|His Holiness Baselius Marthoma|
Paulose II Catholicose of the East
on theApostolic Throne
of St. Thomas
Kottayam, India: The Orthodox Syrian Church of the East celebrates its Centenary of the re-establishment of Catholicosate of East in India. The Catholicate (Catholicosate) was re-established on 15th September 1912 by consecrating Mar Ivanios, the Metropolitan of Kandanad as the first Indian Catholicose of the East with the title Mar Baselios Paulose I at St. Mary's Church in Niranam, founded by St.Thomas, the Apostle of Jesus Christ. The Catholicate was headquartered in Persia until the end of the 19th century. The Patriarch of Antioch St. Ignatius Abdul Masih II (1895-1915) relocated the Catholicate to India in 1912.
St.Thomas established the Orthodox Syrian Church of the East and is recognized as its first Head or Catholicos. The lineage of the Catholicos of the East starts from the Apostle Thomas, continuing with the bishops of Edessa and Archbishops in Selucia-Ctesiphon. In 410 AD, Mar Isaac first used the title Catholicos of the East. Since then, the Catholicos has claimed jurisdiction over all Christians of the East outside the Roman Empire.
The Catholicosate of the Orthodox Syrian Church of the East was then moved to Tigris and Mosul in Iraq following the Nestorian Schism in the church. In 1860, the office of Catholicosate was merged into the Orthodox Syrian Patriarchate of Antioch as per the decision of the Synod held at Deyrul' al Zafran Monastery (Kurkkumo Dayro) under the Orthodox Syrian Patriarch of Antioch, Ignatius Ya`qub II. The Orthodox Syrian Patriarchate of Antioch took over the autonomous Malankara Archdioceses of the Orthodox Syrian Church of the East in 1876 at the Mulanthuruthi Council (Synod) convened by the Patriarch Mar Ignatius Peter III.
|His Holiness Baselios Paulose I, the|
first Indian Catholicose of the East
After the consecration of the Catholicos of the East, Mar Baselios Paulose I the Patriarch St. Ignatius Abdul Masih II issued two Patriarchal bulls (Kalpanas) declaring the importance, privileges, powers and functions of the Catholicose. The Church is now administered as per the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church 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. One priest and laymen 1 to 10 depending on the number of members in each parish are the members of the Association. There are about 1400 parishes under the Church. It is the Association which elects the Catholicos of the East and the Malankara Metropolitan of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and also the Bishops.
|St. Ignatius Abdul Masih II|
The Patriarch of Antioch (1895-1915)
It has around 30 Million faithful worldwide with thirty Metropolitan Dioceses. The present headquarters of the Orthodox Syrian Church of the East is at Devalokam (Kottayam), in the Indian state of Kerala. The present Catholicos-Patriarch His Holiness Baselius Mar Thoma Paulose II, was enthroned to the Apostolic throne of Saint Thomas in 2010 and is the 109th Catholicos of East.
The Centenary Celebrations of re-establishment of Catholicosate of the East will conclude on 25th November 2012 at Ernakulam. Spiritual Leader of Tibet, Dalai Lama, the former President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Chief Minister of Kerala, Oommen Chandy, Union Ministers, various religious, social and political leaders are scheduled to participate in the conference to commemorate the centenary of Catholicosate re-establishment.