Pope Francis welcomed Moran Baselius Marthoma Paulose II, Catholicos for the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. Its based in in Kerala State in India, and even though it is not in full communion with Rome, ecumenical ties have increased in the past few years. Both Paul VI and John Paul II had also met with previous leaders of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.
"The apostolic fraternity which united the first disciples in their service of the Gospel, today also unites our Churches, notwithstanding the many divisions that have arisen in the sometimes sad course of history, divisions which, thanks be to God, we are endeavoring to overcome in obedience to Lord's will and desire.”
The audience between the two religious leaders was very cordial. Pope Francis gave the Orthodox Syrian Catholicos a papyrus scroll with evangelical texts, and in turn, he received several gifts sent by from Indian orthodox bishops. Some of the presents included a cutlery set and Indian tea: a symbol of gratitude for his hospitality.