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His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas,
the Patri­arch of the Antioch & all the East visits Kerala, India

KOCHI-INDIA, Sep. 20: His Holiness the Pa­triarch of the Antioch and all the East Mar Ignatius Zakka-I Iywas arrived here on Mon­day on a seven-day visit to Kerala.

Amid high security, thou­sands of devotees thronged the international airport at Ned-um­bassery to accord a tumultuous welcome to the supreme head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church. Minister of Sate Mr. Dominic Presentation received the visiting dig­nitary on behalf of the state government.

Catholicos Baselios Thomas I and other bish­ops of the Jacobite Syrian Church received the religious head and the bishops accompa­nying him.

Patriarchal Assistant to Malankara Mor Julius Kuriakose, Synod secretary Mor Gregorios Joseph, Mor Philoxenos Yuhanon, Mor Thimotheos Thomas, Mor Ivanios Mathews, Mor Theophilos Kuriakose, Mor Miltheos Yuhanon, Mor Polycarpus Geevarghese, Mor Athanasius Geevarghese, Mor Dioscorus Kuriakose, Mor Dionysius Geevarghese, the Church Priest Trustee and Malankara Malpan Very Rev Kurien Corep­iscopa Kaniamparambil, lay trusty George Mathew Thekkethalackal, Secretary Thambu George Thukalan, Rambans, Priests, Sisters and a large number of faithful came to wel­come the supreme pontiff of the Holy Church.

Apart from the Minister of State, the Member of Parliament Lonappan Nambadan, U.D.F convener P.P. Thankachan, Members of Leg­islative Assembly, T.M. Jacob, Saju Paul, V.J Paulose, K. Babu, P.J Joy, T.H Mustafa, M.A Chandrasekharan and many other public dignitaries were also present at the Airport to receive His Holi­ness.

Though tired after a long journey, His Holi­ness Zakka greeted the people at the airport and extended blessings to the people of Ker­ala.

The Patriarch arrived by an Emirates flight from Da­mascus via Dubai to attend a host of religious and pub­lic functions during his third visit to the Malankara Church. H.H is accompa­nied by 12 member delega­tion, in­cluding Mor Athanasius Elia Bahi (Patriar­chal Assistant), Mor Silvanos Pathros (Homs), Mor Militius Malki (Austra­lia) and the Principal of St. Ephrem theologi­cal Semi­nary, Damascus.

He will be accorded a public reception at Er­nakulam on Tuesday marking the beginning of year-long silver jubilee celebrations of his enthronement as the 122nd successor to St Peter. The Patriarch, later, proceeded to a hotel in Ernakulam. He will have no major functions on Monday, church sources said.

Apart from the Episcopal Synod of the Church at Karingachira on September 23, the Patriarch will also attend the convention of Jacobite Syrian Christian Association at Mu­lanthuruthy on September 27, seen as a ma­jor event, as a visiting Patriarch is attending the meeting for the first time since 1876.

Tight security had been thrown in and around the airport for the Patriarch who ar­rived here as the State Guest.

The Patriarch addresses press conference

KOCHI, Sep. 20: The Patriarch of Antioch, Mor Ignatius Zakka I, said here on Monday that Jacobites are ready to hold talks with the Malankara Orthodox Church on the basis of the 1995 Supreme Court verdict to foster ties with the two Churches.

The Patriarch told mediapersons that Jaco­bites did not want to fight but wanted to live in peace. “We want all the members of the Malankara Syrian Church to come together and hold discussions to have peace, which is not practical in the present circumstances'.

To a question on the possible tie-up with the Malankara Orthodox faction, his response was: “How can they come to me when they have filed a case against my visit to prevent me from seeing the people of Kerala. India is a great nation and it would not deny permis­sion to the head of the Church to see his peo­ple.”

Elaborating on his moves to bring about a settlement, the Patriarch said: “The initiative to end the dispute was taken several times by the Jacobite faction and we waited for seven years before anointing Catholicos Baselios Thomas I as the head of the Jacobite Church.”

The Jacobites, even in these circumstances, were ready for discussions on the basis of the 1995 Supreme Court verdict, he added.

When asked about the Church's stand if met­ropolitans who left the Jacobite Church after the Supreme Court verdict were willing to come back, the Patriarch said if such a thing happened, the Church would discuss it.

Referring to the activities of the World Ecu­menical Movement, he said that the move­ment does not have any powers and it could only give advice on issues. The Patriarch is one of the presidents of the World Council of Churches.

About the role of Christians in India, he said India is a democratic country and Christians have their own role to play and that they should be proud of their nation. Asked about religious conversions snowballing into politi­cal issues, he said the Syrian Church did not have such a practice.

