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.

 

THE SYRO- MALANKARA CATHOLIC CHURCH
MAJOR ARCHIEPISCOPAL CURIA
CATHOLICATE CENTRE, TRIVANDRUM - 695004, KERALA, INDIA

Extraordinary Holy Episcopal Synod
(10 March 2007)

REPORT
 
His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos convoked an Extraordinary Synod at the Synod Hall of the Major Archiepiscopal Curia in the Catholicate Centre, Pattom, Trivandrum on 10 March 2007.  It was the day of the Episcopal Ordination of Rt. Rev. Remban Chacko Aerath OIC who was ordained after the name Jacob Mar Barnabas.  At 3 p.m., all the Synod Fathers - His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos (President of the Synod), Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios, Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos (Secretary of the Synod), Most Rev. Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom, Most Rev. Joshua Mar Ignathios, Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Timotheos, Most Rev. Joseph Mar Thomas and Most Rev. Jacob Mar Barnabas – assembled at the Synod Hall.
His Beatitude, Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis welcomed all the Bishops for the Extraordinary Synod. He paid glowing tributes to all his venerable predecessors, especially to His Beatitude Moran Mor Cyril Baselios of happy memory, the First Catholicos of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. He welcomed Most Rev. Jacob Mar Barnabas to the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church.  He thanked the Holy Father, the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and other offices of the Holy See and the Apostolic Nuncio in India, for taking this initial step towards the pastoral care of the Malankara Catholics in India, outside the territorium proprium of the Church.  He congratulated the new Bishop for his eminent qualities and spirit of dedication to the Church.  He reminded the Synod Fathers the historical importance of this first Synod, he convoked.  He said that the immediate purpose of the Holy Episcopal Synod was to deal with some of the important canonical requisites of our Ecclesial life that arose due to his enthronement as Major Archbishop-Catholicos of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, namely, the need to fill up the vacancy of the Metropolitan See of Tiruvalla, to fill up the vacancy in the Permanent Synod, to effect certain changes in the chairmanship of the Synodal Commissions, etc.  He also drew the attention of the Synod Fathers to the canonical arrangements necessary for the pastoral care of the faithful outside the territorium proprium of the Church in the light of the new canonical developments. Requesting the whole hearted and prayerful support of his brother-Bishops, he declared the Synod open.

The Presentation of the Agenda
His Beatitude then presented the agenda of the Synod:
1.    Inaugural Address
2.    Presentation and Approval of the Agenda
3.    Reports and Decisions of the Fourth Ordinary Synod, Extraordinary Synod (held on 23 November 2006) and the First Holy Synod of Election.
4.    Representatives to the Permanent Synod
5.    Construction of the Catholicate Centre.
6.    Common Celebrations (July 15, September 20)
7.    Canonical Provision for the Vacant See.
8.    Synodal Commissions 
9.    Approval of the Canonical Petition of the Cause of Canonization of Mar Ivanios
10.    Matter subsecreto 
11.    Concluding Message
The agenda was approved with the addition of the following topics: The Patron’s Day of the Catholicos, Organisation of Ecclesial Life outside the Territorium Proprium in India and New Appointments in St. Mary’s Malankara Seminary.
Reports and Decisions of the Fourth Holy Episcopal Synod, Extraordinary Synod (23 November 2006) and the First Holy Episcopal Synod of Election
The Reports of the Fourth Ordinary Synod, the Extraordinary Synod held on 23 November 2006 and the First Holy Synod of Election were read out by Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos, the Secretary of the Synod and Fr. Antony Valiyavilayil OIC, the Chancellor. After clarifications and corrections, the reports were passed at the proposal of Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios, supported by Most Rev. Joseph Mar Thomas.

The Patron’s Day of the Catholicos
The members of the Synod suggested that it would be good to fix a particular day as the feast of the patron of the Catholicos. Which day will the Catholicos celebrate as his Patron’s Day - the feast of St. Basil or St. Clement?  It was decided that the name “Baselios” being the titular name of the Catholicos, the feast of St. Basil on 1 January shall be celebrated as the Feast of the Patron Saint of the Catholicos of our Church. However, taking into account the social festivity of the New Year Day, it shall be celebrated on 2 January every year.

