KOTTAYAM: When Baselious Marthoma Paulose II was enthroned as the Catholicos of the East and the Supreme Head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in 2010, the dispute between Orthodox and Jacobite church was at its peak.
Even while the Church reaped several achievements during the reign of Catholicos Baselious Marthoma Paulose II, it faced several difficulties during the next decade in view of dispute and ensuing legal battle with the Jacobite faction.
Even while the dispute shook the peace of the church, the Catholicos as the head of the Malankara Church, strongly stood to restore peace in the Malankara Church. “We have a dream. We are one. We have the same faith and the same worship. We want peace. We must live under the same roof. We must worship God as one body,” he said at the Catholicate Centennial Conference on November 25, 2012 at Marine Drive, Ernakulam.
On July 3, 2017, the Supreme Court pronounced a landmark judgment in the Malankara Church dispute marking the end of a long legal battle. It was Catholicos Baselious Marthoma Paulose II, who led the Orthodox Church in the legal battle for this verdict. After the court’s decisions, Catholicos Paulose II longed for the reunion of Orthodox-Jacobite factions on the basis of the apex court decision. Though he stood for peace, he could not see it come to fruition.
Catholicos Paulose II worked with the aim of a litigation-free Malankara Church. He had to face many criticisms and difficulties for taking such a stance. He was detained by the Jacobite faction for nearly eight hours while attending a service at the disputed Varikoli Church. However, he remained steadfast till the end so as not to push the Malankara Church into another legal battle. He took a firm stand for the future of the church. Catholicos Basilios Marthoma Paul II, was also able to bring a few churches under the 1934 Constitution of the Malankara Church on the basis of the Supreme Court decision.