THE CATHOLICATE

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The word ‘Catholicos’ means “the general head” or “general bishop”. It can be considered as equivalent to “universal Bishop”. This title and rank is much more ancient than the title Patriarch in the church.

    In India the position and authority of the catholicose is the great development in the history of the Church throughout the past centuries. 

    The first stage of the apostolic ministry in the Malankara Church is from the time of St.Thomas till the middle of the fourth century when the authority of the Church was vested in the hands of the Archdeacon. 

    The second stage is the period of the reign of the Arcdeacons which started from the middle of the fourth century and lasted till the sixteenth century.

    The third stage started when the archdeacon was elevated to the position of a Bishop by the community with the name Marthoma I in 1653.

    Since then the head of the community was the Marthoma Methrans and later the position was developed to Malankara Metropolitan with more recognition. 

    When in a religious turmoil the Patriarch of Antioch interfered and suspended then Malankara Metropolitan demanding complete surrender, the Church consecrated the senior Metropolitan as the Catholicose and head of the Church in 1912.

    In 1934,through the meeting of the Malankara Association  the authority  and powers of the Malankara Metropolitan was entrusted  to the Catholicose. Thus both the spiritual and temporal authorities of the Church was vested in one person who is the Catholicose and Malankara Metropolitan. The development of authority in that direction was completed.

 

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