 Representatives to the Permanent Synod
The place of His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis, who was a member of the Permanent Synod, became vacant on his enthronement as Major Archbishop-Catholicos.  To fill in the place, the Synod elected Most Rev. Joshua Mar Ignathios, the Eparchial Bishop of Mavelikara.  The Synod also elected the substitute members of the Permanent Synod as per canon 115 §3.  Most Rev. Joseph Mar Thomas, Most Rev. Jacob Mar Barnabas and Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Timotheos, who according to the order of precedence stated here, shall substitute the absent members of the Permanent Synod when its meeting would be convoked.

New Appointments at St. Mary’s Malankara Seminary
The Synod deliberated on the appointment of the new staff members in the Malankara Seminary as most of the office-bearers had completed their stipulated term of office. The Rector Rev. Fr. George Kalayil, the Dean of the Faculty of Theology Rev. Fr. Philip Chemapakassery, the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy Rev. Fr. Thomas Naickamparambil and the Procurator Rev. Fr. P.T. George had completed their term of three years or more in office. The present Spiritual Father, Rev. Fr. Jose Kadakampallil had to leave the seminary as he was appointed Rector of the Minor Seminary of the newly erected Eparchy of Mavelikara. The Synod, after elaborate evaluation and discussion, proposed to appoint Rt. Rev. Corepiscopo Thomas Thannickakuzhy as Rector, Rev. Fr. Stephen Thottathil as Dean of the Faculty of Theology, Rev. Fr. Jose Mariadas Padipurackal OIC as Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, Rev. Fr. Daniel Kulangara as Procurator and Rev. Fr. Mathew Pallathumuriyil as Spiritual Father.    
The Holy Episcopal Synod also was of opinion that Priests from other Churches could be appointed on the teaching staff and as Spiritual Father, if need arises.

Organisation of Ecclesial Life outside the Territorium Proprium in India 
How to organise the parishes and communities in the Extra-territorial Regions of the Church in India was a major discussion in the Synod. It was observed that the canonical status of our communities remains the same even though an Apostolic Visitator, with Episcopal character, is appointed by the Holy See.  In order to organise our communities outside the territorium proprium, the Apostolic Visitator shall take over the work done by the Ecclesiastical Co-ordinator, Very Rev. Fr. John Berchmans OIC.  In all practical purposes, the churches, institutions and other entities outside the territorium proprium, which are now built up by the Eparchies and the churches built up by the Order of the Imitation of Christ (Bethany Ashram), should be combined into a single unit under the authority of the Apostolic Visitator. The Priests, Religious and the Laity with all their apostolic activities for the Malankara Catholics in India outside the territorium proprium form a single unit of ecclesial activities under the guidance of the Apostolic Visitator. The Priests now working in this region and are incardinated in the particular Eparchies maintain their status quo, but they are entrusted to the Apostolic Visitator.  They should work under him for the period of time agreed upon by the respective Eparchial Bishop and the Apostolic Visitator. Similarly, the Priests of Bethany Ashram, who work in parishes and mission centres too are entrusted to the Apostolic Visitator.  All institutions, which are now managed by the Eparchies, shall be entrusted to the Apostolic Visitator.  Their legal ownership shall be transferred to the ApostolicVisitator in due course, after ascertaining their assets and liabilities. To discuss and settle the ownership and management of the churches established and built up by Bethany Ashram, His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis, Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos and Most Rev. Joshua Mar Ignathios will meet the Superior General and the Provincial Superiors of Bethany Ashram on 14 March 2007.