Joseph Mar Gregorios, the Synod Secretary and Kochi diocese Metropolitan, said "both the Kerala High Court and the Supreme Court have accepted our stand. We have a rightful claim to carry on the age-old Syrian tradition. The other Orthodox faction claims to be part of the Church, but resorts to one litigation after the other and take over (indi­vidual) churches. We can accept them on the basis of ecumenism, since we do not want any more cases". He also added that the Govern­ment should come out with a formula to end the dispute over some of the churches in Ker­ala. The Government can take over the prop­erty of the disputed churches even while al­lowing believers to worship in these churches, he added. (The Indian Express)

Silver Jubilee of H.H. Patriarch's enthronement begins

About 2,00,000 people attended the jubilee inauguration

KOCHI, INDIA, Sep. 21: The grand cele­brations marking the silver jubilee year of the enthronement of the Patriarch of Antioch, Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I, began in Kochi today at 5.00 pm. About 2,00,000 people participated in the marvelous function held at the (late) Mor Baselios Paulose II Catholicos Nagar in Marine drive ground, Cochin. 50,000 chairs with two large screens and many close-circuited TV's were arranged at the venue. The pandal itself was 1.5 lakh sq.ft. which is the largest erected temporary struc­ture in the place. The Marine drive ground and the nearby city roads were overflowing with the faithful who came from all over the state. Even three hours before the meeting had started, the seats were full. As the Ma­rine drive ground became insufficient to ac­com­modate all, the faithful had to spill over to the nearby city roads as well.

At 5.00 pm His Holiness accompanied by the Catholicos Mor Baselios Thomas I came to the venue in an open Jeep. It passed through the specially arranged path in the centre of the ground. The over joyous crowd waved at His Holiness. The Patriarchal flags were seen everywhere. People were shouting Long Live Patriarch, Long Live Catholicos, Long Live Antioch-Malankara link !! The Police officers and organizers found it very difficult to con­trol the people as they were so enthusiastic to come near the Patriarch. It was one of the biggest crowd the city has seen for many years.

The public meeting started soon after His Holiness reached the dais. The function which was presided by the Catholicos Aboon Mor Baselios Thomas I, started with the wel­come address by the Holy Episcopal Synod President Mor Gregorios Joseph followed by the presidential address of His Beatitude the Catholicos.

At 5.30 pm the Chief Minister of Kerala Mr. Oommen Chandy inaugurated the silver ju­bilee celebrations of the enthronement of Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iywas to the Holy Apostolic throne of St Peter, the Patriar­chate of Antioch and all the East. Speaking on the occasion, Chandy applauded His Holi­ness the Patriarch for his great contribution in the Christian Ecumenical world. He hoped that the Patriarch's visit would bring pros­perity to the Church and the Nation. Chandy also tried to bring into the attention that Ker­ala was a role model for other states with regard to re­ligious amity.

Delivering the keynote address, Cardinal Mar Varkey Vithayathil, the head of the Syro-Malabar Church in India stressed the role of Antioch and the Patriarchs in Church history. He also recalled the warm relations existing between Rome and Antioch. The bilateral agreement signed between Rome and Antioch in 1984 was a milestone in Church unity. The relations between Rome and Antioch were so warm that Rome invited Mor Ignatius Zakka (when he was only the Metropolitan in charge of Mosul diocese) as an observer in the Sec­ond Vatican council, the Cardinal said. The Cardinal also recalled the visit of the Patri­arch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas to Rome in 1984 and the Pope John Paul II's visit to the Patri­arch at Damascus in 2001.

Mar Thoma Church supreme head Philippose Mar Chrisostem said that "Correction in the historic process is inevitable for all social movements.'' He wanted the Church leader­ship to make the silver jubilee celebrations of the enthronement of the Patriarch an occa­sion to recover humanity's love and right­eousness. Mar Chrisostem hoped that the Patriarch's Kerala visit would accentuate the ongoing ecumenical movement in India.

Former Church of South India Moderator Bishop K J Samuel also spoke. He hoped that the Kerala visit of the Patriarch would be an impetus to the ecumenical movements in the country.

The veteran communist and leader of the op­position front in the Kerala Assembly V.S Achuthanandan, Union Minister of State for Power P.M. Sayed, former Union Ministers O. Rajagopal and P C Thomas, Ministers of State P K Kunjalikutty and Dominic Presentation, UDF Convener P P Thankachen, former State Ministers T M Jacob and K V Thomas, SNDP Yogam general secretary Vellappalli Natesan, Member of Parliament Sebastian Paul, Press Trust Chairman Philip Mathew were among others who spoke. Various other Religious and socio-political heads were also present during the function.

The Patriarch in the end, addressing the mammoth gathering, said the relationship with the Syrian Orthodox Church in India and the Patriarchate of Antioch started in the early Christian century and was conformed in the council of Nicea in AD 325. 'We are glad to note that this ancient tradition is still kept alive. (Indian Express, The Hindu)

According to press reports this was the big­gest crowd assembled at cochin in the near past. The meeting concluded at 8.15 pm.

 Patriarchal address at the public meeting in Cochin

(September 21, 2004) We are extremely de­lighted to be here this evening with you all. It is always a great joy to visit India, the great nation of sages and saints, this beautiful state Kerala, "Gods own country", and particularly our church here in India.

We remember with much gratitude, the warm reception we received from the general pub­lic, the previous times we visited India. We still cherish the fond memories of those visits. We wish to once again thank the honourable governments, both at the centre and here in Kerala for their kind hospitality. We are happy that the same spirit has been shown to us even this time.

When we see this great crowd here, we mar­vel at the love that you show to the Holy throne of Antioch. We can only talk about our church in India with mixed feelings. On the one hand, we are extremely happy to see the progress our church has made under the effi­cient leadership of our spiritual brother in Christ His Beatitude Baselios Thomas 1st, the Catholicos and Metropolitan Trustee. His Be­atitude is a born leader. God has bestowed many good qualities upon him. In times of crises he will never waiver. His loyalty to the Holy throne of Antioch is unflinching. He will never compromise aspects of true faith and traditions. He will always walk ahead and with his people. In His Beatitude you have a great leader whom you can always trust and look upon. He will stay like a rock when it comes to matters of faith. We remember with gratitude the great sacrifices of Late La­mented His Beatitude Mor Baselios Paulose IInd along with the late Lamented Mor Gregorios Geevarghese made for this church. We want to appreciate the leadership of His Beatitude Baselios Thomas Ist at this time and thank him for the same. May God grand him good health and long life. We also would like to acknowledge the services of all our Archbishops who stood with His Beatitude and the faithful, especially during the time of crisis. We urge all of you to continue to ex­tend your prayerful support to His Beatitude Baselios Thomas Ist and to the Holy Episco­pal Synod.

Christianity in India is as old as the beginning of the Christian Church. India had the great fortune of having received the gospel of Christ in the first century itself through Apostle St. Thomas. The relationship with the Syrian Orthodox Church in India and the Pa­triarchate of Antioch started in the first Christian century, was confirmed in the council of Nicea in AD 325. We are glad to note that this ancient tradition is still kept alive. While we rejoice in this, as the spiritual head of the church, we are equally saddened that a group has gone astride from the mother church. Unfortunately, this rift has lead to many court cases in India, which has become a disgrace to the entire Christian community in India. As the Supreme head of the church, we have always stood for making peace in the church. In fact, the 1995 verdict of the Honourable Supreme Court of India provided us with an excellent opportunity for peace and unity in the both fractions here. However, we missed the opportunity because the other faction was not willing to accept the challenge. We tried our level best to make an amicable settlement on the basis of the hon­ourable Supreme Court Judgment and waited seven years for unity and peace in the church. That was not to be. It was in this context and on the request of our faithful here that we de­cided to consecrate His Beatitude Baselios Thomas Ist as the Catholicos of our church here. Today when I see this crowd, I am more than convinced that we made a correct deci­sion and a correct choice. May our church continue to prosper under the spiritual lead­ership of His Beatitude Baselios Thomas Ist and our Holy Episcopal Synod in India.

At this time, we also would like to appreciate the Government of Kerala of its positive role and approach in our church affairs. The state government knew that our cause was just. We wish to record our gratitude and thanks for the Honourable Government for their care. Our particular thanks to the former Chief Ministers Mr. K. Karunakaran, late Mr. E.K. Nayanar, Mr. A.K. Antony and his council of ministers and his successor Mr. Oommen Chandy for their constant support and coop­eration. Our sister churches and their leaders also expressed their concerns and extended their help in hands for reconciliation through mediation. Also the contributions of the cul­tural leaders of Kerala are worthy to be men­tioned.

Once again we are so glad we could come to India, which is the largest democracy in the world. You have yet again proved through the recent elections that the roots of democracy here are, indeed, strong. Everyone can be proud of these traditions of democracy and secularism in India. We remember with great respect Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the Nation. This land is the cradle of the rich and ancient culture and civilization. Kerala has been home to people of all faiths and nation­alities. When religious fundamentalism and conflicts are destroying nations, Kerala has stood as a model for all nations to learn from. Here, people of all religion live in harmony. We have experienced this during all our visits to India. Minority religions such as Christi­anity have received royal patronage from the Hindu rulers in the past. Our own church, the Syrian Orthodox Church, has been a benefici­ary of this generous attitude of Hindu broth­ers and sisters. Our Syrian community, in turn has accommodated many aspects of Hindu culture in their social and religious life. We are happy to note that our church has been able to maintain a cordial relationship with all religions here. It is our responsibility to be faithful to our own religious traditions and to be open to others and to respect the faith of the brothers and sisters of other reli­gious traditions. We urge to continue this spirit of cooperation and to take a stronger role in nation building. The church is the ex­tension of God's incarnation in Jesus Christ. Our mission in India is to share the immense joy of Gospel, not forceful conversion. Gospel is to be shared not to be imposed and our challenge is to witness the love of God through our lives. It is our calling to be the voice of the voiceless, the poor and margin­alized. We should never entertain a minority complex; rather we should continue to be part and parcel of the national life in India.

We take this opportunity to thank you all for the preparation of the Patriarchal Silver Ju­bilee celebrations of enthronement to the Holy Throne of St. Peter and for the good words. Let me thank Oommen Chandy, the Chief Minister of Kerala and his cabinet min­isters for making my visit possible and all the facilities provided as a state guest and for his personal presence here. I thank Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil and all the leaders of the sister churches who were here and the social, cultural and political dignitaries present here.

We expect that you all pray for us to continue our efforts to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ through the years to come.

We wish you all the best and thank you. May God Bless you.


