MAJOR ARCHIEPARCHY OF TRIVANDRUM

MAJOR ARCHBISHOP – CATHOLICOS
H. B. Moran Mor Baselios Cardinal Cleemis-Catholicos

Major Archbishop’s House, Pattom, Trivandrum – 695 004.
Tel. 0471- 2541642, 2541643, 2540446
Fax: 0471-2541635
E-mail: catholicostvm@gmail.com
Heavenly Patron: St Peter

Brief History

The historic event of the reunion of His Grace Archbishop Geevarghese Mar Ivanios with the Catholic Church took place on 20 September 1930. Archbishop Mar Ivanios and Bishop Mar Theophilos along with Fr John Kuzhinapurath OIC, Deacon Alexander OIC and Mr Chacko Kilileth, who were members of the Malankara Orthodox Church, made their profession of faith on that day and entered into full communion with the Catholic Church. This event took place in the Chapel of the Latin Bishop’s House in Quilon (Kollam) before His Excellency Aloysius Maria Benziger OCD, Bishop of the Diocese of Quilon (Kollam), who was specially delegated by the Holy See.

His Grace Mar Ivanios initiated the work of the Re-union Movement under the guidance of the Holy See, especially in the light of the Apostolic Decree Magnum Nobis of His Holiness Pope Pius XI. Mar Ivanios made his visit to Rome in 1932 and His Holiness Pope Pius XI invested him with the Sacred Pallium. The Holy Father, Pope Pius XI through the Apostolic Constitution Christo Pastorum Principi of 11 June 1932, established the Syro-Malankara Hierarchy and erected the Archieparchy of Trivandrum as the Metropolitan See with the suffragan Eparchy of Tiruvalla. The territorial boundary of the Archieparchy of Trivandrum was established from Kanyakumari, the southernmost part of India to the north up to river Pampa, to the Western Ghats in the east and to the Arabian Sea in the west.

The Metropolitan Eparchy of Trivandrum, with its headquarters in Trivandrum, was inaugurated on 11 May 1933 and His Grace Mar Ivanios was enthroned as its first Metropolitan-Archbishop at the provisional Cathedral, dedicated to the Mother of God, at Palayam, Trivandrum. Archbishop Mar Ivanios was enthroned as the Metropolitan Archbishop of Trivandrum and the Hierarchical Head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and made the profession of faith before the assembly of the Bishops, priests and laymen amidst the acclamations of Oxios (a customary hymn for the occasion). The Apostolic Constitution was executed by His Excellency Aloysius Maria Benziger, the Bishop of Quilon. On the following day His Grace Mar Ivanios and Bishop Jacob Mar Theophilos celebrated the solemn Holy Qurbono in the Pro-Cathedral. His Grace Mar Augustine Kandathil, the Archbishop of Ernakulam, His Grace Mar James Kalassery, the Archbishop of Changanassery, His Excellency Mar Alexander Choolaparambil, the Bishop of Kottayam, Rt. Rev. Joseph Pulikottil Remban and Rt. Rev. Philipose Cheppad Remban were present on the occasion.
As part of the evangelizing ministry of the southern regions of Thiru-kochi (including parts now bordering Tamil Nadu), Archbishop Mar Ivanios initiated evangelization ministry at Marthandom, Tamil Nadu. Later, with the permission and blessings of Archbishop Mar Ivanios, Msgr Joseph Kuzhinjalil founded the missionary congregation of the Daughters of Mary in 1938 at Marthandom in Kanyakumari District. Through the great zeal of these missionaries, the mission work of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church spread to the southern regions of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Mar Ivanios worked relentlessly for the building up of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. Through his travels abroad (Countries in Europe, United States of America and Australia) he spread the message of ecclesial communion and the awareness of the mission of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church in the Universal Church. After a period of 22 years of strenuous hectic task of organizing and administering the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church he fell ill and remained so for a year. Archbishop Mar Ivanios ordained Benedict Mar Gregorios as his Auxiliary and the Titular Bishop of Anterdos on 29 January 1953. After a period of heroic leadership for the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, and for the Metropolitan Eparchy of Trivandrum, Archbishop Mar Ivanios was called to eternal rest on 15 July 1953 and was entombed at St Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom.

Upon the demise of His Grace Mar Ivanios, His Excellency Benedict Mar Gregorios was appointed the Apostolic Administrator of the Metropolitan Eparchy of Trivandrum by the Holy See. On 27 January 1955, His Holiness Pope Pius XII appointed him the Metropolitan Archbishop of Trivandrum and the Head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church. Under the spiritual leadership, pastoral guidance and social commitment of Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios, the Church began to flourish in its various dimensions throughout the States in South India, North America and other European Countries.

The Syro-Malankara Catholic Church was making rapid growth. Most Rev. Paulos Mar Philoxenos, the Metropolitan of the Malabar Independent Church, reunited with the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church on 28 August 1977 and was appointed Episcopal Vicar of the Metropolitan Eparchy of Trivandrum.

