OCP News Service – 22/3/14
The Indian Malankara Orthodox Church
Condolences Message from His Holiness Baselios Paulose II – Catholicos of the East and Metropolitan of Malankara – Primate of the Indian Orthodox Church on the Demise of Patriarch Ignatius Zakka Iwas of Antioch and All East
India/Kerala/Kottayam/Devalokam Palace: The Message begins “We express our heartfelt condolence in the demise of His Holiness Ignatius Zakka Iwas I, the Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church. As the Supreme Head of the Syrian Orthodox Church, His Holiness was well renowned among the Christian Churches in the world. As one time President of the World Council of Churches the Patriarch will be invariably missed by the ecumenical world.
At this occasion I recollect His Holiness’ relations to our Church. When the relics of St. Thomas, the Apostle of India was found in the ancient Church in Mosul, Iraq, His Holiness the Patriarch was a Metropolitan and we acknowledge the instillation of a portion of the relics at the Catholicate Palace in Devalokam. Again, as a Metropolitan, he was present in the Consecration of our predecessor His Holiness Baselios Augen I, Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan in 1964 and was present in the gracious occasion of the meeting of the heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches in 1965.
The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church holds His Holiness the Patriarch of Antioch in the Holy Eucharistic Prayers and in the Canonical Prayers. Sadly, following the disputes, after 1975 we could not meet the Patriarch in person, we had mutually met and talked on the occasion of the Consecration of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch, in Cairo, in November 2012. Further to this, several of our Senior Priests and Metropolitans had personal acquaintance and relationship with him. It was evident to me that His Holiness the Patriarch had personally wished for the unity and peace in the Malankara Church.
We take this occasion to whole heartedly offer our prayers for the departed soul while continue to hold the people who are going through the difficulties of the civil war in Syria. May His Holiness’ soul be consoled in the presence of the company of Angels and saints.”
Inter-Church Relations Dept of the Indian Malankara Orthodox Church