Moscow-Russia: His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Paulose II (Catholicos on the Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas, Malankara Metropolitan, Moopan and Chief Custodian of the Malankara Nazaranieth and the Primate of the Indian Orthodox Malankara Church) arrived in Moscow at the invitation of His Holiness Kiril – Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia for his maiden Apostolic visit on 30/8/2019. As the head of the Malankara Church Catholicos Baselios Paulose is the first Primate to visit Russia after four decades. The previous visit of the Primate of the Malankara Church to Russia was in the year 1976.
Welcome At the Aiport
Catholicos Baselios Paulose II was received at the airport by Bishop Dionisy – First Vicar of His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia in the City of Moscow, Archpriest Sergei Tocheny- Hieromonk Stefan (Igumnov) – Secretary for Inter-Christian Relations of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, R.A. Akhmatkhanov – Head of the Office of the Administrative Secretariat of the Moscow Patriarchate for the reception of foreign delegations.
Apart from the welcome at the airport by the Russsian Orthodox officials, a grand ceremonial welcome was given to the Catholicos and the Indian Orthodox delegation in Moscow.
Meeting with Metropolitan Hilarion
The Catholicos and the Indian Orthodox delegation was received by Metropolitan Hilarion – Chairman of the External Church Relations Department of the Moscow Patriarchate. They spoke on the fraternal relations that exist between the Russian and Malankara Churches. Bilateral relations between the Indian and Russian Churches were also discussed. The delegation visited the Chapel of the St. Cyril and Methodius Institute of Post-Graduate Studies.
Visiting Churches and Monasteries
Catholicos paid respect at the relics of St. Matrona of Moscow a the Convent of Pokrovsky. The delegation also visited Martha-Mariam Monastery in Moscow and Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
The Catholicos is accompanied by a high-level Indian Orthodox delegation. The Delegation consists of Metropolitan Yuhanon Mar Diascoros of Madras (Secretary to the Holy Synod), Zachariah Mar Nicholovos of North East America (President of Ecumenical Relations dept.), Fr. Abraham Thomas (Secretary to the Ecumenical Relations dept.), and other important personnel.
The ancient Orthodox Church of Malankara was established by St. Thomas the Apostle of Christ. The Primate of the Malankara Orthodox Church (Orthodox Syrian Church of the East) is the Chief of the Office of the Catholicate of the East, who is seated on the Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas. His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulose II is the current Catholicos on the Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas in the East and the Metropolitan of Malankara.
Pic courtesy – Ecumenical Relations Dept. of the Indian Orthodox Malankara Church.
OCP News Service