Liju Cherian – 29/1/14
Indian Malankara Orthodox Church – Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – His Holiness Abune Mathias I, the 6th Patriarch and Catholicos of Ethiopia, Archbishop of Axum and Ichege of the See of Saint Taklehaimanot, has accepted a formal invitation to visit India in mid-2015.
Ahmedabad Diocese Metropolitan HG Pulikkottil Dr Geevarghese Mar Yulios during his recent visit to Ethiopian Orthodox Church had extended the invitation to the Patriarch and greetings on behalf of Catholicos of the East HH Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II.
During his meeting with the Patriarch, Dr Mar Yulios also held talks in a cordial atmosphere and the dialogue mainly centred on ways to foster ecumenical relations between the two Oriental Orthodox Churches. The guest also presented to the Patriarch copies of the Orthodox liturgical books translated into English.
Dr Mar Yulios was in Ethiopia as a guest of Archbishop Dr Timotheos, Head of the Theological College of the Holy Trinity, Addis Ababa, who had invited him for ‘Timket’, the Epiphany celebrations and various other functions.
The Ahmedabad Diocese Metropolitan from Indian Orthodox Church was hosted at the Patriarchal guest house where for each of the Oriental Church, there is a ‘special suite’ with the photo of the Patriarch Patriarch with the head of that particular Church!
Dr Mar Yulios also jointly held the liturgy with the Patriarch and also took part in the famous Ketera procession, which is the eve of Ethiopian Epiphany held at Janmeda, the place where the ‘Timket’ feast of blessing waters was organised. A number of sister churches, Orthodox clergymen and world media attended the event.
Dr Mar Yulios also held talks with Metropolitans of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo (Miaphisite) Church and Metropolitan Samuel who presented him with an Episcopal staff at the Cathedral while the guest gave him an Indian version of ‘Panhagia’. Another rare honour was officiating the Holy Eucharistic Liturgy at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Addis Ababa.
Aside from the main engagement, the Metropolitan also traveled by boat to Bahar Dar through Lake Tana to visit St George Church and the museum inside the monasteries.
During visit to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Dr Mar Yulios paid obeisance at the tombs of Emperor Haile Selassie (1892-1975), queen Mahisente Habte Mariam, who were the defining figures both in Ethiopian and African history and at the final resting place of late Patriarch Abune Paulos (1935-2012), where the entry was restricted.
The Metropolitan also delivered lectures to the seminarians at the reputed Holy Trinity Theological College.
Dr Fr Jossy Jacob, faculty and Director of Post-graduate programme at the Holy Trinity Theological College, was the guide for Dr Mar Yulios throughout his nine-day visit. Dr Jossy accompanied the Metropolitan during his visits to dignitaries, monasteries, several Orthodox churches in Addis Ababa and at interviews with Ethiopian national TV.
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