PARUMALA: Malankara Orthodox Church is now blessed with four more Metropolitans today as the elect ones were consecrated as their new shepherds. Dr .K J Gabriel Mar Gregorios, Dr. Zachariah Mar Theophilos, Augen Mar Dionysius and Dr. Yoohanon Mar Chrisostom are the four consecrated as Metropolitans at Parumala Seminary Church on Saturday March 5 2005.
The holy consecration ceremony was led the supreme head of the Church, His Holiness the Catholicos Baselius Marthoma Mathews II and assisted by the Catholicos elect H.B. Thomas Mar Thimothios, in the presence of 18 other Metropolitans, hundreds of clergies, tens of thousands of faithful at home and all over the world.
The Catholicos and other Metropolitans of the church first led the four Bishop-elects into the ‘Madbaha’ during the morning prayers. After being initiated into the new ecclesiastic status by the Catholicos, the four ‘Rambans’ knelt down in mediation. In middle of the holy Eucharist, celebrated by His Holiness, the consecration ceremony began. During the first phase, all the four Rambans sealed their divine contract affixing the signatures. The second phase saw them declared as new Metropolitans of the church. Then they were given the shepherd staff, seated in thrones attired in Metropolitan’s vestments and raised three times as per custom by saying ‘Oxios’.
The Catholicos-designate, Thomas Mar Themotheos, Geevarghese Mar Osthatheus, Thomas Mar Makarios, Abraham Mar Savarios, Mathews Mar Epiphaenus, Thomas Mar Athanasius (Chengannur), Thomas Mar Athanseus (Kandanad), Geevarghese Mar Ivanios, Kuriakose Mar Cleemis, Mathews Mar Savarios, Zacharia Mar Anthonios, Geevarghese Mar Koorilos, Paulos Mar Pachomios, Yakoob Mar Ireneus and Zacharia Mar Nicholaos assisted the Cathoicos in the consecration ceremony.
Later, in a public meeting to felicitate the newly ordained shepherds, Chief Minister of Kerala Mr. Oommen Chandy hoped the newly ordained bishops would serve the church and society alike positively. He said this while on inaugurating the public meeting held at the Church premises immediately after the consecration ceremony. His Holiness the Catholicos Baselius Marthoma Mathews II presided over the public meeting. Among those who offered felicitations were Dr Marthoma Metropolitan Philipose Mar Chrisostom , Catholicos-Elect of Malankara Orthodox Church Thomas Mar Thimothios, Thomas Mar Athanasios, Dr Thomas Mar Makarios, and Sabha Secretary Dr Alexander Karackal.
From Fr. K. G. Philipose ( Diocesan Secretary, America)
“Our Church has consecrated four new bishops at the Parumala Seminary Church. It gives me great honor and privilege representing the American Diocese to wish them well as distinguished spiritual leaders of our Church. Our Church is looking up to them with great hope. We desperately need their leadership and service. We, the members-at-large including the bishops need spiritual armor to retain the current members and bring in new ones to our Church. We truly have to focus on our youngsters with great potential and resources. It is high time to focus on ways and means of upholding the honor and dignity of our Church and stay away from political means distracting the mission of the Church. I hope that the new bishops will get in touch with our ordinary people and meet their spiritual needs strengthening our Church. We need unity within the Church and make peace with our brothers and sisters now under the spell of Patriarchal faction. This does not mean we accept their bishops and priests (while ordinary people and their church buildings remain with the Patriarchal side) alienating our own clergy; we have to make choices on a case by case basis distinguishing between shepherds and wolves. It is my hope and prayers that the newly consecrated bishops may uphold the honor and dignity of our Church continuing their accomplishments in the past. Let us pray for them that His name may be glorified. Long live Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church!”