed in C. M. P No. 2079/1997 in A. S No. 331/1980 is set aside;

(ii)         Notwithstanding the withdrawal of the interim applications which were
filed in this Court previously, fresh elections to the Malankara Association
will be held and no Court other than this court will entertain any suit,
application or interfere with the elections or the election process or
results at any stage.

(iii)       Fresh elections shall be called by Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews
II by issuing necessary Kalpanas to Parishes and the Malankara Association
will be convened under article 74 of the 1934 Constitution as amended.

(iv)       Both the parties desire that an observer should be appointed to ensure
free and fair elections. Mr. Justice V. S Malimath (Retired Chief Justice of
the Kerala High Court) may be requested to accept Office of Observer and to
oversee that the elections so called are held in a free and fair manner. In
this connection, he will be at liberty to give such advice as he may think
necessary for ensuring the execution of the Court's decree.

(v)       If the Malankara Association when convened, decides by majority that
Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews II is not the Malankara Metropolitan
third respondent will voluntarily resign his office as Malankara
Metropolitan. If the Malankara Association when convened decides by majority
that he is the Malankara Metropolitan, all the parties will accept the
decision as final and binding, i.e. this decision will not be subject to
challenge in any Court or other forum.

(vi)       Time-schedule for elections and thereafter for convening the Malankara
Association will be worked out in accordance with past practice and
procedure by the third respondent in consultation with the observer.

Each of the two parties will deposit initially a sum of Rs.50, 000/- with
the registrar of the Court towards the cost, expenses and the remuneration
of the Observer. Copy of this order be sent by the registrar (Judl.) to Mr.
Justice V. S Malimath with the requests that he may kindly convey his
acceptance at an early date.

The exercise of conducting elections and thereby executing this Court's
Decree should be completed on or before 31st March 2002. The Observer is
requested to submit a reports to this Court on the conduct of the election
and the execution of the decree within a fortnight thereafter. The appeal be
listed for further directions and for recording the satisfaction of the
decree on 15th April, 2002


(sd/) (B. N Kripal)
(sd/)K. G Balakrishnan
New Delhi
November 28,2001

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Malankara Orthodox Church

By  Prof. E.J.John

( Prof. E. J. John  is the  public Relations Officer  of  the  Church   and former  Principal of Baselius College, Kottayam. He writes articles in journals and news Papers)

Malankara Orthodox Church is an ancient Church of India and it traces its origin to as far back as A. D. 52 when St. Thomas one of the Disciples of Jesus Christ came to India and established Christianity in the South Western parts of the sub-continent.

                 The St. Thomas Christians or the Syrian Christians exist at present in different churches and denominations. But a major section of the parent body of St. Thomas Christians which has maintained its independent nature constitute the Orthodox Church under the Catholicate of the East with Headquarters at Devalokam, Kottayam.

The beginning of the Church

                 That the Apostle Thomas one of the twelve is the founder of the St. Thomas Christians has been well established. Christian writers and representatives of the Churches at least from the 4th century refer to the evangelistic labors of the Apostle Thomas in India and the Indian Christians ascribe the origin of their Church to this event in the first century.  

                It is reasonable to believe that the Apostle came to India, preached the gospel, established the Church and died here as a Martyr. Tradition has it that the Apostle Thomas established Churches in Kerala and appointed Priests for  them. 

The Persian Connection

                The Indian Church came in contact with the East Syrian Church possibly from the 4th century. In the 5th century, the church of Persia came to its own. The Catholicos with his seat at Seleucia -Ctesiphon began to be called also Patriarch and in 486 A. D. the Church officially accepted a resolution in its Synod to recognise Nestorius as a Saint and Church Father. This decision was not however accepted by a minority of Persian Christians who acknowledged a Catholicos at Tigris in northern Mesopotamia as their spiritual head in 629 A. D. 

                We have evidence that in the 8th century the Indian Church had its Primate known as "The Metropolitan and the Gate of All India" a title adopted presumably under Islamic influence. The Vatican Codex 22, written in Cranganore in 1301 gives the  titles as "The Metropolitan of the Throne of St. Thomas and of the whole Church of the Christians in India." 

               The Indian Church maintained its autonomous administration. The Church of Persia had a tradition which acknowledged autonomy of Churches in its communion abroad. The Church in Kerala continued as an administratively independent community till the 16th century.

