Catholicos Calls for strengthening Indian Ecumenical Movement
‘MOSC sensing growth and development’
NAGPUR: The Catholicos HH Baselius Mar Thoma Paulose II yesterday paid an official visit to the head office of the Nagpur-based National Council of Churches in India (NCCI). This was the Supreme Head’s first visit to the centre after his elevation as the Catholicos in November last year.
The visit was seen as an opportunity to renew and revive the ecumenical relations of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church with the National Council of Churches in India.
The Supreme Head of the Malankara Orthodox commended the work of the NCCI Secretariat towards building fellowship among the various denominations and focusing on areas where the Christian leadership could play an important role.
The Holy Father commended the efforts of NCCI towards addressing challenges and threats like global warming, natural calamities, terrorism, religious fundamentalism and on epidemics like HIV/Aids and Hepatitis.
His Holiness noted that NCCI has been going through a critical phase and expressed confidence that its upcoming Quadrennial Assembly in 2012 would throw up committed leadership as well as new directions.
He stated: “We are also proud to note that our National Ecumenical Movement is going to observe its centenary in 2014; it is a great honour for all Indian Christians to be part of one the most ancient ecumenical movements. As you cross these important milestones, we pray to God to shower His guidance and strength to make this movement more vibrant and extend our support in strengthening the Indian Ecumenical Movement.”
His Holiness mentioned about the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation of the World Council of Churches to be held in Kingston, Jamaica in May 2011, on the theme ‘Glory to God and Peace on Earth’.
Expressing his deep concern at the humanitarian situation in Libya, as attacks and armed conflicts continue; His Holiness wanted the human community to share the responsibility of providing aid and protection to refugees, migrant workers and others at risk and to enhance efforts to find a peaceful and just solutions to the crisis.
On the recent massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan, His Holiness noted with grief the immense damage not only to the human life, but also houses, livelihood, property and nature which were ravaged by the catastrophe.
HH Baselius Mar Thoma Paulose II lauded the role of K G Mathaikutty, an Orthodox son, presently in Tokyo who was nominated by LWF, Geneva as their emergency adviser.
Giving a brief about Malankara Orthodox Church, His Holiness said the church was sensing growth and development with the formation of four more newly formed Dioceses outside Kerala namely Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Brahmavar and South West America Diocese and elevated of seven more Bishops to the church, including Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios, Ahmedabad Diocese Metropolitan head, also known as a Professor of Seminary.
Mention was also made about the upcoming centenary year as time for celebrations for the establishment of Catholicate in 2012.
The Catholicos urged all to pray and commit themselves for the true ecumenical spirit and vision, as the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ prayed, ‘That, They may be one’.
His Holiness specially commended God’s blessings and grace to Rev Dr Roger Gaikwad, NCCI, General Secretary to ably lead the organisation effectively. He also conveyed his greetings to the office bearers, executive committee members and executive secretaries and staff of NCCI to continue their efforts in strengthening the ecumenical movement between the two.
The Catholicos thanked the NCCI towards organising the felicitation function in his honour.