Catholicate
Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
Psalm 139:4

THE SYRO-MALANKARA CATHOLIC CHURCH
MAJOR ARCHIEPISCOPAL CURIA
CATHOLICATE CENTRE, TRIVANDRUM-695 004, KERALA INDIA

EXTRAORDINARY HOLY EPISCOPAL SYNOD 
 23 NOVEMBER 2006

 

REPORT

     
His Beatitude Moran Mor Cyril Baselios Catholicos convoked an Extraordinary Synod as he received a favourable reply from the Holy See concerning the bifurcation of the Archieparchy of Trivandrum and the erection of the Eparchy of Mavelikara and the appointment of Most Rev. Joshua Mar Ignathios, its Metropolitan. The letter of reply says, “All things duly considered, the Holy See is most pleased to express to Your Beatitude that it is in full agreement with the Synod’s decision to inaugurate the said bifurcation”.  The letter had further stated: “So as to complete the requested consultation with regards to the Apostolic See, the Synod must meet again so as to grant its formal consent both for the bifurcation and for the transfer of Mar Ignathios from his titular See to that of the Eparchy of Mavelikara. Additionally, Your Beatitude is asked to inform this Dicastery when such agreement is acquired, together with specifics as to what the date which you choose for this matter to be formally published by the Holy See”.  All members of the Synod were informed and invited to attend the Synod.

            The Synod was convoked and held at Thirusannidhi, the Major Archbishop’s House at 9 a.m. on 23 December 2006. Metropolitan Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios, Metropolitan Emeritus Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Timotheos and  the Auxiliary Bishop of Trivandrum Most Rev. Joseph Mar Thomas were absent. They had informed the Catholicos their inability to attend the Extraordinary Synod and the Synod accepted their absence as legitimate. As the majority of the Bishops were present, there was the required quorum.  His Beatitude, the Catholicos welcomed the Bishops present and declared the Synod open.

The Presentation of the Agenda 

His Beatitude presented the agenda of the Synod:
1.   Erection of the Eparchy of Mavelikara and transfer and appointment of Joshua Mar Ignathios as the Bishop of the Eparchy of Mavelikara

     a.   Division of the Temporal Goods
     b.   Other Canonical formalities of the erection of the Eparchy of Mavelikara
     c.   Option of Priests to the New Eparchy

2.   Reinstating the Titles of Remban and Corepiscopo

Erection of the Eparchy of Mavelikara and transfer and appointment of Joshua Mar Ignathios, Bishop of the Eparchy of Mavelikara 

            Taking into consideration the earlier decision in the matter, the Synod unanimously endorsed the proposal to erect the Eparchy of Mavelikara bifurcating the Archieparchy of Trivandrum. In the same manner the Synod endorsed its earlier decision to appoint Most Rev. Joshua Mar Ignathios as the Eparchial Bishop of Mavelikara relieving him from his present office as Auxiliary Bishop and Protosyncellus of the Major Archieparchy of Trivandrum and transfer him from the titular See of Nigizubitanam.
            The Synod also decided that the boundary of the Eparchy shall be the same as decided earlier and contained in the documents sent to Rome for consultation.

Division of the Temporal Goods

            On the division of temporal goods, the proposals sent to Rome were confirmed. His Beatitude also informed the Synod that 100 acres of land from Bethany Estate Mukkampala shall be given over to the new Eparchy. To mark out the portion of the estate to be given to the new Eparchy, a committee consisting of Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos, Most Rev. Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom, the finance officers of the two Eparchies and the present Manager of the Estate, was constituted. They are to visit the Estate and ear mark the portion of the Estate consisting of 50 acres of rubber plantation, 25 acres of coconut plantation and 25 acres of the other arable areas of the estate.
The first year salary of the priests of the New Eparchy starting from 1 January to 31 December 2007 shall be paid by the Mother Eparchy as per practice followed in the matter.

Other Canonical formalities of the erection of the Eparchy of Mavelikara
          
           The date of announcement of the erection of the new Eparchy and the appointment of its Metropolitan shall be fixed on 1 January 2007, the feast of Mar Baselios, the patron saint of His Beatitude Moran Mor Cyril Baselios.  It was decided that the Holy See shall be informed of it through the Apostolic Nuncio.
            The day of installation is fixed to be held on 16 February 2007.

Option of Priests

            The priests of the Major Archieparchy are to be informed of the decision of the bifurcation of the Major Archieparchy through a letter along with an option form inviting them to state who would be willing to opt for the new Eparchy.  Temporary option was ruled out.

Reinstating the Titles of “Remban” and “Corepiscopo” 

            His Beatitude expressed his desire to revive, as per a previous decision by the Synod, the titles of Remban and Corepiscopo which were prevailing in our Church. Members of the Synod agreed to the suggestion to honour some of the priests for their meritorious service to the Church. The Synod wanted that definite norms be formulated and published on the rights and obligations of the Remban and Corepiscopo. Concerning the insignia, it was suggested that the Remban shall have the masnapso (head cover) embellished with 13 crosses (signifying a monk), black cassock (signifying that the monk is dead to the world), black over coat, with blue lining (signifying total dedication to God), wooden Cross hung around the neck on a black thread and foot wear. For the Corepiscopo, the insignia shall be the Pathraseen, attached to the cope, the red sash, silver Cross hung around the neck on a silver chain and a golden ring with a Cross imprinted on it.

 

CONCLUSION 
           

               As per directive given by the Apostolic See, the Synod became necessary to complete the formalities to inaugurate the bifurcation of the Major Archieparchy. His Beatitude the Catholicos thanked the Synod-Fathers for coming together at a short notice. The Synod concluded at 4 p.m. with a prayer and blessing by His Beatitude, the Catholicos.

 

DECISIONS 

The Extraordinary Synod that was convoked on 23 November 2006 decided:

I. on the erection of the Eparchy of Mavelikara and transfer and appointment of Joshua Mar Ignathios as Bishop of the Eparchy of Mavelikara

1.   to erect the Eparchy of Mavelikara bifurcating the Archieparchy of Trivandrum.
2.   to appoint Most Rev. Joshua Mar Ignathios as the Eparchial Bishop of Mavelikara relieving him from his present office as Auxiliary Bishop and Protosyncellus of the Major Archieparchy of Trivandrum and transfer him from the titular See of Nigizubitanam.
3.   that the boundary of the Eparchy shall the same as decided earlier and submitted in the documents sent to Rome for consultation.
4.   that the date of announcement of the erection of the new Eparchy and the appointment of its Metropolitan shall be on 1 January 2007, the feast of Mar Baselios, the patron saint of His Beatitude Moran Mor Cyril Baselios and that the Holy See shall be informed of it through the Apostolic Nuncio.
5.   that the day of installation ceremony shall be on 16 February 2007.

II. on the Titles of “Remban” and “Corepiscopo”

6.   that the titles of Remban and Corepiscopo which prevailed in our Church be reinstated.
7.   that the insignia of the Ramban shall be masnapso (head cover) embellished with 13 crosses (signifying a monk), black cassock (signifying  that the monk is dead to the world), Black over coat, with blue lining (Signifying total dedication to God), Wooden Cross hung around the neck on a black thread and Foot Wear
8.         that the insignia of the Corepiscopo shall be the Pathraseen, attached to the Cope, silver cross hung around the neck on a silver chain and a golden ring with a cross imprinted on it.

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