The Portuguese Period

                Things changed during the Portuguese period. The missionaries who came from abroad were eager to bring the Indian Church into communion with Rome. They worked on it almost through the 16th century. In 1599 by the Synod of Diamper, the assembly of representatives from churches was forced to give up the Indian Church's connection with the Patriarch of the Persian Church in favor of the Pope of Rome. But there was dissatisfaction among the people. This dissatisfaction led to a general revolt in 1653 known commonly as the Coonan Cross revolt. Portuguese efforts to put it down by force did not succeed. Now Rome entered the field directly through Missionaries, and a section of those who rebelled went back to Roman allegiance.

                A body of the people led by the Archdeacon, who stood for the administrative autonomy of the Indian Church in spite of serious difficulties were determined to keep to the independence of the Indian Church. The Portuguese were in fact instrumental in causing a division in the one united church in India. Although they succeeded in getting the allegiance of a party in the Church to the Roman Catholic community, an equally important party did not follow their way.

The Antiochene connection

                The party that sought to preserve the Church's freedom appealed to several Eastern Christian Centers for help in restoring its Episcopal succession. The Antiochene Syrian Patriarch responded and sent to India a Bishop, Metropolitan Mar Gregorios of Jerusalem who came to India in 1665. The Archdeacon who had been declared in the meantime to be Metropolitan  Mar Thoma by the laying on of hands by twelve Presbyters was now confirmed by him in his Episcopal rank, and both of them worked together to organize the church on  firm footing. Mar Thoma I was followed in succession by a series of Prelates with the same name till 1816 when the last of them namely Mar Thoma IX came to the scene, but was soon replaced by Mar Dionysius II.

                      Malankara Orthodox Church had felt the need of assistance for establishing systematic education for its clergy, teaching the people  in the faith, instructing the clergy in properly celebrating the liturgical services and above all assistance in the maintenance of the Episcopal succession intact. But the Orthodox Church maintained its autonomous administration and life under local leadership. Even the help from the Antiochene Syrian Patriarch was without any idea of formally submitting to his jurisdiction, but only for an over all spiritual supervision and of keeping to a friendly relation.

               There were differences of opinion over the authority of the Patriarch in the Malankara Church and it created certain difficulties. But the Church has always been successful in maintaining its freedom and never allowed any foreign domination.

Co-operation with the C. M. S.

                By 1795 the British established themselves in South India and Kerala came under their sway. During the time of Col. Munroe who was the British Resident in Kerala, Pulikottil lttoop Ramban expressed his interest in founding a Seminary for the teaching of the Church's Clergy. The Resident supported him and the seminary was founded in 1815. Pulikottil lttoop Ramban became a Bishop -Metropolitan Mar Dionysius II. 

                From 1816 the experiment of co-operation between the Malankara Church and the C. M. S. of the Anglican Church was carried on, but it was found to be unsuccessful and was called off in 1836. 

               This incident led to the division of the community into three bodies. One of them a reformed group tried to bring about serious reforms in the liturgy and practices of the Church as a whole but failed. After about half a century of conflict within the church this body had  to withdraw and organize itself as the Mar Thoma Syrian Church. A smaller body of the Syrian Christians opted to join with the missionaries and be absorbed in the Anglican Church. The majority of the community continued in the  Church without accepting the reforms.

Authority of the Patriarch of Antioch

                The conflict between the body which adopted the reform and that which opposed it, was a serious development in the church during the 19th century. This led to the latter to appeal for help from the Antiochene Syrian Patriarch. In 1875 Patriarch Peter III came to Kerala and  held a Synod of representatives of Churches .at Mulanthuruthy in 1876. This Synod adopted a number of resolutions including an admission that the Church would continue in the communion of the Patriarch and the Syrian Church of Antioch. However the Patriach tried to see in  these decisions more than the Indian Church really wanted to acknowledge.

                Following the Synod of Mulanthuruthy in 1876 a litigation in court between the party in favor of the reforms and the party against it continued. It came to an end in 1889 with the judgment announced in favor of the latter by the then highest court of  Kerala, the Royal Court of Appeal. The majority in a panel of three judges gave their verdict admitting that from the middle of the 18th century an over- all spiritual supervision used to be-exercised by the Patriarch over the Malankara Church and that he had a right to claim it.

