Supreme head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church passes away

Baselios Mar Thoma Poulose II, who had been undergoing treatment for lung cancer since December 2019, tested positive for COVID-19 in February this year.

Baselios Mar Thoma Poulose II, Catholicos of the East and supreme head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (MOSC), passed away early on Monday after a prolonged illness. He was 74.

According to the church authorities, the Catholicos breathed his last at 2.35 a.m at a private hospital in Pathanamthitta. The Catholicos, who had been undergoing treatment for lung cancer since December 2019, tested positive for COVID-19 in February this year.

Though he recovered from the virus infection, the post COVID-19 lung complications worsened the health condition, hospital authority informed.

The mortal remains will be kept for a public exhibition at the Parumala church till 7 p.m. on Monday and the funeral will be held at the MOSC headquarters at Devalokam, Kottayam, by 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II, who was the eighth Catholicos of the East in Malankara and 91st primate on the Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas, was enthroned as the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan in November 2010. Born on August 30, 1946 as KI Paul to the Kollannur KI Iype-Kunjeetta couple in Kunnamkulam, the Catholicos pursued his post graduation from the CMS college in Kottayam

He was ordained as a deacon in 1972 and was awarded the episcopal title of Poulose Mar Milithios on May 15, 1985. Having appointed as the Metropolitan of the Kunnamkulam Diocese in August 1985, he was elected as Catholicos designate in October 2006.

Based on a suggestion by the Catholicos a couple of months ago, an episcopal synod of the MOSC in April has already recommended to kick start the proceedings for selecting the successor to him. The Malankara Association — an apex body comprising priests and laity representatives from all parishes under the MOSC — will be convened at Parumala on October 14.

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