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Author Topic: The Ancient "Church of the East"  (Read 21825 times) Average Rating: 0
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Doubting Thomas
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« on: June 06, 2004, 05:56:00 PM »

I have been having a debate with a baptist on the internet regarding the pre-trib rapture myth (he supports it).  In the course of the discussion, I brought up how the pre-trib rapture is nowhere to be found in the writings of the early Church.  I then explained that even heretical views were found in the historical record as patristic writings were often written in response to such heresies.  Such is not the case for the pre-trib rapture.  

This fellow then went off talking about how the pope has re-written history (and suppressed the truth about theses other Christians in the process!) implying that Nestorius may have been merely misunderstood rather than a heretic ("history belongs to the winners").  He went on to describe all the ancient churches of the East that expanded as far as China as being "Nestorian".  I've heard this before, but is "Nestorian" a fair description of all these ancient eastern churches that existed beyond the frontier of the Roman Empire?  If not, what was in fact the connection between Nestorius and these churches?
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2004, 06:12:15 PM »

This has come up over in the "Japan" thread in "Other Board" in that there are claims that Christianity (in the Nestorian form) arrived in Japan centuries prior to the Portuguese and the Jesuits in 1549 (St. Francis Xavier).  It did make it to China in the 600s and there is an artifact that was found in Xian/Chang'An, China, a stele or tablet that is called the "Nestorian Stone" by some.  Here is a translation of it from Fordham:
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/eastasia/781nestorian.html

However, there are people who have taken this and run with it, so to speak.  I found an SDA page that maintained that the Christianity that went East traveled it all over and was separate from "Rome" (with all of it's "errors" as they hold it).  And another with the same idea, but not SDA related.

I would venture to say that the gentleman you were talking to, doesn't know much about how history is studied, verified, added to and so forth.

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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2004, 07:04:58 PM »

Doubting Thomas,
PBS/Frontline had a reasonable piece on the Apocalypitic Phenomenom a while back.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/apocalypse/

Additionally, they list another 208 webpages on the subject. The only real error I saw in the linked show was the statement "even today there is no Book of Revelation in the Greek Orthodox Bible". Not so (but that's another story).

As to Nestorians in the Far East, well Marco Polo in the late 13th Century and several subsequent European visitors over the next 150 years, did find pockets of Nestorian Christians in China -not missionaries, but resident traders.

And, no, "Nestorian" is not the most accurate term to apply to those churches beyond the western Roman Empire borders with Persia (Iraq/Iran ). "Non-Chalcedonian" is a better description as it applies to both Nestorian and Oriental churches. All three "flavors" existed in the region, with the Chalcedonians being the smallest representation.
In my opinion, the Jesuits were the most active missionaries in the Far East -China, Korea, Japan preceding the Russians by quite some time. What Nestorian Churches were there served their own faithful.

Ebor's right; your friend has a rather slight understanding.

Demetri
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2004, 08:54:07 PM »

Please read "A History of Christianity in Asia" vol 1 by Samuel Hugh Moffet, available for about 20 bucks at amazon.com for a history of this.

anastasios
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Doubting Thomas
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2004, 08:56:39 PM »

Thanks for the info, everyone.

Anastasios, I saw that book at Amazon.com and thought it would be worth a look.
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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2004, 09:06:34 PM »

bookfinder.com has a used copy at Amazon for 15.00  it does have some blue hi-lighting though

Ebor
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2004, 04:28:21 AM »

Interesting tidbit here...
I began reading Bertold Spuler's History of the Mongols yesterday and was surprised to learn that Temujin's (Chinghis Khan) warriors were a mix of Nestorian Christians, Shamanists, and Buddhists and only became Moslem much later.
Read and learn.

Demetri
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2004, 03:37:45 PM »

The 'Church of the East' is a Syrian Church founded by Apostles Thomas and Thaddaeus.  This Church expanded the whole of Persia, part of China and India.  Traditional Christians of India also believe in their origin through St. Thomas.

Due to Antiochene theological influence, the Church of the East eventually drifted to Nestorian views. Nestorianism is also called Antiochian school of theology (as opposed to the Alexandrian school of Oriental Orthodox Churches).  Eventually they adopted Nestor as their father, as well as Theodoret etc.

Traditional head of the Church of the East is 'Catholicos of the East', with Apostle Thomas and Thaddaeus (Addai) as the first Archbishops of the East.

Church of the East had two sections in the past. The non-Chalcedonians of the East (Oriental Orthodox) accepted Ephesus (AD 431) and the Nestorians who rejected Ephesus. The Catholicate of the East was occupied by the Nestorians.  St. Jacob of Edessa (St. Jacob Baradeus) received ordination from Patriarch of Alexandria (Patriarch Theodosius) and was appoited as a Catholicos (Universal) bishop. He revived the Catholicate for the Orthodox by ordaining Mar Ahoudemme as the Catholicos of the East.

Currently there are four Catholicoi of the East in the lineage of Apostle Thomas. They are.

1. Catholicos of the East of Orthodox Syrian Church of the East (Indian Orthodox, located in India in Oriental Orthodox communion).
2. Catholicos of the East of Assyrian Church of the East (commonly known as Nestorian.
3. Catholicos-Patriarch of the East of 'Ancient Church of the East' (old calendar Nestorians).
4. Catholicos-Patriarch of Chaldeans (In Roman Catholic communion).

Few years after the council of Chalcedon, the Nestorian church formally accepted Chalcedon.

-Paul

Chronology of Catholicoi of the East.

Orthodox:
http://www.stgregoriostampa.com/articles/Catholicoses.pdf

Chaldean (in Roman Catholic communion):
http://www.chaldeansonline.net/church/bedaweed.html

There is also a list of Catholicoi of Assyrian church.
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2004, 03:44:40 PM »

Actually the link below includes both Roman Catholic and Assyrian Church lineage in the East (split in the later part of 17th century).

http://www.chaldeansonline.net/church/bedaweed.html
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2004, 07:58:21 AM »

Traditional head of the Church of the East is 'Catholicos of the East', with Apostle Thomas and Thaddaeus (Addai) as the first Archbishops of the East.

Church of the East had two sections in the past. The non-Chalcedonians of the East (Oriental Orthodox) accepted Ephesus (AD 431) and the Nestorians who rejected Ephesus. The Catholicate of the East was occupied by the Nestorians.  St. Jacob of Edessa (St. Jacob Baradeus) received ordination from Patriarch of Alexandria (Patriarch Theodosius) and was appoited as a Catholicos (Universal) bishop. He revived the Catholicate for the Orthodox by ordaining Mar Ahoudemme as the Catholicos of the East.

Currently there are four Catholicoi of the East in the lineage of Apostle Thomas. They are.

1. Catholicos of the East of Orthodox Syrian Church of the East (Indian Orthodox, located in India in Oriental Orthodox communion).
2. Catholicos of the East of Assyrian Church of the East (commonly known as Nestorian.
3. Catholicos-Patriarch of the East of 'Ancient Church of the East' (old calendar Nestorians).
4. Catholicos-Patriarch of Chaldeans (In Roman Catholic communion).

'CATHOLICOS OF THE EAST' was originally the title conferred to the ecclesiastical head of the Christian congregation in the erstwhile Persian Empire that extended from Mesopotamia in the west, to the boundaries of the present day Afghanistan and Northern India in the east. In the beginning the bishop who assumed this title was known as MAJOR METROPOLITAN / CATHOLICOS OF SELEUCIA; Seleucia being the capital city of Persian Empire. This institution was initially set up to serve as a link between the Patriarch of Antioch, and the Syrian Christian Community in Persia who found the journey to the Patriarchate at Antioch, hazardous because of the bitter political rivalry between the Roman and Persian empires.

To read more about it, please visit
http://catholicose.org/PauloseII/Catholicate.htm
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« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2004, 10:01:38 AM »

The head of Jacobite church is not called "Catholicos of the East".

In order to avoid legal and other complications, he was given a new title 'catholicos of India' in 2002. This is not same as Catholicose of the East in the lineage of Apostles Thomas and Addai in the East.

Also some sections in the Jacobite church does not believe in the Apostolic work of St. Thomas in India and his priesthood.

-Paul
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« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2004, 01:17:14 PM »

In AD 315 Emperor Constantine sent a letter to Shapur II urging him to protect Christians in his realm.  Mar Papa (Babai) was restored as bishop of Seleucia-Ctesiphon with the title "Catholicos of the East".

In AD 325, First Ecumenical Council of Nicea, James of Nisibis and a Persian bishop from "India" recorded as attending the council.  After the departure of Mar Papa and Mar Shimun bar Sabbaeas succeeded as Catholicos in AD 329.

In AD 344, Catholicos Shimun Bar Sabbae suffered Martyrdon along with 5  bishops and 100 priests .

Relationship Catholicate of the East and heads of other Churches in the West (say Antioch) is in matters of faith. Catholicos of the East is in the lineage of Apostles Thomas and Thaddaeus.

In the constitution of the Syrian Orthodox church, the Patriarch of Antioch is described as "bishop of Antioch". In the writings of church fathers also, the Patriarch of Antioch is called 'Archbishop of Antioch".

Catholicos of the East is the 'Archbishop of the East' in the Apostolic lineage. The succession was broken few times (Antiochian succession was also broken few times), but restored with the help of sister churches since it is the same preisthood shared by each Orthodox church, without any superiority feelings.

If one argues that priesthood of one Apostolic church is superior to others, then he is talking against Apostolic faith.

So, these are two jurisdictions, and the link is faith. The link is at the same level, it is not a link going downwards (between one above and another below) resulting in subordination.

Orthodox Churches are united in faith, there is no feeling of subordination between believers of different Churches, existing as different jurisdictions due to geographical reasons. Encouraging such a subordination is against Apostolic faith.

-Paul




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« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2004, 03:31:00 AM »

The head of Jacobite church is not called "Catholicos of the East".

In order to avoid legal and other complications, he was given a new title 'catholicos of India' in 2002. This is not same as Catholicose of the East in the lineage of Apostles Thomas and Addai in the East.


In AD 629, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East elevated St. Marutha (Marooso) as the first MAPHRIYONO OF THE EAST for the rejuvenated Syrian Orthodox (Jacobite) Church in Persia. Later the centre of the Maphrianate was shifted to St.Mathew’s Dayro in the city of Mosul in Iraq and continued there till the middle of 19th century.

In 1860 the office of Maphrianate was abolished as per the decision of the Syrian Orthodox Church Synod held at Deyrul'alZafran Monastery (Kurkumo Dayro) under Patriarch Ignatius Ya`qub II.

The same was re-established in India in 1964 by the Universal Synod held at Kottayam, presided by Patriarch Mor Ignatius Ya`qub III. From the days of the establishment of this Maphrianate in India, the Church started to officially use the title ‘Catholicos of the East’, with his jurisdiction limited to India in the East.

In 2002 the office of the Maphrianate was renamed as ‘Catholicose of India’ in accordance with its actual jurisdiction. Present headquarters of this ancient Maphrianate /Catholicate of the Syrian Orthodox Church is at Puthencuriz, Cochin, with Catholicose Mor Baselios Thomas I as the Chief of the Church in India.

