Mar Baselios Dayara, Njaliyakuzhy, 10-11 December 2019


The 29th meeting of the Joint International Theological Commission for Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church was held in Mar Baselios Dayara, Njaliyakuzhy, on 10th and 11th of December 2019.

The meeting began with the prayer led by His Excellency Dr Selvister Ponnumuthan, Bishop of Punaloor. His Grace Dr Yuhanon Mar Demetrios, Co-Chair of the Commission, welcomed the members of the Commission expressing his joy in their coming together. He reminded the members of the history of the dialogue that started in 1989 and the agreements reached so far.

His Excellency Bishop Brian Farrell, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and Co-Chair of the Commission, gave updates on the work of the Pontifical Council in the past year. He particularly highlighted the theological dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, in which the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church is a member. Revd Dr Hyacinthe Destivelle, Co Secretary, presented the report of the meeting and the meeting approved it with minor modification.

Revd Dr. Augustine Kadeparampil presented a paper on Koinonia in the Catholic Church’s perspective and Revd Dr Reji Mathew presented a paper on ‘The Perichoretic Dynamics of Koinonia Ecclesiology”, that is Koinonia in the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church’s point of view. The meeting found most elements on theological concept of Koinonia are common in both the Churches though certain differences were pointed out. Another paper jointly prepared by Revd Dr Xavier Koodapuzha and Revd Dr Jose John “On the Source Book of Ecclesiastical History” was presented and the meeting discussed it in detail.

The joint project of ‘The Common Patristic Readings for 365 Days’ prepared by His Grace Thomas Mar Koorilos, His Grace Yakub Mar Irenaios and Revd Dr Koshy Vaidyan was also presented and the meeting appreciated the work presented. As well, a paper on “Relevant points on the possible pastoral cooperation” was also presented by His Excellency Mar Joseph Kallarangatt and His Grace Yakub Mar Irenaios.

The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church delegation comprised: His Grace Dr. Yuhanon Mar Demetrios (Co-Chair), His Grace Dr Yakub Mar Irenaios,  His Grace Dr Yuhanon Mar Chrysostomos, His Grace Dr Joseph Mar Dionysius, His Grace Dr Youhanon Mar Dioscoros, Revd Dr Baby Varghese, Revd Dr Johns Abraham Konat, Revd Dr Reji Mathew, Fr Jossi Jacob, Revd Dr Jose John, Revd Dr Koshy Vaidyan, Fr Dr Reji Geevarghese, Revd Dr Filix Yohannon and Revd Fr Abraham Thomas (Co Secretary).

The Catholic Church was represented by His Excellency Bishop Brian Farrell (Co-Chair), His Grace Mathew Moolakkatt, His Grace Thomas Mar Koorilos, Bishop Dr Selvister Ponnumuthan, His Excellency Mar Joseph Kallarangatt, Revd Dr Mathew Vellanickal, Revd Dr Xavier Koodapuzha, Revd Dr. Jacob Thekkeparampil, Revd Dr Augustine Kadeparambil, Revd Dr Philip Nelpuraparampil and Revd Fr Hyacinthe Destivelle (Co-Secretary).

The next meeting will be held at the Spirituality Centre, Manganam, Kottayam, on Monday 10th and 11th December 2020. The following will be on the agenda:

1. Joint Paper on Progress in Ecumenical Relations between the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Catholic Church by Revd Fr Abraham Thomas [now Metropolitan Abraham Mar Stephanos] and Revd Fr Philip Nelpuraparampil.

2. Impact of Climate Change and Ecological Concerns by Joseph Mar Dionysius Metropolitan.

3. Possibilities of Joint Catechism by Fr Dr Reji Mathews.

4. Reporting on Common Patristic Readings for 365 Days, Source Book on Ecclesiastical History, website.