Catholicos of the East

Catholicos of the East is the title that has been held by the ecclesiastical heads of the Church of the East, the Grand Metropolitan of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, since AD. 280.[1]

The term "Catholicos" is derived from the Greek word Katholikos (Καθολικός), meaning "Universal Bishop". The title Catholicos, is used in several Eastern Christian churches and implies a degree of sovereignty and autocephaly.

Catholicos of the East refers to:

It may also refer to the ecclesiastical heads of the different branches of the Church of the East

Catholicos of the East also refers to some ecclesiastical institutions of later origin:


  1. ^ Walker 1985, p. 172: "this church had as its head a "catholicos" who came to be styled "Patriarch of the East" and had his seat originally at Seleucia-Ctesiphon (after 775 it was shifted to Baghdad)".
  2. ^ Burleson & Rompay 2011, p. 481-491.
  3. ^ Wilmshurst 2019, p. 799–805.
  4. ^ "Patriarch Zakka I: The SOC At a Glance". Retrieved 2022-04-24. During the third century, a number of bishoprics were gradually organized and a general leadership was established, with Madaen as its center, in the ecclesiastical region under the jurisdiction of the Apostolic See of Antioch. Its bishop was called Bishop of the East, or Catholicos of the East, and was later known as the Maphryono of the East.
  5. ^ "H.H. Baselios Marthoma Mathews III, The Ninth Catholicos of the East in Malankara". Retrieved 2022-04-24. His Holiness Baselios Marthoma Mathews III was enthroned as the Catholicos of the East & Malankara Metropolitan (the Supreme Head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church of India) on Friday, 15th October 2021
  6. ^ "Jacobite Syrian Christian Church". JSC News- Official News Portal of the Church. Retrieved 2022-04-24. In the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, the Patriarch of Antioch & all the East is the spiritual supreme, but the temporal powers of the local Church in India rests with an association, elected from among the representatives of Parishes of Malankara, and is to be administered under guidance from its Chief prelate, the Catholicos of India.
  7. ^ Constitution (1998). Syriac Orthodox Church Constitution. His Beatitude The Catholicos ranks second after the Patriarch within the Syrian Orthodox Church hierarchy. He is elected only by the Metropolitans under the jurisdiction of the Catholicate See. They must obey him, so must the priests, deacons and all the people within the Syrian Orthodox Archdioceses in India. At his ordination, he is proclaimed: Mor Baselius... (his personal name is added here). His name shall be proclaimed throughout the archdioceses in India during the Holy Mass and canonical prayers, after the name of the Patriarch and preceding the name of the Archdiocese Metropolitan. His name should be mentioned also at every Syrian church where he attends prayer. His title is: His Beatitude Mor Baselius... Catholicos of the East and Metropolitan of Malankara.
  8. ^ "Catholicate of the East". Retrieved 2022-04-24. In 2002 the office of the Maphrianate was renamed ‘Catholicos of India’ in accordance with its actual jurisdiction