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Author Topic: Oriental Orthodoxy and Peter  (Read 3406 times) Average Rating: 0
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Athanasios
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« on: March 23, 2007, 11:30:56 AM »

Hello,

How do the Oriental Orthodox - both the Syriac and Coptic traditions - view the Petrine Ministry? Also, how does this fit in with the other two historical Petrine Sees of Antioch and Alexandria?
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2007, 02:55:52 PM »

The OO Church does not believe in any Primacy.  In ecclesiastical affairs, it would seem that the Coptic Church gets a lot of the heat when mentioning the "Oriental Orthodox."

If we were to follow ecclesiastical canons of ancient times in ecumenical affairs, we find that Alexandria, the See of Mark is actually higher in order than Antioch, the See of Peter.  This shows that the importance was not based on who the Apostle was, but what metropolis is represented.  Alexandria was quite a city, and in fact, before the second ecumenical council, was second in line to Rome.

Today, these canons have become outdated.  Sure, the Coptic Church seems to be a representative of OOxy, but in reality, we view our patriarchs in equality.  The three most representative patriarchs are the Coptic Pope, the Syrian Patriarch, and the Armenian Catholicos.  These three have become the strong voices of the view of OOxy.

Whether Peter or Mark, we have all developed a sense of equality.  We may perhaps form an ecclesiastical order of affairs later on, but as of now, no See is above the other.  St. Peter is indeed the leader of Apostles, but Rome or Antioch is not the leader of all the churches.

God bless.
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2007, 01:52:09 AM »

Dear Athanasios,

Mina is right, however within the West Syrian church of Antioch, we do see a higher Petrology, which is missing within the Armenian and Coptic tradtions, even the East Syrian tradtion of Edessa does not have such a high Petrine view. 

How such a development took place, was it due to the Antiochian angst at being pushed to third place after Alexandria, or was it due to the fact that Antioch always saw itself as specially connected to St Peter , one cannot really say.

Suraj
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2007, 07:37:03 PM »

Hello,

minasoliman, when did the Coptic Church migrate from the early canons of the order of primacy of the five ancient Sees to an ecclesiology of total equality among all bishops and patriarchs? Who first started this migration or what writings or teachings were cited or influenced this trend?

Do the Coptic Church recognize the fact that Peter was in Rome and that his successors are the bishops of the city of Rome?
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2007, 09:17:41 PM »

Dear Athanasios,

Quote
minasoliman, when did the Coptic Church migrate from the early canons of the order of primacy of the five ancient Sees to an ecclesiology of total equality among all bishops and patriarchs? Who first started this migration or what writings or teachings were cited or influenced this trend?

When we were treated like roaches after the 5th century by the Roman government, which prompted us to blame it all on Constantinople and Rome, which caused the OO/Chalcedonian schism ever since.  Canons are nothing if we felt that certain sees above us are heretics and murderers.

Sure, today if we were to follow the canons, the Coptic Church would be number one, but that is impractical, especially since the canons assume a universal Church, and we actually work better (so far) identifying three primary sees rather than one meeting on an annual basis, each place (whether Egypt, Syria, or Armenia) getting the chance and honor for hosting the "semi-ecumenical" meeting so to speak.

Quote
Do the Coptic Church recognize the fact that Peter was in Rome and that his successors are the bishops of the city of Rome?

Well, there are some heirarchs that contend Paul and not Peter, although some more objective scholars will say both.  Whoever is the bishop of Rome is the successor of them both really imho.  HH Pope Shenouda supports the theory that Paul is the sole bishop of Rome at the time.  Either way, I would be more inclined to believe in a Pauline primacy, but that's just because of my love for St. Paul.  Grin

If anything upon any reunion with huge sees, it has to be obviously done through a council where we can formally reinstate the "order of honor" canon if it must be done.  To a Roman Catholic, the "order of honor" is there because they now have Roman loyal patriarchs in places where the five ancient sees are located.  In the EO's, all of the ancient sees, except Rome, exist, and because of the justification they use that Constantinople as "equal to Rome," they use the canon, although I hear issues go on with Moscow claiming to be the "Third Rome."