His Excellency Most Rev. Lawrence Mar Ephrem was appointed Auxiliary to the Metropolitan Archbishop of Trivandrum and Titular Bishop of Barkuso on 6 November 1980 and was ordained Bishop by His Grace Benedict Mar Gregorios on 27 December 1980 at Kottayam during the Golden Jubilee celebration of the Reunion Movement. The Syro- Malankara Catholic Church was fortunate to welcome His Holiness Pope John Paul II on 8 February 1986 at St Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom, Trivandrum. His Holiness was accorded a cordial reception by the entire Church, the Hierarchy and the representatives of the Clergy, the Religious and the Laity. The Supreme Pontiff was garlanded at the entrance of the Cathedral by His Grace Benedict Mar Gregorios and was received into the Cathedral with a liturgical reception by the Bishops of the Syro- Malankara Catholic Church. His Holiness prayed at the sanctuary. In His Speech the Holy Father praised the unity endeavors of Mar Ivanios: “In coming to this cathedral, I pay honor to the memory of Archbishop Mar Ivanios who is buried here. Among the many apostolic endeavors of this zealous pastor of souls, none was dearer to him than the promotion of unity among Christians.” After the visit to St Mary’s Cathedral, His Holiness addressed the whole Catholic community from Trivandrum and the neighboring districts at Shankumukham beach. In his memorable speech at Shankumukham the Holy Father praised the heroic leadership of Mar Ivanios and the ecclesial significance of the Syro-Malankara Reunion Movement (Cf. L’Osservatore Romano, Feb.17, 1986).

His Eminence Cardinal Lourdusamy, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, visited the Metropolitan Eparchy of Trivandrum on 19 August 1987.
After an eventful leadership of 41 years His Grace the Metropolitan Archbishop Benedict Mar Gregorios was called to eternal rest on 10 October 1994 and was buried at St Mary’s Cathedral. His Excellency Most Rev. Lawrence Mar Ephraem, the Proto-Syncellus, was elected the Administrator of the Metropolitan Eparchy of Trivandrum.

The Holy See, on 14 December 1995 appointed Most Rev. Cyril Mar Baselios, the Metropolitan of the Diocese of Bathery, the new Metropolitan Archbishop of Trivandrum and the Head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and the enthronement took place at St Mary’s Cathedral, Trivandrum. His Grace received Sacred Pallium from the Holy Father Pope John Paul II on 9 January 1996 at Vatican.

On 10 February 2005, a day engraved in golden letters in the history of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope John Paul II raised this Church to the status of a Major Archiepiscopal Church and appointed the Metropolitan Archbishop Most Rev. Cyril Mar Baselios the Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church by the Papal Bull Ab ipso Sancto Thoma (Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Bull, Ab ipso Sancto Thoma, Prot. No. 570.809, 10 February 2005, Malankara, 1 (2005) 1, p. 12). This was the crowning event of all the ecclesial communion endeavors in Malankara since 1653. Thus the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church obtained the Synodal Hierarchical structure with Major Archbishop as the “father and head” (pater et caput) of the Church exercising Patriarchal powers with the Synod of Bishops. In accordance with the provisions of the CCEO and the tradition of the Malankara Church, which has its roots in the Syro-Antiochene tradition, the Major Archbishop is the “Catholicos” of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, who with the Holy Episcopal Synod exercises Patriarchal powers envisaged in the CCEO (Pope Pius XII, Motuproprio, Clerisanctitati, AAS 49 (1957) 430-603, c. 335). In complete concordance with this tradition, the pater et caput of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Major Archiepiscopal Church assumed the title ‘Catholicos’ along with the title Major Archbishop. The announcement was officiated by His Grace Pedro Lopez Quintana, the Apostolic Nuncio at St Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom in the presence of all Bishops of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and a large number of clergy and faithful.

The Enthronement of Major Archbishop-Catholicos Moran Mor Cyril Baselios, as the Father and Head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Major Archiepiscopal Church and the Major Archbishop of Trivandrum was held at St Mary’s Cathedral on 14 May 2005. His Eminence Ignace Cardinal Mousa Daoud, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and the Patriarch Emeritus of the Syrian Catholic Church of Antioch presided over the liturgy of enthronement. A large number of Bishops, dignitaries, clergy, religious and lay people participated in the functions.

Moran Mor Baselios Cleemis was enthroned as the Second Major Archbishop-Catholicos of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church and the Major Archbishop of Trivandrum on 5 March 2007 at St Mary’s Cathedral, Pattom. His installation service was officiated by Most Rev. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios, the Synodal Administrator of the Church.

വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായങ്ങൾ താഴെ എഴുതാവുന്നതാണ്. ദയവായി അസഭ്യവും നിയമവിരുദ്ധവും സ്പര്‍ധ വളര്‍ത്തുന്നതുമായ പരാമർശങ്ങളും, വ്യക്തിപരമായ അധിക്ഷേപങ്ങളും ഒഴിവാക്കുക. വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായങ്ങള്‍ വായനക്കാരുടേതു മാത്രമാണ്. വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായ പ്രകടനങ്ങൾക്ക് ലൈഫ്ഡേ ഉത്തരവാദിയായിരിക്കില്ല.

വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായങ്ങൾ താഴെ എഴുതാവുന്നതാണ്.