Catholicos of the East
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Catholicos of the East is an ecclesiastical title used by Eastern Churches. The title Catholicos, or "universal leader", is used in several Eastern Christian churches and implies a degree of sovereignty and autocephaly. The designation "Catholicos of the East" originated in the see of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, the capital of Persia, center of the Church of the East since the early days of Christianity in Persia.
In the Church of the East, also known as the Nestorian Church, "Catholicos of the East" was one of the titles borne by the Bishop of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, who was the designated Patriarch of the Church of the East. It is still used in two successor churches, the Assyrian Church of the East and the Ancient Church of the East, the heads of which are known as Catholicos-Patriarchs.
Later, the church now known as the Syriac Orthodox Church (Jacobite Church) began using the title for its Maphrian, who was originally the head of the Jacobite Christian community in Nestorian-dominated Persia. This office ranked second in the church hierarchy after the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, until it was abolished in 1860. In the 20th century the title "Catholicos of the East" was resurrected in the context of the Malankara Syrian Church, an Indian church in communion with the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch. Contention over the Patriarch's authority in relation to that of the local Malankara Metropolitan led to a rift in the community, culminating in 1912 when the deposed Patriarch Ignatius Abdul Masih II consecrated the Metropolitan Evanios as Catholicos of the East. The events divided the church into two factions, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, led by the Catholicos, and the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church, who supported the Patriarch. In 1964 the church was reunited, and the Patriarch consecrated the Catholicos of the East as the local head of the church. However, by 1975 the church had split again, and the Patriarch began appoint his own Catholicos of the East, known as the Catholicos of India, to head the Jacobite Syrian Church.
Viewpoint of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church 
The Catholicos of the East is the head of the Eastern Syriac Churches. Eastern Syriac Church includes the Assyrian Churches of Persia, the Chaldean Church and the Orthodox Syrian Church of India, which is also known as the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church or the Indian Orthodox Church. It is a tradition for these Churches to believe that Apostle St. Thomas was the first in succession of Catholicoi of the East. The Syriac Orthodox Church claims to have "established" the Catholicate in 410, to administer to the spiritual needs of Christians in the area. The minutes of the Council of Seleucia-Ctesiphon (also known as Synod of Mar Isaac), however, tell a different story. This synod was convened in 410 AD, under the presidency of Mar Isaac, the Archbishop of Seleucia-Ctesiphon. It conferred the title "Catholicos" on the Archbishop of Seleucia-Ctesiphon and made him the head of the bishops of the east.
Christianity has had a significant presence in India since its inception in the early centuries. Church tradition holds that St. Thomas the Apostle initially brought Christianity to India in 52 AD and was martyred in Mylapore, a place in current Tamil Nadu state. Tradition holds that priests were ordained in seven localities. Pantaenus, the leader of the Alexander Theological school, visited India and found an active Christian Community there in 190 AD.
The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church believes that Apostle Thomas founded the Church in India, a tradition strongly held by the Church from ancient times. The Church is in the Oriental Orthodox family following the Orthodox faith of the three Ecumenical Councils of Nicaea, Constantinople and Ephesus.
The chief primate of the Indian Orthodox Church is called "the Catholicos of the East, Catholicos of the Apostolic throne of St. Thomas, and the Malankara Metropolitan": two titles with separate responsibilities, but always held by the same individual in accordance with the constitution of the Church adopted in 1934.
As Catholicos of the East, he consecrates bishops for the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (the Indian Orthodox Church), presides over the synod, declares and implements its decisions, conducts the administration on behalf of the synod, and consecrates the Holy Mooron (oil).
As Malankara Metropolitan, he is the head of the Malankara Church, the President of the Malankara Syrian Christian Association and the Managing Committee. The prime jurisdiction regarding the temporal, ecclesiastical, and spiritual administration of the Indian Orthodox Church is vested in the Malankara Metropolitan subject to the provisions of the Church constitution adopted in 1934.