               Patriarch Peter I1I was not satisfied with this judgment. He was keen to establish that he had full authority over the Malankara Church both in its spiritual and in its temporal matters and not merely an over all spiritual supervision. In fact he protested though nobody responsible in the matter took note of it. His second successor Patriarch Mar Abdullah II was determined to follow up the matter. With this intention he came to Kerala in 1909 and pressed the issue. But that led to a sad division in the Church from 1911, one party siding with the Patriarch and the other lining up with Metropolitan Mar Dionysius VI of Vattasseril who stood against him and wanted to keep up the independence of Malankara Church.

Catholicate  re-established in Malankara in 1912

In this conflict the Metropolitan could obtain the support of Patriarch Mar Abdul Messiah the immediate successor to  Patriarch Peter III. Patriarch Peter III was succeeded in 1895 by Mar Abdul Messiah. By a state interference he had lost his position in Turkey and came to be replaced by Mar Abdullah. While Metropolitan Mar Dionysius VI clashed with Mar Abdullah,  the Canonical senior Patriarch Abdul Messiah offered to come to the assistance of the former. Thus in 1912 he came to Kerala and associated with Mar Dionysius VI and the Bishops and the Church with him, to establish the Catholicate of the East in Malankara. The ceremony was held at St. Mary's Church, Niranam on 15 September 1912; Niranam Church is one of the seven Churches founded by St. Thomas during his visit here in the first century.  

The Catholicate of the East was thus established in Malankara, with the co-operation of the canonical Patriarch Abdul Messiah, who was senior to Mar Abdullah. Thereby the Patriarch himself has withdrawn his right of spiritual oversight if any in the Indian Church, which the Royal Court of Appeal had acknowledged for him in 1889.

               The designation "Catholicos of the East" to the successors of St. Thomas the Apostle was given by the Jerusalem Synod of AD 231. The head quarters of the Orthodox Church of the East was first at Uraha (Edessa) in Persia. This was moved to 'Selucia' and it was there the title "Catholicos of the East" originated. Catholicos is an ecclesiastical dignitary recognized in the Antiochene Syrian Church also. He is equal in rank with the Patriarch though the latter is considered as first among equals (primus interparees)

Constitution of the church adopted in 1934 

                 Malankara Orthodox Church is now administered as per the constitution adopted in 1934 which was passed by the Malankara Syrian Christian Association. The Association is a fully representative body of the church with elected members -priests and laymen -from all the Parish Churches. Now one priest each and laymen 1 to 10 depending on the number of members in each parish are members of the Association. There are about 1400 parishes under the Malankara Orthodox Church. It is the Association which elects the Catholicos and the Malankara Metropolitan and also the Bishops. 

                There is a Managing Committee for the Association with members from each Diocese elected by the Association. The  Malankara Metropolitan is the President of the Managing Committee and the remaining Prelates having administrative charge are the Vice-Presidents. 

                The Association Managing Committee has a Working Committee with Malankara Metropolitan as the President. The Working Committee is also the Consultative Committee of the Malankara Metropolitan. 

                The Episcopal Synod has all the Prelates of the Malankara Church as members. Matters concerning Faith, Order and Discipline are under the authority of the Episcopal Synod. It is the Episcopal Synod which installs the Catholicos.  


                  The Indian Church has an Apostolic foundation. Now with the establishment of the Catholicate in 1912 t Orthodox Church has come to its own. 

                 Although majority of the members of the church numbering about 2.5 million live in Kerala, they could be found now spread over not only in all the different states of India, but also in all the continents through out the world. There are a total of 21 Dioceses now, 15 of them in Kerala and 6 of them outside Kerala ie Madras, Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, America and the Diocese of Canada-UK-Europe. Parishes outside India, other than those in the two Dioceses of America and Canada-UK-Europe are included in the four Dioceses of Madras, Bombay, Calcutta and Delhi.  

                       Orthodox Church is an Ancient, Autonomous, Independent, Indian Church whose Supreme Head is His Holiness The Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan, with headquarters at Catholicate Aramana, Devalokam, Kottayam, Kerala.

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His Holiness  Catholicose  Calls for Church unity

By Bonnie George

NEW DELHI: Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma II, the the Supreme Head of the Malankara Orthodox Church, has exhorted his followers to work vigorously for the unity of Malankara Church.  He cautioned against lethargy and over jubilation at the recent decision of the Supreme Court that authorized him to convene the Malankara Association.

