Theological dialogue with Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church

14 Dec 2022

As customary every year a delegation of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity took part in the theological dialogues with the Malankara Orthodox Churches, held in Kerala, India, from 12–14 December 2022. The delegation comprised Bishop Brian Farrell, Secretary of the Dicastery, and Revd Hyacinthe Destivelle, Official responsible for the Oriental Orthodox Churches. Two parallel dialogues were established with the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Malankara (Jacobite) Syrian Orthodox Church, respectively in 1989 and 1990, and were maintained even after the foundation in 2003 of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches.

On Monday 12 December 2022, the 23rd meeting of the Joint Theological Commission for Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church was held in Spirituality Centre, Kottayam, co-chaired by Bishop Brian Farrell and Metropolitan Kuriakose Mor Theophilose.

As planned in the last meeting in 2019 (see report), Revd Dr Addai Jacob and Revd Dr Philip Nelpuraparampil presented papers on the fruits of the dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church, and Revd Dr Jacob Thekkeparampil offered a reflection on “The Church According to Jacob of Sarug”, with  special reference to Simon Peter’s role. The Commission also deliberated on a revised version of the Joint Pastoral Guidelines for Inter-Church Marriages.

The Catholic Church was represented by Archbishop Thomas Mar Koorilos, Archbishop Mathew Moolakatt, Bishop Selvister Ponnumuthan, Revd Fr Augustine Kadeparambil, Revd Fr Xavier Koodapuzha, Revd Fr Philip Nelpuraparampil, Revd Fr Jacob Thekkeparampil, and Revd Fr Hyacinthe Destivelle (Co-Secretary).

The Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church delegation comprised Metropolitan Mor Anthimos Mathews, Metropolitan Mor Timotheos Mathews, Revd Adai Jacob (Co-Secretary), Revd Fr Kuriakose Moolayil, Revd Fr Shibu Cherian, Revd Fr Daniel Thattaryil, Revd Fr Biju Parekkatil Mathai, Revd Dr Kuriakose Kollanoor, Revd Dr Prince Paulose, and Dr Anish K. Joy.