Archbishop’s Visit to Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in India Continues – Day 4
Archbishop Michael Jackson is currently visiting the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, also known as the Indian Orthodox Church. The church is based in the Indian state of Kerala and during his visit the Archbishop will worship in a number of parishes. He will also attend a number of presentations and talks.
Archbishop Jackson followed his meeting yesterday evening with Metropolitan Zechariah Mar Nicholovos, who is the President of the Department of Ecumenical Relations and serves in Buffalo NY, with a meeting with Metropolitan Yuhanon Mar Dioscoros in his ashram. He is Bishop of Kottayam and Secretary of the Holy Episcopal Synod of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church as well as serving as one of the international bishops.
The Bishop spoke warmly of the ways in which the Church of Ireland facilitates the Indian Orthodox Church in Ireland and both he and the Archbishop spoke of how Inter Faith engagement is part of the weave of Christian witness in many parts of India and has been for generations. The situations in Ireland and India are, of course, not directly comparable but the energy to serve those in need, irrespective of their faith focus while still respecting them and ourselves in our differences, proved to be a valuable, instructive and clarifying insight along with being an important point of reference.The Archbishop was also delighted to meet members of the staff of the Moderator of the Church of South India, some members of his family and teaching staff in the Theological College of CSI. They and the Orthodox Church work in close partnership and CSI is very keen to develop links with the United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough for the future.
It remains powerful and striking how memorable and influential Bishop Packenham–Walsh is in the minds of both traditions. He clearly held true to the advice given his by Bishop Westcott of Durham in the year he spent with him training for the ministry. The Bishop’s advice was: Do not become aligned with either High or Low Church parties and: Do not peddle second hand opinions or convictions.
The afternoon concluded with a boat trip and lunch on The Backwaters of Kottayam.