Pontiffs meet to break the ice



Catholicos, Patriarch were at Yerevan to commemorate mass killings of Armenians

Catholicos Baselius Mar Thoma Paulos II, head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, has termed his recent interaction with Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II, supreme head of the Syrian Orthodox Church, as an “ice-breaking moment in the relations between the two churches”.

Both the pontiffs were at the Armenian capital of Yerevan to participate in the centenary ceremony of the mass killings of Armenians during World War I by the then Turkish authorities.

The two churches have been engaged in a fierce strife in Kerala and the recent visit of the Patriarch to the State had raised hope among peace-lovers on both the sides.

Speaking to The Hindu , the Catholicos, who returned to his headquarters at Devalokam near here on Monday, said: “We have not gone into any specifics of how we can reconcile the conflicts between our churches. But both of us wanted to start the fellowship.”

According to him, the nearly a dozen heads of sister who had assembled there were delighted and expressed joy at the bonhomie between the Catholicos and the Patriarch and extended their assistance to find a lasting solution.

The Hindu, 28-4-2015


Rare Meeting of Prelates Raises Hope of Malankara Church Unity

Published: 25th April 2015 06:02 AM

Last Updated: 25th April 2015 06:02 AM


KOCHI:  In a rare apostolic meeting, Patriarch of Antioch Ignatius Aphrem-II and Baselious Paulose-II Catholicos, head of the Malankara Orthodox Church, met and held discussions, raising hope of unity in the Malankara Church.

The prelates met each other in Armenia, at a function organised to mark the centenary of the Armenian genocide of 1915. The meeting is considered to be a turning point for both the Churches, which have been at loggerheads for many years.

The first meeting was held at the presidential guesthouse on Wednesday evening. Later, they met during dinner and hugged each other for a long time, with eternal love and brotherhood. They conversed on several topics. The Patriarch and the Catholicos were also seen together during visits to the various museums and monuments in the Armenian capital. They also sat together during the canonisation ceremony of the victims of the Armenian genocide.

The Syriac Orthodox Church and the Indian Orthodox (Malankara Orthodox Church) Church have been in administrative schism for a very long time.

With the two prelates meeting each other after three years, hopes are running high among faithful of the Malankara Orthodox Church of immediate follow-ups and resumption of dialogue for the restoration of conciliar unity.

Jacobite Syrian Christian Church synod secretary Joseph Mor Gregorios Metropolitan is also attending the function.