Kerala famous for religious amity: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy

Kochi: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said Kerala was famous for its religious amity and has maintained the tradition of religious harmony successfully. Addressing a mammoth public meeting after inaugurating the silver jubilee cele­brations of Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka Iwas, enthronement to the Holy Apostolic throne of St Peter, Chandy said Kerala was a role model for other states with regard to reli­gious amity.

The Patriarch, in his address, said the re­lationship with the Syrian Orthodox Church in India and the Patriarchate of Antioch which started in the first Christian century was conformed in the council of Nicea in AD 325. 'We are glad to note that this ancient tradition is still kept alive.

While we rejoice in this, as the supreme spiritual Head of the Church, we are equally saddened that a group had gone astride from the mother church', he said apparently referring to the orthodox fac­tion of the Malankara church. 'Unfortu­nately, this rift had lead to many court cases in India, which has become a dis­grace to the entire Christian community in India', the Patriarch said adding as the su­preme head of the church, we have always stood for making peace in the church.

Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan visits His Holiness

KOCHI: Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Ram Vilas Paswan met the Patri­arch of Antioch and all the East, Ignatius Zakka Iwas, here on Tuesday.

Jacobite church sources described the visit as a "courtsey call." The head of the Jacobite Syrian church in Kerala, Catholicos Baselious Thomas I was also present. 

Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, the su­preme head of the Universal Orthodox Syrian Church, reached here on Monday on a seven-day visit to Kerala. Paswan later left for Thi­ruvalla. (Indian Express)

The Patriarch offers prayers at Mor Clemis’ tomb

CHINGAVANAM, Sep. 22: Thousands of faithful thronged the St John’s Dayara Church on Wednesday to have a glimpse of Patriarch of Antioch, Ignatius Zakka I, as he came to offer prayers at the tomb of the late Knanaya Jacobite Church Metropolitan Abraham Mar Clemis.

After a rousing reception at the church in the morning, the Patriarch offered ‘dhoopa prarthana’ at the tomb. Knanaya Metropoli­tan Kuriakose Mar Sevarios presided over the function.

Referring to the tirade against the visiting Patriarch by the Orthodox faction, Catholicos Baselios Thomas I of the Jacobite Church felt that the reactions of the opposite sect were borne out of an ‘unsound state of mind.’ He also charged the rival faction with torpedoing peace efforts in the Malankara Church.

The Patriarch also addressed Knanaya Asso­ciation members. His visit turned out to be a joyous occasion for the Knanaya Jacobite Church since it was the first after the conse­cration of Kuriakose Mar Sevarios as the new Metropolitan. The Patriarch had been to the church in 2000 to participate in the golden jubilee episcopacy fete of former Metropoli­tan Abraham Mar Clemis. The Patriarch left for Manjanikkara by 4 p.m. to offer prayers at the tomb of the late Benyamin Mar Ost­hathios. (The Indian Express)

Rousing reception to H.H. Patriarch at Manjanikkara

PATHANAMTHITTA, Sep. 22: The head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church and Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Ignatius Zakka-I Iywas, was given a grand reception at Manjanikkara Dayro when His Holiness came to pray at the tomb of Pa­triarch St. Elias III and other Metropolitans entombed here. Thousands of faithful were present there to receive His Holiness.

Speaking after the reception accorded to him by the Kollam, Niranom and Thumpamon dioceses of the Church at Manjanikkara Mor Ignatius Dayara at Omallur, the Patriarch said that the mission of his visit was to ac­knowledge the love bestowed on him by the faithful. The Patriarch lauded the contribu­tion of Mor Yulios, Yakob Mor Yulios and Benyamin Mor Osthatheos.

The public meeting held at the Manjanikara school grounds was presided by the Catholi­cos Mor Baselius Thomas-I. Metropolitans Mor Athanasius Elias Bahi of Damascus, Pathrose Mor Silvanos of Homs and Malki Mor Milithios of Austria accompanied the Patriarch to the venue.

The Metropolitans of the Church, Youhanon Mor Peelexinos, Kuriakose Mor Eulios, Geevarghese Mor Athanaseus, Markose Mor Koorilos, Gevarghese Mor Divanasios, were among the speakers.

Yuhannon Mor Milithios, Joseph Mor Gregorios, Mathews Mor Ivanios, Kuriakose Mor Yulios, Geevarghese Mar Athanasius, Kuriakose Mor Diascorus, Kuriakose Mor Theophilos and Kuriakose Mor Severius were also present at the meeting.

Earlier, the believers accorded a rousing re­ception to the Patriarch at the St. George Jacobite Church in Thiruvalla. He was re­ceived at the Omalloor Cross situated on the way to Dayro when he, escorted by a motor­cade, reached there around 5-30 p.m. Ma­lankara Malpan Very Rev. Kurien Cor-Epis­copa Kaniamparampil garlanded the Patri­arch and he was escorted to the Manjanik­kara Dayro by the Metropolitans, Markose Mar Koorilos and Youhanon Mar Militheos, later.

At Manjanikkara, the Patriarch was accorded a reception under the leadership of Kuriakose Mor Yulios and Geevarghese Mor Dionysius. The Patriarch offered prayers at the tombs of Mor Yulios, Yacob Mor Yulios and Benyamin Mor Osthatheos. The Patriarch also said prayers at the nearby Mor Sthephanos Church. (Indian Express, The Hindu).

