Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan, the spiritual head of the Mar Thoma Church, and one of the tall leaders of the Communion of Churches in India by which CSI, CNI and Mar Thoma are ‘sister churches’, passed away today early morning at Thiruvalla in Kerala. Most Rev. Dharmaraj Rasalam; the Moderator of the Church of South India, Rt. Rev. Reuben Mark; the Deputy Moderator, Adv. C. Fernandas Rathina raja; the General Secretary, and Prof. Dr Vimal Sukumar; the Hon. Treasurer expressed deep grief on the demise of the Mar Thoma Metropolitan. They pointed out the contributions of the Metropolitan to the ecumenical movements in India and felt that his demise is an irreversible loss to ecumenism. The officers of the Synod thankfully remembered that the Mar Thoma Metropolitan presided over the meeting of the Communion of the Churches in India (CCI) held at CSI Synod Centre, Chennai in 2015. He presided over the meeting of CCI held at Simla in 2016 too.
Joseph Mar Thoma was the 21st Metropolitan and the current primate of the Malankara Marthoma Syrian Church. The Metropolitan had been undergoing treatment for pancreas cancer at a private hospital in Thiruvalla and his condition deteriorated sharply over the last week. He breathed his last around 2.40 a.m on Sunday. His passing away was at the age of 89.
He was installed as Mar Thoma Metropolitan on October 2, 2007. He was ordained as a deacon of the Mar Thoma Church in June 1957, and priest later the same year. Having pursued his master’s degrees in Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology from England, the Metropolitan was later awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree by the Protestant Episcopal Seminary in Virginia, United States.
The funeral of the Metropolitan will take place tomorrow at Thiruvalla.
~CSI Synod Communications