The Indian Orthodox Church holds that the Catholicate was originally instituted by St. Thomas the Apostle, en route to India. The Synod of Markabata, presided over by Catholicos Dadyeshu, confirmed the Independence of the Persian church, dispelling any doubts. The Synod proclaimed:
"By the word of God we define: The Easterners cannot complain against the Patriarch to western Patriarchs; that every case that cannot be settled in his presence must await the judgement of Christ...(and) on no grounds whatever one can think or say that the Catholicos of the East can be judged by those who are below him, or by a Patriarch equal to him. He himself must be the judge of all those beneath him, and he can be judged only by Christ who has chosen him, elevated him and placed him at the head of his church".
The church does recognize that the Catholicate was briefly brought under the Patriarchate of Antioch, during the Nestorian Persecution and reduced to the position of a 'Maphriyan', roughly similar to an Arch-Metropolitan, or the Catholic post of "Major Archbishop".
Even after such reduction of the see, the conflicts between the Patriarch and Maphriyan resulted in the Council of Capharthutha in February 869 AD. This assembly codified 8 canons dealing with the Patriarch and the Maphrian of Tigris. The canons are given below:
- The bishops and the monks in the Mar Mathai's Monastery, should submit to and obey the Maphrian whose seat is in Tigris.
- The Patriarch should not interfere in the administration of the Church in Tigris, unless when invited. In the same way the maphrian should not interfere in the Patriarchal See.
- When the Maphrian is present along with the Patriarch of Antioch he should be seated immediately at the right hand side of the Patriarch. The name of the Maphrian shall be mentioned immediately after that of the Patriarch, in the liturgy; and he should receive the Holy Qurbana after the Patriarch.
- When a Maphrian is alive, a Patriarch should not be installed without his concurrence, otherwise, the orientals shall have the right to install the Maphrian by themselves. The question of who should perform the laying on of hands on the new Patriarch — i.e., the Maphrian or the President of the Synod, shall be decided by four bishops, two each elected by the orientals and the westerners (Antiochan) respectively.
- The Archdiocese of Kurdu, Beth-Sabdaya and also Najran, provided, the Arabs agree to it, shall vest with Tigris administration.
- The mutual excommunications between the orientals and the Antiochans shall be withdrawn.
- A final decision was taken about the three bishops consecrated by the Patriarch in the see of the Maphrian.
- A bishop excommunicated by the Maphrian shall also be considered as excommunicated by the Patriarch.
One can see just how much authority the Patriarch had over the East Syriac Church from these canons, even though the Maphrian probably swore allegiance and obedience to the Patriarch at the time of his ordination. Such oaths were interpreted in the context of these canons. There was no way the Patriarch could practically exercise authority over the Maphriyan's see.
According to one of the most famous Maphriyans, Mar Gregorios Bar Ebraya (Bar Hebraeus), Apostle Thomas is the first in the Apostolic succession of the East. Bar Ebraya did believe that the Eastern Church was an integral part of the Antiochian Church, due to the historical context of the time in which he lived. He did, however, vigorously defend his rights, as dictated by the church canons.
In 1238, the West Syrians installed Mar Philexnos as Patriarch without the concurrence or participation of Bar Ebraya. When Patriarchal delegates arrived at his monastery with apologies, he refused to receive them, rebuking them for their neglect of the canons. The Church in India and the Syriac Church of the East in Persia remained in one faith for many years. In 431, the Council of Ephesus condemned the teachings of Nestorius, who was the Patriarch of Constantinople. After the Ecumenical council of Ephesus, a significant portion of the Church in Persia adopted Nestorian teachings concerning the nature of Christ.
In 544, Theodosius, the Patriarch of Alexandria, ordained Bishop Mar Jacob Baradaeus for the expansion of a Syriac Church weakened by Byzantine persecution subsequent to the Council of Chalcedon. In 559, Jacob visited the east and consecrated a Catholicos for Orthodox Christians who accepted the Council of Ephesus and rejected the Council of Chalcedon. Mar Jacob himself was ordained a general bishop by Patriarch Theodosius of Alexandria.
