Moran Mor Baselios Marthoma Paulose II, Catholicos of the East and patriarch of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, died on Monday at 2:35 a.m.
He was the 91st Catholicos of the East to rule.
From 3 p.m. on Tuesday, funeral services will be held at the Catholicate Palace chapel in Devalokam, Kottayam district.
The Metropolitan had been in poor health for a long period. Since being diagnosed with cancer in January 2020, Catholicos Paulose II has been undergoing therapy. He was still being treated for pneumonia despite having recovered from Covid, for which he had tested positive in February.
Bawa Thirumeni, as he was known to all, was a significant source of support for the impoverished and underprivileged, for whom he carried out numerous service schemes. He was a brilliant humanitarian who believed in social justice and equality. This was obvious when the Malankara Metropolitan defied centuries of tradition by granting women equal involvement in church and community management. He took it a step further in 2011 when he awarded them the same voting rights as their male counterparts in all of the church’s parishes. With his modern gestures and strength of conviction, the Catholicos was a symbol of transformation.
Bawa Thirumeni was born at Mangad, a village near Kunnamkulam in the Thrissur district, on August 30, 1946. His parents were the late Kollannur Iype and Pulikkottil Kunjeetty. K I Paul, a young lad, graduated from St Thomas College in Thrissur after finishing his education at Govt High School in Pazhanji. He chose to study theology at the Orthodox Theological Seminary or MD Seminary in Kottayam, then went on to CMS College in Kottayam for his post-graduate studies. In 1973, he was ordained as a priest.
The Malankara Syrian Christian Association elected the young priest as bishop in December 1982. On May 15, 1985, His Holiness, Catholicos Baselios Marthoma Mathews I, ordained him as an Episcopa with the name Paulose Mar Milithios at St Mary’s Church, Puthiyakavu, Mavelikkara. In August 1985, he became the first metropolitan of the newly founded Kunnamkulam diocese.
On November 1, 2010, at the Seminary Chapel in Parumala, Paulose Mar Milithios Metropolitan was ordained as Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan, following Baselios Marthoma Didymus I’s decision to step down. Baselios Marthoma Paulose II was his given name.