Thomas Darmo

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Mar Thomas Darmo (T'oma Darmo) (* 21st September 1904 in Iyel at Urmia , † 7. September 1969 in Baghdad ) was a Catholicos - Patriarch in the East Syrian "Church of the East" .


Mansur Elisha Darmo did not come from any of the families in which the office of bishop was traditionally inherited. In 1921 he was ordained a deacon in the Baquba refugee camp near Baghdad by Mar Abimalek Timotheus († 1945), Metropolitan of India, and worked as such in Syria when he was appointed to serve among the Thomas Christians in India in 1951 . On May 4, 1952 he was in by Catholicos Patriarch Mar Shimun XXIII. ordained in Turlock (California) to the Metropolitan of Malabar (South India), whose seat had remained vacant for years ( Sedis vacancy )

From 1952 to 1968 Mar Thomas served in Thrissur (Trichur), India, as head of the so-called Mellusians operating as the “Chaldean Syrian Church” . There he founded the magazine The Voice of the East and made a living as a publisher and printer of liturgical books of his church (Mar Narsai Press), namely the huge "Hudra": Ktaba da-Qdam wad-Batar wad-Hudra wad-Kashkol wad- Gazza w-Qala d-`Udrane `am Ktaba d-Mazmure (Syriac, 3 volumes [Trichur 1960–1962, reprint 1993]). He published an English translation of the order of the Eucharist and Baptism:

  • The Liturgy of the Holy Apostles Adai and Mari together with the Liturgies of Mar Theodorus and Mar Nestorius and the Order of Baptism. Printed and published by Rev. KA Paul and Rev. George Mooken . Mar Narsai Press, Thrissur 1967.

In the 1960s, Mar Thomas turned against the inheritance of the patriarchal office in the Assyrian Church of the East and against the abandonment of the Julian in favor of the Gregorian calendar and demanded the relocation of the patriarchal residence from the USA to the Orient. On January 10, 1964, he was therefore by Patriarch Shimun XXIII. removed from office but did not accept the decision.

Shortly after General Ahmad Hasan al-Bakr became president of Iraq through a coup on July 17, 1968, he sent police units in Baghdad to occupy several Assyrian churches in the city - against the violent protests of the Assyrian Church of the East - and them the Thomas Darmo and his supporters, including the Mar-Zaya Cathedral .

In September 1968, Mar Thomas ordained bishops for Baghdad (today's Mar Addai II ), India and America, and then also for Mosul and Kirkuk , for the Assyrian calendars supported by Yusif Malek Khoshaba (1914-2000) . He was elected by these bishops as the opposing patriarch and consecrated on October 11, 1968 in the Mar-Zaya Cathedral of Baghdad by the Metropolitans Mar Addai of Baghdad and Mar Aprem of India. This resulted in the “ Old Church of the East ” and thus the split that still exists today within the autocephalous East Syrian “Church of the East”.

After his death in 1969, Mar Thoma Darmo was buried in the Mar-Zaya Cathedral.


  • Mar Aprem: Mar Thoma Darmo, a Biography. Mar Narsai Press, Thrissur 1974.

Web links

  • Darmo, Toma (1904-1969) [Ch. of E.] Gorgia's Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition, eds. Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz, and Lucas Van Rompay.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Mar Aprem: The history of the Assyrian church of the east in the twentieth century with special reference to the Syriac literature in Kerala. Mahatma Gandhi University, October 20, 2000, uploaded August 12, 2010. Chapter V. Period of sufferings 1933-1975 - From the period of exile of Patriarch Mar Eshai Shimun in Cyprus till his assassination in 1975 , p. 222, The Split Of 1968 .
  2. ^ Mar Aprem: From Baghdad to Chicago. Mar Narsai Press, Trichur (Kerala) 1985 (Beth Mardutho: The Syriac Institute), p. 25.
predecessor Office successor
- Catholicos-Patriarch of the "Church of the East" (old calendar)
1968 - 1969
Addai II.