The book titled 'The Syrian Orthodox Church Calendar' released by His Holiness

Manjanikkara, Sep. 22: His Holiness the Patriarch today released the book titled "The Syrian Orthodox Church Calendar" by ac­cepting the first copy from His Beatitude the Catholicos at the public meeting held at Manjanikkara. This book compiled and ed­ited by Fr. (Dr.) Mani Rajan, contains the dates of feasts of the saints, fasts and festivals of the Church, dates of movable feats for the 21st century as per Julian and Gregorian Cal­endars and articles related to the origin and evolution of the Church Calendar.

The main source of the saints list included in this book is the manuscript of the Church Calendar revised by the monk-priest Saliba bar Khayrun of Hah (+1340), which was made available to the publishers by His Emi­nence Mor Julius Kuriakose Metropolitan, the first secretary to His Holiness the Patri­arch. The feast dates and the list of saints in this book has been updated as of today. Total Pages 128 (English).

Copies are available in the book stalls at Manjanikkara Mor Ignathios Dayro, Kotta­yam St. Joseph's Cathedral, M.S.O.T Semi­nary, Mulanthuruthy Marthoman Church, Manarcaud KEFA Book Stall, MGOCSM Kottayam, Orthodox Book Centre Kottayam.

Karingachira St. George Jacobite Syrian church declared Cathedral

KOCHI, Sep. 23: The Patriarch of Antioch & all the East and the Supreme head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I declared the ancient St George Jacobite Syrian church at Karin­gachira near Tripunithura as the cathedral of Kochi diocese, as part of the historic Episco­pal synod held here on Thursday, 23rd Sep­tember 2004. The church will henceforth be known as 'St. George Jacobite Syrian Ortho­dox Cathedral of Cochin Diocese'.

Established in AD 722, the St George church has witnessed several historic events in the history of the Malankara Church. The late Geevarghese Mar Gregorios Metropolitan, popularly known as ‘Parumala Thirumeni’ as­cended the first step of ordination at this church.

This is the parent worship place of many churches including Tripunithura Nadamel Church, Kadungamangalam Church, Varik­koli Church, Kanyattu Nirappu Church, Veloor Church and Vennikkulam Church. The chapels like Kakkadu, Ambalamugal and Ku­reekkadu will also come under the control of Karingachira Church.

The church structure is a perfect blend of Persian and Indian traditional architecture. This historic and religious place, which at­tracts thousands of devotees irrespective of their caste, will be the first church in Kochi diocese to be upgraded as a cathedral. (In­dian Express)

The Holy Episcopal Synod of the Malankara Archdiocese presided by the Patriarch of Antioch & all the East after many decades

KOCHI,  Sep. 23: The Full-fledged Episco­pal Synod of the Malankara Syrian Jacobite Church, held after many decades in the pres­ence of Patriarch of Antioch, decided to broad base the activities of the Church across the country with more focus on indigenisation.

The synod also decided to set up more dio­ceses, consecrate additional bishops and translate the Church liturgy into various re­gional languages.

This was the first time in the recent history of the Malankara Church that the Synod was meeting in the presence of the Patriarch.

The synod, held at St George Jacobite church at nearby Karingachira, was attended by Ca­tholicos Baselios Thomas I and 16 metro­politans, including three Syrian Metropoli­tans who accompanied the H.H. the Patriarch on this Apostolic Visit. Briefing reporters on the synod deliberations in the presence of the Patriarch, synod secretary Joseph Mar Gregorios s

aid that the Church would carry out its ex­pansion with special emphasis on indigenisa­tion. "The Church is already on the path of Indianisation. But we want to accelerate the pace,'' he said.

Another major decision was the declaration of the St Mary's Church at Manarcaud as a pilgrim centre of the Universal Syrian Church.

The synod also permitted the parishioners of St Thomas Jacobite Syrian Church, North Paravur, and St George Church, Arthattu in Kunnamkulam to remember Mor Gregorios Abdul Jaleel and Mor Osthathios Sleeba in the prayers. The names of both the departed spiritual heads will henceforth be included in the `Thubdeen' (the episodes in the prayer which remembers the forefathers and the rich heritage of the Malankara Church) of these churches where their tombs are located.

Answering a query, Catholicos Baselius Tho­mas I said that the Jacobite Church's ongoing tussle with the Malankara Orthodox Church did come up at the synod. "We are ready for compromise talks. But before the talks, they should 'freeze' the litigation and should coop­erate with the Government for reopening the closed churches, facilitating worship of the members belonging to both the factions.''

The Metropolitans who participated in the Karingachira Episcopal Synod are Mor Philoxenos Yuhanon, Mor Polycarpus Geevarghese, Mor Thimotheos Thomas, Mor Gregorios Joseph, Mor Yulius Kuriakose, Mor Koorilos Markose, Mor Ivanios Mathews, Mor Dionysius Geevarghese, Mor Milithios Yu­hanon, Mor Dioscorus Kuriakose, Mor Atha­nasius Geevarghese, Mor Theophilos Kuria­kose, Mor Severios Kuriakose and the three Syrian Metropolitans Mor Athanasius Elia Bahi (Patriarchal Assistant), Mor Silvanos Pathros (Homs), Mor Milithios Malki (Aus­tralia).

