KOCHI: The Patriarchal Centre, the headquarters of Jacobite Church at Puthencruz, witnessed a change of guard on Wednesday as Thomas Mor Thimothios, the senior-most Metropolitan of Kottayam diocese, assumed office as the new synod secretary.
The episcopal synod meeting presided over by Catholicos Baselious Thomas I, witnessed a heated debate as many bishops opposed the candidature of Mathews Mor Aphrem, Metropolitan of Perumbavoor diocese, who had the patronage of the Catholicos.
As many as 18 of the 22 bishops supported Thomas Mor Thimothios, while Mathews Mor Aphrem was supported by four bishops. The post of the synod secretary fell vacant as Joseph Mor Gregorios resigned from the post on November 19. The synod secretary appointed by Episcopal Synod is one of the key posts of the Church and he enjoys the power to convene the synod executive meeting and make key decisions of the Church.
During the meeting, a five-member Episcopal Samithy for legal affairs was also selected which will be headed by Catholicos Baselious Thomas I. The meeting also decided to hand over the charges to the managing committee members who were elected on November 19. The bishops expressed their displeasure over the delay in handing over the charges to the managing committee members.
‘Blow to Catholicos faction’
Meanwhile, Fr Varghese Kallapara, convenor of the Quest for Secular International Samithi, said the victory of the Thomas Mor Thimothios panel in the managing committee and working committee elections of the Jacobite Church was a blow to the Catholicos faction.“The victory of Thomas Mor Thimothios reveals that he enjoys the trust of the laity,” he said. Earlier, the synod meeting had decided to bestow the charge of the synod secretary on the senior-most bishop of the Church.
“Though the name of Metropolitan of Angamaly diocese Abraham Mor Severios was suggested for the post, he was not willing to assume charge. So the next senior bishop was elected for the post,” said Kuriakose Mor Theophilos, spokesperson of Jacobite Syrian Church.
Huge majority: As many as 18 of the 22 bishops supported Thomas Mor Thimothios