The Construction of the Catholicate Centre
It is expected that the new building of St. Aloysius Minor Seminary, which now functions at the site allotted for the Catholicate Centre, will be completed and blessed in April 2007.  The construction of the Catholicate Centre, which is to house the Major Archiepiscopal Curia, could begin after that.
It was proposed that the amount to be realised from the common property of the seminary of the Catholic Churches of Kerala at Kakkanadu, could be used as a reserve fund for the Malankara Major Seminary and the Catholicate Centre.  One third of the amount could be used for the construction of the Catholicate Centre.

Common Celebrations (15 July, 20 September)
In the discussion that followed, it was decided that 15 July 2007 being  Sunday, the ecclesial-level-commemoration of Mar Ivanios shall be held on Saturday, 14 July 2007.  Hence the Padayâtra from Ranni-Perunadu to the tomb of Mar Ivanios at Pattom, Thiruvananthapuram shall commence on 9 July 2007.
 Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios, the Bishop of Bathery, informed the Synod that the preparations for the celebration of the 77th Reunion Day, the Platinum Jubilee of the reconstitution of the Malankara Hierarchy in the Catholic Communion and the 125 years of the birth of Archbishop Mar Ivanios are progressing.  The celebrations will be held at Kodenchery near Thamarassery.

Canonical Provision for the Vacant Sees
The next item on the agenda was the canonical provision for the vacant Archieparchial See of Tiruvalla.  In the discussion on the modalities of the provision, it was decided:
1.    to make immediate provision for the vacant Metropolitan See of Tiruvalla
2.    to  transfer a senior Bishop to the vacant Metropolitan See of Tiruvalla
 In the election by secret ballot, Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos, Bishop of Muvattupuzha was elected.  It was decided that the name shall be intimated to the Apostolic Nuncio, so that he would arrange for its simultaneous announcement in Rome, Trivandrum and Tiruvalla.
An Eparchial Bishop is to be provided to the See of Muvattupuzha when the same becomes vacant due to the transfer of Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos from the See.  Hence the Synod, according to the norms of the Holy Canons, prepared a list of candidates for Episcopacy.  According to CCEO c 182 §3, the Catholicos is to transmit the list to the Apostolic See to obtain the assent of the Roman Pontiff.  

Synodal Commissions
Because of the changes in the Episcopate, there arose the need for a few changes in the Chairmanship of the Synodal Commissions.  His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis was proposed to chair the Synodal Commission for Seminary Formation, Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos to chair the Synodal Commission for Liturgy and Most Rev. Jacob Mar Barnabas to chair the Synodal Commission for Evangelisation. The proposals were accepted

Approval of the Canonical Petition of the Cause of Canonisation of Mar Ivanios
The Catholicos informed the Synod Fathers that he will pursue the deliberations of the Fourth Holy Episcopal Synod on the cause of canonisation of Archbishop Mar Ivanios and the steps taken by His Beatitude Moran Mor Cyril Baselios of venerable memory, in the acceptance of the Petition of the Cause.  He also said that the announcement of the acceptance of the Petition shall be made on the day of his commemoration.  Thereafter, Archbishop Mar Ivanios shall be called “Servant of God”. The Synod Fathers endorsed the decision of the Catholicos. 

Matter Sub-secreto
The matters posted under this on the agenda were discussed and finalised.

Conclusion
The other topics on the agenda were deferred to the next Holy Episcopal Synod.  It was agreed upon that the next and the fifth Ordinary Holy Episcopal Synod shall be convoked from 3 p.m. on 9 October to 12 October 2007.  His Beatitude, the Catholicos concluded the Synod with a call to a renewed dedication and renewal of life as we approach the end of the great lent.  He thanked the Synod Fathers for their participation in the Synod in spite of the heavy schedule of the day.  The Synod ended at 8 p.m. with the prayer and apostolic blessing by his His Beatitude the Catholicos.

Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos
Secretary 

Fr. Antony Valiyavilayil OIC
Chancellor

 

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

Extraordinary Holy Episcopal Synod
10 March 2007

DECISIONS
The Extraordinary Holy Episcopal Synod of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church held at the Major Archiepiscopal Curia, in the Catholicate Centre, Pattom, Trivandrum, on 10 March 2007 studied and prayed over the following matters and decided:
I. The Patron’s Day of the Catholicos
1.  That the name “Baselios” being the titular name of the Catholicos,  the feast of St. Basil on January 1 shall be celebrated as the Feast of the Patron Saint of the Catholicos of our Church. However, taking into account the social festivity of the New Year Day, it shall be celebrated on 2 January every year.  
II. On the Canonical Provision for Vacant Sees
2. To make canonical provision for the vacant See of Tiruvalla according to the following modalities:
a.   to make immediate provision for the vacant Metropolitan See of Tiruvalla
b.   to transfer a senior Bishop to the vacant Metropolitan See of Tiruvalla
3. To send the name of Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos, the Eparchial Bishop of Muvattupuzha, who was elected to fill in the vacant See of Tiruvalla, to the Apostolic Nuncio, so that he would arrange for its simultaneous announcement in Rome, Trivandrum and Tiruvalla.
4. To fill in the vacancy of the See of Muvattupuzha, according to the norms of the Holy Canons from a list of candidates for Episcopacy. According to CCEO c 182 §3, the Catholicos shall send the list to the Apostolic See to obtain the assent of the Roman Pontiff.  
Approval of the Canonical Petition of the Cause of Canonization of Mar Ivanios 
5. His Beatitude the Catholicos shall pursue the the process of acceptance of the Canonical Petition submitted by the Postulator for the Cause of Canonisation of Archbishop Mar Ivanios and shall approve the petition according to the norms given by the Holy See. In case, he approves the petition, it shall be announced in the Church on the day of the commemoration of Mar Ivanios.
6. That 15 July 2007 being a Sunday, the ecclesial-level-commemoration of Mar Ivanios shall be held on Saturday, 14 July 2007. 
7. Matter sub-secreto

Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos 
(Secretary) 
Fr. Antony Valiyavilayil OIC 
(Chancellor)



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

Extraordinary Holy Episcopal Synod
10 March 2007

GUIDELINES

The extraordinary Synod that met on 10 March 2007 gave  the following directives for:
1. The Organisation of Ecclesial Life of the Malankara Catholics in India outside its Territorium Proprium 
           a. It is to be understood that the canonical status of our communities remains the same even though an Apostolic Visitator, with Episcopal character, is appointed by the Holy See.  
           b. In order to organise our communities outside the territorium proprium, the Apostolic Visitator shall take over the work done by the Ecclesiastical Co-ordinator, Very Rev. Fr. John Berchmans OIC.
           c. The churches, institutions and other entities outside the territorium proprium, which are now built up by the Eparchies and the churches established and built up by the Order of the Imitation of Christ (Bethany Ashram), should be combined into a single unit under the authority of the Apostolic Visitator.
           d. The Priests, Religious and the Laity with all their organisations and apostolic activities for the Malankara Catholics in India outside the territorium proprium form a single unit of ecclesial activities under the guidance of the Apostolic Visitator.
           e. The Priests now working in this region and are incardinated in the particular Eparchies maintain their status quo, but they are entrusted to the Apostolic Visitator.  They should work under him for the period of time agreed upon by the respective Eparchial Bishop and the Apostolic Visitator.
           f.  The Priests of Bethany Ashram, who work in parishes and mission centres too are entrusted to the Apostolic Visitator.
           g. All institutions, which are now managed by the Eparchies, shall be entrusted to the Apostolic Visitator.  Their legal ownership shall be transferred to the Apostolic Visitator in due course, after ascertaining their assets and liabilities.
           h. Regarding the ownership of the churches and institutions established and built up by Bethany Ashram, His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis, Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos and Most Rev. Joshua Mar Ignathios will meet the Superior General and the Provincial Superiors of Bethany Ashram on 14 March 2007and discuss and   settle the matter.
2. Use of the amount to be realised from the common property of the seminary of the Catholic Churches of Kerala, at Kakkanadu.
It could be used as a reserve fund for the St. Mary’s Malankara Seminary and the Catholicate Centre. One third of the amount could be used for the construction of the Catholicate Centre.

Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos 
(Secretary)
 Fr. Antony Valiyavilayil OIC 
(Chancellor) 

 

THE SYRO- MALANKARA CATHOLIC CHURCH
MAJOR ARCHIEPISCOPAL CURIA
CATHOLICATE CENTRE, TRIVANDRUM - 695004, KERALA, INDIA

Extraordinary Holy Episcopal Synod
ON THE OCCASION OF THE VISIT
OF HIS EMINENCE LEONARDO CARDINAL SANDRI
THE PREFECT OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE ORIENTAL CHURCHES
(10 October 2008)

REPORT

Besides the liturgical reception, the Holy Qurbono and the public reception and meeting to honour His Eminence Leonardo Cardinal Sandri, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and the Representative of the Holy Father, on his official visit to the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church (SMCC) His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos convoked an extraordinary session of the Holy Episcopal Synod (HES) of the Church at 5.30 p.m. on Monday, 10 October 2008 at Thirusannidhi, the Major Archiepiscopal House, Pattom, Trivandrum. 
All the Synod Fathers - His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos (President of the Holy Synod), Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos (Secretary of the Synod), Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios, Most Rev. Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom, Most Rev. Joshua Mar Ignathios, Most Rev. Abraham Mar Julios, Most Rev. Joseph Mar Thomas and Most Rev. Jacob Mar Barnabas – were present.  Msgr. Marizio Malvestiti and Rev. Fr. Johnson Varghese Kaimalayil, the officials of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, who accompanied the Cardinal Prefect, were special invitees to the HES. Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Timotheos, the Metropolitan Emeritus of Tiruvalla, excused himself from attending the Synod due to his health condition.
 Fr. Antony Valiyavilayil OIC, the Chancellor of the Major Archiepiscopal Curia, recorded the minutes of the Holy Synod.
His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis, the President of the HES welcomed His Eminence Leonardo Cardinal Sandri to the extraordinary session of the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church.  He also welcomed Rt. Rev. Msgr. Maurizio Malvestiti, the Secretary of the Prefect and Very Rev. Fr. Johnson Varghese Kaimalayil from the Congregation for the Oriental Churches as special invitees to the Holy Synod.  His Beatitude said, “Today we started the day with the liturgical reception accorded to His Eminence and with the Holy Qurbono. After a tight schedule of visits thereafter, now we are extremely happy, that His eminence is participating in this Holy Synod”. His Beatitude recounted the events which took place in the life of the Malankara Catholic Church ever after that fostered relationship with the Apostolic See. We have kept up unconditional loyalty to the Holy See.  The Holy See has been always gracious to us. The pastoral visits of the former Prefects of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches to us have strengthened the Malankara Catholic Church.  His Beatitude specially recalled with gratitude the gracious gesture of the Roman Pontiff in elevating our Church to the status of a Major Archiepiscopal Church and thanked the service of His Beatitude Ignace Cardinal Moussa Daoud as the then Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.  Thanking His Eminence Cardinal Sandri for his readiness to be present at Holy Episcopal Synod, His Beatitude said that the Synod-in-session was an expression of the communion that the Apostolic Malankara Catholic Church enjoys with the Apostolic See of Rome.  He declared the Synod open as an extraordinary Holy Episcopal Synod convoked on the occasion of the visitation of the Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

The Agenda
The agenda of the Holy Synod was the sharing of some of the aspects of the Malankara ecclesial life with His Eminence, the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.  His Beatitude the Catholicos asked Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos, the Secretary of the Synod, to moderate the sharing session.