God bless.
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2007, 11:30:29 AM »

Athanasios, if you are trying to contend that St. Peter and his successors are the universal head of the Church then please recall that St. Peter started the Church of Antioch in Syria before heading to Rome with St. Paul. As such, this sort of reasoning logically means that Mar Ignatius Zaka I Iwas is the universal head of the Church. (Please forgive me if I have mispelt this Bishop's name.)
I am not aware of any such teaching in the early Church though as we see that whilst St. Peter spoke at the Counsel in The Acts chapter 15, St. James (being Bishop of Jerusalem) handed down the final decission as he was in charge of the meeting.
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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2007, 09:47:51 PM »

Dear Athanasios,

When we were treated like roaches after the 5th century by the Roman government, which prompted us to blame it all on Constantinople and Rome, which caused the OO/Chalcedonian schism ever since.  Canons are nothing if we felt that certain sees above us are heretics and murderers.

Sure, today if we were to follow the canons, the Coptic Church would be number one, but that is impractical, especially since the canons assume a universal Church, and we actually work better (so far) identifying three primary sees meeting on an annual basis, each place (whether Egypt, Syria, or Armenia) getting the chance and honor for hosting the "semi-ecumenical" meeting so to speak.

Well, there are some heirarchs that contend Paul and not Peter, although some more objective scholars will say both.  Whoever is the bishop of Rome is the successor of them both really imho.  HH Pope Shenouda supports the theory that Paul is the sole bishop of Rome at the time.  Either way, I would be more inclined to believe in a Pauline primacy, but that's just because of my love for St. Paul.  Grin

If anything upon any reunion with huge sees, it has to be obviously done through a council where we can formally reinstate the "order of honor" canon if it must be done.  To a Roman Catholic, the "order of honor" is there because they now have Roman loyal patriarchs in places where the five ancient sees are located.  In the EO's, all of the ancient sees, except Rome, exist, and because of the justification they use that Constantinople as "equal to Rome," they use the canon, although I hear issues go on with Moscow claiming to be the "Third Rome."

God bless.

For some reason, I thought I saw a "modify" button.  Perhaps, I hit quote by accident.  I just had to fix my message, deleting the "rather than" part.  I don't know; my brain hurts...lol
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« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2007, 02:04:29 PM »

Athanasios, if you are trying to contend that St. Peter and his successors are the universal head of the Church then please recall that St. Peter started the Church of Antioch in Syria before heading to Rome with St. Paul. As such, this sort of reasoning logically means that Mar Ignatius Zaka I Iwas is the universal head of the Church. (Please forgive me if I have mispelt this Bishop's name.)
.
This argument must be created only to be against Orthodox Church in India founded by Apostle Thomas - i.e. to bring Indian Church under the universal administrative rule of H.H. Zakka 1. When SOC constitution was amended with the support of few Jacobite Indian bishops, they included Indian Church as a mere Diocese of SOC. Before that India did not exist in the list of dioceses in SOC constitution. Indian Church (Dioecese) is towards the end of the list in SOC constitution (last amended in 1998) proving that it was later added.

Interestingly, SOC is not very keen about the Jacobite argument on Supremacy. But they are not strongly opposing either when Jacobites attribute such a supremacy. Since it comes free they must be fine enjoying that supremacy.

But the official teaching of SOC (that of H.H. Zakka 1) is that Apostles were given equal authority and power. Therefore, our Jacobite brothers in India should remain kind and follow the true teaching instead of siding with Indian RC to create a situation of division and difficulty to believers in India. Let us try to ensure that Orthodox faith is glorified in India. If Jacobites decided to remain united with Orthodox in India, there is no canonical issue involved. It is same faith and same communion. We should not promote division based on something not accepted by all other Orthodox Churches.

Remember that in John 17, Christ prayed for the unity of Apostles, that they may be one. Therefore the concept of supremacy was man made. According to Orthodox faith, all Apostles are equal and they  share the same authority and power.  It is not an administrative unity in Orthodox Church, rather a great unity in Faith!  Their priesthood is inherited. If some Apostles enjoyed special position or honor because of their nature, such honors are understood in the company of Apostles and not inherited. Apostle Thomas had the privilege of touching Resurrected Christ and making the first Christological confession of the Church. This is also a unique privilege.  But what is inherited is the common aspect of Apostleship, i.e. priesthood, authority  and faith which all Apostles shared.

Apostle Peter and Paul were not the only Apostles working in Antioch. Other Apostles also worked in Antioch. So, when we say Apostolic succession, it is inaccurate to talk about one pure lineage starting with one Apostle. There is no such pure lineage. Apostles ordained bishops and presbyters in many regions and there is no written record of every act or ordinations they performed. 

