CONSECRATION OF CATHOLICOSE AFTER ESTABLISHMENT OF PEACE
After the mutual recognition and acceptance in 1958, H.H. Baselius Geevarghese II, the Catholicose issued orders declaring that the Metropolitans of the former Patriarchal faction were again given responsibilities of those dioceses, which they were pasturing until mutual agreement and peace. As Malankara Metropolitan and Catholicose H.H. Geevarghese II presided over the new Holy Synod, which comprised bishops from both factions and in this capacity His Holiness ruled and led the Malankara Church thenceforth.
Ecclesiastical atmosphere, which was under dark clouds for a long time, became clear and sunny. As a consequence of peace the Malankara Church started to gain progress on every walks in horse’s pace.
Meanwhile the Catholicose, who took initiatives for peace passed away in 1964. During his lifetime itself, the Malankara Association meeting at Niranam in 1962 had elected Augen Mar Thimotheos of Kandanad Diocese as his successor and Catholicose Designate. Now the necessity aroused to consecrate him as the next Catholicose. As per relevant clauses of 1934 constitution, if an accepted and recognised Patriarch exists on the See of Antioch he shall be invited for the consecration of Catholicose of Malankara and if he comes, he has to lead the consecration ceremony as President of the Holy Synod. In this context the Holy Synod of Malankara invited the Patriarch to Malankara.
H.H. Jacob III, the Patriarch accepted the invitation and he consecrated H.H. Baselius Augen I at the temporary Holy Altar-Room that was arranged at the M.D. Seminary campus on 22nd may 1964. Special invitees like the Ethiopian Archbishop and Armenian Archbishop along with all members of the Holy Synod of Malankara participated in this consecration. Thousands of faithful witnessed this blessed event. Thereafter the Catholicose and the Patriarch were given royal welcome at various parts of Malankara. After a month’s stay at Malankara the Patriarch happily returned back to his native land.
There was a dissident group existing then too that worked against and would not desire peace at Malankara. They, however, could not influence anything because of the brave steps that the Patriarch assumed, which would not offer any support or assistance to them. They could only achieve an order of injunction against the Malankara Association meeting that elected H.G. Augen Mar Thimotheos as Catholicose Designate, but it was soon invalidated by the Division Bench of the Honourable High Court of Kerala.
DISSIDENTS UNDERMINING THE PEACE PROCESS
Strong co-operation that the Patriarch bestowed upon the consecration of Catholicose in 1964 further strengthened the Church that cruised peacefully from 1958 to 1964. Some years thereafter, however, some amazing experiences that have befallen on the Church from the side of H.H. the Patriarch need to be mentioned remorsefully. These might have happened due to some devilish instigation of dissidents from Malankara. This will later be elaborated upon. As H.H. Baseliose Augen I became weak of advanced age, the Malankara Association assembled again in 1970 to choose another candidate as his successor and Vattakkunnel Mathews Athanasios was elected as Catholicose Designate.
The dissident group filed a petition at the Honourable Ernakulam court to prevent this Association meeting too, but that attempt also misfired miserably. Catholicose Designate was elected through the appropriate procedure itself.
We need to notice one very important fact here. The Patriarch accepted the Catholicose unconditionally, whereas the Catholicose accepted the Patriarch under a very important condition, namely, as per the relevant clauses of current Constitution, that they themselves have passed in 1934. Now, one question pops up. Who have violated this contract of peace? Who were the culprits?