The Church believes that this Catholicate, which is in the succession of Apostle Thomas, was re-located to India in 1912 due to the efforts of Ignatius Abdul Masih II, the Patriarch of Antioch and Vattaserill Mar Dionysius, the Malankara Metropolitan. Since the Indian church was under the Ancient Catholicate of Persia, and can be seen as the only remaining part of the Persian church, it is logical for the Catholicate to reside in India.
There have been six Catholicoi in direct succession since establishing the Catholicate of the East in India. The Catholicos has jurisdiction over the dioceses and churches in most parts of India as well as in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, South Africa, Persian Gulf nations, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. The current Catholicos of the Indian Orthodox Church is Catholicos Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II
The Indian Orthodox Church view is that the Catholicate of the East is autocephalous and in the legitimate succession of St. Thomas the Apostle. The term "throne of St.Thomas" used by the Catholicos is a reference to the church's apostolic origin and heritage. It is not a title that was recently coined by the church. Indian prelates have used it for centuries. For example, the Vatican codex 22 written in Cranganore, 1301 AD mentions "Mar Jacob, Bishop Metropolitan, prelate and ruler of the Holy See of the Apostle St. Thomas, namely, our ruler and (the ruler) of the entire Holy Church of the Christians of India". Again, in 1830, when Chepaud Mar Dionysius gave Mar Coorilos of Thozhiyur an Encyclical, it proclaimed that it was From Metropolitan Philipose, known as Dionysius, shepherd to the lambs and ewes of Christ in Malayalam under India, father to the Jacobite Christian community, and seated on the throne of our blessed apostle St Thomas..". In light of such evidence, claims that the Thomasine title was "recently fabricated" by Indian Orthodox leadership is ridiculous. Indeed, it is amazing to see to what lengths the Syrian Orthodox Leadership went to crush this title, which in itself demanded the Malankara Church's autocephaly. In the brief peace and unity of 1958, letters of mutual acceptance were exchanged between the Patriarch and the Catholicos. When the church was unified, all Metropolitans of the Patriarchal group handed in letters of obedience to the Catholicos of the East. The letter of one of them, Paulose Mar Philexinos, mentioned that "I solemnly submit that I will follow the canons of the Church, the Constitution in force, and the directions of Your Holiness.".
In a speech thereafter, the same Mar Philexinos said "We shall remain under the banner of the Catholicate till the moon and stars last. This Catholicate will exist for all time to come. May God Almighty be pleased that we all will stand united under the leadership of this Catholicos who graces the throne. I do not mean political or temporal matters. We have now the privilege of witnessing for our Lord unitedly under the stewardship of one Head. May this unity serve as a signal to all other Churches of India to fall in line under this common Father. We, Metropolitans, will hand in hand serve under the Holy throne of the Catholicate".
Mar Philexinos later led the schismatic Jacobite group that again broke away from the unified church, and was ordained as Paulos I, the first rival Catholicos.
In the exchange of letters, Geevarghese stated that he was "seated on the Throne of the East of Apostle St. Thomas". Patriarch Ignatius Ya`qub III made no objections at that time. Later, during the reign of Mar Baselios Augen, the Catholicos attended the Oriental Orthodox Conference in Addis Ababa, at which the same Patriarch Ya'kub III was present. The Catholicos was addressed as "The catholicos of the ancient see of St. Thomas". Again, there was no objection from Patriarch Yakub. Later, when Augen sent a letter to the Patriarch, in which he named himself as "Catholicos of the Apostolic Throne of St. Thomas", the Patriarch responded:
"...Sometime before your communication I was astonished to read another letter carrying the title 'the throne of St Thomas'. Truth be told, ever since the Catholicate was established in the 4th century CE, no catholicoi or Maphryan has ever used such a title. Second, the apostle St Thomas has never founded any throne that can be referred to as the throne of St. Thomas. As is clear from the Gospel according to St John (20: 21-24), St Thomas had not been ordained a priest. Without being even a priest, how did he become a high priest? Without being a high priest, how did he establish a throne?..".