Soon after participating at the Poulose Gregorious award ceremony here, His Holiness  said he welcomed the Supreme Court decision that facilitated the convening of the Malankara Association.

Setting aside an earlier judgment, dated 6th April 2001, of the High Court of Kerala State, the Supreme Court held that "fresh elections shall be called by Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews II by issuing necessary kalpanas to parishes and the Malankara Association will be convened under article 74 of the 1934 Constitution as amended."

The Court's decision has removed all impediments in the way of convening the Association. "It will strengthen the unity and peace in the Church", His Holiness  Bava  said.  He said he had already moved to convene the Association in accordance with the directives of the Court.  "Preliminary steps are in place", he added.

A meeting of the church managing committee is expected to be  held on December  11 at  Kottayam  Old Seminary  as decided by the working committee of the church  held on December 1, to ratify the decision to hold the Malankara Association assembly on March 20, 2001 at Parumala Church.

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Marthoma Baselios Mathews II has unshared claim to call
Malankara Association

Supreme Court's decision forerunner to Peace and Unity in the Church

By  Mohan Kallarakal

PHILADELPHIA: It has not come too late in the day.  The Supreme Court's decision that authorized Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews II to supervise the Malankara  Association  elections, is undoubtedly a victory for all who yearn for unity and peace in the Church. The Court, by its decision, has removed all the impediments, including the thorny question of authority to convene the Malankara Association which holds the exclusive right to elect the  Malankara  Metropolitan.

The most redeeming feature of the Court's decision is that it has recognized the desire and the "sincere efforts" of the contending sides "to see that the disputes are amicably settled." The Court noted that a "compromise formula" had been agreed upon between the parties, which would envisage an election of the Malankara Association.

It is pertinent to note in this context, the Court has contended unequivocally that the supreme authority to call for the Malankara Association is vested in the person of Baselios Marthoma Mathews II.  By implication it holds the view that Baselios Marthoma Mathews II is the widely acclaimed head of the Malankara Church, and the sole authority to supervise the church elections.

This in effect is a stunning rejection of the claims of the faction led by Most Rev. Thomas Mar D. Metropolitan that Baselios Marthoma Mathews II has no authority to convene Malankara Association, and its demand for the Court's intervention to settle the question of authority in the Church.  It shows that the Supreme Court has taken a learned scrutiny of the Kerala High Court's earlier decision.  It has nevertheless appreciated the High Court's contention that "both parties belong to Marthoma Syrian Orthodox Church…the Court has made a sincere effort to see that there is unity and reconciliation among them."  It has upheld the Mulanthuruthi Synod resolution, which calls for periodic elections to the Malankara Association so as to keep its "representative character alive and effective".  The Supreme Court invariably finds that the authority is vested in Moran Mar Thomas Mathews II to hold the authority to convene the Malankara Association.

As per the Court's decision and directives, Moran Mar Thomas Mathews II will be the only Authority to issue 'kalpanas' for the exercise of elections to the Association.

Both factions have agreed that they would abide by the decision of the Malankara Association, which is scheduled to assemble on March 20 at a time and placed to be decided by the Managing Committee. One can hope that unification of the Church is within reach.

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Joint Thanksgiving Day & Holy Eucharist Celebration in Philadelphia

For the first time in the history of Indian Orthodox Churches in America, all the Orthodox, Knanaya and Jacobite Churches in Philadelphia joined together to celebrate the Thanksgiving Day and offered combined Holy Mass on Thursday November 22, 2001.

Following seven Churches in Philadelphia with their priests and people assembled together at St. Mary's Malankara Orthodox Church on Orthodox Street for their celebrations. 

  1. St. Gregorios Orthodox Church.
  2. St. Thomas Orthodox Church –1
  3. St. Thomas Orthodox Church –2
  4. St. Peters Jacobite Church
  5. St. Mary's Malankara Orthodox Church
  6. St. Mary's Knanaya Church
  7. St. Mary's Orthodox Church, Philadelphia.

This great endeavor of unity was organized by the Orthodox Convention Committee, Philadelphia. Morning Prayers started at 9.30 AM. After the prayers, forgetting and forgiving the differences, all the seven priests lined up to give absolution to the aspiring people. Thereafter Very Rev. K. Mathai Corepiscopa offered Holy Qurbana in presence of the following priests in the holy Altar.