But there is written record of some acts. It is very clearly recorded that Apostle Thomas ordained bishops in India (both according to Coptic Synaxarium and ancient Indian oral/written tradition). But that may not mean pure unbroken succession from the time of Apostle Thomas. From time to time, all Churches received help in ordination from sister Churches. For example, St. James of Edessa who revived succession in the East (Indian) and Antioch received ordination from the head of the Alexandrian Church.

According to St. Severus, it is not your adherence to a throne that is important. What is important is the confession of true faith. Our prayer in liturgy immediately after remembering ecumenical OO fathers is 'Establish us firmly upon the Rock of the faith ....' So, 'Faith' is the Rock upon which the Church is established. Since this prayer is ecumenical in nature, it is a declaration of a universal truth about Oriental Orthodoxy.

Let us stay away from baseless arguments about priesthood, ordination and succession.  There is no such thing as universal administrative supremacy in Orthodoxy. It is one faith and one Church, a union of Apostolic Churches in one faith!

Paul



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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2007, 04:55:44 AM »

Dear Brother Paul or Thomas,
I know you are very passionate about the Indian Orthodox Church and the lineage of all Indian Christians from St. Thomas the apostle. You have every reason to be proud of that and please be.

However please don't insult the Syriac Orthodox Church and its faithful in India. Please don't confuse the issue of supremacy of Peter and the canonical relationship between the Malankara Church and the Patriarchate of Antioch.

I know you hold the 1934 constitution as the unquestionable document of truth. There are some of us in Malankara who hold documents much more older than that, the Mavelikkara Padiola, the Shalmosa of our Saint Gregorious of Parumala etc to be true. We are proud to be associated with the Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East. So please don't insult us by saying that we are ignorant and that we are not truly oriental orthorox and we are RC etc. At least on this day of Pascha.. please show love and compassion on your brethern.

This discussion is with respect to Oriental Orthodoxy and Peter. In the Syriac Orthodox Church, St. Peter is given special honor. The church teaches about the primacy of Peter. However at no instance does the church teach that the successors of Peter should rule over all the churches all over the world.

Christ is Risen,
Mathew G M







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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2007, 04:36:30 PM »

Why does there have to be a "number one" or ranking at all? Shouldn't patriarchates try to make sure the church affairs actually get done and are done properly rather than everyone vying for power and higher ranking? I know a long time ago, this type of stuff fit in well with society's way of thinking about authority but today it just translates into meaningless nationalism.
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« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2007, 03:08:38 PM »

Why does there have to be a "number one" or ranking at all? Shouldn't patriarchates try to make sure the church affairs actually get done and are done properly rather than everyone vying for power and higher ranking? I know a long time ago, this type of stuff fit in well with society's way of thinking about authority but today it just translates into meaningless nationalism.

I agree, but many times, ecumenists working with EO's and RC's find that it is so engrained into their ecclesiology that it is a must for that type of organization to be done for unity.

I think if the OO heirarchs are pious enough, they would accept such changes for unity.  This is not to say that we are going to let any church abuse our piety, but that these matters should not be something so important, and many are blind to this.  It is unfortunate that EO's in America for example who wish to unite are still so narrow-minded to try to put everything here under the EP as if nothing here belongs to the credit of OCA or Antiochian Orthodox.

The virtue of a great church is not by the city or diocese you are part of, but by her members.  It can very well be that the least among ranks can be the greatest among churches and deserves to be FIRST.

There's also always the whole Petrine primacy issue, or the issue of being directly succeeded by some great Apostle, but never have I ever heard of a Church whose bishops had direct succession from St. Paul.  Perhaps, it's because that St. Paul stressed so much that even Gentiles can be children of Abraham by virtue of being partakers of Christ.  Perhaps, we forget so much that it is not who the descendant is that matters, but Who.  That's why I like to think of a "Pauline primacy," a primacy of humility.

But in the face of weak humanity among the members of the Church, perhaps it is necessary to have such ranking, in case of issues that occur between patriarchs or bishops that patriarchs cannot control, or a matter that concerns the whole Church and requires the intervening of an ecumenical council, where one hopes that the layman and sinful governmental (or emperial) politics are not involved in (which is another thorn I have with EO's).

Gdo bless.
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« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2007, 06:45:03 AM »

Please go through the following links to understand the position of St. Peter in the Syriac Orthodox Church

PRIMACY OF ST. PETER
by  Dr. Thomas Mor Athanasius, former Assistant Metropolitan of Kandanad diocese of Malankara Jacobite Syrian Christian Church
http://www.syrianchurch.org/Articles/PrimacyofStPeter.htm

ST. PETER'S  PERSONALITY  AND  ECCLESIAL LEADERSHIP AS REVEALED IN 
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« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2007, 09:14:32 PM »

Please don't confuse the issue of supremacy of Peter and the canonical relationship between the Malankara Church and the Patriarchate of Antioch.

