Primatial Decree of the Metropolitan Synod of the Apostolic Episcopal Church in the matter of The Syro-Chaldean Metropolitical See of India, Ceylon, Mylapore, Socotra and Messina
The Metropolitan Synod of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, having convened a Committee of Inquiry into this matter and having received that Committee’s Report, upon the resolution of the Primate and Presiding Bishop motu proprio decrees as follows:
- Whereas the Syro-Chaldean Metropolitical See of India, Ceylon, Mylapore, Socotra and Messina, descending from the blessed Apostle St Thomas, was re-erected in the modern era in 1862 by the Syro-Chaldean Patriarch of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, Mar Ruwil Shim’un XX (1860-1903), who on 17 December 1862 consecrated Anthony Thondanatta (1828-1900) as Metropolitan Mar Abdeeso Antonios of Trichur.
- And whereas on 24 July 1899 Metropolitan Mar Abdeeso Antonios consecrated Luis Mariano Soares as Mar Basilius, and that Mar Basilius succeeded Mar Abdeeso Antonios as Metropolitan on his death the following year.
- And whereas on 30 November 1902 Mar Basilius consecrated Ulric Vernon Herford (1866-1938) as Mar Jacobus, Bishop of Mercia and Middlesex (including the County of London).
- (1) And whereas Mar Jacobus succeeded Mar Basilius upon his death on 7 July 1903 and in December 1903 issued a Pastoral Letter asserting his position as “Administrator of the Metropolitan See of India, Ceylon, Milapure etc. of the Syro-Chaldean Church, and Patriarchate of Babylon and the East.” [G.F. Tull, Vernon Herford, Apostle of Unity, Broadacre Books, Bradford, 1958, pp. 27-32] (2) And whereas in a letter to Mar Jacobus of 17 December 1913, the Patriarch of the East, Mar Binyamin Shim’un, addressed him as “the Right Reverend Mar Yaqueb, Bishop” and indicated thereby a full acceptance of Mar Jacobus’s episcopal and canonical standing.
- (1) And whereas Mar Jacobus initially appointed Fr. K.T. John as his Vicar-General in India, and subsequently in 1929 appointed the Revd. James Yorke Batley (1880-1971) to the same position, he being assigned to visit India for two years in order to report on the missions there, but that he concluded that the majority of the faithful who had been attached to those missions had now been absorbed into the flock of the then-Metropolitan of Trichur.
- And whereas on the death of Mar Jacobus on 15 August 1938 he was succeeded by Mar Hedley (Dr Hedley Coward Bartlett) as Administrator of the Syro-Chaldean Metropolitical See of India, Ceylon, Mylapore, Socotra and Messina.
- And whereas on 2 July 1945 the Syro-Chaldean Metropolitical See of India, Ceylon, Mylapore, Socotra and Messina was merged in the Catholicate of the West by Instrument of Mar Hedley.
- And whereas between August 1945 and 11 October 1947 Mar James (James Charles Ryan also known as Joseph Chengalvaroyan Pillai) served as Exarch for the Indies in the Catholicate of the West.
- And whereas the Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church, otherwise known as the Apostolic Church of the Indies and the Church of India, Ceylon and Malaya, entered into intercommunion with the Catholicate of the West on 14 February 1948, and Mar Petros (Jonas Gnanadiravian Peters) was appointed as Exarch-Elect of the Indies in the Catholicate of the West.
- And whereas on 20 September 1953, consequent upon a Mandate issued by Mar Paulos (in his capacity as Primate of the American Catholic Church, an affiliated jurisdiction of the Catholicate of the West), Mar Petros was episcopally consecrated at the hands of Mar Columba (Odo Acheson Barry), at which point Mar Petros was affirmed as Bishop of Ambur in the Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church.
- And whereas on the abandonment of the Catholicate of the West by Mar Georgius on 29 November 1953 the Syro-Chaldean Metropolitical See of India, Ceylon, Mylapore, Socotra and Messina continued to be a part of the continuing Catholicate of the West as established previously (see Primatial Decree no. 15/2015), and remains so today.
- (i) And whereas on the death of Mar Petros in April 1956, he having neither consecrated any bishop nor nominated a successor, the position of Administrator of the Syro-Chaldean Metropolitical See of India, Ceylon, Mylapore, Socotra and Messina, devolved upon Mar Paulos of the Catholicate of the West as his canonical head-at-line. (ii) And whereas since this time the position of Administrator has commemorated the See once held by Mar Abdeeso Antonios and Mar Basilius, but has not entailed the reassertion of effective jurisdiction in the regions that were once subject to that See.
- Now therefore the lineage of the Syro-Chaldean Metropolitical See of India, Ceylon, Mylapore, Socotra and Messina is therefore as follows:
- Mar Abdeeso Antonios (17 December 1862-November 1900)
- Mar Basilius (November 1900-7 July 1903)Mar Jacobus (Administrator, 7 July 1903-15 August 1938)
- Mar Hedley (Administrator 15 August 1938-2 July 1945)
- Mar Georgius (Administrator 2 July 1945-29 November 1953)
- Mar Petros (Exarch-Elect 1948-53; Administrator 29 November 1953-April 1956)
- Mar Paulos (Administrator April 1956-29 April 1965)
- Mar David I (Administrator 29 April 1965-8 August 1976)
- Mar David II (Administrator 8 August 1976-26 December 2000)
- Mar Timotheos III (Administrator 26 December 2000-5 February 2015)
- Mar Joannes Edmundus (Administrator 5 February 2015-)
(L+S) ++JOANNES EDMUNDUS
1 August 2015 a.d., no. 21 of 2015
Secretary to the Metropolitan Synod of the Apostolic Episcopal Church