KOTTAYAM: Rev Thomas K Oommen was ordained as the 12th Bishop of the CSI Madhya Kerala diocese at the Holy Trinity Cathedral here on Saturday at a solemn function attended by hundreds of faithful and dignitaries.
CSI Moderator Bishop Rev S Vasanthakumar led the consecration ceremonies and handed over the symbolic staff and vestige to the anointee. Mar Thoma Metropolitan Rev Joseph Mar Thoma, CSI deputy moderator Bishop Rev G Devakadaksham and Commissori Bishop Rev K G Daniel were the cocelebrants. Retired CSI bishop Thomas Samuel, bishops B S Devamani, Prabhakar Rao, John Sadananda, K P Kuruvilla, K J Samuel, Sam Mathew, J W Gladstone, Michael John and George Issac and Mar Thoma Suffragan Metropolitan Zacharias Mar Theophilus joined the threehour services, which commenced at 9.30 a.m.
CSI Synod general secretary M M Philip, treasurer Bennet Abraham, MLAs V N Vasavan, Tiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, K C Joseph and Joseph M Puthuserry and municipal chairman Sunny Kalloor were present. Earlier, the bishopdesignate was received at the entrance of the Cathedral by diocesan officebearers and priests to the accompaniment of choir rendering.
Addressing the faithful after the consecration, the new bishop described his elevation as the benevolence of God. Calling for a 'new style' in the mission of the Church by evolving concepts like 'Evangelism and tourism', he said the Department of Missions will be restructured and at least a project each will be taken up in the mission fields.
Mission centres at Kumarakom, Venattukadu, Manjadikkara and Punnapra will be covered in the project, he said.
The diocese will pursue an active role in politics and the voice of the denomination will be 'quite different'. The church should not remain aloof from politics. Ensuring a living for the citizen is the duty of both Church and the government.
In the event of denial of peace to the people, the Church will stand by the masses above party politics, he said. It may be recalled that he was in the forefront of resisting the SFI/CPM onslaught against CMS College here last year.
A felicitation meeting was held in honour of the new bishop in the afternoon. Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan Rev Philipose Mar Chrysostum inaugurated the meet.
Interchurch Council for Education chairman Archbishop Mar Joseph Powathil, Knanaya Archbishop Kuriakose Mar Sevarios, Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy, Agriculture Minister Mullakara Ratnakaran, metropolitans Yuhanon Mar Chrysostumus and Thomas Mar Theemotheos, Bishops (emeritus) Sam Mathew and Thomas Samuel, Anto Antony MP, MLAs K M Mani, V N Vasavan and K C Joseph, CSI synod general secretary M M Philip and diocesan priest trustee Rev P U Paulose offered felicitations.