In Episcopal dignity the Catholicos rank second to the Patriarch and, as His Holiness's deputy, presides over the provincial Holy Synod. He and all the clergy of the faithful in India pledge loyalty to the Patriarch of Antioch of the Syriac Orthodox Church, the supreme authority of the Syriac Orthodox Church throughout the world. There are many instances when a Maphrian (Catholicos) was elevated to the position of the patriarch in the Syrian Orthodox Church

List of Catholicose elevated to the position of the Patriarchs of the Syrian Church
Name as Catholicose / Year / Name as Patriarch / Year

Mor Ignatius David / 1215-1222 as Mor Ignatius III David (1222-'52)
Mor Yuhanon Bar Ma`dani / 1232-1252 as Mor Yuhanon XII Bar Ma`dani (1252-'63)
Mor Baselios Behnam al-Hadli (Hadliyo) / 1404-1412 as Mor Ignatius Behnam al-Hadli (1445-‘54)
Mor Nuh the Lebanese / 1489-1493 as Mor Ignatius Nuh (1493-1509)
Mor Baselios Nemet Allah I / 1555-1557 as Mor Ignatius Ne`met Allah I (1557-'76)
Mor Baselios David Shah Ibin Nur`Adin / 1575-1576 as Mor Ignatius David II Shah (1576-'91)
Mor Baselios Philathose / 1576-1591 as Mor Ignatius Pilate I (1591-'97)
Mor Pathros V Hadaya / 1597 as Mor Ignatius Hadayat Allah (1597-1639)
Mor Baselios Abdul Masih I / 1655-1662 as Mor Ignatius Abdul Masih I (1662-'86)
Mor Baselios Gevarghese II / 1674-1687 as Mor Ignatius Geevarghese II (1687-1708)
Mor Baselios Isahac II / 1687-1709 as Mor Ignatius Isahac Azar (1709-'22)
Mor Baselios Sakralla II / ? -1722 as Mor Ignatius Shukr Allah II (1722-'45)
Mor Baselios Geevarghese III Mosa / 1760-1768 as Mor Ignatius Geevarghese IV (1768-'81)
Mor Baselios Elias III Ankas / 1827-1838 as Mor Ignatius Elias II (1838-'47)

Source: http://catholicose.org/PauloseII/Catholicate.htm
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« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2004, 10:58:10 AM »

The REVIVAL  of Catholicate of the East was not in AD 628, but in AD 559 when St. Jacob of Edessa, who received ordination from Alexandrian Patriarch Theododius, elevated Mar Ahodemme  as the Catholicos of the East for Orthodox Christians of the East. This REVIVAL was done for establishing the Oriental Orthodox faith in the East, with the help of Alexandrian Coptic Church. Mar Ahodemme himself received ordination as bishop from the Armenian Catholicos.

AD 628 is the date when links were established with Western Church (Antioch), because of increasing persecutiuon of Oriental Orthodox by the Nestorians in the East. But this resulted in reducing the Orthodox Catholicate of the East to the status of a reduced institution called 'Maphriyan'. Thus Mar MArotha became the first Maphriyan. We cannot call this activity REVIVAL of Catholicate. It is rather a RECDUCTION of catholicate.


It would be more accurate to say that the list in the previous posting is a list of 'Maphriyans'. 'Maphriyans' are not the same as Catholicos. When St. Jacob Baradeus revived Catholicate in the East for Orthodox, it was known as 'Catholicos of the East'. But it was delimited to the status of 'Maphriyan' (after interfacing with West) as explained above.  This new institution (which can be considered a reduced Catholicate) started functioning in AD 628.  Marotha of Tikrit (d. 649) was the first to be called Maphryian. From  him the Maphrianate took its line of succession.

In the year 1860, after the death of Maphriyan  Mar Baselios Bahnam IV, the institution of Maphrianate was abolished by a decision of a local synod held by the Antiochian Church.

It was revived to the old status in India in 1912, because by that time Orthodox Christians of the East (St. Thomas Christians) were mostly confined to India.

In 1965 Mar Augen 1, Catholicos of the East participated in the Ecumenical council of the Oriental Orthodox. There the Orthodox Syrian Church of the East was counted as one of the five Orthodox churches.

History teaches us that Catholicate of the East belongs to St. Thomas Christians. It is a matter of justice to leave it to them and live in peace and unity in faith.

The entiry now existing in India as a rival entity to Catholicose of the East is called 'Catholicos of India'. Catholicose of the East is in the lineage of Apostle Thomas. It is natural that those who deny the works of Apostle and his priesthood cannot keep this great position which belongs ONLY to traditional Orthodox believers of the East.

The Knanaya COmmunity of India are also St. Thomas Christians. They came to India with the blessings of Mar Shimun, Catholicos of the East.  They still sing their old folk song, which says "Catholika Arulale Kappal Puukinthu..." (That they boarded ship with the blessings of Catholicos). So, the title 'Maphriyan' is a deliberately introduced reduction, a title not known to even the Knanaya immigrants as we learn from their old song.

-Paul
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« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2004, 11:48:04 AM »

The REVIVAL  of Catholicate of the East was not in AD 628, but in AD 559 when St. Jacob of Edessa, who received ordination from Alexandrian Patriarch Theododius, elevated Mar Ahodemme  as the Catholicos of the East for Orthodox Christians of the East. This REVIVAL was done for establishing the Oriental Orthodox faith in the East, with the help of Alexandrian Coptic Church. Mar Ahodemme himself received ordination as bishop from the Armenian Catholicos.

St. Ya`qub Burdono installed St. Ahudemmeh as 'The Great Metropolitan of the East',  not as CATHOLICOS or MAPHRIYONO, he too experienced it difficult to discharge his ecclesiastical duties smoothly . However by the 7th century the situation changed for better which finally led to the formation of an office of the 'Maphrianate of the East’ at Tigrit (Tagrit).
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« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2004, 12:11:23 PM »

"Its bishop was called Bishop of the East, or Catholicos of the East, and was later known as the Maphryono of the East."

[The Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch At A Glance, Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, 1983]

"In the year 1860, after the death of Maphryono Mor Baselios Bahnam IV of Mosul, the Maphrianate was abolished by a decision of a synod. "
[Ibid]


The statement "was later known as Maphriyan" is a clear proof that 'Maphriyan' is a later change. It was originally called 'Catholicos of the East' who is 'bishop of the East'.

Please note that the Syrian Orthodox Constitution defines the Patriarch of Antioch as 'bishop of Antioch'.

"Surely there is no ordination liturgy for the Patriarch but there is an enthronement rite. The one elected Patriarch does not take a new rank in the level of the episcopate. He becomes the first among the metropolitans and bishops, and with calling him Patriarch his name remains the Bishop of Antioch."
[The Concept of Jurisdiction and Authority in the Syrian Orthodox Church on Antioch, Article by His Grace Mor Gregorios Johanna Ibrahim]

Being a Patriarch is thus not a new rank, his title is 'bishop of Antioch'.

Now, consider the word 'general'. The Greek word "Katholikos' means universal, general, catholic  etc. (As in General councils, Universal councils etc.).  

So, the title 'general bishop' is just a way of expressing the title 'Catholicos' in English language.  Therefore, St. Jacob of Edessa installed not a 'Maphriyan', but a 'Catholicos (General) Bishop of the East'.  This act was performed to safeguard the Oriental Orthodox faith in the East (as it is evident that with the support of the Alexandrian Church, the saint also did mission work in Armenia, Ethiopia etc.), not to establish the supremacy of any one throne. If the aim was to establish supremacy, then why Armenia, Ethiopia and Egypt are not brought under a supreme rule?


History teaches that when churches seek the help of some Sees, they offer help, but try to subordinate at a later point, as it happened in the case of Catholicose of the East. But Armernians, Ethiopians etc. are free to maintain their status.

-Paul
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« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2004, 01:59:45 AM »

So, the title 'general bishop' is just a way of expressing the title 'Catholicos' in English language.  Therefore, St. Jacob of Edessa installed not a 'Maphriyan', but a 'Catholicos (General) Bishop of the East'.  This act was performed to safeguard the Oriental Orthodox faith in the East (as it is evident that with the support of the Alexandrian Church, the saint also did mission work in Armenia, Ethiopia etc.), not to establish the supremacy of any one throne. If the aim was to establish supremacy, then why Armenia, Ethiopia and Egypt are not brought under a supreme rule?


History teaches that when churches seek the help of some Sees, they offer help, but try to subordinate at a later point, as it happened in the case of Catholicose of the East. But Armernians, Ethiopians etc. are free to maintain their status.


The beginning part of the constitution of Indian Orthodox states


----The Malankara Church is a division of Syrian Orthodox Church. The primate of the Syrian Orthodox Church is the Patriarch of Antioch.

The Malankara Church was founded by St. Thomas the Apostle and is included in the Orthodox Syrian Church of the East and the Primate of the Orthodox Syrian Church of the East is the Catholicose. --------

This is the constitution is approved and accepted by the Holy Synod of IOC and the faithful of that church. From this constitution it clearly states that the IOC is the part of the Syrian Orthodox Church and its primate is the Patriarch of Antioch.
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« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2004, 10:11:33 AM »

The constitution is not just approved by the Indian people, but by former SOC Patriarchs also.  This is not clear in your argument. You are just basing all your arguments on just one statement, i.e. the one statement in the constitution carrying the word 'Patriarch'.  I think we need to consider the complete constitution. Partial consideration can lead to logical inconsistencies. Can we take just one verse of the Bible and build an argument?


Just one question to begin with. If you consider the costitution is correct, then why your Church created a new constitution in 2002? There is contradiction here, right?  

What you wrote is not a new information. Rather, it is a well known information to all in the Indian Church, and also to the bishops and people who accepted unity in March 2002 Malankara Association. In fact the Orthodox Church of India remembers an Orthodox Patriarch in liturgy and is willing to accept the spiritual firstness (the special status) of a Patriarch. In fact such relationship exists between many autocephalous churches today, to give special spiritual honor to the primate of another Church.

Just saying that IOC is a division of SOC will not prove anything. We need to read the complete constitution. Division means two, i.e. two entities joined by one faith. These are two jurisdictions. Division also means that one is not subordinate.  Only the word 'Subdivision" can imply subordination.  Division means that these are two entities, existing together.  One is Antiochian Syrian Orthodox Church and the other is Malankara or Indian Orthodox Syrian Church.  In this sense, the 'Orthodox Church of the East' is not a sub-division. Both are Syrian churches influenced by Syriac Christianity in the region between West and East (i.e. Schools of Edessa and Nisibis).

Syrian Church originated in a region middle of Antiochian  Church in the West and the Church of the East (Edessa, Nisibis etc.). Hence both jurisdictions benefitted from the Syriac heritage. In this sense, both jurisdictions are divisions of the Syriac Church.

Now, we need to evaluate what is not acceptable. For that we need to read the complete constitution. According to the constitution, only the Indian Synod can make decision about electing a bishop and ordaining him.  If there is a Patriarch who is in peace with the Church, then the Church can invite him. This is an option, but not a necessary requirement.


The constitution does not prove that the Syrian Orthodox Church can appoint a bishop with out the permission of the Indian Synod. Indian Church was founded by Apostle Thomas and it is included in the 'Orthodox Church of the East" according to the constitution.

This is because canonically the "Church of the East" is Apostolic, as it is founded by Apostle Thomas.

According to the complete constitution, WE HAVE spiritual relationship (i.e. our unity in faith and the special status) given to a Patriarch of Antioch.

But, the Patriarch CANNOT ordain a bishop in India violating the decision of the Indian Synod, Constitution  and Canon.

