The Malankara Syrian Orthodox Diocese in Europe (Ireland) is part of the Universal Syrian Orthodox Church under the supreme primacy of Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Aprem II and Catholicose H.B. Mor Baselios Thomas I. H.E. Dr. Kuriakose Mor Theophilose Metropolitan is the present Patriarchal Vicar of the Diocese.
The Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church Diocesan Council in Europe (Ireland) is the governing body of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Churches in Europe (Ireland) which consist of elected representatives from each parish plus the Diocesan Metropolitan as its head. Late Patriarch of blessed memory H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas gave the consent to the General Council of the Malankara Parishes and Congregations in Europe (Patriarch Bull No. E172/07 dated 16 May 2007).
The origin of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church in Europe (MSOCE) started with the migration of the Syrian orthodox believers from Kerala to Europe in the early seventies. Their spiritual needs were taken care by the priests who came to Europe from Kerala occasionally to pursue their higher studies. The priests who came to Europe for visit conducted Holy Liturgies occasionally. With the establishment of St. Mary’s Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church in Vienna, Austria on 23rd July 1989 by H.G. Thomas Mor Dionysius (now Catholicose H.B. Mor Baselios Thomas I), the Malankara Syrian Orthodox believers got their first ever parish in Central Europe. Parallelly St. Thomas Syrian Orthodox Church in London and later St. Mary’s Syrian Orthodox Church in Switzerland were also established. Those parishes in Europe were shepherded by H.G. Thomas Mor Timotheus and followed by H.G. Joseph Mor Gregorios.
With the appointment of H.G. Dr. Kuriakose Mor Theophilose as Patriarchal Vicar of Malankara Churches in Europe in May 2004 by the late H.H. Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas the Malankara Syrian Orthodox church in Europe has grown tremendously. There were only a few parishes in Europe when H.E. Dr. Kuriakose Mor Theophilose took charge. Through the tremendous effort and efficient leadership of H.G. Mor Theophilose, the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church in Europe was able to attain its current position. To foster the unified function of the parishes H.E. Dr. Kuriakose Mor Theophilose took initiatives to organize the Family Conference and hence the St. Mary’s Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church in Vienna organized the First Family Conference of MSOCE in June 2005 in Vienna, Austria. The then vicar late Rev. Fr. Dr. Biji Chirathalatttu served as the General convenor of this family conference. It was a milestone in the history of Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church in Europe. Families from UK, Austria, Germany and Switzerland parishes participated. Along with Theophilose Thirumeni, Rev. Fr. Eldhose Koungampillil, late Rev. Fr. Dr. Biji Markose Chirathilattu, Rev. Dr. Thomas Jacob Manimala and Rev. Fr. Siju Koungapallil lead the meeting. The plenary meeting of the Family Conference elected a General Council consisting of Rev. Fr. Eldhose Koungampillil as Clergy Secretary, Mr. George Padickakudy as Lay Secretary, Mr. Mathew Kulamadayil as Treasurer and one representative from each parish and congregation in Europe.
In 2006, the second family conference was held in London and Rev. Fr. Eldhose Koungampillil acted as the general convenor. H.E. Dr. Abraham Mor Severios of Angamali Dioces was the chief guest of the meeting. Based on the decision taken in this meeting an official delegation of MSOCE, consisting of its Metropolitan and both secretaries had an audience with His Holiness, the Patriarch, at Damascus, Syria, in May 2007. Thereby H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas gave the consent to General Council of the Malankara Parishes and Congregations in Europe.
St. Mary’s Syr. Orthodox Church, Switzerland hosted the third family conference in Basel in 2007. The then vicar Rev. Fr. Dr. Prince Paulose functioned as the general convenor. The outcome of the three family conferences provided greater spiritual strength and unity among the faithful and subsequently in 2008 the fourth family conference was held in Dublin, Ireland under the general convenorship of Rev. Fr. Dr. Joby Skaria, the then vicar of the St. Gregorios Jacobite Church Dublin.
The four European family conferences held during the period from 2004 to 2008 in different parts of Europe under the leadership of H.E. Theophilose enhanced the spiritual and social growth of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Community in Europe. By 2008 there were 10 priests, 14 churches and eight congregations in Europe.
As the number of parishes increased new regional administrative divisions were needed and subsequently H.E. Dr. Kuriakose Mor Theophilose was appointed as the Patriarchal Vicar of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church in Middle Europe (MSOCME). Followingly in 2009 Family conference of the MSOCME was conducted by the Vienna Church. Rev. Fr. Biju Parakkattil served as the General Convenor. Plenary meeting of the conference has constituted a new Council for MSOCME with Rev. Fr. Dr. Thomas Jacob Manimala (Priest Secretary), Mr. George Padickakudy (Lay Secretary), Mr. Babu Vethani (Treasurer), Mr. Benny Kakkattu (PRO) and other representing members from different parishes. V. Rev. Fr. Dr. Adai Jacob Corepiscopa, Principal, MSOT Seminary was the chief guest for this meeting. Again in 2016 Vienna St. Mary’s Church under the leadership of its vicar Rev. Fr. Joshy Vettikattil untiringly hosted the MSOCME Family conference. This Family Conference was a great success in which families from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Italy, Malta, Norway, Sweden, and The Netherlands were able to come together. Since then, Rev. Fr. Joshy Vettikattil serves as the coordinator of MSOC Europe (Ireland).
Since February 2020 with the addition of new council members (two Council Members from each church) also from the newly formed churches and congregations, the Diocesan Metropolitan H.E. Theophilose through his Kalpana E/19 expanded the MSOC Europe (Ireland) Council. Though the council couldn’t meet in person, during the period of Covid-19 Pandemic, under the presidential leadership of the MSOC Europe Metropolitan it could meet periodically online and taken the necessary decisions for the smooth functioning of the diocese. The establishment of Online Sunday School, Premarital Counselling course conducted in 2020 and the launching of a MSOC Europe website are some of the major contributions of the present council.