Staff Reporter

Milestone for Orthodox Church

Row over German priest’s consecration

Catholicos satisfied with explanation given by bishops

KOTTAYAM: A specially convened synod of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church held at the church headquarters at Devlokam, near here, on Thursday, recognised the consecration of a German priest as Bishop of the newly formed Orthodox Archdiocese of Europe.

Ramban Moosa Gurgan, a priest of the Antiochian Church in Germany, under the Holy See of Antioch, was consecrated Bishop Savarios Moosa Gurgan by two Bishops of the Orthodox Church clandestinely at Thrissur. The development marks a milestone in the decades-old war of nerves between the Orthodox Church and the Holy See of Anitoch.

On Thursday, the Catholicate office said the Catholicos Baselius Marthoma Didymos I and the synod sought explanation from the two Bishops on the issue and they were satisfied with the explanation and accepted them.

A section of the German Church which had differences of opinion with the parent church had sought the help of the Malankara Orthodox Church which had a similar fight with Antioch, in establishing their identity. The issue of consecration of the German Bishop had come up at the synod held in August. Things had moved in a clandestine manner and the progress was slow, as differences of opinion developed among the five Bishops who were in the know of things. However finally, while two of them kept away from the consecration ceremony, two of them were present at Thrissur. The third extended his support through a special message.

Friday’s synod was scheduled earlier to discuss the revised norms for bishop-candidates. The Catholicate office said the decision to accept the explanation of the two bishops were unanimous.