The Deliberations
His Excellency Most Rev. Jacob Mar Barnabas, the Apostolic Visitator of the Malankara Catholics residing in India in the Extra-Territorial Regions (ETRI) of the SMCC, spoke about the missionary vision of the Church. He reminded that the SMCC is by its very nature a missionary Church.  The Eparchy of Marthandom is a living testimony of this aspect of the Church.  The emigration of the Malankarites to the metropolitan cities and other parts of India is yet another development in the missionary life of this Church.  On behalf of the Faithful of our Church in the ETRI, he thanked the Roman Pontiff and the Congregation for the Oriental Churches for appointing him Apostolic Visitator for the Malankara Catholic Faithful of the region.  Ever since his appointment, they have become very lively due to the presence of an Episcopal leadership.  He brought to the notice of His Eminence the Cardinal Prefect that the People are eagerly looking forward to a stable canonical arrangement for their pastoral care and ecclesial life.
His Excellency Most Rev. Joshua Mar Ignathios shared with His Eminence the Cardinal the progress of the Cause of Canonization of Archbishop Mar Ivanios. He requested the help of the Apostolic See, especially of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, in this matter.
His Excellency Most Rev. Abraham Mar Julios spoke about the status of the Oriental Churches in the Universal Church and their participation in the life of the Church.  He brought to the attention of His Eminence the Cardinal Prefect that the Malankara Catholic Church being raised to the status of a Major Archiepiscopal Church should obtain a corresponding participation, through the Father and Head of the Church, in the decision making bodies of the Universal Church.
His Excellency Most Rev. Joseph Mar Thomas, as the Apostolic Visitator appointed for the Malankara Catholics living in North America and Europe, spoke about the situation of the SMCC Faithful in this part of the world.  He also spoke about the need of a procura of the Malankara Catholic Church in Rome and enquired whether the Congregation for the Oriental Churches could come to the help of the SMCC in this regard.
His Grace Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos briefed His Eminence the Cardinal on the status of the codification of the Particular Law of the SMCC.  He informed His Eminence that the codification is nearing completion.
His Excellency Most Rev. Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom, sharing his experience with international organizations brought to the attention of His Eminence the Cardinal Prefect that the Oriental Congregation may encourage the international ecclesiastical organizations to be more open to Churches like the Malankara Catholic Church, especially in helping the priests of the Church in matters of their social security schemes. 
His Excellency Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios spoke on active participation and co-operation of the Priests, Religious and the Laity in the life of the SMCC.  He also dealt with the cooperation of the Laity and the Priests in our Church, which is very much encouraging and exemplary.  Similarly, he elucidated the role of our Major Seminary in the formation of the Priests of the Malankara Catholic Church. 

Response and Message from His Eminence the Cardinal Prefect
As the Synod Fathers completed their sharing, His Eminence Leonardo Cardinal Sandri addressed the Synod.  First of all he responded to the sharing by the Most Rev. Bishops.  On requests like support for the cause of canonization of Archbishop Mar Ivanios, assistance to open a procura of the Malankara Church in Rome and support for the social security for priests, he promised to use his good offices for the purpose.  For opening the procura in Rome he wanted the SMCC “to keep its radars open”, so that it would be able to locate when such chance would appear, as and when a religious congregation or a parish in Rome restructure its infrastructure and activities.  Concerning representation of the SMCC in the Universal Church, His Eminence assured the Holy Synod that he would speak to the Holy Father about it.  He also appreciated the pastoral involvement of the Apostolic Visitors outside the proper territory of the SMCC.  He said that the endeavor for canonical provisions in the region is moving ahead step by step.  His Eminence also appreciated the cordiality and the synodal spirit within the Episcopate of the SMCC.
In his written message read out to the members of the Holy Synod, he expressed his great appreciation of the SMCC, especially as the Church is celebrating the year of the Platinum Jubilee of the reconstitution of the Malankara Hierarchy in Catholic communion.  He emulated the reunion attempts of the Servant of God, Archbishop Mar Ivanios and appreciated the spectacular growth of the SMCC from 5 to 400,000 as per Directory 2006 of the SMCC with 551 Eparchial Priests, 122 Religious Priests and 1808 Religious Sisters.  He also said that had it not been for Archbishop Mar Ivanios, a leader led by God and with prophetic vision, all these would not have materialized.  He advised the Church to perpetuate her emphasis upon ecumenical dialogue together with her devotions to the Holy See.  He concluded the message communicating the nearness and affection of the Supreme Shepherd, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI and his special blessings to each one of the Bishops and to the whole of the SMCC.

