Thiruvalla: Dr Mathews Mar Severios was on Friday enthroned as Catholicos of the East and the supreme head of the Kerala-based Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church at a ceremony held in a church near here.
Hereafter, he would be known as Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews III, said an official of the church said.
He was enthroned during a holy mass conducted by senior Bishop Kuriakose Mar Clemis.
All the other bishops of the church participated in the ceremony.
Owing to COVID-19 protocol, the ceremony was not open to the public.
Later, a felicitation meeting was held and it was attended by top priests of the other churches, including head of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church Cardinal George Alencherry, Syro Malankara Catholic church head Baselios Clemis and leaders of various social and religious organisations, said a spokesman of the church. Representing the Kerala government, Cooperation Minister V N Vasavan attended the felicitation function, he said.
On Thursday, a meeting of the Malankara Syrian Christian Association here unanimously elected Mathews Mar Severios Metropolitan as the next Catholicos of the East and the Supreme Head of the church.
The episcopal synod of the church approved the election and decided to consecrate him.
In his speech after taking charge, the Catholicos said unity does not mean merging of churches.
Severios's election came as he was serving as the Metropolitan of the Diocese of Kandanad West of the church.
Born in 1949 in Vazhoor near Kottayam, Severios took graduation in chemistry from Kerala University before joining Orthodox Seminary, Kottayam.
After completing his education on religion, he pursued higher studies in theology at the Theological Academy, Leningrad, Russia.
Later, he joined Oriental Institute, Rome, where he completed his MTh and PhD.
Ordained a deacon in 1976 and a priest in 1978, Severios was elevated to the post of an Episcopa in 1991 and Metropolitan in 1993.