The Indian Church felt the Patriarch had defied the very Priesthood of St. Thomas in his efforts to deny the Indian church it's Apostolic heritage. It is to be noted that the various sources within the Syriac Church have claimed afterwards that the Patriarch did not necessarily reflect the views of the church in that statement.
According to the view of the Malankara Orthodox Church, the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church (Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church) is a schismatic group which separated in 2002 with a new constitution adopted in the same year against the constitution of 1934. The head of the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church was elected without the permission of the Malankara Association, the largest assembly of the Malankara Church which consisted primarily of lay and priest representatives from Indian Orthodox parishes. The schism started as early as 1970 when Patriarch Ignatius Ya`qub III tried to intervene in internal administrative affairs of the Malankara Church and appointed a Syrian delegate which they held violated both the constitution and canons of the Church. A legal entity was organized as the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church by the Syrian delegate and Jacobite bishops who did not accept the Indian Orthodox view.
The Indian Orthodox were disturbed when they felt they detected a new trend among Syriac scholars to address their primate as "Prince Patriarch of Antioch", and their Church as the "Universal Syriac Orthodox Church". The Indian Orthodox felt that this move suggested a move towards Roman Catholicism When the original Persian Catholicate was reduced to Maphriyana and brought under the 'jurisdiction' of the Syrian Patriarch, many Maphriyanas were ordained to the Patriarchate.
Lineage of Catholicos 
- Mar Thoma Sleeha (Apostle Thomas) (AD 35-72)
- Apostolic period
- Mar Addai Sleeha (Apostle Thaddaeus) (72-120)
- Mar Aggai Sleeha (Apostle Aggaeus) (120-152)
- Mar Mari Sleeha (152-185)
- Mar Abrosius (185-201) - requested help from Antioch
- Mar Abraham (201-213) - ordained in Jerusalem Church
- Mar Yakoub (213-231) - ordained in Jerusalem Church
- Mar Ahod Abuei (231-246)
- Mar Shaluppa (246-266)
- Mar Pappa (Babai) (267-336) - affirmed independent status of Catholicate.
- Mar Simun Bar Sheba (337-350)
.... (lineage continues)
From hereafter "Catholicos of the East & Malankara Metropolitan"
- Baselius Gheevarghese II (1929–1964)
- Baselius Augen I (1964-1975 retired due to age)
- Baselius Marthoma Mathews I (1975–1991)
- Baselius Marthoma Mathews II (1991–2006)
- Baselios Marthoma Didymos I (2005–2010)
- Baselios Marthoma Paulose II (2010–present)
Syriac Orthodox Church's view 
Catholicos of the East is the title of primates of various denominations currently or historically associated with the Syriac Orthodox Church, one among the group of Oriental Orthodox Churches. Nowadays the term Catholicos of India is the official title for the Catholicos/Maphrian of Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church (Jacobite Syrian Christian Church).
The Syriac Orthodox Church is a mother Church in Christendom. The ancient seat of its Patriarchate, Antioch, was the third most prominent city in the Roman Empire at the time of Jesus. As the Holy Bible's Acts of the Apostles records, Christians were first so labelled in Antioch. The Apostles Saint Peter, Saint Paul, Saint Barnabas, and their disciples spent considerable time teaching there. The church historian Eusebius reports how Peter consecrated a successor in Antioch before travelling to Rome. This succession is believed to continue to the present, although the Patriarchal seat has been moved several times.
The Church continued through the time of Constantine I and beyond, sending missionaries into Asia Minor, Persia, India, and even to the border of China. Syriac Christianity has had direct influence in Southern India from at least the 4th century, supported by missionary activity and jurisdiction over "all the East" granted by the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325 AD. Saint Thomas the Apostle, the first missionary to India, is venerated as India's Patron Saint.
