Bishop of Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church dead

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 27 (IANS) Zacharias Mar Theophilus, senior suffragan metropolitan of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church, died on Sunday at a hospital here, church officials said. He was 77.

The bishop, who headed the Chengannur-Mavelikera diocese of the church, attended the Christmas service in Oman and reached the Kerala capital on Saturday morning.

On arrival at the airport, he complained of some uneasiness and was immediately rushed to a private hospital. He suffered a haemorrhage and breathed his last at 5.52 p.m. on Sunday.

The funeral will take place on Tuesday at their church headquarters in Thiruvalla, about 120 km from here, a church spokesperson told the media.

Consecrated as a bishop on May 1, 1980, Theophilus served in various dioceses, both inside and outside the country, and was a highly respected person.

Theophilus completed his Masters at the Princeton Theological Seminary in 1974 and his doctoral studies at Boston University in 1976.

He was also an executive committee member of the Christian Conference of Asia, and executive and central committee member of the World Council of Churches.

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