His Grace Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, Metropolitan of the Northeast American Diocese, and President of the Department of Ecumenical Relations of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, met with His Holiness Irinej, Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci, and Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Along with His Grace, Reverend Father Abraham Thomas, Secretary of the Ecumenical Department and Reverend Father Aswin Zefrin Fernandis, Executive Secretary of the Ecumenical Department, visited the Primate of the Serbian Church.
His Grace offered the fraternal greetings of His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Paulos II, and gifted the Patriarch with a hand cross on behalf of the Primate of the Malankara Church.
The Ecumenical Department of the Malankara Church discussed how the relationship between both Churches can be strengthened. The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Serbian Orthodox Church have preserved a warm relationship since 1936. This relationship blossomed under the initiative of Saint Dositej Vasic of Zagreb when the saintly confessor visited Kerala, India. During Saint Dositej’s trip to India in January 1937, he shared of his great admiration for the courage of Hindus who converted to Orthodox Christianity. Metropolitan Dositej later spent time at our Orthodox Theological Seminary in Kottayam, India and met with His Holiness Catholicos Geevarghese II of thrice blessed memory. Upon his return back to Serbia, he shared of his travels and encounter with the Indian Church with His Holiness Patriarch Varnava of blessed memory which began a more formal relationship and dialogue with the Serbian Patriarchate.
In 2010, His Grace, Metropolitan Dr. Gabriel Mar Gregorios, represented the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church at the patriarchal enthronement of His Holiness Irinej. It is also worthy to note, Metropolitan Zachariah Mar Nicholovos, works closely with His Grace Bishop Irinej of Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America, on the Board of Trustees at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.
His Holiness Patriarch Irinej, conveyed the love and prayerful greetings of the Serbian Orthodox Church, to His Holiness the Catholicos of the East, the Hierarchs, clergy and faithful of the Malankara Church.