Conclusion
His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis, again communicated to His Eminence the Cardinal the Church’s joy and gratitude for his visit to the Malankara Church.  He also thanked all the Most Rev. Bishops for their participation in the Synod.  Acknowledging the valuable service of Rt. Rev. Msgr. Maurizio Malvestiti and Very Rev. Fr. Johnson Kaimalayil for the SMCC as the officials of the Congregations for the Oriental Churches, His Beatitude thanked them warmly.
    After the concluding prayers, Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis together with His Eminence Cardinal Sandri imparted apostolic blessings.

 Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos
Secretary

Fr. Antony Valiyavilayil OIC
Chancellor

 

 

Extraordinary Holy Episcopal Synod
SYNOD OF EPISCOPAL ELECTION


(11 December 2009)


REPORT
Upon receiving the assent of the Most Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI to the list of Episcopal Candidates sent to the Holy See, His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos convoked an Extraordinary Holy Episcopal Synod of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church at the Pastoral Orientation Centre, Palarivattom, Ernakulam on 11 December 2009. The invitation to the Holy Episcopal Synod of Episcopal Election was sent out to all members of the Synod.
All the members of the Holy Episcopal Synod, - His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis Catholicos (President of the Synod), Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos (Secretary of the Synod), Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios, Most Rev. Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom, Most Rev. Joshua Mar Ignathios, Most Rev. Abraham Mar Julios, Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Timotheos, Most Rev. Joseph Mar Thomas and Most Rev. Jacob Mar Barnabas – were present. 
The Holy Episcopal Synod (HES) began its session at 7 p.m. on 11 December 2009.  Most Rev. Thomas Mar Koorilos, the Secretary of the Holy Episcopal Synod recorded the minutes of the Synod.
The Synod unanimously consented to the proposal of holding the Synod at POC, as the matter was urgent as most of the members were present at the POC for the KCBC meeting.
His Beatitude Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis, the Father and Head of the Church and the President of the HES after verifying the canonical requirements of the Holy Episcopal Synod of Election as per CCEO c 183 §1, declared the Synod open.
The Synod elected Most Rev. Jacob Mar Barnabas as the Teller.
The HES decided to erect the Eparchy of Pathanamthitta, bifurcating the Major Archieparchy of Trivandrum and the Eparchy of Puthur, bifurcating the Eparchy of Bathery. 
The HES elected Most Rev. Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom, Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios and Most Rev. Joseph Mar Thomas as the new bishops of the eparchies of Pathanamthitta, Puttur and Bathery respectively. 
The Holy Episcopal Synod elected Rev. Dr. K.M. Vincent, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Samuel Kattukallil, Rev. Dr. Stephen Thottathil, Rev. Dr. Antony Valiyavilayil OIC from the list of Episcopal Candidate approved by His Holiness Pope Benedict XIV to be appointed as Bishops in the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. 
The Synod of election then discussed other relevant matters. The HES requested His Beatitude, the Catholicos to fulfill other canonical formalities to make the announcement of the canonical provisions in Rome and in Trivandrum simultaneously.  It was the wish of the Synod Fathers that the announcement of the various provisions be made on 1 January 2010, the feast day of St. Basil.
At 9.30 p.m. His Beatitude the Catholicos made the concluding remarks and thanked everyone for their quick response to the extraordinary meeting of the Holy Episcopal Synod and declared the Synod closed. The Holy Episcopal Synod ended with the final prayer and blessings of His Beatitude the Major Archbishop-Catholicos.

 Thomas Mar Koorilos
Secretary

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