Your Holiness, most Venerable Brother in Christ,
Praising the Triune God, let me humbly greet Your Holiness in the name of the Bishops. Clergy and the Faithful of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church of India. I thank God for this occasion for us to meet each other in the first year of your blessed pontificate, in this city sanctified by the martyrdom of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul. People of goodwill everywhere are rejoicing in the
gracious words of Your Holiness and the way in which you exemplify the pastoral ministry of Christ our Good Shepherd.
Your Holiness. The Malankara Orthodox Church , faithfully rooted in the apostolic tradition of the holy Apostle Thomas in India. is committed to the true unity of our churches as willed by Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. In the broader frame of unity of all Christians. I have a special dream for the unity of Christians in the St Thomas tradition. Wherever possible and appropriate, we are willing to cooperate with our sister churches in ministering to the pastoral needs of the people, particularly the poor and the marginalised. Some of the present pastoral issues may be resolved on the basis of the common tradition
that existed before the unfortunate division in the Indian church in the 16th century.
Although Christians are a small minority in India and Asia in general we have the great task of witnessing to the life giving Gospel of Christ by caring for the poor and the downtrodden, by nurturing peace, justice and communal harmony and by working with and learning from the great spiritual-ethical traditions of India. In all this the Indian Catholic and Orthodox churches can fruitfully cooperate in the bond of love.
My venerable Elder Brother in Christ, I gladly join Your Holiness in your deep prayer for peace in our world, especially in Syria, the Middle East, and Asia. With great joy and hope, we invite Your Holiness to visit India, and we offer our humble prayers to God our Father that your blessed ministry may continue to inspire our churches in the power of the Holy Spirit and bring new hope for humanity at large. Glory be to the Father , the Son and the Holy Spirit, One true God, now and for evermore. Amen.