Memorial services to be offered for Catholicos in UAE

Last updated on July 13, 2021 at 07.06 pm

Congregations of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in the UAE will offer memorial prayer services and tributes for their supreme head and Catholicos of the East, His Holiness Moran Mor Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, who passed away on Monday morning.

Funeral rites of the metropolitan were held at the Catholicate Palace chapel in Devalokam in Kottayam district of Kerala at 3pm on Tuesday.

In the UAE, where the church has eight congregations, and other GCC countries, special memorial services are being held at all Orthodox Syrian churches. The church, headquartered in Kottayam, has parishes across the world comprising nearly three million members.

In Dubai, one of the largest overseas parishes of the church, holy masses will be held at the St Thomas Orthodox Cathedral for nine days along with Dhoopa Prarthana (incense prayer) for 40 days, the vicar of the church Fr Binish Babu said.

A condolence meeting of the congregation will be held at the Dubai cathedral on July 16 at 10am. On Friday, July 23, a virtual public meeting will be held at 10am to pay homage to the primate, the vicar said.

“The Catholicos had endeared himself to the public with his piousness and simplicity. He was a great source of support to the destitute and the poor for whom he implemented many service schemes. A great humanitarian, he was a champion of social justice and equality,” Fr Binish said.

Assistant vicar of the Dubai cathedral, Fr. Sibu Thomas, said the metropolitan would be remembered as a great reformer. “The Catholicos departed from age-old traditions of the church to allow women equal rights in the administration of the church and the community. Indeed, the prelate went a step ahead in 2011by granting women voting rights along with their male counterparts in all parishes of the church,” said Fr Sibu.

Paulose II, who was enthroned as the 91st Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan on November 1, 2010, had been ailing for quite some time. He 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.

Issac John Editorial Director of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.