Dr Mathews Mar Severios was on Friday ordained as the supreme head of the Malankara Orthodox Church at a ceremonial function here.
He has adopted the new name of Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews III Catholicos.
The ordination, conducted at St. Paul's and St. Peter's church, Parumala at 6.30 am, saw Dr Mathews Mar Severios, the 72-year-old bishop, enthroned as the new Catholicos of the east. The Malankara Metropolitan succeeds Baselios Mar Thomas Poulose II, who passed away in July this year.
Dr Severios was elected unanimously at the 57th meeting of the Malankara Syrian Christian Association, an apex body including priests and laity representatives from all parishes under the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church on Thursday. The meeting was conducted virtually and it was attended by 3091 representatives from various parts of the world.
The officials of the church said that there was only one candidate for the new Catholicos. Therefore there was no voting for the post. Senior Metropolitan Kuriakose Mar Cleemis made the formal announcement regarding the election of the Metropolitan at the venue of the meeting on Thursday. Following this, he was formally invited to the throne of the Catholicos and took charge as the Malankara Metropolitan.
The consecration service of the new supreme head of the church started at 5 am on Friday at the Parumala Church. The other bishops of the church lifted the new head seated in a chair three times during the ceremony as they uttered the Greek word Axios, which means 'the deserving one'.
Dr Mathews Mar Severios was earlier serving as the Metropolitan of the Diocese of Kandanad West of the orthodox church. He was born in 1949 in Vazhoor near Kottayam. Severios took graduation in Chemistry from Kerala University before joining Orthodox Seminary, Kottayam.
After completing his religious education in India, he pursued his higher studies in theology at the Theological Academy, Leningrad, Russia. Later he joined Oriental Institute, Rome, and completed his MTh and PhD from there.
He was ordained as a deacon in 1976 and a priest in 1978. He was promoted to the post of an Episcopa in 1991 and metropolitan in 1993.