In history, the Patriarch violated this rule several times, when he totally ignored the request of the Synod not to appoint an uncanonical Patriarchal delegate. Moreover the Patriarch introduced a new teaching (in order to destroy the Apostolic faith), that St. Thomas did not receive priesthood from Christ.

I believe that the quotes you provided does not prove that SOC can freely interfere in internal affairs of the Indian Church. In fact it is against the constitution to divide the Indian church in to several unites, such as 'simhasan church', 'Knanaya church', 'Jacobite', 'American archdiocese' etc.

Following is also from the constitution:

"By virtue of being an Episcopal church, its authority is vested in the apex body of the council of all the Episcopas of the church with the Catholicos presiding over it, called the Holy Synod. The authority of the Synod is final and binding. It has exclusive rights and privileges in the matter of upholding the Faith of the church, its discipline and order of Apostolic Succession’ as regards temporal administration. The church is guided by the Malankara Syrian Christian Association."

"The Malankara metropolitan is the administrative head of the church and in him “ the prime jurisdiction regarding the temporal, ecclesiastical and spiritual administration of the Malankara church is vested”. only a metropolitan elected by the Malankara Syrian Christian association could hold this office for the constitution stipulates that the Malankara metropolitan shall be elected to that office by the association"

On Ordination:
"In the matter of ordination also, the Malankara metropolitan oversees the process of selection and theological study of the candidates desiring ordination. He receives the requests of candidates duly recommended by diocesan. According to his convenience, the Malankara metropolitan shall send the applicants to the theological seminary for theological study and provided the principal of the seminary certifies the fitness of the candidates for ordination, the Malankara metropolitan or diocesan metropolitan at their discretion, ordains them."


-Paul

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« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2004, 02:32:35 AM »

This is the interpretation of Indian Orthodox Church to validate their new Independent Status of the Church.

On 1964 May 22, H.H Patriarch Mor Ignatius Ya`qub III and Syriac Orthodox Church Synod consecrated Mor Timotheus Augen in Kottayam as Catholicose Mor Baselious Augen, The holy synod consecrated him as a Catholicose of The East  / MAPHRIYONO accountable to Patriarch of Antioch, which was abolished as per the decision of the Syriac Orthodox Church Synod held at Deyrul'alZafran Monastery (Kurkumo Dayro) under Patriarch Ignatius Ya`qub II in 1860.

In Syriac Orthodox Church canon, In Episcopal dignity the Catholicose rank second to the Patriarch and, as His Holiness's deputy, presides over the provincial Holy Synod. He and all the clergy of the faithful in India pledge loyalty to the Patriarch of Antioch of the Syriac Orthodox Church, the supreme authority of the Syriac Orthodox Church throughout the world.

If anyone goes through the consecration ceremony details and news media reports of the event would get the actual facts.

In due course I will try to publish more details and photographs of the said in this forum.
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« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2004, 09:39:42 AM »

Now, that is just the current Syrian Orthodox interpretation, that the primate of the Church of the East is a subordinate.  There are many examples of primate of one church giving ordination to primate of another church, but in such cases there is no evidence of one primate establishing his supremacy, thus subordinating the other.  Ordination is does not imply subordination.

St. Jacob Baradai was ordained by the Patriarch of Alexandria.  With this ordination St. Jacob ordained Sarkis as the Patriarch of Antioch. So, here the Alexandrian church did not try to subordinate the Antiochian church based on ordination. In a similar way, there is no spiritual need to subordinate the ancient See of Apostle Thomas in the East.

Photogrpahs of the above event is not available, but history teaches us that churches helped each other in need. It is against faith to subordinate a Church based on ordination, when a church depends on another church during days of difficulty.

Our loyalty is not towards a primate, but towards Orthodoxy and the Church. Primates change, Jurisdictional politics will continue to evolve, but Orhtodoxy remains unchanged.

If Mr. Thomas Daniel is interested in continuing, I can also provide details why Patriarch Yakub 111 was not accepted later. i.e. the Synod believes that the Patriarch violated Canon and introduced false teachings. Just because a father is acceptable at one point does not means that he is always acceptable. Test for acceptance is Orthodoxy. Some Antiochian fathers were acceptable before Ephesus and Chalcedon, but after these councils many Antiochian fathers were rejected by the Church.

So, we do not believe in infallibility of a Primate, but they are accepted based on their Orthodox faith.

I don't think more photos will help here, because if any one reads any history book (even a book published by the  church Mr. Thomas Daniel is against), the facts about who ordained whom will be recorded. It is true that the Church depended on sister Churches during difficult times in history. But we need to closely study why some of the Syrian primates are not accepted later.

Also, wrong to establish that the church Mr. Thomas Daniel is against totally rejects ALL syrian primates. In fact only this church for the first time declared a Syrian primate who came to India as saint, as well as includes many Syrian fathers in the official church calendar, to remember every year.

So, we need to focus on why a particular father was not accepted *** at a later point ***, instead of repeating the same well known facts again and again.

There is also one more fact already accepted by the Indian Church, i.e. the Church willingly accepts the spiritual supremacy of primate of Antioch.  But there are canons that regulate the interference of Antioch in internal matters of the Church of the East. Now, canon is not one sided, that one side can violate it and the other should be subject to such violations.

Let us try to understand the whole issue, instead of focusing on just one event (such as an ordination).  There are some churches in the West, they take one or two verses from the bible and develop an argument, thus creating a new church. We need to consider the whole, instead of focusing on just one event to prove something (here to prove the subordinate status of the Apostolic church founded by St. Thomas)


-Paul


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« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2004, 02:08:39 PM »


St. Jacob Baradai was ordained by the Patriarch of Alexandria.  With this ordination St. Jacob ordained Sarkis as the Patriarch of Antioch. So, here the Alexandrian church did not try to subordinate the Antiochian church based on ordination. In a similar way, there is no spiritual need to subordinate the ancient See of Apostle Thomas in the East.

We Syriac Orthodox never denied this fact at any time and at any stage, due to this reason only both Churches (Syriac Orthodox & Coptic orthodox) both remember the names of the both Patriarchs in the first Diptych of the Holy Qurbono. But what happened in 1934 in Malankara was not the same, Patriarch of Antioch and the Holy Synod, ordained Catholicose of the East, who is accountable to the Patriarch Of Antioch as per the decision of the Syriac Orthodox Church Holy Synod.
Quote

Our loyalty is not towards a primate, but towards Orthodoxy and the Church. Primates change, Jurisdictional politics will continue to evolve, but Orhtodoxy remains unchanged.

Without Priest, no Orthodoxy in the parish. Without Bishop, no Orthodoxy in the Diocese. Without Catholicose / Mapraino, no orthodoxy in the region and without Patriarch no orthodoxy in the entire Church.
Quote

If Mr. Thomas Daniel is interested in continuing, I can also provide details why Patriarch Yakub 111 was not accepted later. i.e. the Synod believes that the Patriarch violated Canon and introduced false teachings.


My interest is not concern at all on this subject. What I am explaining is the official stance of The Syriac Orthodox Church what I understood. Now regarding what IOC Synod believes, as far as Syriac Orthodox Church concerns, when the Catholicose Augon, started claiming the equality of the position with the Patriarch against the norms, Catholicose and his followers are excommunicated by themselves from the Holy Church, and if they get together and call the gathering a Synod, Syriac orthodox Church is not accepting it.
Quote
So, we do not believe in infallibility of a Primate, but they are accepted based on their Orthodox faith.


Yes we Syriac Orthodox Church do believe and teach the special position of St. peter among all other Apostles. Which is proved beyond doubt by the early fathers of the church based on the Holy Bible and early church documents. If you call it infallibility, you are free to call. It won’t affect the faith or stand of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
Quote

There is also one more fact already accepted by the Indian Church, i.e. the Church willingly accepts the spiritual supremacy of primate of Antioch.  But there are canons that regulate the interference of Antioch in internal matters of the Church of the East. Now, canon is not one sided, that one side can violate it and the other should be subject to such violations.

Yes, Indian Orthodox Church willingly accepts the spiritual supremacy of primate of Antioch, but only in the courtroom of the law of the land. What is the ground reality? If the Indian Orthodox Church Catholicose declare publicly and announce the acceptance of the spiritual supremacy of Patriarch of Antioch, all problem should have been solved a long back. Instead IOC Catholicose declares it in the legal proceedings and publicly questing it. Even during the blessing of Holy Muron (the Holy Oil) or Chrism, IOC Catholicose and his church remove or forget (Ignore) to remember the name of the Supreme authority of the Church.
Quote


Let us try to understand the whole issue, instead of focusing on just one event (such as an ordination).  There are some churches in the West, they take one or two verses from the bible and develop an argument, thus creating a new church. We need to consider the whole, instead of focusing on just one event to prove something (here to prove the subordinate status of the Apostolic church founded by St. Thomas)


This is not the just one incident to ignore, it is the main incident. Because of this incident only the Malankara Church got a legitimate Catholicose, who is accountable to Patriarch of Antioch. Accepting the Spiritual Supremacy of the Patriarch of Antioch will not at any cost subordinate the Status of the Apostolic Church founded by St. Thomas In Malankara.

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« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2004, 04:06:09 PM »

Ground reality is that the Jacobite and modern Syrian Orthodox leaning is towards Roman Catholicism.

Regarding the foundation of the Indian Church, does the Jacobite church truly believe in the high-priesthood of Apostle Thomas? Numerous Jacobites frequently write against Apostle Thomas, his priesthood and even against his works in India trying to create doubt in the minds of people.

It was the strategic aim of Patriarch Yakub 111 to destroy the faith of the Apostolic Indian church and to subordinate the church.

Consistently I hear from the Jacobite church that the Malankara Church is subordinate to the West Syrian church and their Archbishops.

Hudaya Canon does not permit the Patriarch to interfere in the internal affairs of the Synod of Catholicos of the East. He can do work in the jurisdiction of Catholicos 'only if' invited. The teachings and activities of Patriarch Yakub 111 and his successor were against the canon and traditions of the Indian Church. Patriarch Yakub 111 wrote an official letter that St. Thomas does not have priesthood, hence the Indian church is always subordinsate to West Syriand church. The Patriarch has no authority to introduce such a teaching.

There is no canon which says that we accept the primate of West Syrian church blindly.  They are accepted based on how they work according to the canons and keep the faith.

In my understanding this is all pure fanaticism, a pure political attempt to show power and subordinate a church.

Syrian Synod has the freedom to decide what they want. For example they decided to enter in to communion with Antiochian Greek Orthodox, RC church etc. They have the freedom to make changes and violate canons. But they cannot impose these violations upon all. They may be able to lure a group, causing unwanted divisions.

But Orthodox churches also have the freedom to continue the traditions. How can you teach that the Syrian Orthodox church enjoys supremacy over all churches in the world? Who gave you that authority?

What is the concept of unity in the Jacobite church? Currently there are at least four entities, each with own bishop and constitution.  Why the American diocese of Jacobite church is directly under Damascus rule, why the concept of Simhasans church in India, Why seperate Knanaya church?

So, it is clear to me that the concept of unity in the Jacobite church is distorted. Now. only Orthodox faith can correct these distortions. This means that the Jacobite church needs to come out of their affinity towards Roman Catholicism, and their attempt to establish a Universal Supremacy rule of Damsascus based administration.

