The Supreme Head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in India, His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, has passed away. His Holiness was 74 years of age.
The septuagenarian Catholicos of the Indian Orthodox Church had been undergoing treatment for cancer for the past two years.
While expressing condolences, the General Secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) Dr Mathews George Chunakara stated that His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II was an unassuming ecclesiastical leader and had always been concerned about the poor and the needy in society.
“The philanthropic services His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II had initiated and the special interests taken to motivate the congregations and the faithful of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church provided new dimensions to the diaconal ministry of the church,” said the CCA General Secretary.
Dr Mathews George Chunakara recollected his several meetings with His Holiness Catholicos Paulose II in India and overseas during the past decade. “I was always impressed with the simplicity, sincerity, and warm-heartedness of such a high-profile ecclesiastical leader, and I will ever cherish the love and affection I received from His Holiness Catholicos Baselios Marthoma Paulose II,” said Dr Mathews George Chunakara.
“With the passing away of His Holiness, the Church in India has lost one more of its senior ecclesiastical leaders who has been a distinguished representative of Indian Christians, and who was a voice on their behalf in the wider social milieu, especially at a time as crucial as that of today,” wrote the CCA General Secretary in a condolence message he sent to the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.
Born on 30 August 1946 in a village near Kunnamkulam in Kerala, the southern Indian state which is considered to be the citadel of Christianity in India, and named K.I. Paul, His Holiness was ordained as a priest in 1973 and consecrated as a bishop in 1985. Following the abdication of his predecessor His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Didymus I, he was enthroned on 1 November 2010 with the name Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, thereby becoming the Catholicos of the East.
His Holiness Catholicos Baselios Marthoma Paulose II took a special interest in the past years in enhancing bilateral relations with heads of various Orthodox churches in other parts of the world such as the Ethiopian, Armenian, and Russian Orthodox churches, as well as with the Roman Catholic Church.
The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, a founding member of CCA, is one of the ancient Christian churches in India which traces its historical roots and tradition to AD 52.
His Holiness’ mortal remains will be buried at Devalokam, headquarters campus in Kottayam, Kerala, on 13 July 2021.
The full text of the CCA General Secretary’s Letter to the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church can be found here: