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CCA mourns the Passing away of His Eminence Dr. Zacharias Mar Theophilus, Suffragan Metroploitan, Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church

The Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) received with great sorrow the news of the sad demise of His Eminence Dr. Zacharias Mar Theophilus Suffragan Metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church. He was admitted to a private hospital in Trivandrum following a brief illness while returning from Muscat. He was 78.

His Eminence was a member of the General and Executive Committees of CCA from 1981 to 1985. During his tenure as a member of the Central and Executive Committees of the World Council of Churches from 1991 to 2006, Mar Theophilus strove to raise the Asian issues and concerns in the global ecumenical agenda. He served as a member of the Special Commission on Orthodox Participation in WCC, member of the Asia Regional Group of WCC, and a member of the CCA-WCC Joint Working Group.

In a condolence letter addressed to His Beatitude Dr. Joseph Mar Thoma Metropolitan, Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, Dr. Mathews George Chunakara, General Secretary CCA, offered profound condolences on behalf of the CCA and the Asian Ecumenical Movement.

(Please see the attachment for full text of the Condolence Message from Dr. Mathews George Chunakara)

Dr. Mathews George said that “The Asian ecumenical movement has benefited from the vision, wisdom, spiritual guidance and leadership of His Eminence Mar Theophilus at different levels while he was serving the ecumenical movement in Asia and in the world.”

Appreciating the wise counsel of His Eminence Mar Theophilus and his ability for ecumenical diplomacy, Dr Mathews also added that His Eminence was an “ardent proponent of strengthening ecumenism at all levels and respecting the rich heritage and traditions of churches.”

“Mar Theophilus’ profound theological and missiological insight and knowledge, ability to envision, and meticulous planning and organization”, he said, “were valued and recognized by the international ecumenical community.”

The passing of Mar Theophilus Suffragan Metropolitan, Dr. Mathews said, “is a great loss not only for the Mar Thoma Church all over the world, but for the members of the worldwide ecumenical family who have admired his leadership and pastoral stewardship.”

May the late and ever memorable Dr. Zacharias Mar Theophilus find the reward of “the faithful and wise steward” and may he rest in the blessed hope of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Submitted by:Ecumenical Committee
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