To His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews III
Catholicos of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
The consecration of seven new Metropolitans of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church gives me the opportunity to assure Your Holiness of my spiritual closeness in this joyful event of your Church.
Together with the members of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, I pray that the Holy Spirit which will consecrate the new Bishops may help them to be shepherds according to God’s heart, leading their flock “with knowledge and understanding” (Jer 3:15), “shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).
May the same Spirit, through these new Pastors, help our Churches to continue their path of mutual love and dialogue. It is in the blessed land of Kerala that your venerable predecessor, His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews I, three years after his visit to Rome, received His Holiness Pope John Paul II in 1986. From those encounters our Churches began a path of dialogue with the institution of a joint international commission, which gave birth to the milestone theological agreement of 1990, and since then to many other significant steps on our common journey, especially in the pastoral field.
Indeed, the Apostolic foundation, which continues through the new Bishops of your Church, is the ground of the relations between our Churches. Invoking the intercession of saints Peter and Thomas, I pray that they inspire and accompany us on our path towards full communion, “so that the world may believe” (John 17, 21).
From the Vatican, 3 July 2022, Feast of St Thomas
Kurt Cardinal Koch