Joseph Mar Gregorios, Metropolitan of the Kochi diocese of the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, was unanimously elected metropolitan trustee of the Church at a meeting of the Jacobite Syrian Christian Association at the Patriarchal Centre, Puthenkurisu, near here, on Wednesday.
Though around 3,000 representatives from over 1,400 parishes of the Church arrived there on Wednesday morning for the election, as per a decision by the synod of the Church three months ago, there was no need for the election as Mar Gregorios was the only candidate in the fray. The announcement of his election was received with thunderous applause from the faithful.
The new trustee was chosen in the wake of Catholicos Baselios Thomas I expressing his inability to carry out his duties as both Catholicos and metropolitan trustee on account of his advancing age. Past 90 years, the Catholicos had offered to step down from both positions, but Patriarch of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church Ignatius Aphrem II had asked him to continue as Catholicos.
Joseph Mar Gregorios was born in 1960 near Mulanthuruthy into the Chathurithil family and he completed his education at Maharaja’s College here. After his seminary education, he was consecrated as bishop of Kochi in January 1994. He has also served as bishop of Angamaly and Niranom.
The Catholicos vested the newly elected metropolitan trustee with the symbol of his position before delivering a message of unity and unshakable faith in the Patriarch’s leadership.
Metropolitans Abraham Mar Severios presided over the association meeting.