His Holiness, Moran Mor Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, Catholicos of the East and primate of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, passed away at 2:35am on Monday. He was 74.
He was the 91st reigning Catholicos of the East.
The funeral services will be held on Tuesday at the Catholicate Palace chapel in Devalokam in Kottayam district from 3pm.
The Metropolitan had been ailing for quite some time. Catholicos Paulose II was under treatment ever since he was diagnosed with cancer in January 2020. Though he had recovered from Covid for which he was tested positive in February, he was on continued treatment for pneumonia.
A much-loved personality, Bawa Thirumeni, as he was known to all, was a great source of support to the destitute and the poor for whom he executed many a service scheme. A great humanitarian, he was a votary of social justice and equality. This was amply evident when the Malankara Metropolitan broke age-old traditions by allowing women equal participation in the administration of the church and the community too. He went a step ahead when in 2011 he granted them voting rights along with their male counterparts in all parishes of the church. The Catholicos was a symbol of change with his contemporary moves and courage of conviction.
Bawa Thirumeni was born on August 30, 1946, in Mangad, a village near Kunnamkulam in Thrissur district. The late Kollannur Iype and the late Pulikkottil Kunjeetty were his parents. The young boy, K I Paul, completed his schooling from Govt High School, Pazhanji after which he graduated from St Thomas College, Thrissur. He decided to pursue theological studies by joining the Orthodox Theological Seminary or MD Seminary in Kottayam and later completed his post graduation from CMS College, Kottayam. He was ordained priest in 1973.
In December 1982, the Malankara Syrian Christian Association elected the young priest as bishop. He was consecrated Episcopa with the name Paulose Mar Milithios, by His Holiness, Catholicos Baselios Marthoma Mathews I, at St Mary's Church, Puthiyakavu, Mavelikkara, on May 15, 1985. He then took over as the first metropolitan of the newly formed Kunnamkulam diocese in August 1985.
The Malankara Syrian Christian Association which met at Parumala on October 12, 2006, unanimously elected Paulose Mar Milithios Episcopa as the Catholicos-designate and successor to the Malankara Metropolitan.
In the wake of Baselios Marthoma Didymus I, deciding to step down, Paulose Mar Milithios Metropolitan was ordained as Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan on November 1, 2010, at the Seminary Chapel, Parumala. He took the name Baselios Marthoma Paulose II.