Duty of an Indian christian it to help the Indian community to know Orthodox christianity. Fighting for establishing the supremacy of West Syrians is totally against Orthodox faith and the directions given by Apostles and Church fathers.

I believe that there will be unity only when people are ready to honor Orthodox church and the faith of the church beyond other aspects. Currently it is a heavily distorted understanding that is promoted, giving too much stress on universal supremacy, throne of Antioch, etc.

In this sense, I do not see much difference between Roman Catholicism and the Jacobite movement. One is about establishing the thronal supremacy of Rome, and when you substitite Rome with Antioch you get almost the Jacobite church.

What is needed in India is not Jacobite movement, but very clearly the Orthodox movement. Orthodoxy is now about showing pride about selected languages such as Syriac, Greek etc., but it is more involved and deep.

-Paul
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« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2004, 04:21:16 PM »

Without Priest, no Orthodoxy in the parish. Without Bishop, no Orthodoxy in the Diocese. Without Catholicose / Mapraino, no orthodoxy in the region and without Patriarch no orthodoxy in the Universe.



Wow!  Without Patriarch no Orthodoxy in the Universe!  

Do you want to conquer also the aliens (if they exist) to establish supremacy of Antioch?

No wonder why one prominent Jacobite leader (who also attends RC church) wrote a book about the current Patriarch, titled "Veni, Vidi, Vici" (meaning 'I came, I saw, I conquered').

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« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2004, 06:35:40 PM »

Without Priest, no Orthodoxy in the parish. Without Bishop, no Orthodoxy in the Diocese. Without Catholicose / Mapraino, no orthodoxy in the region and without Patriarch no orthodoxy in the Universe.

Without which Patriarch?  

Quote
Yes we Syriac Orthodox Church do believe and teach the special position of St. peter among all other Apostles. Which is proved beyond doubt by the early fathers of the church based on the Holy Bible and early church documents. If you call it infallibility, you are free to call. It won’t affect the faith or stand of the Syriac Orthodox Church.

Given that there are Orthodox and heterodox understandings of the primacy of Peter, I would appreciate it if you would explain what the understanding of the Syrian Orthodox Church is on this topic.
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« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2004, 07:29:11 PM »

The situation in India is very saddening to me.  Politics and property rights should not divide families, and those who are of the orthodox Faith.
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« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2004, 02:07:06 AM »

Wow!  Without Patriarch no Orthodoxy in the Universe!  

Do you want to conquer also the aliens (if they exist) to establish supremacy of Antioch?

What I mean “Universe” is the entire Church of Syriac Orthodox , Sorry for using the wrong vocabulary. Edited my original posting.

The Syriac Orthodox Church has never ever advanced a notion of infallibility of the Patriarch. The Patriarch is subordinate to the Synod of the Church. Patriarchs have been excommunicated by the Synod throughout history proving the fact that they were never considered infallible.
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« Reply #26 on: June 30, 2004, 02:18:55 AM »

Without which Patriarch?  Given that there are Orthodox and heterodox understandings of the primacy of Peter, I would appreciate it if you would explain what the understanding of the Syrian Orthodox Church is on this topic.  

As I stated on my earlier posting, what I meant “Universe” is the entire Church of Syriac Orthodox and its Patriarch. Sorry for using the wrong vocabulary. Edited my original posting.

Regarding the position of St. Peter in the Syriac Orthodox Church, please visit the following link. It might help you.
http://www.stignatious.com/articles/peter.htm
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« Reply #27 on: June 30, 2004, 02:46:56 AM »

Regarding the foundation of the Indian Church, does the Jacobite church truly believe in the high-priesthood of Apostle Thomas? Numerous Jacobites frequently write against Apostle Thomas, his priesthood and even against his works in India trying to create doubt in the minds of people.

It was the strategic aim of Patriarch Yakub 111 to destroy the faith of the Apostolic Indian church and to subordinate the church.

When the Catholicose Augen claimed the equality of position with the Patriarch against all historic norms, and in their (IOC) eagerness to prove their autocephaly in the Eastern Orthodox model and draw themselves closer to that family of Churches removed the condemnation of Pope Leo and his tome from the amalogia of episcopal ordination, In 1970 by letter  # 203 to Catholicose Augen, Patriarch Yacoob III, quoting John 20:22,23, said that Apostle Thomas was not a priest.

At least some theologians hold that view even today. Whether or not the statement was inadvertent or erroneous, and it was, apostle-ship is far superior to priesthood. The patriarch affirmed that Thomas was apostle and saint. Also, as martyr he is above priesthood.

The impugned letter was private to Catholicose and not meant for publication. Had the Catholicose took the spirit of Apostle Paul to Peter as described in Galatians 2:11-15, we know that fatal injury to the Body of Christ could have been averted.

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« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2004, 07:35:30 AM »


http://www.keikyo.com/syrian_nestorianism.htm

Has anybody seen this article yet? The translation is a little bumpy but understandable.

SYRIAN NESTORIANISM IN JAPAN
Love does not work evil to his neighbor because love is the fulfillment of the law.
-Romans XIII, 10
(Aramic)

It is easier for a rope (gamla) to go through the eye of a needle, than a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
- St. Matthew XIX, 24 (Aramic)

People will often take the Syrian, for the Greek Nestorians, but the former is one thing, the latter is another, you must discriminate between them. The so-called "Syrian Nestorians" believe in the salvation only by faith, and being, none other than the members of the Holy Catholic Church of the East which was established in the early part of the first century and which adopted the Peshitta, the original Scriptures in Aramic, at the beginning of the following century, they had nothing to do with the Conference of Nicaea in 325 A.D. which recognized the Trinity nor with the Conference of Ephesus in 431 which stated the doctrine of the Monophysitism and in consequence of which Nestorius, Patriachof Constantinople, was deposed from his post on account of heresy, i. e., his ignoring the Trinity and insisting on the Nestorians have been Trinitarians since before the above Conference of Ephesus, yet they were called "Nestorians" by their foes soon after the dismissal of Nestorius, as they were Dyophysites like the Greek Nestorians, the followers of Nestorius. This is the very reason why people not unfrequently would and will confuse the Syrian, with the Greek Nestorians. In the following article "Nestorian" and "Nestorianism" are used as substitutes for "Syrian Nestorian" and "Syrian Nestorianism" only for convenience' sake.

The Hatas were a Nestorian tribe who lived originally under Perian domination in Khotan (now in Eastern Turkestan) but migrated to Japan via China and Korea in search of religious freedom. The landed at Sakoshi (near the present city of Himeji in Kyogo prefecture) some 1500 years ago and there erected the first Christian churches long before St. Francis Xavier arrived here in 1549. Later they move to Uzumasa (now Kyoto City) where they erected many other churches. Although they were persecuted by Buddhists in both China and Korea they were granted to full freedom in all but name from the time of their arrival in this country down to the days of the Empress Suiko.

Under Shotoku, Prince Regent under the Empress Suiko in the seventh century, the Hatas were happy indeed since the wise Prince Regent, though himself a Buddhist, granted them full liberty under the provisions of his famous Seventeen-Article Constitution. Well might be noted English scholar, Professor Lewis Bush, then a high official of the Occupation Forces, declare in 1947 that "Shotoku Taishi was essentially a democrat: ...Indeed, had it not been for the complete indifference of the Japanese to this great man, the world would know more about him today."

In the days of this great Prince Regent the Nestorian church grounds at Uzumasa had their own "Well of Israel" attached to a David's Shrine, and on the well-spring stood a Sacred Tripod symbolizing the Trinity (cf. Rev. XXI,22,XXII 1,2) from which a limpid stream flowed. Visitors to Uzumasa can still see a tripod, build in the style of a triangular torii, which marks the exact spot where the original tripod of the Nestorians once stood. These various Nestorian sites have been identified only recently by the writer of this article with the aid of archaelogy, philology, and the science of folklore. The writer admits, however, that this would have been impossible without the suggestions and hypothesis advanced by the English author, Mrs. E. A. Gordon in her several published works. A study of some historical sources has convinced me that it was a Nestorian, Raca, who directed the first orphan asylum ever established in Japan.

Nestorianism in the days of the Empress Suiko exerted not a little influence on the culture of Japan. It is true that Shotoku may be regarded quite justly as the founder of social work in Japan. It was he who established the Shitennoji Buddhist Temple in Osaka which comprised four separate charitable institutions including the Kyoden-in or a sanctuary of religion, learning and music, The Ryobyo-in or charitable hospital, the Seyaku-in or a charitable dispensary, and the Hiden-in or an asylum for the helpless. To him goes the credit for having been the first to carry on social work on a large scale in Japan, but I believe that it cannot be denied that this work was modeled on the charitable work of the Nestorian church at Uzumasa. This name, incidentally, is, I believe, a variant of the Aramic," Ishoo M'shikha," meaning Jesus Christ.

Although the Nestorian Christians in Japan went over completely to Conventional Taoism at one time after Prince Shotoku's death, the Emperor Shomu and his consort, the Empress Komyo, gave the audience to a Nestorian missionary who came to Japan in 736 and was identified by Mrs. Gordon with the Rev. Milis, Bactrian physician. The emperor had a leper asylum built in the suburbs of Nara which was then the capital, and the empress worked there as a volunteer nurse. People must have been amazed to see how this young belle in the purple went so far as to suck the lepers' wounds as pious Christians were wont to do in the Middle ages in Europe. The historicity of this story is, I believe, confirmed by the various data which have made it possible to identify the site of the lazaretto and it would appear that the Emperor and his beautiful consort took their inspiration for this work from the Nestorianism preached by the Bactrian missionary.

While it is quite true that Chinese literature and Indian Buddhism conspired to make a cultural nation of the Japanese people before the Meiji Restoration. Indeed, Nestorianism from the Near East contributed much towards Japanese civilization even long before the introduction of Roman Catholicism some 400 years ago.

In conclusion I must render grateful acknowledgement to those prominent personages who were so kind as to encourage my studies. Among these are the Rev. Egli, Director of the St. Thomas Institute in Kyoto, the Rev. Kosho Otani, Abbot of the Nishi-Hongaoji Temple, His Holiness Mar Shimun of the Patriarchate of the East in Chicago, Illinois, and Prof. Yukitoki Takikawa, ex-Dean of the Law Faculty of Kyoto University, Japan's famous champion of Liberalism. I owe grateful acknowledgement also to those who so graciously visited the sites I discovered. Among these I wish especially to mention the Rev. G. Beckman, American missionary of the Church in Kyoto, the Rev. H. H. Eggen of the Norwegian Lutheran Church, Godalsveien 2, Stavanger, Norway, and Mr J. W. Schoonen, principal of Kobe Education Center, Troop Information and EducationSection, Kobe Base
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« Reply #29 on: June 30, 2004, 08:40:59 AM »

When the Catholicose Augen claimed the equality of position with the Patriarch against all historic norms, and in their (IOC) eagerness to prove their autocephaly in the Eastern Orthodox model and draw themselves closer to that family of Churches removed the condemnation of Pope Leo and his tome from the amalogia of episcopal ordination, In 1970 by letter  # 203 to Catholicose Augen, Patriarch Yacoob III, quoting John 20:22,23, said that Apostle Thomas was not a priest.

At least some theologians hold that view even today. Whether or not the statement was inadvertent or erroneous, and it was, apostle-ship is far superior to priesthood. The patriarch affirmed that Thomas was apostle and saint. Also, as martyr he is above priesthood.

