The Bishop in Madhya Kerala Diocese, the Rt. Rev . Thomas K. Oommen has been elected Moderator and Primate of the Church of South India. On 14 January 2017 the 35th session of the CSI General Synod meeting in Kottayam elected Bishop Oommen moderator and the Rt. Rev. Vadapally Prasada Rao, Bishop in Dornakal Diocese, the deputy moderator. The Rev. Dr. Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda was reelected to a second term as General Secretary and Robert Bruce was reelected to a second term as Treasurer.
The Synod opened on Saturday with a procession from the offices of the Madhya Kerala Diocese in Kottayam to the church’s Retreat Center, where Dr. Sadananda brought the meeting to order under the theme: “Pilgrim Journey Towards Forgiveness and Reconciliation”. The General Secretary of the World Council of Reformed Churches, Dr. Christopher Ferguson, preached at the opening worship service, while the leaders of the Church of North India and other partner churches brought greetings to the gathering.
The outgoing Moderator, the Most Rev. G. Dyvasirvadam, Bishop in Madras, delivered his presidential address followed by a state of the church report given by the General Secretary.
During the evening session of the first day the officers were elected, with Bishop Oommenn receiving a plurality of votes from the clergy, lay and episcopal delegates.
Considered a reformer within the CSI House of Bishops, Bishop Oommen has been free from the taint of corruption and fiscal mismanagement that have plagued the church in recent years. Born on 29 Nov 1953 in Thalavady in Kerala’s Alappuzha district, Bishop Oommen’s father was a farmer. He was educated at the NSS Hindu College, Changanassery and prepared for the ministry at Leonard Theological College, Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh. Ordained deacon in 1982 and priest in 1983, Bishop Oommen served in the parish ministry until he was consecrated the 12th bishop in Madhya Kerala on 5 March 2011. He was elected deputy moderator at the 34th meeting of Synod on 11 January 2014 meeting in Vijayawada.He begins a three year, renewable term of office.