It is heart warming that a new glorious light is overtaking and exterminating the dark clouds that were enveloping our beloved Church recently. The Supreme Court Verdict of 1995 made it clear that even if the Antiochean Patriarchs had made some claims of supremacy over the church, it had vanished with the establishment of the Catholicate. But the authority of the Catholicose Mar Thoma Mathews II was questioned in the court. It was uphold by another Association of the Malankara Orthodox Church that he was the unquestionable Catholicose of the Malankara Orthodox Church. Still the dark clouds were over the Church. The authority of his successor H.H. Baselius Mar Thoma Didymus I was also questioned in the court. The court judgment reconfirming the authority of the Catholicose, Didymus I has once and for all put an end to the darkness.The unanimous decision of the Malankara Association to elect H.G.Paulose Mar Milithios as Catholicose Elect brings new rays of hope to our church.
I met the then Mr.Paul (the present Milithios Thirumeni) first time in 1972 at the MGOCSM Conference in Kolenchery. He was a seminary student and we shared the same room. In the first evening of the conference we were taking rest in the room. Mr. Paul sang a song which is sung in rememberance of our Holy Fathers in Kunnamkulam churches after the H.Qurbana. He gave me a printed copy and I could learn it from him. After a few years I knew that he was ordained and Dn.Paul had the charge of newly started MGOCSM Trivandrum Center. Then I met him as the asst. vicar of St.Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral, Ernakulam.
Wherever he worked, he was trustworthy, enthusiastic, sincere and hardworking. In 1982, he was elected as one of the Metropolitans of the church, with 4 others. All the five of them stayed at Parumala Seminary as Rambans for two years under the guidance of the late blessed H.G.Yuhanon Mar Savarius. It was to learn the writings of our H.Fathers, administration, tradition, learn the hymns in ‘ekkaras’ etc. Since I was also staying in the Parumala seminary for about a year, I noticed how he was related to the ‘Guru’ (Mar Savarius). Whenever I wanted to study Thaksa and festival books, Thirumeni used to call Ramban Paul and ask him to give me the guidance . Thus my friend became my teacher.
Ramban Paul was consecrated Metropolitan with the other four on 15th May 1985. He took charge of the newly formed Kunnamkulam Diocese on 1st of August 1985. The new office and the Aramana of the new diocese started in a small house given from the ancient Arthat Church. Naturally the young bishop wanted to make a diocesan center. An unanimous person, knowing his desire and trustworthiness, volunteered to give him lakhs of rupees without interest for a long term with a condition that his name should not be disclosed. So, Thirumeni could purchase a property and erect a beautiful diocesan center with chapel at the vicinity of Arthat church within two years. Thus, Thirumeni became the first from among the five. In due course, Thirumeni could pay off his debts with the ‘kaimuthu’ he received from in and out of the country and he proved his trustworthiness. The late Dr. Philipose Mar Theophilus Thirumeni used to tell me of his trustworthy character. Thirumeni had a great appreciation for this kochu thirumeni.