The impugned letter was private to Catholicose and not meant for publication. Had the Catholicose took the spirit of Apostle Paul to Peter as described in Galatians 2:11-15, we know that fatal injury to the Body of Christ could have been averted.



These raises two questions for me.  It is not addessed to any one person, so Phil, Thomas, or Paul, feel free to answer.

1.) How could anyone justify denying that St. Thomas, one of the 12 Apostles, was a priest?  Was he not equal to the other Apostles?

2.) Is it true that the IOC removed the condemnation of Pope Leo and his tome from the amalogia of episcopal ordination?  Why?  Would they really compromise their miaphysite Faith just to have a political weapon against the Patriarch of Antioch?  As in "Give us what we want or we will join the Byzantine communion".  If so, that is lamentable.  Matters of faith should not be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency.
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« Reply #30 on: July 01, 2004, 02:19:23 AM »

These raises two questions for me.  It is not addessed to any one person, so Phil, Thomas, or Paul, feel free to answer.

1.) How could anyone justify denying that St. Thomas, one of the 12 Apostles, was a priest?  Was he not equal to the other Apostles?

-Nikolas
The Patriarch was raising a technical point in that Apostle Thomas was not present at the time when Christ himself breathed on the Apostles as stated in John 20:21-24. While the synoptic gospels record the "Great Commission" of our Lord to the Apostles in their respective last chapters (which we may consider the consecration of the Apostles), only St. John mentions the absence of Apostle Thomas at that event. In the second appearance Apostle John does not record that our Lord provided the same commission to Apostle Thomas, but it would be quite legalistic to interpret it that way. This is the often-quoted biblical reference to priesthood by scholars in the church including Vattaseril Mor Dionasius (recently declared Saint of IOC).  Clearly, St. Thomas was one of the most active apostles of Christianity in the Eastern world in Persia, India, China and so forth.

Patriarch Ya`qub was not as diplomatic as current Patriarch of Syriac Orthodox Church. In the heat of the exchange he may have written something that technically can be held to be correct but treads into murky territory. As I stated before in the forum that that was a private letter to Catholicose Augen and not an encyclical addressed to the Malankara Church. The Patriarch could have expressed a private opinion on this matter, but it was definitely not stated as the doctrinal position of the church. The Syriac Orthodox Church has never had a notion of Patriarchal infallibility and so we can very well accept that the Patriarch may have taken what may appear to us as an extreme position or even erred in this matter.

But this is a paining truth in the context of a schism. IOC uses it for all reasons to trigger animosity and hatred. As I sated above, otherwise if it were a bull of Apostolic Teaching he would have circulated it through the parishes that would definitely accept any letter that is received from the Patriarch. His Holiness himself has clarified later his position on this. I don't have the reference in my memory. (As I am stationed in a Land were Holy Gospel is prohibited, I do not have my reference books are related document copies with me, every time I have to depend on Internet or friends form other part of the world) It is sure that the IOC is misusing this for their rhetoric gain.
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« Reply #31 on: July 06, 2004, 06:30:39 PM »

I've been meaning to add something to this discussion for some time, and now I have the time to do it.  Some of it will seem polemical, I'm sure, but really all I'm interested in is the objective facts of the situation, which are hard to get a lot of the time.  I'm convinced that an honest look at the objective facts by both sides will, one way or another, yield a solution to the present dilemma.  Unfortunately, almost no one seems interested in this.  I'm not directing these points at anyone in particular, so no offence is intended; however, I think it will be clear which side I support, although I recognise both sides in this dispute as fully Orthodox and in full communion with the other Oriental Orthodox Churches, although not in formal communion with each other.    

The first thing I want to address is the title of the bishopric of Antioch.  The occupant of this see is styled "Patriarch of Antioch and all the East".  I've frequently heard Jacobites appeal to this title, given at the First Ecumenical Council, as justification for their position.  I think I recall reading that here or in another thread.  The title refers not to everything geographically east of Antioch, however; it refers to the eastern part of the Roman Empire.  It does not address territories outside the bounds of the Roman Empire, and India is among these.  For example, the Greek Patriarch of Antioch "and all the East" does NOT claim jurisdiction on several Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions east of him (e.g., Japan), because that is not the jurisdiction which was determined by the Council.  The Syrian Patriarchs of Antioch cannot exceed the jurisdictional limits set down by the Ecumenical Council based on a faulty reading of its canons.

Now...

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In Syriac Orthodox Church canon, In Episcopal dignity the Catholicose rank second to the Patriarch and, as His Holiness's deputy, presides over the provincial Holy Synod.

In Orthodoxy, all bishops are equal in dignity, regardless of title.  Titles are matters of honour, and also serve a purpose in some jurisdictional considerations.  However, whether the head of an autocephalous Church is called Patriarch or Catholicos makes no difference: they are equal.  If, within the Syrian Orthodox Church, they choose to make a Catholicos second to a Patriarch, there is no problem with that, but they cannot then say that the Catholicos of Etchmiadzin, for example, is inferior to the Patriarch of Antioch: he is not, they are equal.  And so, the Patriarch of Antioch and the Catholicos of the East, as heads of autocephalous Churches, are equal.  

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If the Indian Orthodox Church Catholicose declare publicly and announce the acceptance of the spiritual supremacy of Patriarch of Antioch, all problem should have been solved a long back. Instead IOC Catholicose declares it in the legal proceedings and publicly questing it. Even during the blessing of Holy Muron (the Holy Oil) or Chrism, IOC Catholicose and his church remove or forget (Ignore) to remember the name of the Supreme authority of the Church.

Forgetting and ignoring are two different things.  If you have both SOC and IOC official texts for the consecration of Mooron, I'd be happy to review them to look for discrepancies in the texts.  

Regardless, I've never seen anyone in the IOC ever question the position of the Patriarch of Antioch in the Church.  On the contrary, it is affirmed, although perhaps not in the way your leaders would like.    

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Hudaya Canon does not permit the Patriarch to interfere in the internal affairs of the Synod of Catholicos of the East. He can do work in the jurisdiction of Catholicos 'only if' invited.

May I have the citation for this?  I find it interesting that you claim the Hudaya Canon says this, Thomas says the SOC Canons state a Catholicos is inferior to a Patriarch, and yet the SOR website says in one place that Hudaya Canon forms a part of the canon law of the SOC.  It is hard to discern fact from opinion in these discussions because those involved are usually too devoted to their own side to take a step back and look objectively at the facts, so wherever possible I'd (personally) like to see official documentation to back up claims.

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Regarding the position of St. Peter in the Syriac Orthodox Church, please visit the following link. It might help you.
http://www.stignatious.com/articles/peter.htm

I haven't thoroughly studied this article, but I have read through it, once in the past (when an Ethiopian Orthodox friend alerted me to it and asked me if this was what was taught in India; he thought it was heretical), and once today.  

There is a sense in which Orthodoxy teaches that Saint Peter is the "Rock"; this much is clear from liturgical and patristic sources.  However, there is a heterodox understanding of this, and it became the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.  This article sounds like some of the intro level stuff Roman Catholics put out to teach their doctrines, but at least the Roman Catholics do a better job of being more convincing in their writings.  This Syrian Orthodox piece (and since I asked for the official position of the Syrian Orthodox Church, and you gave me this, I am trusting you that this is the teaching of the SOC, since I am IOC and do not know what is going in your church), while unobjectionable to me in some respects, also presents problems.  

From the article:

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In fact the word "Rock" has been reserved for God and the Son Jesus Christ. Our Lord gave that name to Simon when He said "you are Cephas". (I have to point out here that when Moses was appointed to lead Israel God told Moses "you shall be God to him" (Exodus 4:17). Here also His name was given). By giving His name to Simon, our Lord has selected him to participate in his ministry and in his personality and be a foundation for His church.

It is hard for me to see here any implication other than that Peter was "made to be God to" the other Christians.  What does the SOC teach are the implications of this?  In what way is Peter, and his successors (the Patriarchs of Antioch, I presume), "God" to the Universal Church?  How is this exercised, both in the local Antiochene Church, and in the larger Orthodox Church (Alexandria, Etchmiadzin, Cilicia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and India)?  Other than within its own jurisdictional bounds, I've only seen the SOC attempt to exercise this sort of leadership over the Church in India and not, say, over the Alexandrian Church, whose Patriarch is the successor of Saint Mark, who was, by this logic, inferior to Saint Peter, although, by decree of the same Nicene Council referenced above, ranks higher in honour than the Patriarch of Antioch.

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By giving Christ’s name to Simon, Peter was allowed to participate in his personality and thereby awarded stewardship of the church. And as a representation of this, our Lord promised to give Simon the "Keys of heaven". This is an example of all powers given to peter. At this point the other disciples are not given the power to absolve sins. Later, other apostles are given this power to absolve sins. So Peter was given first (like a foundation) and others were later added (John 20:22). Peter was the summit of the apostolic power. Our Lord gave the other apostles participation to Peter's power.

Where is there any mention of Christ giving to Peter the power to forgive sins by changing his name?  That power is given after the Resurrection to all the Apostles.  And if Peter is the summit of apostolic power, and the other apostles were given a participation in Peter's power, then it is safe to assume that the other apostles are inferior to Peter?  They are not all equals, but one is fundamentally and essentially superior to the others?        

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This empowering that took place close to his ascension is a very significant act by our Lord. He is leaving and the administration is handed over.

What is the nature of the "administration" which Christ handed over to Peter, in the view of the SOC?  

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So our Lord gave Simon our Lords name and hinted at Peter's appointment. But later when establishing the church our Lord gave the partnership in the foundation of the church with Him to Peter and was given the authority to lead the church. Later just before ascending to heaven all power (over other disciples and over the church) was commissioned to Peter in the midst of the other disciples. So the leadership given to Peter is Biblical and is God's plan. Denying this is heresy.

(Emphasis mine)

This, if it is the official teaching of the SOC, sounds like Roman Catholic teachings, at least on the surface.  

Peter is given authority *over* the Apostles and not *among* the Apostles?  

Peter is given authority *over* the Church and not *within* the Church?  

What is the nature of this authority *over* the Apostles and the Church?  What is the SOC point of view?  And since "denying this is heresy", do the beliefs of the other Oriental Orthodox Churches with whom we both enjoy full communion square with this SOC understanding?  Do they also teach these things?  If so, where can I read about it?

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Some people regard this as 'forgiveness' of Peter's denial of our Lord (Mat 26:31). If someone sins then God forgives him or her. And forgiving is not by giving the universal authority of the church. Instead of saying I forgave you, our Lord gave universal authority over the church. So it is clear that what happened in Caesarea Philippi is commissioning of Peter with the authority to administer the church, not absolution from Peter’s denial. If Peter needed to be forgiven then it had to be during the initial meetings after the resurrection. Not at the last moment when our Lord was leaving the disciples (during such time instructions are to be given).

From my limited reading of the writings of the Church Fathers and other theological texts, it is clear that the threefold confession of Christ which Peter was made to make was to "undo" in a sense the threefold denial of Christ which Peter made.  So yes, repentence and forgiveness were a part of this.  On the other hand, some measure of responsibility was laid on Peter's shoulders at the same time.  What is this?  I know what the Catholics would say, and I have an idea of the Orthodox answer, but where does the SOC view fall into this?    

