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[123rd successor of St.Peter in the Apostolic See of Antioch]

On March 21, 2014, Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas died after a long illness. Following his death, the Holy Synod of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch was convened to elect a successor. The synod was held at St Jacob Baradeus Monastery in Atchaneh, Lebanon, presided over by Mor Baselios Thomas I Catholicos of India and Mor Severius Jamil Hawa Archbishop of Baghdad and Basra and Patriarchal Locum Tenens. The synod elected Cyril Aphrem Karim to be the 123rd successor of St. Peter in the Apostolic See of Antioch. He was enthroned on May 29, 2014, at St Ephrem's Monastery, Maarat Saidnaya, near Damascus, Syria. Baselios Thomas I oversaw the ceremony.

Karim took the patriarchal name Ignatius, replacing his episcopal name Cyril, and, being the second patriarch to bear the monastic name Aphrem (the first being Ignatius Aphrem I Barsoum), his name became Ignatius Aphrem II. Unlike his immediate predecessors, but following older convention, Aphrem II chose not to use his family name, Karim, in his official title.




Catholicos Baselios Thomas I (July 22, 1929) is Maphriyono/Catholicos of the Syriac Orthodox Church and the regional head of Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church. His official title is Catholicos of India although sometimes called Catholicos of the East. It was on 26 July 2002 he was enthroned as the Catholicos and the head of the Church in India. He is the regional head of the 1.2 million Syriac Christians of India, a Christian community believed to have been established by Apostle St. Thomas in a place called Maliyankara, near North Paravur in South India in AD. 52.

His priestly formation was under the guidance of Mor Philoxenos Paulos (later Catholicos Paulos II) who ordained him korooyo in 1952 and shamshono at Kadamattom Church in 1957. In 1958, he was ordained priest by Mor Yulius Elias Qoro in September 1958 at Manjinikkara. He was the 43rd priest from the Cheruvillil family. Fr. C.M. Thomas served as the vicar of St. Peter's church, Puthenkurishu from 1959 while also serving churches at Vellathooval, Keezhumuri, Fort Cochin, Valamboor and later at Calcutta and Trichur. In 1960, while vicar at Puthenkurish, he played a key role in rebuilding the church; parishioners fondly recollect their priest working with them during the reconstruction. From 1967-74, he served as the organizing secretary of Kolenchery Medical Mission Hospital and his journey continued.  On July 26, 2002, Mor Dionysius was consecrated Catholicos by H.H. Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas at Ma`rat Sayyidnaya, Damascus.


           Mor Osthatheos Issac

Patriarchal Vicar and Metropolitan of Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church in U.K.

H.G. Mor Osthatheos Ishaq was born on January 17th 1976 as the son of Mr. C.I. Thomas and Saramma Thomas, Pachilakkattu (Ceetharukuzhiyil) Puthuveli, Kottayam. The St. Stephens Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, Koothattukulam in Kandanadu Diocese is the home parish of the Metropolitan. Late Lamented Mor Osthathios Thomas, Metropolitan of Kochi diocese, is his grandfather’s brother.  


From a very young age itself he was greatly involved in religious affairs. It was at the age of seven, that he came to Kyomtha Seminary, Thiuvankulam with his grand uncle Mor Osthathios Thomas. He completed primary and secondary school education from Georgian Academy English Medium School, Thiruvankulam and high school from RMHS Vadavucode. Later he attained graduation in Economics from St. Alberts College, Ernakulam and Post-graduation from Kerala University. He also graduated in Library Science from Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi. 



Uppingham Methodist Church,


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