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Episcopal Election 2010: 14 Candidates Shortlisted by the Screening Committee

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KOTTAYAM: The screening committee has reviewed all the candidates in their final sitting on December 28 and finally shortlisted 14 candidates as decided earlier. The official list of the 14 candidates will be published on December 30, 2009. This list will then be forwarded to the Church Managing Committee that is scheduled to meet on January 22, 2010. The Managing Committee will further shortlist 11 candidates out of 14 who will then be presented to the Association to be held on February 17, 2010. Three of the candidates will get eliminated in the Managing Committee election process.

An unofficial list of candidates was received in our office today from Kottayam. They contain 14 names and most likely the same will be published from the Catholicate Office this Wednesday as the final official list of the Screening committee.(The names are mentioned below according to descending order of age).

1. Fr. Dr. John Mathews
2. Fr. O. P. Varghese
3. Fr. V. M. James
4. Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Ramban
5. Rev. Thomas Yohannan Elavukattu Ramban
6. Fr. Zacharia O.I.C
7. Rev. Geevarghese Ramban
8. Fr. Mathukkutty Chengamanadu
9. Rev. Yoohanon Ramban
10. Fr. M. K. Kurian
11. Fr. Dr. Sabu Kuriakose
12. Fr. Dr. George Pulikottil
13. Fr. Dr. P. C.Thomas
14. Fr. Dr. V. M. Abraham

Few Church loving people from Kottayam who were closely watching the screening process told IOH that, “the exclusion of Fr. Dr. M. O. John (the Chief Editor of Malankara Deepam and a Professor of Church history in UTC, Bangalore) from the list was a political move from the Metropolitans and some of the nominated priests on the Screening Committee.” Many expressed their regrets for not seeing Rev. M. S. Yuhanon Ramban’s name on the list. Both of them were considered outstanding candidates for the 2010 Episcopal election.

The names of the final 11 candidates will be announced as the official panel of the Church for a secret ballot to elect 7 Bishops for the Malankara Orthodox Church on the 22 January, 2010 at Sasthamkotta. 4000 plus members of the Malankara Syrian Christian Association eagerly await the out come of the Church Managing Committee and will then decide who to vote for.

Many observers think that there is little possibility of getting 7 bishops in the 2010 election. One of them told IOH that, “4 or maximum 5 candidates has the chance to win in the association elections.”

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