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Besides, other disciples denied our Lord more than Peter by their act. When our Lord was arrested, they all ran away and escaped. Peter did not run away but followed our Lord even though it was dangerous. Really Peter tried a trick to escape from the crowd's rowdy behavior and persecution. But all the other disciples who ran away were literally denying Christ.

Now this is interesting.  It is true the other disciples ran away because of their fear, but from where does the author get this idea that "all the other disciples who ran away were literally denying Christ"?  Where is this recorded?  The Gospels are silent about nine of the disciples: only Judas, Peter, and John are spoken of.  Judas betrayed him, Peter followed our Lord from a distance, but feeling the danger, publically denied him thrice, and John remained faithful to Christ, following Him even to the Cross and the Tomb.  The author doesn't give John the credit that is due to him for remaining faithful in spite of the danger, however, but defends Peter's denial ("Peter tried a trick to escape from the crowd's rowdy behavior and persecution"), and smears the other disciples as "literally denying Christ", even though there is nothing in the Gospels to suggest anything other than that they were afraid, and ran away.  Tell me: is there a reason for any of this?  What is the point of including Saint John with the other "Christ-denying" disciples by not singling him out as the only faithful one, while defending Saint Peter''s literally Christ-denying actions?  

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Our Lords does all the important works in Peter's presence. Usually one or two of the other disciples are also present to witness it. He was with our Lord when He rose daughter of Jairus (Mat. 9), during the transfiguration of Jesus Christ and in the prayer at Gethsemane. During the preparations of the Passover Peter along with one of them is also there. Our Lord does not do any thing important without Peter nearby. This is a part of our Lord's commissioning as the leader of the church.  

Peter was indeed present for all the important miracles in the public ministry of Christ, but so were James and John.  What do we make of these two?  

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Our Lord specially reveals many things to Peter. Only Peter was revealed that our Lord preached to the dead for three days. He states that fact in his first letter.

Only Matthew and Luke talk about the Virgin Birth; I am not aware of Peter teaching of it in his letters.  Does this mean Peter did not know of it?  The above does not necessarily prove anything.

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In 1970 by letter  # 203 to Catholicose Augen, Patriarch Yacoob III, quoting John 20:22,23, said that Apostle Thomas was not a priest.

At least some theologians hold that view even today. Whether or not the statement was inadvertent or erroneous, and it was, apostle-ship is far superior to priesthood. The patriarch affirmed that Thomas was apostle and saint. Also, as martyr he is above priesthood.

Apostleship may be far superior to priesthood, but apostleship has within itself the priesthood by the design of Christ.  To affirm apostleship but deny priesthood makes no sense, unless you are trying to establish something unheard of in the Christian faith.  Even a Roman Catholic with whom I've discussed this called this heresy.  

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The Patriarch was raising a technical point in that Apostle Thomas was not present at the time when Christ himself breathed on the Apostles as stated in John 20:21-24. While the synoptic gospels record the "Great Commission" of our Lord to the Apostles in their respective last chapters (which we may consider the consecration of the Apostles), only St. John mentions the absence of Apostle Thomas at that event.

But the Apostle Thomas was present at the Great Commission.  What he was not present at was the appearance of the Risen Christ to the apostles in the upper room, when He breathed on them, sending upon them the Holy Spirit, and giving them the power to forgive and retain sins.  It is this event to which the Patriarch referred in his letter (which I've only seen in Syriac, so have no clue as to what actually is contained except by what others tell me).  But does this mean Thomas was lacking in the priesthood in some way?  No, and Thomas is right when he says "it would be quite legalistic to interpret it that way".  

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As I stated before in the forum that that was a private letter to Catholicose Augen and not an encyclical addressed to the Malankara Church.

Is there any proof for this statement?  I've heard two different versions of this (I've heard two different versions of many incidents often referenced in these discussions).

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2.) Is it true that the IOC removed the condemnation of Pope Leo and his tome from the amalogia of episcopal ordination?  Why?  Would they really compromise their miaphysite Faith just to have a political weapon against the Patriarch of Antioch?  As in "Give us what we want or we will join the Byzantine communion".  If so, that is lamentable.  Matters of faith should not be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency.

What I've heard from Jacobites is that the condemnations of Leo and his Tome were taken out of an episcopal ordination which occurred sometime in the 1960's-1970's as a friendly gesture towards the EO, particularly the MP, with whom the Indian Church was intending to align if the See of Antioch did not acquiese to its demands.  I've never seen any documentation of this, but the fact that it is bandied about enough leads me to believe it happened.  But was it a one time thing, where the usual condemnations were resumed in subsequent ordinations?  Or was it a permanent thing, where the Synod decided to remove it entirely?  This is not clear.  Nor is the intent behind these deletions clear.  While the Jacobites make it sound like a weapon used to threaten Antioch, I've heard Orthodox say this was not the intention at all, but merely that, in light of the ecumenical dialogues going on between EO and OO, our Church decided to remove said condemnations, all of this going on while a friendly relationship was being cultivated between our Church and the largest of the autocephalous EO churches.  If we could see official texts and reports of the event, it might become clear.  It would be interesting to see what happens at four IOC episcopal ordinations which are slated to occur in the next six months or so.  

My own opinion of the whole condemnation of Leo thing: it would be one thing to protest the taking out of these condemnations if the OO continued to believe that both Leo and the Tome could not in any way be considered Orthodox.  But, in light of the ecumenical dialogue occurring between EO and OO, it was becoming clear at that point and is clear now that they can indeed be seen both in an Orthodox way and in a heterodox way, and it is in the Orthodox way in which the EO have believed.  This seems to be accepted by the Oriental Orthodox Churches.  Therefore, is there any need anymore to condemn them if now we understand they are not wrong like we perceived them to be?  Or have the OO Churches NOT accepted these conclusions, contrary to all I've heard?

Also, it is interesting to me that Jacobites would criticise such a move, as it seems much more conservative than what they are up to.  Paul rightly noted here or elsewhere that, unlike the Jacobites, who have an official intercommunion agreement with the Roman Catholic Church, the IOC has no such official agreements (private opinions and the exercise of economy, however, are a different matter).  The Syrian Orthodox have an intercommunion agreement with the Roman Catholics, and allow both intercommunion and concelebration with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Antioch.  So on the one hand, the Jacobites condemn the Orthodox for allegedly deleting from the rite of episcopal ordination condemnations of Leo and his Tome, but on the other hand are happy to recognise and participate in the sacraments of and concelebrate with churches with which we are not in full communion, and which have historically tended to view US as the bad guys.  This means that the Jacobites, who continue to condemn Leo and the Tome in their episcopal ordinations, commune and concelebrate with those who not only recognise the Tome as the *definitive* Orthodox statement on Christology, but also venerate Leo as a saint, and condemn some of our saints as heretics.  

Which is the more consistent, more prudent, more conservative move?
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« Reply #32 on: July 07, 2004, 12:20:56 PM »



Patriarch Ya`qub was not as diplomatic as current Patriarch of Syriac Orthodox Church. In the heat of the exchange he may have written something that technically can be held to be correct but treads into murky territory. As I stated before in the forum that that was a private letter to Catholicose Augen and not an encyclical addressed to the Malankara Church. The Patriarch could have expressed a private opinion on this matter, but it was definitely not stated as the doctrinal position of the church. The Syriac Orthodox Church has never had a notion of Patriarchal infallibility and so we can very well accept that the Patriarch may have taken what may appear to us as an extreme position or even erred in this matter.


I do not understand the logic of always trying to justify every act of the Patriarch. Here, when there is no other valid reasons to justify,  a new argument is introduced, that "he was not as diplomatic as current Patriarch of Syriac Orthodox Church". Is this a valid reason to justify the act of the Patriarch? How do we measure diplomacy? How do we know if the present Patriarch is more diplomatic? How is diplomacy related to faith aspects?

The infamous letter of the Patriarch was written on official letterhead and it was addressed to the official head of the Synod of the Indian Church. There is also an official letter number (No. 203/70).  The letter No. 203/70 of Patriarch Yakub 111 was formulated against the usage 'throne of St. Thomas'.
Official letterhead of Catholicos of the East carries the term 'throne of St. Thomas', to indicate that Catholicoi of the East are in the lineage of Apostle Thomas in the East, as a continuity of the works of St. Thomas in the East, especially India.

The Patriarch tried to prove through logical reasoning and using the Bible that since Apostle Thomas is not even a priest (hence not a high-priest, i.e. an Episcopa), the usage 'throne of St. Thomas' is invalid.  But one thing is revealed here, that if we can prove that St. Thomas received valid ordination, then the usage 'throne of St. Thomas' is valid.

The letter carried the official seal and signature of the Patriarch. It was an official letter written by the head of a church to the head of another church, with proper addressing (i.e. the head of Indian church was addressed 'Catholicos of the East' in this letter). The book 'Orthodox Church of India' by Dr. David Daniel carries this letter fully written in Syriac.

There is no need to explicitly mention the people in a letter to indicate that it is written for all. Letters of Church fathers examined in ecumenical councils were not all addressed to people, but  just to teachers involved.  The priesthood of Apostle Thomas is part of the (Catholic) faith of the church. As much as it is the common faith, kept by all sections of St. Thomas Christians of India, any letter attacking this faith means an attack on the whole St. Thomas Christian community. Here it was specifically addressed to the head of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox community, hence indirectly to the whole community, since a common faith (Catholic faith) of the community is attacked through such an official letter.

I do not understsand why the Jacobite church is trying to protect every act of modern Syrian Patriarchs, as if they believe in Patriarchal infallibility. For example, when SOC introduced some liberal changes in recent times, none of the Jacobite leaders wrote against it. How do we ensure that Orthodox is preserved through this approach?

In a way, the credit of popularizing the letter goes to the Jacobite church, because this letter was widely used by the Jacobites as a basis of their faith and their claims against the Orthodox church.  Greatest need of the Jacobites was to establish 'universal primacy of rule' of successors of Apostle Peter, that requires  total destruction of the Indian Christian tradition of the priesthood, Apostolicity and throne of St. Thomas who is the founding father of the Churches in the East. For them, the Indian church should always remain as a subordinate within the universal jurisdiction of the successors of Peter . Even today this is the most important Jacobite teaching, and the greatest impediment for reuniting the St. Thomas Christians of India.

The usage 'throne of St. Thomas' by the Indian church was one of the reasons (perhaps the most important)  that prevented the head of Jacobite church H.B. Thomas 1 from participating in the united Malankara Association of the Church held in March, 2002, which happened according to the recommendation of the Indian Supreme court that both sides unite in a joint meeting. H.B. Thomas 1 then made a public statement (which was published in leading newspapers), that he is abstaining because the letter of the Catholicos carried the term 'throne of St. Thomas' and that only the Patriarch can use red ink in an official letter.  Can Mr. Thomas Daniel deny these facts?

Personally, I realized on thing, that however hard the Jacobite try to promtoe the universal primacy rule of successors of Peter, the Orthodox churches worldwide (especially the Oriental Orthodox) will not accept such a teaching. It will only cause the Jacobites to move towards Roman Catholicism, because only they can sympathise with the Jacobites regarding this aspect. In fact such a aympathy already exists in India, since the Roman Catholic Bishop publically requested to firmly keep this faith.

Let us try to learn and teach the common faith of the Oriental Orthodox, instead of trying to introduce distortions and exaggerations which can result in divisions.