As outlined below, the term Catholicos began to be employed in the church for a local hierarch with expanded territorial authority. The term means "universalist" or "generalist".
Over time, eastern and western Syriac traditions developed. East Syriac Churches which continue to employ the title "Catholicos of the East" include the Assyrian Churches of Persia and the Chaldean Church.
Two factions of the Oriental Orthodox Church in India,the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church(also known as Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church)and Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (also known as the Orthodox Syrian Church of India or the Indian Orthodox Church) also employ the term "Catholicos" for their leaders.
Both of these groups are Western Syriac in liturgy and ethos. The Indian Orthodox is autocephalous. The Jacobite Syrian is in close hierarchical association with the Patriarch of Antioch, the supreme head of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Origins and development of the Catholicate in India 
As the political rivalries were great between the Roman and Persian Empires, the Persian Church thought it wise to create a local leader, since the Zoroastrian rulers of Persia were strongly suspicious of any contacts between their Persian Christian minority, and the Christians in the enemy Roman Empire. In the 4th century, the bishop of the Persian capital of Seleucia, Mar Papa, had been declared the first Catholicos of the Church of the East. Mar Isaac, bishop of Seleucia, became the first royally recognized Catholicos, empowered to exercise authority over the Church's Persian jurisdictions excluding India. In the 5th century, as part of the Nestorian schism, the Persian Christians separated from the Christians of the Roman Empire. In the 16th century, another split occurred, with the Nestorian branch becoming known as the Assyrian Church of the East, and another branch joining into communion with Rome, to become the Chaldean Catholic Church. The Assyrian Christians sought to better establish themselves by claiming that the Apostle Thomas not only evangelized their territories and ordained presbyters, but gave authority to specific successors to govern the Church. This teaching contradicted the teachings of Nicaea. To maintain Orthodoxy, patriarchs continued to ordain local Orthodox catholicoi.
The title and concept was resurrected, re-located from Persia, and established in India by the then deposed Patriarch of Antioch Ignatius Abdul Messiah II in 1912. By a state interference Ignatius Abdul Messiah II had lost his position in Turkey and came to be replaced by Mar Abdulla. Metropolitan Mar Dionysius VI clashed with Mar Abdullah and the Canonical senior Patriarch Abdul Messiah offered to come to the assistance of the former(Mar Dionysius). Thus in 1912 he came to Kerala and associated with Mar Dionysius VI and the Bishops and the Church with him, to establish the Catholicate of the East in Malankara. The ceremony was held at St. Mary's Church, Niranam on 15 September 1912. (Niranam Church is one of the seven Churches founded by St. Thomas during his visit here in the first century.).
The Catholicate of the East was thus established in Malankara, with the cooperation of the canonical Patriarch Abdul Messiah, who was senior to Mar Abdulla. Thereby the Patriarch himself withdrew any temporal oversight if any in the Indian Church, which the Royal Court of Appeal had acknowledged in 1889. The designation 'Catholicos of the East' to the successors of St. Thomas the Apostle was given by the Jerusalem Synod of AD 231. The head quarters of the Orthodox Church of the East was first at Uraha (Edessa) in Persia. This was moved to 'Selucia' and it was there the title 'Catholicos of the East' originated. Catholicos is an ecclesiastical dignitary recognised in the Antiochien Syrian Church also. He is equal in rank with the Patriarch though the latter is considered as first among equals (primus interparees) The Persian Christians were not consulted by Abdul Messiah II, nor was the Synod of the Syriac Orthodox Church. At this time, Basileus Paulose I was consecrated the first Catholicos of what has become the Indian Orthodox Church at St. Mary's Orthodox Syrian Church, Niranam (Niranam Valiyapally).
After staying in Malankara for about nine months Mar Abdul Messiah returned to Kurkuma Dayara which was the headquarters of Syrian Patriarchs, in 1913. Mar Abdulla, after staying in Malankara for about 2 years, causing the maximum possible damage to the Church, left Malankara, and died on the way in 1915, without being able to reach the Patriarchal abode.
