Supreme head of Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church passes away

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 18 (IANS): Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan, the supreme head of the Thiruvalla headquartered Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church passed away early Sunday, said church officials. He was 89.

The Metropolitan was battling cancer for a while and was admitted to a private hospital at Thiruvalla for a few days. Till recently he was conducting the weekly Sunday mass at the Thiruvalla church, located about 130 km from here.

The last rites would be held at the church headquarters on Monday at 3 p.m.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death and tweeted, "His Grace the Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan was a remarkable personality who served humanity and worked hard to improve the lives the poor and downtrodden. He was blessed with abundance of empathy and humility. His noble ideals will always be remembered," tweeted Modi, who incidentally inaugurated the Navathi celebrations (commencement of age 90) online in June this year.

Born near Thiruvalla in 1931, then known as P.T.Joseph, he was ordained as a priest in 1957 and was elevated as a bishop in 1975 and took the name of Joseph Mar Irenaeus.

He was elevated as suffragan metropolitan (Metropolitan designate) on March 15, 1999, when Philiphose Mar Chrysostom, the suffragan metropolitan, was designated as the officiating metropolitan.

And when his superior decided to retire, on October 2 2007, he was made the supreme head of the church and took the title of Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan.

Known as a tough task master, the Metropolitan was a revered personality not just in the church, but in the civil society.

Condoling the death , Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan recalled his work in upliftment of the weaker and the oppressed, especially the work he did among the children at the Red street in Mumbai and also for the transgenders.

"It's a huge loss for all," said Vijayan.

Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said the Metropolitan's work across sectors will always be remembered and his demise has created a vacuum.



Comment on this article

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Sun, Oct 18 2020

    Rest in Peace Sir ...

    Reply Report Abuse

  • Al Dsouza, Canada

    Sun, Oct 18 2020


    Reply Report Abuse

  • Tilak, Pune

    Sun, Oct 18 2020


    Reply Report Abuse

  • Santan Mascarenhas, Kinnigoli/Bangalore

    Sun, Oct 18 2020

    RIP, Your Grace Joseph Mar Thoma.

    In the Malankara church, the faction resisting patriarch's administration, became Malankara Syrian church under Malankara Metropolitan.

    The faction supporting the patriarch's administration became Jacobite Syrian Christian Church.

    The Malankara church under his Grace Joseph Mar Thoma is under the pope. We, Roman Catholics, follow Latin rites and Syrian Catholics follow Syriac rites. The belief among both is same.

    Reply Report Abuse

  • Soloman Lewis, Uppoor/K G Road

    Mon, Oct 19 2020

    Dear Mr. Mascarenhas - kindly note that Marthomutes are not affiliated to the Vatican; Syro Malabar churches are.

    Reply Report Abuse


Title : Supreme head of Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church passes away


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