Mar Dionysius I (Mar Thomas VI), First Validly Consecrated Bishop in the Malankara Church

Efforts for Episcopal Consecration and Arrival of Antiochene Prelates (1751)

Mar Thomas V, following his predecessors, made unsuccessful attempts to reunite with Rome. He was deeply concerned about his lack of valid episcopal consecration. In his pursuit to address this, he requested the Dutch authorities in Cochin (conquered by the Dutch in 1663) to bring a bishop from the Persian Gulf, promising substantial funds for travel expenses. Responding to the continuous efforts of Mar Thomas V and with support from the Dutch, the Antiochene Patriarch dispatched two prelates, Sacralla Mar Basilios and Mar Gregorios, who arrived in Cochin on April 23, 1751, accompanied by Ramban John (Youhanan) and two other Syrian clerics​​.

Attempted Integration of Antiochene Customs and Liturgy

These bishops sought to claim jurisdiction over the Malankara Church, introducing numerous Antiochene customs and Jacobite tenets among the local faithful. They brought various Anaphoras of the Antiochene tradition, including the liturgy of St. James, to the Malankara Church, though the Chaldean liturgy was not completely replaced​​.

Conflict and Delay in Consecration of Mar Thomas V

Mar Thomas V invited the Antiochene prelates to Malankara, hoping to be consecrated as a bishop by them. However, the prelates, recognizing the strategic importance of a valid episcopacy in the church's alignment with Antioch, delayed the consecration. This led to a prolonged conflict, which escalated when Mar Basilios consecrated Ramban John as Mar Ivanios in 1752, appointing him as the metropolitan of the Malankara Church. Mar Thomas V continued to function as the church's head despite this development​​.

Intervention of the King of Travancore and Consecration of Mar Thomas VI

The ongoing conflict prompted intervention by the king of Travancore, leading to a compromised agreement for the consecration of Mar Thomas V. However, Mar Basilios passed away in 1764, and Mar Thomas V died in 1765 without receiving episcopal consecration. He was succeeded by his nephew, who took the title Mar Thomas VI. Under pressure from the king of Travancore, Mar Gregorios, assisted by Mar Ivanios, consecrated Mar Thomas VI at St Mary's Church at Niranam in the first week of January 1772. Mar Thomas VI, taking the name Mar Dionysius I, became the first validly consecrated bishop of the Malankara Church​​.

Recognition of Valid Episcopal Consecration

Mar Dionysius I's consecration was a significant milestone, marking a break from the line of previous leaders who were not validly consecrated. In a profession of faith and petition dated March 12, 1778, sent to Pope Pius VI, Mar Dionysius I admitted that none of his predecessors had been validly consecrated. This admission and subsequent consecration provided the Malankara Church with stability, autonomy, and the maintenance of apostolic succession, true priesthood, and valid sacraments​​.

history/malankara_syrian_orthodox_church_from_its_inception_until_the_time_of_reunion/mar_dionysius_i_mar_thomas_vi_first_validly_consecrated_bishop_in_the_malankara_church.txt · Last modified: 2024/01/22 04:39 by smcc