KOCHI: Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church has announced Rs. 100-crore worth of charitable projects as part of Catholicate Centenary Celebrations
HH the Catholicos, Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, supreme head of the Malankara Orthodox Church made the announcement at the closing ceremony of the centenary celebrations at Kochi on Sunday November 25, 2012.
The Charitable projects would include building houses for the homeless members of the church, meeting the wedding expenses of widows’ daughters, providing education assistance and health insurance for the poor and relief to farmers in debt. Aid would be given for the treatment of cancer and heart diseases and also for dialysis, the Catholicos added.
The Catholicos also called for peace and unity in the church. “We hold the same beliefs, and we should be in the same camp,” he said. He said that the Malankara Church was founded by St. Thomas the Apostle in AD 52 and hence the church was now celebrating the 1960 anniversary together with the centenary of the Catholicate.
Addressing the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church centenary celebration Tibetan spiritual leader, Dalai Lama said India is an example for the world because many religious sects co-exist in the country even today. “Spiritually, the country occupies a very important place and its tradition is relevant today. Harmony can be more effective if love and compassion are practiced in daily life. Now everyone talks about money, which is important, but one must not forget peace of mind and spirituality,” he said
Addressing the gathering, the chief guest, former president of India A P J Abdul Kalam said people should embrace a combination that will unite economic prosperity and the spiritual way of life. He also emphasized the importance of imparting moral values during the early years of education.
Releasing a Centenary souvenir on the occasion, chief minister of Kerala Oommen Chandy said the social responsibility of religious organizations gives stability to society and Malankara Orthodox Church is an example. The first copy of the souvenir was handed over to the lay Trustee M. G. George Muthoot.
Union minister K V Thomas, Hibi Eden, Vellapally Natesan, Archbishop Mar Joseph Powathil, Dr Mar Aprem Metropolitan, Chaldean Syrian Church, Bishop Thomas K Ommen, Church of South India, Kochi mayor Tony Chammany , Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Dy. Leader of opposition, Legislative Assembly, Rev. Dr. Henriette Hutabarat Lebang- General Secretary, Christian Conference of Asia, Re.Dr. Dong Sung Kim- Asia Secretary for WCC and Rev. Roger Gaikwad, General Secretary, NCC spoke on the occasion.
Metropolitan Thomas Mar Athanasius welcomed the gathering. Priest Trustee Fr. Dr. Johns Abraham proposed vote of thanks. Sabha secretary Dr. George Joseph was the General convener of the Catholicate centenary celebrations.Hundreds of thousands of Orthodox church faithful from all over the Church showed up.