When the new Patriarch of Antioch Mar Ignatius Abdulla Satuff came to know of the visit of Abdul Massih and the appointment of a Catholicos in Malankara, he became very furious and issued an order invalidating the appointment of the Catholicos and the powers of the Bishops to appoint or elect a new Catholicos. This finally split the church - The Methran Kakshi calls itself the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church of India whose Catholicos or supreme head resides at Devalokam, Kottayam. The Bava Kakshi continued to be called the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church of India whose head is the Antiochian Jacobite Patriarch. The parties approached the Hon. Court of India about ownership of the church properties which prolonged for many years.
Though many peace negotiations were going on from the days of the split, it became more significant with the arrival of Patriarch of Antioch Mor Ignatius Elias III in 1931. He created a favourable atmosphere by cancelling the excommunication of Mor Dionysius Vattasseril VI and tried his best to heal the breach. Although the Bava Kakshi won the case in High court, finally the Supreme Court in 1958 decided the case in favour of the Methran Kakshi (Orthodox Church).
Malankara Orthodox Church is now administered as per the constitution adopted in 1934 which was passed by the Malankara Syrian Christian Association. The Association in its meeting requested the Catholicos Mar Geevarghese II to assume the additional role of Malankara Metropolitan also, due to the demise of previous Malankara Metropolitan Mar Dionysius VI. The practice of the Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan being vested in one person is being continued even today. The Association is a fully representative body of the church with elected members -priests and laymen-from all the Parish Churches. There is also an Episcopal Synod which has all the Prelates of the Malankara Church as members. Matters concerning Faith, Order and Discipline are under the authority of the Episcopal Synod. It is the Episcopal Synod which installs the Catholicos.
Peace in 1958
When Moran Mor Ignatius Yakub III become the Patriarch, expressed his desire for the unity of the Church in Malankara. On 16 December 1958, following a series of discussions that was continuing for many years, the Patriarch and the Catholicose accepted each other and the Universal Church was born. The two sides reconciled when the Indian Supreme Court declared in 1958 that only the autocephalous Catholicos and bishops in communion with him had legal standing. But almost immediately after the accord of 1958, the Catholicose and his group took control of many Jacobite Syrian churches. After a series of such incidents, a meeting of the representatives of the various parish churches, who were in favour for the continuation of the Patriarch, was convened at Manarcad in 1960. The large gathering assembled there protested against the forceful entry of the Catholicose to many churches which was contrary to the agreement reached with the Patriarch earlier. The Catholicose suspended Mor Philixinose Paulose from the Episcopal Synod of the united Church on 17 June 1960, thereby paving the way for the continuation of enmity among the Syrian Christian groups.
Due to the above state of affairs, in 1964, Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Yakub III arrived in Malankara and ordained Mor Augen as Catholicose of the East- 'Mor Baselius Augen I'. Thus, the Jacobite Catholicate was established in India with its administrative jurisdiction limited to India, as per the decision of Universal Episcopal Synod held at Kottayam, presided by the Patriarch Ignatius Yakub III of Antioch and attended by all the bishops of the Syrian Orthodox Church in India, and bishops from the Middle East who had accompanied the Patriarch. In the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, the Patriarch of Antioch & all the East is the spiritual supreme, but the temporal powers of the local Church in India rests with an association, elected from among the representatives of Parishes of Malankara, and is to be administered under guidance from its Chief prelate, the Catholicos of India.
By the seventies, Catholicose Mar Augen I under pressure from the extremists in his group, began to claim that he was sitting on the throne of St. Thomas and declared equality with his superior, the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East. And also fundamental changes were made in the history and faith of the Malankara Church that was followed for centuries, particularly in the Sunday Schools and other such organizations. The Patriarch convened a Universal Synod of the Syrian Orthodox Church in 1975 and excommunicated the Catholicose Augen I. Consequently the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church elected Mor Philexinos Paulose as the new Catholicose-designate and in 1975 and he was ordained as Catholicose Mor Baselios Paulose II for the Indian Church for the Bava kakshi. Again a series of court cases erupted about church properties between the two groups.