Dear Mathew G M, my brother in Malankara Church.

I can only agree with what you said, if this is the true teaching of your faction. I am not totally ignorant of your Church. I have many relatives and friends in your Church and know that this is your key teaching used to explain that Indian Church is subordinate to SOC.

Quote
I know you hold the 1934 constitution as the unquestionable document of truth.

There was no need to bring this topic to the discussion. But here is what I believe.

Every Church has a constitution. For us, it is the one drafted in 1934 and amended jointly at least two times.

We do not understand relationship with SOC in terms of Primacy of Peter. Church of Antioch was founded by Apostles Peter & Paul and their co-Apostles. It was not a pure Syrian Church as many assume. This Church included many Greeks in the beginning (until Chalcedon). Eastern Orthodox Syrian Church (in which Indian Church is included) was founded by Apostle Thomas (called first Bishop of East by Mar Gregorios bar Ebraya - first in the succession in the East).

Key aspect of Syrian tradition is not primacy, but Orthodoxy.

There is only one Malankara Church. Jacobite and Orthodox faction remained united for many years. The way we understand how we relate to Damascus cannot divide our families and people.  we need to get rid of bad feelings and follow the teaching of Apostle Paul to love. Only then we can be perfect. If we have great faith and still lacks love, we have nothing.

We know there was only one Church in India founded by Apostle Thomas. But later RC and Protestants separated from this one Church.

SOC Patriarch and his Bishops should be perfectly fine with any decision we make in India for unity. It is our internal issue and only we can solve it.  SOC has a constitution. we also have one which was created to remain in peace with SOC. We had consensus with SOC regarding the constitution of 1934.

Quote
This discussion is with respect to Oriental Orthodoxy and Peter. In the Syriac Orthodox Church, St. Peter is given special honor. The church teaches about the primacy of Peter. However at no instance does the church teach that the successors of Peter should rule over all the churches all over the world.

I do not know why others in your faction teach differently and you say another thing. Why there is no consistency? I have seen statement by one of your bishops that 'Antioch is the queen throne of all thrones'. There was another article which said even the Coptic Orthodox Church originates from St. Peter, hence Antioch is the center.

There is only one OO faith. Syriac Orthodox faith should be same in all regards. There can be variations in liturgy, music, language etc. But how can there be variation in faith?

The article provided by another Jacobite brother is from Jacobite Church. The Metropolitan is now part of the Orthodox Synod and hence must be keeping consensus with rest of the bishops regarding this teaching.

Paul
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« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2007, 03:04:20 AM »

Dear Paul2004,

In all fairness, I would be interested to know if there are any documents or lectures that you may cite concerning the Syriac Orthodox primacy issue.

Thank you brother.

Mina
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« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2007, 11:30:20 AM »

There is only one Malankara Church. Jacobite and Orthodox faction remained united for many years. The way we understand how we relate to Damascus cannot divide our families and people.  we need to get rid of bad feelings and follow the teaching of Apostle Paul to love. Only then we can be perfect. If we have great faith and still lacks love, we have nothing.

Amen!!
There is only one Malankara Church which is oriental orthodox in faith, with the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East as its spiritual head, was under the Maphrianate of the East, an institution with in the Syriac Orthodox Synod (originally in the middle east,  moved to India unilaterally / uncanonically by a Patriarch of Antioch in 1911 with out consulting his Synod, but was canonically moved to India by the Synod in 1964), had the Arch-Deacon (later Malankara Metropolitain) as its administrator.

If we can get rid of bad feelings and go back to this situation we will have peace and harmony in our church.

Everyone knows about the argument put forward by one of the factions that Malankara Church was not OO but was Chaldean (Nestorian) and had absolutely no connection with the OO Patriarch of Antioch and All the East.

I do not know why others in your faction teach differently and you say another thing. Why there is no consistency?

The pronoucements of one extremist (be it a lay person or a priest) here or there that Antioch can rule over all churches is not the teaching of the church. You can look at the SOC in India. It is the Synod in India headed by the Maphrianate of the East that administers the church. Antioch is not ruling the Church in India. However we are proud to be under the Patriarchate of the East, we dont say that we were Nestorians earlier and accepted OO faith just to escape from Portughese persecution.

The teachings of the church are made by the Episcopal Synod and published by its head. If you can show me any such documents then I will agree with you.