-Paul


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« Reply #33 on: July 07, 2004, 12:36:59 PM »



When the Catholicose Augen claimed the equality of position with the Patriarch against all historic norms, and in their (IOC) eagerness to prove their autocephaly in the Eastern Orthodox model and draw themselves closer to that family of Churches removed the condemnation of Pope Leo and his tome from the amalogia of episcopal ordination, In 1970 by letter  # 203 to Catholicose Augen, Patriarch Yacoob III, quoting John 20:22,23, said that Apostle Thomas was not a priest.



I have the most recent print of the Holy Liturgy used in all Indian Orthodox Churches worldwide, which is the liturgy officially allowed by the Church. If you examine the hymn on honoring Orthodox fathers in the liturgy, it carries condemnation of the Tome of Leo. I have also seen the Jacobite liturgy. Though it is similar to the Indian Orthodox, the hymn condemning the Tome of Leo is not present. So this is a mere rumor spread by the Jacobites.

The movement towards unity with EO is not a decision of Indian Orthodox alone. In fact the 1965 Oriental Orthodox Ecumanical council allows Oriental orthodox sister churches to have greater co-operation with EO. But with RC church there are restrictions. There is also one more reason why the Indian church showed great interest at one point, because some of the fathers from OO who worked actively for OO-EO unity were from the Indian Orthodox, such as late H.G. Paulos Mar Gregorios and Fr. V.C. Samuel.

Please also note that SOC allows communing from Chalcedonian Anthiocian Greek Orthodox church. The agreement allows SOC people to invite Antiochian Greek priest to celebrate liturgy for them.

-Paul

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« Reply #34 on: July 07, 2004, 12:56:33 PM »


2.) Is it true that the IOC removed the condemnation of Pope Leo and his tome from the amalogia of episcopal ordination?  Why?  Would they really compromise their miaphysite Faith just to have a political weapon against the Patriarch of Antioch?  As in "Give us what we want or we will join the Byzantine communion".  If so, that is lamentable.  Matters of faith should not be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency.


Dear Antonious Nikolas,

I know only one story, which is in the context of the Ethiopian church.
When the Ethiopian Church elected a Patriarch (Abune Theophilos?). The Patriarch-elect requested Fr. V.C. Samuel (who  was then teaching at Holy Trinity Seminary in Ethiopia) to prepare the 'amalogia' to be confessed suring ordination. The Indian priest showed an amalogia similar to the Indian church. But then the Patriarch-elect requested that all condemnations should be removed in the amalogia. According to the Patriarch-elect, what is needed is to confess the correct Orthodox Faith (i.e. Oriental Orthodox) and the act of confessing the true faith automatically excludes a different faith. This story is reported in the autobiography of Fr. V.C. Samuel,  where he shares his Ethiopian experiences.

During 1970's the EO-OO dialogues were in progress and there was great interest in theologians of both parties towards unity. There were many recommendations for how to make the unity practical. If I remember correctly, even H.H. Pope Shenouda made a statement meaning no major disagreements with later EO councils, except certain Nestorian interpretation of Chalcedon.

-Paul
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« Reply #35 on: July 07, 2004, 03:05:23 PM »

First of all, let me just say that I consider myself a "neutral" in this.  It pains me to see families and people of the Oriental Orthodox Faith divided from one another by politics.  I can see some good points on both sides, but I also have some criticisms of the behavior of both sides, especially where it has become violent, and where I feel it has departed from the Orthodox Faith.

I would be very interested to hear a rebuttal to Phil's critique of the above mentioned document.  I won't comment too much right now except to say that he made some very excellent points.  I read the article, and I cannot believe that all of this teaching about St. Peter is wholly Orthodox.  The article states: "Apart from our Lord Jesus, Simon Peter is the next most distinguished person in the New Testament."  Is this true?  What of Our Lady St. Mary?  Also, is this really the teaching of the Patriarchate of Antioch, or just the Syrian Church in India?  That being said, I also have some criticisms of the IOC side:

What I've heard from Jacobites is that the condemnations of Leo and his Tome were taken out of an episcopal ordination which occurred sometime in the 1960's-1970's as a friendly gesture towards the EO, particularly the MP, with whom the Indian Church was intending to align if the See of Antioch did not acquiese to its demands.  

This I find very disturbing.  Can the Indian Church really cast aside the Miaphysite Faith so easily?  They would really go over to the Byzantine Church just to get the Patriarch of Antioch to "acquiese to their demands"?  This doesn't sound like a gesture of reconciliation with the EO to me, it sounds like a convenient way to strong-arm Antioch.  If St. Thomas really established a throne in India, why not just declare the Indian Church autocephalous?  Why seek to align with a foreign Church at all?  And if that is for some reason necessary, why the Byzantines instead of Alexandria, Etchmiadzin, Cilicia, Ethiopia, etc.?  I remember reading that in 1652 the Indian Church wrote to Alexandria for help resisting the Romans, and received the bishop Mar Aithalaha, who was unfortunately kidnapped (and possibly drowned) by the Jesuits before he could do anything.*  Why not appeal to another Oriental Orthodox Church, or call for an Oriental Orthodox Council, since we are not yet formally in Coummunion with the Byzantines?


I've never seen any documentation of this, but the fact that it is bandied about enough leads me to believe it happened.  But was it a one time thing, where the usual condemnations were resumed in subsequent ordinations?  Or was it a permanent thing, where the Synod decided to remove it entirely?  This is not clear.  Nor is the intent behind these deletions clear.  While the Jacobites make it sound like a weapon used to threaten Antioch, I've heard Orthodox say this was not the intention at all, but merely that, in light of the ecumenical dialogues going on between EO and OO, our Church decided to remove said condemnations, all of this going on while a friendly relationship was being cultivated between our Church and the largest of the autocephalous EO churches.  If we could see official texts and reports of the event, it might become clear.  It would be interesting to see what happens at four IOC episcopal ordinations which are slated to occur in the next six months or so.  

I would be interested to know all of the details here too.  Was this a one time thing?  If so, why did it occur and what is its justification?  Or did it even occur at all?  Has it become regular practice (i.e. does this happen every time an Indian bishop is ordained)?  Please let me know what happens at the four IOC episcopal ordinations which you have mentioned are occuring in the next six months.  

My own opinion of the whole condemnation of Leo thing: it would be one thing to protest the taking out of these condemnations if the OO continued to believe that both Leo and the Tome could not in any way be considered Orthodox.  But, in light of the ecumenical dialogue occurring between EO and OO, it was becoming clear at that point and is clear now that they can indeed be seen both in an Orthodox way and in a heterodox way, and it is in the Orthodox way in which the EO have believed.  This seems to be accepted by the Oriental Orthodox Churches.  Therefore, is there any need anymore to condemn them if now we understand they are not wrong like we perceived them to be?  Or have the OO Churches NOT accepted these conclusions, contrary to all I've heard?

Accepting that the EO can interpret the tome of Leo in an Orthodox manner, and accepting the document itself and its author as being Orthodox are two different things.  I will not go into a lengthy critique of the document or the man here (in the interest of not violating the ban on polemics), but I have quite a few problems with both of them.  It would be quite disturbing if the IOC began teaching that this document was Orthodox.

Also, it is interesting to me that Jacobites would criticise such a move, as it seems much more conservative than what they are up to.  Paul rightly noted here or elsewhere that, unlike the Jacobites, who have an official intercommunion agreement with the Roman Catholic Church, the IOC has no such official agreements (private opinions and the exercise of economy, however, are a different matter).  The Syrian Orthodox have an intercommunion agreement with the Roman Catholics, and allow both intercommunion and concelebration with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Antioch.  So on the one hand, the Jacobites condemn the Orthodox for allegedly deleting from the rite of episcopal ordination condemnations of Leo and his Tome, but on the other hand are happy to recognise and participate in the sacraments of and concelebrate with churches with which we are not in full communion, and which have historically tended to view US as the bad guys.  This means that the Jacobites, who continue to condemn Leo and the Tome in their episcopal ordinations, commune and concelebrate with those who not only recognise the Tome as the *definitive* Orthodox statement on Christology, but also venerate Leo as a saint, and condemn some of our saints as heretics.  

Which is the more consistent, more prudent, more conservative move?      

I would be interested in hearing a rebuttal to this point.  It is my opinion that the Oriental Orthodox should not move unilaterally on any of these issues.  We should act as one.

Paul, it is comforting to know that the anathema on Leo of Rome and his tome is still present in the Indian Liturgy.  Your story about Fr. V.C. Samuel and Abune Theophilos is also very interesting.  Where can I obtain a copy of his autobiography?  I already have a copy of his book "The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined".  After reading this book, I cannot believe that Father Samuel would be friendly towards Leo's christology or his politics.


* Leslie Brown "The Indian Christians of St. Thomas" p. 99.
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« Reply #36 on: July 07, 2004, 05:30:59 PM »

This I find very disturbing.  Can the Indian Church really cast aside the Miaphysite Faith so easily?  They would really go over to the Byzantine Church just to get the Patriarch of Antioch to "acquiese to their demands"?  This doesn't sound like a gesture of reconciliation with the EO to me, it sounds like a convenient way to strong-arm Antioch.

It is important not to be too hasty in coming to a conclusion about these things, because each side does quite a bit of spinning, often to the detriment of the case they are trying to make.  

Was there a close relationship with the MP?  Was the purpose of this relationship, from the IOC perspective, to strong-arm Antioch?  Was whatever concession which was made made in order to further this goal?  I withhold judgement on this until I can get all the facts (and this process gets hairy).

Quote
If St. Thomas really established a throne in India, why not just declare the Indian Church autocephalous?

The IOC declared autocephaly/was granted autocephaly in 1912 or thereabouts.  This was not recognised by the Holy Synod in Antioch.  In 1934, the IOC approved a constitution which recognised the spiritual primacy of the Patriarch of Antioch, but assigned spiritual and temporal administrative authority to the Catholicos of the East, who is the head of the autocephalous Orthodox Church in India.  This constitution was not accepted by the faction faithful to Antioch until 1957; the Patriarch came to India, reconciliation was achieved, the 1934 Constitution was accepted AS IS, with no changes, and the Church was united.  From THIS point on, no matter what one's opinion is of the legitimacy of the actions taken from 1912 on (and I'm one of those who thinks there were a few questionable things now and then), there should be no question of the status of the Church--its identity and status are as stipulated in the now-accepted-by-everybody Constitution.  The status of the Indian Church was recognised by all the Patriarchs and Catholicoi of the Orthodox Church in Addis Ababa in 1965.  After this, it seems the divisive actions started with Antioch, and escalated from there.  Those actions don't change anything, however: the Church in India is autocephalous, and in communion with everyone except Antioch (and even this is a point I'm not sure of...did it go both ways, or is it a one way division that ends up working both ways?).      

Quote
I would be interested to know all of the details here too.  Was this a one time thing?  If so, why did it occur and what is its justification?  Or did it even occur at all?  Has it become regular practice (i.e. does this happen every time an Indian bishop is ordained)?  Please let me know what happens at the four IOC episcopal ordinations which you have mentioned are occuring in the next six months.  

I can substantiate Paul's claim that there is a hymn in our liturgical books which, among other things, condemns Nestorius, Leo, and Chalcedon at the same time.  However, I've never heard anything other than the first verse sung, and these condemnations and others occur in later verses.  I did not know that the Jacobite books omit this entirely; it is one thing to just not sing something, and another to omit it entirely from the books.  