The new Church Headquarters at Puthencuriz

PUTHECURIZ, Sep 24: His Holiness Ig­natius Zakka I Iwas, the Patriarch of Antioch & all the East, today consecrated the newly-built Patriarch Centre at Puthencuriz which will hence forth function as the headquarters of the Jacobite Syrian Church. The Catholicos H.B. Baselios Thomas I, Metropolitans, Samudaya Secretary Thambu George Thu­kalan and Samudaya Trustee George Mathew Thekkethalakkal were among those present at the function. The new centre consists of a chapel, Committee halls, office rooms for all the office bearers of the Church, central of­fices for the spiritual organizations of the Church, Library and Archives, suites for the Bishops, guest rooms, dining hall etc.

Immediately after the consecration cere­mony, the Church Managing committee was held under the president ship of the Patriarch in which the Catholicos and all the metro­politans were present. Addressing the com­mittee members the Patriarch said that he is very happy to see his brother in Christ, Ca­tholicos Baselios Thomas I, leading this church with a Godly mission. "There was a time when a section within the Church had tried to mislead me saying that it was Ca­tholicos Baselius Thomas I who was standing in the way of bringing permanent peace in the Church. Now, I am convinced that he was prepared for any sacrifice for unity.'', the Pa­triarch continued. The Patriarch extended all support to the Catholicos for leading the Church to prosperity. Afternoon, the Patri­arch addressed the representatives of the various Spiritual Organization at the Church HQ.

In the evening His Holiness visited the tomb of late lamented Catholicos of the East Aboon Mor Baselios Paulose II at Malecuriz Dayro, situated only a few distance away. (In 1980 it was Mor Baselios Paulose II Bava who led the Patriarchal enthronement ceremony of H.H. Ignatius Zakka I.) The Patriarchal bull ap­pointing Mor Dioscoros Kuriakose as the Metropolitan of Dayro was read on that occa­sion.

From Malecuriz, H.H. the Patriarch left for Mulanthuruthy Seminary where he met the Seminary students and the faculty. The President of the seminary & the Malabar Di­ocesan Metropolitan Mor Philoxenos Yu­hanon, the Resident Metropolitan Mor Theo­philos Kuriakose, the Principal Very Rev. Adai Corepsicopo and others received the Patriarch. Malankara Malpan Very Rev. Ku­rien Corepsicopo, the great Syriac Scholar and the author of many books, despite his old age, was also present at the Seminary to wel­come the Patriarch.

Patriarch H.H. Ignatius Zakka I Iywas consecrated the Holy Myron at the Marthoma Cheriapally


KOCHI, Sep. 25: In an atmosphere charged with prayers and hymns, the conse­cration of myron (holy oil) was held at the ancient St Thomas Church (Marthoma Cheri­aPally) at Kothamangalam on Saturday.

Tens of thousands of Jacobite Christians thronged the church premises to witness the rare ritual.

Myron, the holy oil, is used to anoint persons receiving baptism by water. It represents the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. The ritual, described as ‘‘a great mystery’’ in theological circles and among the Fathers of Churches, was led by Patriarch of Antioch Mar Ignatius Zakka I. The five-hour-long ritual was also a procla­mation by the Syrian Jacobite Church reaf­firming its faith on the tradition of Antioch.

The consecration of myron was held in two phases. In the first, the ‘preparations’ prior to the consecration was held. Recalling how John the Baptist prepared the way for the coming of Jesus Christ, the deacons and the priests took out a procession around the church.

The second procession consisted of deacons, priests, 12 metropolitans of the Church and the high priest (the Patriarch) with the holy oil in his hand. The second stage of the ritual was the sanctification of the holy oil by of­fering special prayers. According to belief, the high priest, through his prayers, is expected to bring in all the dynamism of the Holy Spirit to the oil.

After the sanctification of the holy oil, the Patriarch blessed the world by spraying it in four directions. As a fulfillment of the sacra­ment, Holy Qurbana by 13 celebrants was said at a specially set up madbaha on the church premises.

It is after an interval of 22 years that conse­cration of Holy Myron is held in the Ma­lankara Church. The ritual was last per­formed at Manarcaud St Mary’s church in 1982.

Catholicos Baselios Thomas I assisted the Patriarch in leading the ritual. Mor Philox­enos Yuhanon, Mor Polycarpus Geevarghese, Mor Thimotheos Thomas, Mor Gregorios Jo­seph, Mor Yulius Kuriakose, Mor Koorilos Markose, Mor Ivanios Mathews, Mor Diony­sius Geevarghese, Mor Milithios Yuhanon, Mor Dioscorus Kuriakose, Mor Athanasius Geevarghese, Mor Theophilos Kuriakose, Mor Severios Kuriakose and the three Syrian Metropolitans Mor Athanasius Elia Bahi (Patriarchal Assistant), Mor Silvanos Pathros (Homs), Mor Milithios Malki (Australia) are the metropolitans who participated in the consecration of Holy Myron. (Indian Ex­press)

St. Mary's Soonoro church at Cochin elevated as the Pa­triarchal Cathedral of India
Mor Yulious Kuriakose ap­pointed as the Metropolitan of all the Sim­hasana Churches.