I can say the same about your faction. A very respected leader from your faction (I wont name him. If you want me to, I can) went on the public record to say that the names of the Syriac Orthodox saints like St. Severious the Patriarch of Antioch should not be remembered in liturgy and only saints of Indian ethnicity should be remembered. I am not accusing your faction of teaching this, because I know this is the opinion of just a lunatic fringe of your faction and not the teaching of your faction.

Similarly I can't answer about the claims made by some fringe elements with in my church.

In Christ,
Mathew G M
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« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2007, 02:46:21 PM »

Dear Paul2004,

In all fairness, I would be interested to know if there are any documents or lectures that you may cite concerning the Syriac Orthodox primacy issue.

Thank you brother.

Mina


Dear Mina, You can read it below.

http://www.syrianchurch.org/Articles/MalankaraSyrianChurch.htm

Specifically, the teach

- "Church of Antioch is called the mother of all Churches."
- "The only Apostolic Throne in the New Testament Church belongs to St.Peter"
- "However, the anti-Patriarch group is lately challenging the Supremacy of St.Peter. The Supreme jurisdiction which was promised by Christ as found in Mathew (16: 18-19) is true primacy, for Christ was addressing Peter only."

By 'anti-Patriarch' group they mean the Church headed by 'Catholicos of the East', i.e. the Orthodox Church.

Paul


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« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2007, 03:06:23 PM »

Dear Mathew, I do not want to enter in to dispute with you. Our focus should be on  official teachings and what Oriental Orthodox Churches believe.

There is only one 'Catholicos of the East' today in Oriental Orthodox faith, the head of the Orthodox Church of India.  There is no Maphrian of the East today. The head Malankara Jacobite Church (i.e. after they legally registered a new Church and adopted an entirely new constitution in 2002)  is has the title 'Catholicos of India'. This is not a canonical position or has nothing to do with the Church founded by Apostle Thomas in the East.

It is a well known historic fact that the Syrian Church and our Church originated with Apostle Thomas. This is why in the Canon, Apostle Thomas is the first Archbishop in the list of Patriarchs (i.e. Catholicoi) of the East.

Patriarch, Catholicos, Pope etc. are titles, but in their spiritual duties they are same.

Our people are fighting for baseless issues. Let get rid of exaggerations about primacy, extent of Patriarch of Antioch's territory etc. and accept the reality about our ancient Church in India. Let us share the same faith and end the disputes.

After the Catholicate of the East was transplanted in India, there is no need for disputes. Catholicos in the legitimate succession of the East can fulfill spiritual duties similar to any other Patriarch, Catholicos or Pope. It is a matter of humility to accept this. Otherwise the dispute may never end.

Let us accept that Patriarch is the head of SOC and 'Catholicos of the East' is the head of our ancient Church in the East. There will be always disharmony if SOC tries to subjugate the Eastern Church.  Both are ancient churches. Let us share the same faith and try to remain in communion. There is no major split within SOC. Let us try to avoid split within our Indian Church also and try to remain in peace and harmony accepting the true faith. 


Paul


Amen!!
There is only one Malankara Church which is oriental orthodox in faith, with the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East as its spiritual head, was under the Maphrianate of the East, an institution with in the Syriac Orthodox Synod (originally in the middle east,  moved to India unilaterally / uncanonically by a Patriarch of Antioch in 1911 with out consulting his Synod, but was canonically moved to India by the Synod in 1964), had the Arch-Deacon (later Malankara Metropolitain) as its administrator.

If we can get rid of bad feelings and go back to this situation we will have peace and harmony in our church.

Everyone knows about the argument put forward by one of the factions that Malankara Church was not OO but was Chaldean (Nestorian) and had absolutely no connection with the OO Patriarch of Antioch and All the East.

The pronoucements of one extremist (be it a lay person or a priest) here or there that Antioch can rule over all churches is not the teaching of the church. You can look at the SOC in India. It is the Synod in India headed by the Maphrianate of the East that administers the church. Antioch is not ruling the Church in India. However we are proud to be under the Patriarchate of the East, we dont say that we were Nestorians earlier and accepted OO faith just to escape from Portughese persecution.

The teachings of the church are made by the Episcopal Synod and published by its head. If you can show me any such documents then I will agree with you.

I can say the same about your faction. A very respected leader from your faction (I wont name him. If you want me to, I can) went on the public record to say that the names of the Syriac Orthodox saints like St. Severious the Patriarch of Antioch should not be remembered in liturgy and only saints of Indian ethnicity should be remembered. I am not accusing your faction of teaching this, because I know this is the opinion of just a lunatic fringe of your faction and not the teaching of your faction.

