KOTTAYAM: The Holy Episcopal Synod of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church held a special session, which was presided over by His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Didymus I on December 6th, 2007 at Devalokam, Kottayam. The following Metropolitans participated: H.B. Paulose Mar Milithios, H.G. Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios, H.G. Mathews Mar Epiphanios, H.G. Philipos Mar Eusebius, H.G. Thomas Mar Athanasios, H.G. Geevarghese Mar IVanios, H.G. Dr. Thomas Mar Athanasius, H.G. Yuhanon Mar Milithios, H.G. Kuriakose Mar Clemis, H.G. Zachariah Mar Anthonios, H.G. Dr. Mathews Mar Severios, H.G. Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, H.G. Paulos Mar Pachomius, H.G. Dr. Yakob Mar Irenaeus, H.G. Dr. Gabriel Mar Gregorios, and H.G. Dr. Yuhanon Mar Chrysostomos. The following decisions were arrived at:
1) The norms for episcopal selection were drafted.
2) The Synod addressed the recent news that surfaced in local Indian news medias regarding the episcopal consecration of a Turkish monk from Germany for the Syrian Orthodox Church in Europe. The Synod sought the necessary explanations from the concerned bishops regarding the consecrations. These explanations were then accepted by His Holiness the Catholicos and the Holy Episcopal Synod.
3) It was decided to honor H.G. Dr. Geevarghese Mar Osthathios Metropolitan by awarding His Grace with the "Sabha Ratna" title on the occassion of His Grace's 90th birthday (navathy) celebration. His Grace is bestowed with this title in recognition of His Grace's extraordinary charismatic leadership throughout his prolific ministerial life in the Church. The title will be awarded by His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Didymus I on Sunday, 9th December, 2007 in Thiruvalla at the Bethany Aramana.
4) The proposal to begin a cancer care centre in St. Gregorios Mission Hospital, Parumala was approved in principle. The details and final decisions regarding this proposal will be made in the next session of the Holy Episcopal Synod, that is scheduled for February of 2008.