KOCHI, SEPT. 26: Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, the Patriarch of the Antioch and all the East on Sunday declared the St. Mary's Soonoro Simhasana church at Erna­kulam as the first Patriarchal cathedral in In­dia and also announced the appointment of Kuriakose Mor Yulious, the first secretary of His Holiness, as the Metropolitan of all the Simhasana Churches.

At a well-attended function on the church premises this evening, the Patriarch, assisted by the Catholicos Baselios Thomas I and a host of other Church dignitaries held prayers at the Soonoro church before it was declared a cathedral at the public meeting.

The Patriarch triggered a bunch of blue and white balloons into the air with the help of a remote control device to mark the occasion as the crowd of about 2,000 people waved yel­low flags. The Patriarch said he was happy to declare the Soonoro church a cathedral and appealed to the faithful to thank God for the favour.

The Patriarch then inaugurated a new build­ing in memory of the late Gregorios Geevarghese, the founder of the Soonoro church. His Holiness also blessed the foun­dation stone for the construction of the new Cathedral.

Catholicos Mor Baselios Thomas I, who pre­sided over the function, hoped that the con­struction of the new church would be com­pleted soon. Besides the Metropolitans, the Fisheries and Sports Minister Dominic Pres­entation, Former Minister T.M. Jacob and 2000 odd parishioners participated in the function. (The New Indian Express & The Hindu)

Cathedral status for the Manarcaud St. Mary's church

KOTTAYAM, Sep. 26: The Supreme Pon­tiff of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church H.H. Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iywas today elevated the St. Mary's Church at Manarcad as a ‘universal pilgrim centre’ and also declared it as a Cathedral amid chants of ‘let Antioch-Malankara ties last for ever’ by thousands of church followers.

Speaking on the occasion His Holiness re­minded that the Syrian Church attached much importance to Virgin Mary and her in­tercession between God and believers. The Patriarch said the Manarcaud St Mary’s Church had become a great pilgrim centre where thousands became blessed through prayers; and added that the miracles per­formed by Virgin Mary here were uncount­able.

The Patriarch also announced on the occa­sion that the steps to declare the late Ma­lankara Metropolitan Kochuparambil Paulose Mar Koorilos (Panampady, 1917), a saint, had commenced. His Holiness was accompanied to the church by the Catholicos Aboon Mor Baselios Thomas I, and Metropolitans.

The Patriarch call to shun abortion

The Patriarch during the sermon at the Man­arcaud church came down heavily on abor­tion saying it as a crime committed by men and women and cautioned the faithful against the medical termination of pregnancy. Terming abortion a sin, the Patriarch said the killing of unborn children was on the in­crease. He called upon all those who have been party to medical termination of preg­nancy to repent and receive Eucharist as a means to cleanse themselves of the sin. The Patriarch said the mothers had a duty of of­fering babies to the world and grooming them in a good way and recalled that Virgin Mary was a role model for men and women. (The New Indian Express & The Hindu)

The Jacobite Syrian Christian Association
met at the Mu­lanthuruthy Marthoman Church after 128 years under the presidentship of the Patriarch of Antioch & all the East

MULANTHURUTHY, Sep. 27: After 128 years, the 'Jacobite Syrian Christian Associa­tion', today met at the Mulanthuruthy Marthoman church premises for the 2nd time in its history under the presidentship of the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East. It was at the same place the first Syrian Christian As­sociation, which is also known as the ‘Mu­lanthuruthy Synod’ that was held for 3 days from June 27 -30, 1876, under the president ship of late Patriarch of Antioch Moran Mor Ignatius Peter IV. The chief organizer of this historic Synod was Saint Gregorios (Paru­mala Thirumeni) who was the personal sec­retary to H.H. Patriarch Peter IV.

Now in 2004, it was another meeting of the 'Jacobite Syrian Christian Association' that was held under the presidentship of the Prince Patriarch of Antioch & all the East, Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iywas. In this second Mulanthuruthy Synod, 3582 members representing various parishes of Malankara Archdiocese has participated.

The Patriarch of Antioch, who delivered the presidential address, said that the Mulanthu­ruthy church should be called as the Jerusa­lem of India in view of the church becoming a holy place with the second synod also being held at the same place. The Malankara Syrian Church had proved that it could continue its democracy and tradition.

The Patriarch urged the devotees to continue the tradition of the church and become a role model for other churches. All the Metropoli­tans and clergy should abide by the Constitu­tion on all church matters, he said.

The resolution of faith and allegiance was de­livered by Paulose Corepiscopa Parathu­vayalil; Jacobite Syrian Christian Church - 1876 to 2004 - a Review by Joseph Mor Gregorios Metropolitan, submission of letter of tribute by Yuhanon Mor Milithiose Metro­politan and key note address by Catholicos Aboon Mor Baselios Thomas I. Thampu George Thuakalan was conferred the Baretho Maheero title for his sincere service to the Malankara Church. (The New Indian Express & The Hindu)

The historic Apostolic Visit of the Patriarch to Malankara ends; His Holiness left for New Delhi

KOCHI, SEP. 28: After completing the historic apos­tolic visit to Malankara the Pa­triarch of An­tioch and all the East, Ignatius Zakka I Iywas, head of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church, left for New Delhi on Tuesday morning from the Nedumbassery Interna­tional Airport. Metropolitans, Corepiscopos, Rambans, Priests and a large number of faithful were present in the Air­port to bid farewell to their beloved spiritual father. His Holiness the Patriarch and the delegation once again thanked the faithful in India for the love and affection they are showering to­wards the Holy See.