Similarly I can't answer about the claims made by some fringe elements with in my church.

In Christ,
Mathew G M

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dhinuus
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« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2007, 07:15:11 PM »

Dear Mathew, I do not want to enter in to dispute with you. Our focus should be on  official teachings and what Oriental Orthodox Churches believe.

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.

Let us share the same faith and end the disputes.

Amen!! Let us first end the court cases. Let us first co-exist as peaceful oriental orthodox jurisdictions. Let us take baby steps first.

Let us accept that Patriarch is the head of SOC and 'Catholicos of the East' is the head of our ancient Church in the East. There will be always disharmony if SOC tries to subjugate the Eastern Church.  Both are ancient churches. Let us share the same faith and try to remain in communion.

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.

There is no major split within SOC.

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.

After the Catholicate of the East was transplanted in India, there is no need for disputes.

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.

In Christ,
Mathew G M
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« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2007, 09:49:53 PM »

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.

Paul





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.

In Christ,
Mathew G M
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« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2007, 04:49:15 AM »


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.


Dear Mathews

In 1912 reinstation of Catholicate , Patriarch was not necessory at all , if we think in canonical terms. Since Catholicate of East was a canonical position not under any other eccliastical position. What is transplanted is not maphianate but catholicate of the east position. This was required because the position fall into nestorian belief. Such reinstation/ transplantation can be done by the bishops itself as done by Yakob Burdana. Since Patrirach was not necessory in canonical terms, whether he consulted Synod or not is also not important.

His presence was required more in an emotional as well as legal requirement only.
 Since certain rights were given to Patriarch by Muluthuruthy Synod, It is legally more proper Partriarch was present and give his order when a ceremony which removes that rights occur.

thanks
Thomas

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« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2007, 05:14:46 AM »

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.



Please go through Viswasasamrakshakan 2005 sept issue. In it H.G Kuriakose mor theophilos wrote
'Since from 1490 to 1599 ,SOC was in decline we got nestorian Bishops from persia'

Thomas
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« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2007, 06:22:16 PM »

In 1912 reinstation of Catholicate , Patriarch was not necessory at all , if we think in canonical terms. Since Catholicate of East was a canonical position not under any other eccliastical position. What is transplanted is not maphianate but catholicate of the east position.

Dear Thomas,
The 'Church of the East' was an entity with in the Patriarchate of Antioch. It established itself as an independent entity only after a sizable number of 'Church of the East' members accepted the Nestorian heresy.

The oriental orthodox Catholicate / Maphrianate continued to be a member of Syriac Orthodox Synod and there has been multiple instances where the Maphrianate of the East was later on elevated as the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East. In the Oriental Orthodox church the Catholicate of the East the the Maphrianate of the East means the same and are used interchangably. 

It is true that the Catholicate of the East that accepted Nestorian beliefs remained independent; later on accepted the title Catholicose - Patriarch.

I don't wish to further argue with you on this. This is a very emotional issue and I don't think I will be able to convince you or vice versa. So let us not waste our energy arguing.
In Christ,
Mathew.
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« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2007, 12:17:40 AM »

The 'Church of the East' was an entity with in the Patriarchate of Antioch. It established itself as an independent entity only after a sizable number of 'Church of the East' members accepted the Nestorian heresy.

The Church of the East was fonuded by Apostle and it was in communion with Western Church (Antiochian), the same way as Churches were in communion. The Church of the East organized itself and created the Catholicate of the East in the Apostolic succession. Canonically Apostle Thomas is first in the list. It is true that the Maphriyan (which is a reduction) was under the care of Antioch, which was later abolished.

Even EO had Catholicos of the East, but they do not claim to be under Antioch. St. Isaac the Syrian ordained by Catholicos of the East was acceptable to EO.  I think you are interpreting the communion that existed between Churches in terms of classifying Churches as higher and lesser Churches. Apostolic status of all ancient Churches should be honored, the same way as Apostles are equally honored.

How about the Armenian Church, was it under supremacy of Antioch as well? How to you understand the current status of Armenian Church? Do you accept the Apostolic status, dignity and freedom of that ancient Church.

We are requesting you to agree only the same wrt the ancient Eastern Church founded by Apostle Thomas in Syrian East and India. By doing that we are not requesting you to dishonor Antiochian Church which is one of the ancient Churches.

Paul
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