KOTTAYAM: Holy Episcopal Synod of the Malankara Orthodox Church began at Old Seminary Sophia Center, Kottayam on Monday. June 20 at 10am. The Holy Synod started its sessions with a retreat led by Fr. Dr. K. M. George, the Principal of Orthodox Theological Seminary. The sessions of the Holy Synod will conclude on 24 Friday. Managing committee of the Church, will meet on Thursday June 23 to make proposals to the Holy synod to be considered in its concluding session.
Issues on Faith, Order and Discipline come under the purview of the Holy Synod, which is considered to be the extension of the Synods of the apostolic college. The Catholicos who is the spiritual leader of the Church is the president of the Holy Synod. The temporal authority is with the Metropolitan of the Malankara, who is also the President of the ‘Malankara Association, ‘ the Parliament of the Church. After the demise of Dionysius of Vattasseril, the offices of the Metropolitan of Malankara and the Catholicos were brought together into one person to for more cohesiveness between the temporal and spiritual aspects of those positions. The present Catholicos Mar Thoma Baselius Mathews II holds both these offices.
Many issues are on the desk of the Holy Synod to consider in this session. On Monday afternoon the Holy Synod deliberated on appointing the recently ordained metropolitans various dioceses. This discussion was conducted in the absence of these bishops. The decision will be forwarded to the Managing Committee for their information. The suggestions of the Managing committee will be discussed once again in the Holy synod and finalized. After these meetings, the Catholicos will announce the decisions and to implement them.
It was reported that Mar Osthathios of Niranam and Mar Philoxenos of Delhi raised some doubts on the functions of the Managing Committee particularly on deciding certain issues, by submitting letters to the Catholicos, the president of the Synod. These letters may become topics of discussion in this session of the Holy Synod, according to an observer at the Holy Synod. The Holy synod is meeting the first time after the defection of Bishop Abraham Severios to the Jacobite Church.
The stand of the Church on issues regarding Kadamattom, Kolenchery and Aluva Churches will also be topic for discussion in these sessions.
Metropolitan Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios of Canada-Europe and Asst Metropolitan Mar Nicholovos of America are currently attending the Holy Synod. Thomas Mar Athanasios of Chengannur is the secretary of the Holy Synod. The faithful of the Church are eagerly looking forward to a mandate issued by the Catholicos on these decisions.