His Beatitude the Catholicos Aboon Mor Baselios Thomas I, Metropolitans Mor Yulios Kurikose, Mor Gregorios Joseph, Mor Dio­scorus Kurikose, Mor Athanasius Geevarghese and Mor Theophilos Kurikose accompanied the Patriarch to the National Capital. In New Delhi Metropolitan of the Diocese Thomas Mor Thimotheos and the di­ocesan members will receive the Patriarch.

The 3rd Apostolic visit of Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iywas to Malankara which lasted for 8-days was infact an historic one. The people thronged in everyplace to have a glimpse of their supreme spiritual leader. His Holiness conquered the heart of millions and strength­ened the centuries old ties the Church in Malankara has with the Holy See of St. Peter. This visit of the Patriarch was one of the most memorable events in the history of the Ma­lankara Church.

H.H. the Patriarch given a rousing welcome in New Delhi

NEW DELHI, SEP. 28: The Patriarch of Antioch & all the East who reached New Delhi Airport by noon was welcomed by the diocesan Metropolitan Mor Thimotheos Thomas and other prominent persons of the diocese. In the evening a grand public recep­tion was given to the Patriarch and the dele­gates in the Indoor stadium at Thalkothara Gardens, New Delhi. His Holiness the Patri­arch and His Beatitude the Catholicos was welcomed to the venue by thousands of Syr­ian Christian faithful of outside Kerala dio­cese. A colorful and traditional Kerala proces­sion started from Mother Teresa Crescent (Near North Avenue) at around 5.30pm with more than 5,000 people from different par­ishes in Delhi & adjoining areas participating in it. School children’s Bands, Navy Bands, Chenda Melam, Band Melam, Muthu Koda, Kodi, etc. were the special attraction of this unique Kerala-style procession.

When the rally reached Thalkothara Gardens, the prayers in Syriac welcoming His Holiness was sung by the Choir of the St. Peter's Ca­thedral, New Delhi.

In his opening felicitation address the Union Minister H.E. P.M. Sayed noted that each visit of the spiritual leader would strengthen the ties with his people in India. He also praised the assistance of different Christian Churches in India’s development endeavors.

 “Peace is the essence of all religion. Those who propagate violence and hatred among people are destroying the religion and the so­

ciety”, the minister pointed out. He also wished that the visit of the Patriarch would strengthen the peace and spirit of co-exis­tence in the society.

The meeting was attended by Union Minister Oscar Fernadas, the Apostolic Nuncio Pedro Loppus Quintana, Syrian Ambassador H.E. Shaad Salem, Armenian Ambassador H.E. Armanbal Burton, Lebnon Ambassador Waleeda Naser, Metropolitans Mor Themo­theos Thomas, Mor Julius Kuriakose, Mor Gregorios Joseph, Mor Dioscorus Kuriskose, Mor Athanasius Geevarghese, Mor Theophi­los Kuriakose, Mor Silvanos Pathros (Homs), Mor Milithios Malki (Australia) and the Church ex-secretary Rajan Scaria.

On 29th morning His Holiness will conduct the Mooron Koodoso of the St. Peter's Cathe­dral, New Delhi and celebrate the Holy Qur­bono in the Cathedral.

H.H. the Patriarch consecrated the St. Peters' Cathedral at New Delhi

Met the Indian President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition and UPA Chairperson; Left for Damascus via Sharjah on Oct. 1st

 NEW DELHI, SEP. 29, 30: On 29th Sep­tember His Holi­ness led the Mooron koo­dasso (con­secra­tion) of the St. Peter's Patri­archal Cathedral at New Delhi and of­fered the Holy Qurbono. His Beatitude the Catholicos, the diocesan Metropolitan Mor Thimotheos Thomas and other Metropolitans assisted His Holiness. In the evening the Pa­triarch called on the Vice President of India Shri. Bhairon Singh Shekhawat and the UPA Chairperson Shrimati Sonia Gandhi.

The next day morning His Holiness paid homage to the father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi by placing a wreath at Raj Ghat. Later he called on the President of India Shri. A P J Abdul

 Kalam, the Prime Min­ister Shri. Man­

 mohan Singh and leader of Op­posi­tion Shri. L K Ad­vani and ex­pressed thanks for the pa­tronage the Syrian Church is re­ceiving in this great nation. His Beatitude Catholicos Aboon Mor Baselios Thomas I, Metropolitan  Mor Thimotheos Thomas and others were in the delegation.

After the 3-day visit to New Delhi, His Holi­ness left for Damascus via Sharjah by early morning flight on 1st October, thus complet­ing the historic 3rd Apostolic Visit of the Pa­triarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas to Malankara.


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© Suryoyo Online
Gabriel Rabo
First updated: 26.09.2004
Copyright 2006