  1. Fr. M.K.Kuriakose.
  2. Fr. Anil K. Thomas
  3. Fr. Mathai Thekkedath
  4. Fr. Chacko Punnoose
  5. Fr. Babu Varghese
  6. Fr. K.M.Samuel

During the great intercession, Prayers were offered for the living spiritual fathers of all orthodox sects and the people gave hands of peace each other as a symbol of unity, forgiveness and peace.

Vice President Fr. Anil K. Thomas addressed the crowd. Fr Anil, in his speech, mentioned the history of the Thanksgiving Day celebration in America. He stressed the bible words 'My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.' and 'Fruit of the spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Long sufferings, Goodness and Faith.' He emphasized on the relations with God, relations with man and relation with our self. The one who spoils the relations with man spoils the relations with God also. Quoting Gandhiji he mentioned 'the peace what we are looking for is neither the peace on the stones nor the peace in cemetery, but the everlasting peace in our minds.'

Fr. Babu Varghese and Fr. Mathai Thekkedath offered special Thanksgiving Prayers.

Very Rev. K. Mathai Corepiscopa, The President, quoted the Psalms 'Behold, how good and how pleasant it for the brethren to dwell together in unity.' He thanked all the office bearers who worked with him to make this endeavor a great success. Secretary Mr. Kurien Mathai proposed the Vote of Thanks. After the Holy Mass Big Bird lunch was served to all the attendees.

As far as the Indian Orthodox Church is concerned, the beautiful city of Philadelphia, former Capital of USA, so turned out to be the 'City of Christian Harmony'.

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Dedication Service of the Christian Fortnightly 

 The Dedication Ceremony of the Christian Fortnightly 'Light of Life' was solemnized on  14 th November 2001, in Philadelphia , USA. 'LightofLife' is an Internet based Biblical and Literal forum published biweekly for the Christians originated from Kerala, and available at Internet Site '' 

Rev. Fr. Jacob John ,  Former Principal Secretary of H.H. Basalios Marthoma Mathews II Catholicose of Malankara Orthodox Church,  offered  Holy  Mass and thereafter the Dedication Service at St.Mary's Orthodox Church Philadelphia, in United States of America.

In the introductory message Fr. Jacob John  reiterated the need of the perusal of the modern electronic media and Internet by  the Indian Churches. He emphasized that, Internet is not properly used by our churches and what ever use made so far lack in its fullness.

Rev. Fr. Shebali who is one of the Coordinator,  briefed the evolution of 'Light of Life' and proclaimed it as a media for the Christian Evangelism and Literal proliferation of the Christian Community originated from Kerala.

 After the Dedication Service Fr.Jacob John blessed and handed over the Floppy Disc containing the first issue of the Fortnightly to Dr. Rajan Mathew Mannadi who is one of the Coordinator of 'Light of Life'.

Sweets were distributed to all the attendees  of this simple function.


First Issue of the 'Light of Life'  Fortnightly , Vol:1 Issue:1 Dated Dec. 1, 2001 is released on 20th Nov.2001. Further issues will be released on 1st and 15th of every month. Your prayers and participation are solicited. Your feedback is warmly welcomed. Wish You all God's Blessings.

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13th Family Conference of Indian Orthodox church in Germany.

Fr. George Pulikkottil

Germany : The 13th annual family conference of Indian Orthodox Church has been conducted in Academy Klaussenhof from 19th to 21st of Oct. 2001 under the spiritual leadership of His Grace Mathews mar Epiphanios.

Around hundred members participated in this program. The theme of this year was 'Orthodox Spirituality - an contextual study'. There were separate sessions for the elders and juniors. The classes were lead by His Grace, Dr. Jonny Moerbeck, Fr. Dr. John Paniker and Fr. George Pulikkottil.

A committee from different congregations, under the leadership of conference director Fr. Pulikkottil, co-coordinator Mr. Sunny Thomas and youth secretaries Nidhi Kulamadayil and Jana Koshy, worked for the success of the conference.

The members contributed an amount of 1,50,000 Rs for the developments programs under the guidance of Mar Epiphanios in Kollam diocese.

It is decided to celebrate the 1950 Jubilee of the the Christianity in India and the 100th death anniversary of St. Gregorios of Parumala in 2002 Family conference. His grace made an Episcopal visit to different congregations of Indian Orthodox Church in various parts of Germany, namely Bielefeld, Köln - Bonn, Hammburg and Heidelberg.

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Published Fortnightly