It is with deep sadness that the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian unity has learned of the death of His Grace the Most Reverend Philipose Mar Chrysostom, emeritus Supreme Head of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church.
Born in 1917, His Grace undertook a venerable lifetime service to the Mar Thoma Church, being ordained a bishop in 1953 and ultimately serving as its Supreme Head from 1999 until 2007. In his longstanding ministry, he served as the president of the National Council of Churches in India, the national body of the Protestant and Orthodox Churches. He was also a most valued participant in the Second Vatican Council, which he attended in the pioneering capacity of observer.
Maintaining the unique heritage and tradition of the Mar Thoma Church, His Grace was deeply committed to the ecumenical movement both in India and at the global level, fostering openness and cooperation in the mutual respect for each other’s distinctive identities. The Pontifical Council recalls with gratitude his deep ecumenical vision and wise leadership along the path of unity.
Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, sent a letter of condolence to Most Reverend Dr Theodosius Mar Thoma, Metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church.