KOCHI: Metropolitan Baselious Marthoma Paulose II, 74, Catholicos of the East and Supreme Head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (MOSC) breathed his last at St Gregorios Medical Mission Hospital, Parumala in Thiruvalla, on Monday.
According to the medical bulletin, the Catholicos passed away at 2.35 am, he was in extremely critical condition since Sunday morning.
"Even with very high external oxygen support through artificial ventilation, oxygen saturation in blood could not be maintained. His Holiness was ailing from Cancer of the lungs since December 2019 for which he was receiving treatment at St Gregorios International Cancer Care Centre, Parumala. He recovered from Covid-19 infection in February, the post-Covid lung complications worsened the health condition," said the Medical Superintendent of the hospital in a release.
Through crucial and difficult journeys of the Church, he stood strong and led his flock, unflinchingly standing by his ideals, despite many health ailments, and amidst the simmering tensions with the Jacobite faction of the Church.
According to the church authorities, the mortal remains of Metropolitan Baselious Marthoma Paulose II would be kept at Parumala Church for paying homage till 7 pm.
Later the body will be brought to Catholicate Aramana--headquarters of the MOSC at Devalokam, Kottayam by 9 pm. His funeral will be held at Devalokam on Tuesday at 5 pm.
A charismatic personality who steadfastly defended his faith and beliefs throughout his life, the Bishop was an epitome of patience and fortitude. Despite many health ailments, he steered the course for the Church, amidst many crises, particularly the simmering tensions with the Jacobite Church.
While the Supreme Court had ruled in favour of the Orthodox, the protests and criticism that the Church faced in its wake was unprecedented in scale.
He was enthroned as the eighth Catholicos of the East and the Malankara Church, in November 2010, after the abdication of Baselios Marthoma Didymus I.
Born on 30th August 30, 1946, in a village called Mangad near Kunnamkulam in Thrissur district to the late Kollannur Iype and the late Pulikkottil Kunjeetty and named KI Paul, Metropolitan Paulose II was ordained as a priest in 1973.
At the age of 36, Malankara Syrian Christian Association elevated Fr Paul to Bishop. On 15th May 1985, he was consecrated as Episcopa ( bishop) with the new name Paulose Mar Milithios. Subsequently, he was appointed the first Metropolitan of the newly formed Kunnamkulam Diocese on 1st August 1985.
Metropolitan Baselious Mar Paulose II, in his short span of time as Catholicos, gave importance to the bilateral relations with other churches and his philanthropic interests gave new dimensions to the life of the Church.
According to Fr Johns Abraham Konat, spokesperson of MOSC, all arrangements for the Church Parliament scheduled to be held on October 14 this year have been ensured by the Catholicos.
Earlier, it was decided that if he was unable to chair the meeting due to his ill health , senior Metropolitan Kuriakose Mar Clemis would look into the proceedings as per a July 3 order.