Dear Mathew, Though this thread is about Petrine primacy, we are deviating from the subject. I am fine if this can be moved to another thread.
I have the following points for your consideration.
- There was the title 'Catholicos of the East' (Orthodox) before the title 'Maphrian' came in to existence. I hope you can sincerely agree to it. Also, Apostle Thomas is the first Archbishop of the East (Hudaya Canon). Also, the title 'Maphriyan' was later abolished.
- Regarding court cases, I read that it was the Jacobite side who first approached the court to suggest a solution to the problem. This resulted in a series of cases. Orthodox side also filed petition in this series, which finally ended with the Supreme Court finding (of 1958, 1995 & 2007) that the constitution of Malankara Church is that of 1934. According to H.H. Catholicos, this is not a defeat to Jacobite side, but a solution which ancestors agreed for unity. So, let us accept that both sides were involved and that the delays helped in avoiding street fights. People were waiting for the result, than fighting in the streets.
Interestingly Supreme Court of India said that Malankara Church is an OO Church and it is similar to Coptic, Armenian Churches in faith. It is clear that the Judges had sincere interest in seeing this ancient community of India united.
- I do not want to discuss about Patriarch H.H. Yakub 111. The reason is that there are examples of H.H. not acting according to canon and tradition. Do you think there is any use t in discussing mistakes of past fathers (of both sides)? We achieve nothing through it, nor can we take responsibility for past mistakes. We need to move forward.
- Hudaya Canon explains in detail that is there are two Patriarchs in dispute (yet they keep the same faith), then both are valid Bishops, but the legitimate head is the Senior one. One who came later (through any means) cannot perform Patriarchal duties. After studying the whole case (i.e. later), H.H. Abded Messih was accepted as the true Patriarch. He was canonical and was buried only in the place were canonical Patriarch's are buried.
- Even H.H. Zakka 1 advised all the bishops of Jacobite side to accept the constitution of 1934 and work towards unity. Only few people obeyed the Patriarch. Later Patriarch was misguided by the current head towards the formation of a new Church which adopted a new constitution in 2002.
- Regarding the Syrian congregation of Burbank, let us speak from their perspective. They approached the Orthodox Church for help. It was easy for them to join RC or Protestant Church. but the truth is that they wanted to remain in same OO faith and considered the Orthodox Church for their spiritual needs. Try to view it in a positive sense - that several of these families did not go to another faith, but remain in the same faith. Or do you want them to go to a non-Orthodox Church?
- There is no meaning in fighting in the name of SOC or how we are subordinate to SOC. SOC people do not fight in the name of our Church. So we need to end the meaningless dispute and agree (even when it requires sacrifice of personal feelings) that there is only one faith in which Orthodox Churches are united. There is only one understanding of this faith (unity in mind and thought as Apostle Paul puts it).
I have nothing in my mind against you or any one of the Jacobite (even though some of my words can be interpreted differently). My difficulty is only with certain interpretations/teachings which are used to divide people of our ancient Malankara Church, which we believe has Apostolic origin. I do not believe in religious extremism or the infallibility of any one except God.
Yes let us focus on Oriental Orthodoxy. Let us not go about claiming totally unfounded claims that the Malankara Church was under the Nestorian Chaldean Church of the East. Malankara Church was always oriental orthodox and under the Maphrianate of the East who was a member of the Syriac Orthodox Synod of Antioch.
Amen!! Let us first end the court cases. Let us first co-exist as peaceful oriental orthodox jurisdictions. Let us take baby steps first.
The SOC is not trying to subjugate the Eastern Church. The SOC faithful in India is under the Patriarchate of Antioch because they want to. We don't see it as subjugation.
Well it depends on how you look at it. We see ourselves as part of the Syriac Church, and yes there is a split. Some of our brothern have split from us, claims a Nestorian ancestery from the Chaldean church and have split from us.
If you are talking about the middle eastern wing of the Syriac Church, the Indian Orthodox bishop of Trichur has helped finalize a split in a parish in Burbank, CA by conducting ordinations for them.
Which Catholicate of the East was transplanted in India. To my knowledge two transplantations has occured.
One in 1911 by H.H Abdul Messih the Patriarch of Antioch without any authorization from his Synod transplanted the institution of Maphrianate of the East with in the SOC to India. The Patriarch of Antioch is NOT like the RC Pope of Rome. He is not infallable. He cannot take actions unilaterally without authorization from the Synod. So this transplantation was uncanonical. Some say H.H Abdul Messish was a deposed Patriarch. I won't go into that. Even if he was the reigning Patriarch, still his action would be uncanonical since he was acting without consulting his Synod.
The second transplantation was in 1964 by H H Jacob III the Patriarch of Antioch with the full authorization of the Synod transplanted the institution of the Maphrianate of the East with in the SOC to India.
In both these cases the transplantation was done by the Patriarch of Antioch. The Patriarch of Antioch or the Synod of Antioch can only take decisions regarding positions with in the SOC. For example the Patriarch of Antioch cannot transfer a Coptic Bishop. Only the Pope of Alexandria can do that. So by the very fact that the Partriarch of Antioch with the authorization from his synod transplanted an instituion to another place is in itself ample proof the institution that was being transplanted (Catholicate / Maphrianate) was a member of the Syriac Synod headed by the Patriarch.
I rest my case. I also don't want to enter in to a dispute with you any further.
Mathew G M