In June 1996 the Supreme Court of India rendered a decision that (a) upheld the Constitution of the church that had been adopted in 1934 and made it binding on both factions, (b) stated that there is only one Orthodox church in India, currently divided into two factions, and (c) recognized the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch as the spiritual head of the universal Syrian Church, while affirming that the autocephalous Catholicos has legal standing as the head of the entire church, and that he is custodian of its parishes and properties.
In 2002 Baselios Thomas I was consecrated by Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas to be the local head of all Syriac Christians in India. Though most often called "Catholicos of the East", his official title was made Catholicos of India'.' due to the region of his jurisdiction. He functions at an ecclesiastical rank second only to the Patriarch, having the privilege to preside over the consecration of new patriarchs. The Catholicos has been greeted alongside the Patriarch at ecclesiastical and ecumenical functions, and hosted the Patriarch during a state visit to India in 2005.
This Catholicate is headquartered at Puthencruz, Kerala, India and functions in a similar manner to the Indian Orthodox Catholicate within India. The Catholicos of India presides over the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Christian Association, the legal entity of Malankara parishes that supports remaining within the Antiochian Patriarchate. This entity, recognized by the High Court of Kerala, was formed in 2002 to guard against Indian Orthodox hierarchs claiming the property of parishes where Jacobite parishioners are the overwhelming majority.
The Catholicos is not authorized to consecrate Holy Mooron independently. The jurisdiction of the Jacobite Catholicos is limited to India only, although he is often invited to preside over Jacobite functions abroad.
The Syriac Orthodox Church believes it is the mother Christian church in South India and that the Indian Orthodox Church is a schismatic faction. The Indian Orthodox Catholicate remains under excommunication for dividing the church — leading to numerous legal actions, boarded churches, and broken faith experiences. The claim of autocephaly and Thomasine succession is especially onerous since both camps accept that Jacobite Petrine Patriarchs were involved in maintaining Indian ecclesiastical leadership, and as noted in both "viewpoints", it was a deposed Antiochian Patriarch that initially established the non-canonical Catholicate.
To underscore the point, the Supreme Court of India unequivocally declared that the Indian Orthodox Catholicate is part of the Syriac Orthodox Church and is not autocephalous in 1995. The current constitution of the Indian Orthodox Church (1934) continues to acknowledge the Patriarch of Antioch as that group's spiritual head and having no temporal authority.
Lineage of Syrian Jacobite Catholicos 
- Baselios Augen I (1964–1975)
- Baselios Paulose II (1975–1996)
- Vacant from 1996 to 2002
- Baselios Thomas I (2002–present)
Lineage of Malankara Orthodox Catholicos 
- St. Thomas the Apostle – (Founder) (35-72)
- Addai (Thaddeus of Edessa) (72-120)
- Aggai (Aggaeus) (120-152)
- Mari (152-185)
- Abrosius (185-201)
- Abraham (201-213)
- Yakoub (213-231)
- Ahod Abuei (231-246)
- Shahluppa (246-266)
- Pappa (267-336)
- Simun Bar Sheba (337-350)
- Shahoudolh (350-352)
- Bar Bosomin (352-360)
- Thomuso (360-368)
- Quoyumo (370-375)
- Ishaq (375-386)
- Oah (386-393)
- Vahb Allaho (393-398)
- Magina (398-400)
- Merbukhat (401-420)
- Daudesh (421-456)
- Babuyah (457-484)
- Joseph (552-556)
- Ahoudelle (559-577) (Cons. by Yakoub Burdana)
- Qoum Ycsu (578-579)
