Kerala

CSI bishop steps down

Thomas K. Oommen, former moderator bishop of the Church of South India (CSI), on Saturday stepped down as 12th bishop of the Central Kerala diocese of the church.

An official statement by the church said Bishop Oommen, who turned 67, was stepping down from the Diocese on completion of his retirement term. Having been elevated as a bishop on March 5, 2011, he was noted for his active involvement in various social and environmental issues.

During his nine-year-long tenure as bishop, Rev.Oommen was also elevated to the position of deputy moderator and then as moderator bishop of the church. Having been elected as president of the Kerala Christian Abstinence Committee and TRADA, he led a series of protests against the government’s policy of allowing more bar hotels in the cover of a High Court verdict.

He also played an active role behind a far-reaching decision by the CSI Central Kerala Diocesan Council that those consuming alcohol were not eligible to run for office in the church. Following this, only those who issued affidavit against consumption of alcohol were made eligible to run for the local committee and council of the church.

Having worked as chairman of the CSI Ecological Committee, he also issued pastoral letters calling for the implementation of a green economy and implementation of the Gadgil Committee report.

Born to an agrarian family at Thalavady in Pathanamthitta district on November 29, 1953, Rev. Oommen took his undergraduate degree in divinity from Leonard Theological College, Jabalpur, and the Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary. He was ordained deacon in 1982 and was made presbyter the next year.

Inaugurating a function organised to felicitate the outgoing Bishop in Kottayam on Saturday, Theodosius Mar Thoma, metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, said Bishop Oommen was a person of universal humanity who rendered loving service to all.

CSI deputy moderator Bishop K. Ruben Mark presided. CNI moderator bishop Dr. P.C. Singh delivered the keynote address. Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, catholicate of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, delivered the blessing address.

The message of the Canterbury Archbishop Justin Welby was read out on the occasion. Joshua Mar Ignatius, Bishop of the Eparchy of Mavelikkara of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church ,Archbishop of the Knanaya Syrian Archdiocese Kuriakos Mar Severios also spoke.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 2:27:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/csi-bishop-steps-down/article33201016.ece

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