- Samuel (614-624) (Maphrianate at Tigris)
- Morooso (628-649)
- Denha-1 (650-659)
- Bar Yesu (669-684)
- Abraham (686-687)
- David (687)
- Youhanon Souba (687-688)
- Denha-ll (688-728)
- Paulos (728-757)
- Youhanon Keeyunoyo (758-788)
- Joseph (789-793)
- Sharbeel (794-810)
- Simun (812-828)
- Baselios Bar Baldoyo (828-838)
- Daniel (838-847)
- Thoma of Tigris (848-856)
- Lo Asar (856-869)
- Sargis (872-883)
- Athanasius (887-904)
- Thoma Asthunoro (912-913)
- Denha-III (915-935)
- Baselios III (938-962)
- Kuriakos (964-982)
- Youhanan Darmascus (991-997)
- Ignatius Barkiki (997-1022)
- Athanasius of Edesa (1027-1141)
- Baselios of Tigris (1046-1069)
- Youhanan Sleeba (1075-1106)
- Dionysius Moosa (1112-1142)
- Ignatius Lo Asar (1143-1164)
- Youhanan Srugayo (1165-1188)
- Dionysius Bar Msah (1188-1204)
- Gregorios Yakoub (1204-1215)
- Ignatius David (1215-1222)
- Dionysius Sleeba (1222-1231)
- Youhanan Bar Madan (1232-1253)
- Ignatius Sleeba of Edesa (1253-1258)
- Gregorios Bar Hebraeus (1266-1286)
- Gregorius Bar Sauma (1289 -1308)
- Gregorius Mathai (1317-1360)
- Alhanasius Abraham (1365-1379)
- Baselios Bahnam (1404-1412)
- Dioscoros Bahnam (1415-1417)
- Baselios Barsauma (1422-1455)
- Baselios Asiz (1471-1487)
- Ignatius Nuh of Horns (1490-1494)
- Baselios Abraham (1494-1496)
- Baselios (1560-1589)
- Baselios Yaldo (1634-1685) (d. at Kothamangalam)
- Baselios Shakrulla (1751-1764) (d. at Kandanad)
- Baselios Elias (1838-1840)
- Baselios Bahnam in Malankara (1850-1860)
- Baselios Paulose I (1912–1914) (Catholicos of the East)
- Baselios Geevarghese I (1925–1928) (Catholicos of the East)
- Baselios Geevarghese II (Catholicos of the East, 1929-1964 & Malankara Metropolitan, 1934–1964)
- Baselios Augen I (1964–1975) (Catholicos of the East & Malankara Metropolitan)
- Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews I (1975–1991) (Catholicos of the East & Malankara Metropolitan)
- Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews II (1991–2005) (Catholicos of the East & Malankara Metropolitan)
- Baselios Mar Thoma Didymos I (2005–2010) (Catholicos of the East & Malankara Metropolitan)
- Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II (2010–2013) (Catholicos of the East & Malankara Metropolitan)
Other Churches employing the title Catholicos 
Besides the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, other churches employ the title "Catholicos", most notably the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church, the Assyrian Church of the East, Ancient Church of the East and Georgian Orthodox Church
See also 
- Catholicos India site
- "Syriac" here refers to the language of Aramaic, a dialect of which was spoken by Jesus Christ
- this exposition.
- T.A. Mathai Shemmashan (Later Baselios Augen I), 'Malankara Edavaka Pathrika' 1906
- Consequences of split
||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (August 2010)|
- Indian Christianity
- Official Website of the Indian Orthodox Church
- Complete Website of the Indian Orthodox Church
- Catholicos of the East - St. Mary's Malankara Orthodox Cathedral of Philadelphia
- Indian Orthodox Herald: News about the Catholicate of the East
- ICON Indian Christian Orthodox Network - Catholicos of the East
- Complete Site of Catholicos of The East and Malankara Metropolitan
- Malankara Sabhadeepam: Church history and news in Malayalam
- Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church - Diocese of America
- History of the Catholicate of the East
- Syriac Orthodox Resources
- Shoro, the Syriac Orthodox Christian Digest
- Catholicose.org Aboon Baselios Paulose II
- SyriacChristianity.org: Malankara Syriac Christian Resources
- Malankara Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America