Quote
Accepting that the EO can interpret the tome of Leo in an Orthodox manner, and accepting the document itself and its author as being Orthodox are two different things.  I will not go into a lengthy critique of the document or the man here (in the interest of not violating the ban on polemics), but I have quite a few problems with both of them.  It would be quite disturbing if the IOC began teaching that this document was Orthodox.I would be interested in hearing a rebuttal to this point.  It is my opinion that the Oriental Orthodox should not move unilaterally on any of these issues.  We should act as one.

If the EO understand Leo of Rome and his Tome in an Orthodox manner, and if that is indeed the manner in which they accepted them at Chalcedon, and if we accept this explanation, then I don't see why a condemnation of both is strictly necessary--a condemnation of false interpretations is necessary, of course.  If you would like to continue discussing this particular topic with me, and don't want to violate the restriction on polemics, please PM me.  

I agree with you that the Oriental Orthodox shouldn't move unilaterally ideally.  However, such unilateral moves have been made, in lesser or greater matters, by almost all the OO Churches, including your own (unless there are details I've missed).
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« Reply #37 on: July 07, 2004, 07:54:38 PM »

Phil,

You can imagine how confusing this whole situation is to me as an outsider.  You yourself are Indian Orthodox and (no offense) don't seem to be 100% clear on everything.  In your opinion, is Antioch the root of the problem, or is this a local problem that has ended up embroiling Antioch?  Several people from both sides have told me that this feud has literally torn families apart, and that a lot of it is rooted in rivalries between local bishops over the control of certain Church properties.

It is important not to be too hasty in coming to a conclusion about these things, because each side does quite a bit of spinning, often to the detriment of the case they are trying to make.  

Was there a close relationship with the MP?  Was the purpose of this relationship, from the IOC perspective, to strong-arm Antioch?  Was whatever concession which was made made in order to further this goal?  I withhold judgement on this until I can get all the facts (and this process gets hairy).

I agree.  But how does one go about ascertaining the facts in this situation?  It varies greatly depending on what you read and who you talk to.  Could you provide me with the answers to any of the above questions?  I would greatly appreciate it.  (Maybe the most "neutral" person to ask would be the MP himself?).  You can see where one would get the impression that I articulated above, even if I was jumping to conclusions a little.  You yourself said: "What I've heard from Jacobites is that the condemnations of Leo and his Tome were taken out of an episcopal ordination which occurred sometime in the 1960's-1970's as a friendly gesture towards the EO, particularly the MP, with whom the Indian Church was intending to align if the See of Antioch did not acquiese to its demands." (Emphasis mine)  Was I misunderstanding you here?  Or are you saying that the Jacobites cannot be trusted to relay the correct information in this case?  If so, how does one ascertain what is the truth?


The IOC declared autocephaly/was granted autocephaly in 1912 or thereabouts.  This was not recognised by the Holy Synod in Antioch.  In 1934, the IOC approved a constitution which recognised the spiritual primacy of the Patriarch of Antioch, but assigned spiritual and temporal administrative authority to the Catholicos of the East, who is the head of the autocephalous Orthodox Church in India.  This constitution was not accepted by the faction faithful to Antioch until 1957; the Patriarch came to India, reconciliation was achieved, the 1934 Constitution was accepted AS IS, with no changes, and the Church was united.  From THIS point on, no matter what one's opinion is of the legitimacy of the actions taken from 1912 on (and I'm one of those who thinks there were a few questionable things now and then), there should be no question of the status of the Church--its identity and status are as stipulated in the now-accepted-by-everybody Constitution.  The status of the Indian Church was recognised by all the Patriarchs and Catholicoi of the Orthodox Church in Addis Ababa in 1965.  After this, it seems the divisive actions started with Antioch, and escalated from there.  Those actions don't change anything, however: the Church in India is autocephalous, and in communion with everyone except Antioch (and even this is a point I'm not sure of...did it go both ways, or is it a one way division that ends up working both ways?).


Thank you for this synopsis.  It sounds like the matter is already resolved then to me.  The Indian Church is autocephalous and has been recognized as such by everyone, including Antioch, for a long time.  This leads to two questions:

1.) How did the divisions start?  Both Churches were represented at Addis Ababa.  Neither of them snubbed the other at that synod.  What happened after this?

2.) If the Indian Church is truly autocephalous and no longer needs Antioch's approval for anything, then why would it have been necessary to "align with the MP if the See of Antioch did not acquiese to its demands"?  Why is it necessary to have Antioch acquiese to anything, or to have the MP act as a stand-in if they don't?  I really don't understand this move at all.

I can substantiate Paul's claim that there is a hymn in our liturgical books which, among other things, condemns Nestorius, Leo, and Chalcedon at the same time.  However, I've never heard anything other than the first verse sung, and these condemnations and others occur in later verses.  I did not know that the Jacobite books omit this entirely; it is one thing to just not sing something, and another to omit it entirely from the books.  If the EO understand Leo of Rome and his Tome in an Orthodox manner, and if that is indeed the manner in which they accepted them at Chalcedon, and if we accept this explanation, then I don't see why a condemnation of both is strictly necessary--a condemnation of false interpretations is necessary, of course.  If you would like to continue discussing this particular topic with me, and don't want to violate the restriction on polemics, please PM me.

It may or may not be necessary for me to pm you.  It depends if you want to discuss the theology involved and the problems I have with specific parts of Leo's christology.  I'd imagine that as an Oriental Orthodox, you are familiar with most of my objections already.  I also have big problems with the Three Chapters, and cannot fathom how they could ever have been seen as anything but Nestorian.  Perhaps I am misunderstanding what you are saying.  It sounds as if you are saying that since an Orthodox interpretation can be made of Leo's christology, it is not necessary to anathematize him.  He is de facto Orthodox.  Following this line of thinking, why don't we just accept Leo and his Tome as fully Orthodox ourselves, and recognize Chalcedon as Orthodox, and sign on for all seven EO councils?  

I agree with you that the Oriental Orthodox shouldn't move unilaterally ideally.  However, such unilateral moves have been made, in lesser or greater matters, by almost all the OO Churches, including your own (unless there are details I've missed).    

I wouldn't dispute this point.  I wish that we still had an Emperor around to coordinate Addis Ababa's, and we could all move as one.  Wishful thinking on my part, I guess.  

To end on a hopeful note, I'll ask how close we are to a resolution in India.  Will it be in our lifetime?  (I'm hoping the answer will be yes).
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« Reply #38 on: July 07, 2004, 08:19:52 PM »

In your opinion, is Antioch the root of the problem, or is this a local problem that has ended up embroiling Antioch?  Several people from both sides have told me that this feud has literally torn families apart, and that a lot of it is rooted in rivalries between local bishops over the control of certain Church properties.

After the 1965 Council, there was, to my knowledge, no local problem which embroiled Antioch.  Everything I've read leads me to believe that Antioch involved itself uncanonically in the affairs of another autocephalous Church.  

As to your second point, it is as you wrote.  I think there is a definite right and wrong in this situation, but it has literally torn apart families, and, of course, since the bishops are human, there are rivalries and what not.  

Property, however, is another thing.  If the Indian Church is autocephalous, then ecclesiastical properties belong to that Church.  If the Jacobites wanted another administration, I think that's their right, and I would hope they'd find peace in that newer administration, and that both sides could remain in peaceful communion, but do they have the right to take church properties for themselves, even in places where they are in the majority?  I am not sure, but I don't think parish churches are owned by the parishes, and monasteries by the monastic brotherhoods, etc.  The property belongs to the Church, and if a group wants to start another jurisdiction, they ought to respect that they are thus surrendering rights to property, and buy their own.  Instead, all the litigation going on is over people bickering over property.

I don't even like writing this way about property.  Frankly, for the sake of peace, I wish we would give up our legitimate case against them and let them have what they want.  I think our people, however, feel that a compromised peace is worse than just struggle.  

Quote
I agree.  But how does one go about ascertaining the facts in this situation?  It varies greatly depending on what you read and who you talk to.  Could you provide me with the answers to any of the above questions?  I would greatly appreciate it.  (Maybe the most "neutral" person to ask would be the MP himself?).  You can see where one would get the impression that I articulated above, even if I was jumping to conclusions a little.  You yourself said: "What I've heard from Jacobites is that the condemnations of Leo and his Tome were taken out of an episcopal ordination which occurred sometime in the 1960's-1970's as a friendly gesture towards the EO, particularly the MP, with whom the Indian Church was intending to align if the See of Antioch did not acquiese to its demands." (Emphasis mine)  Was I misunderstanding you here?  Or are you saying that the Jacobites cannot be trusted to relay the correct information in this case?  If so, how does one ascertain what is the truth?

I've gotten most of my information from people on email lists.  Most of the posts are polemical spin, but if you look carefully, you will see facts.  It is by taking the facts alone into consideration that you can see the truth.  I don't think you can fully trust either Jacobites or Orthodox online to convey the truth of the story, but if you sift carefully through what they say, you will see some facts, and that is the only thing you should rely on.  

Other than personal dialogues, you really need to know Malayalam in order to know what's going on by reading news reports, official declarations, etc.  But even here it can get polemical.  Newspapers often have their biases in this matter, so you have to sift through them.  Synodal declarations are of course the same.  There isn't much in English that I know of, but there is some, and I'm hoping in the fall to have greater access to some of that.  The important thing, again, is to be able to distinguish what is certain from what is spin.  

More later...
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« Reply #39 on: July 08, 2004, 05:54:36 PM »

Thank you for this synopsis.  It sounds like the matter is already resolved then to me.  The Indian Church is autocephalous and has been recognized as such by everyone, including Antioch, for a long time.  This leads to two questions:

1.) How did the divisions start?  Both Churches were represented at Addis Ababa.  Neither of them snubbed the other at that synod.  What happened after this?

The abovementioned letter of H.H. the Patriarch of Antioch to H.H. the Catholicos of the East is one of the important things that happened after '65.  There may have been other moves, but I am not clear on that.  

Quote
2.) If the Indian Church is truly autocephalous and no longer needs Antioch's approval for anything, then why would it have been necessary to "align with the MP if the See of Antioch did not acquiese to its demands"?  Why is it necessary to have Antioch acquiese to anything, or to have the MP act as a stand-in if they don't?  I really don't understand this move at all.

I don't even know if that is what happened; I know that's what the Jacobites say.  

The Indian Church is autocephalous, but it appears as if the Syrian Church thinks it can recognise and revoke autocephaly at will, and that is another problem.  I've spoken with Jacobites who accuse us of heresy, call us graceless schismatics, etc. for not simply obeying Antioch.  Meanwhile, we are in communion with everyone else, and have always upheld the Orthodox faith.  When I pointed this out to some Jacobites, and even provided proof from other OO Churches to establish my point, some told me that this was the case only because the others have been misled, and once the truth is shown, everyone else will recognise us as graceless schismatics as well, and if they don't, then Antioch is fully prepared to break communion with everyone else in order to stand up for the truth (!).  I dare not say this is the attitude of all of them, but there is a certain "We're always right!" attitude among many of them.    

Quote
To end on a hopeful note, I'll ask how close we are to a resolution in India.  Will it be in our lifetime?  (I'm hoping the answer will be yes).

Paul knows more of the details re: the recent history, so maybe he'll chime in.  My understanding is that after the passing of H.B. Baselios Paulos II sometime in the 1990's, Antioch specifically did not consecrate a new Catholicos, hoping that something could be worked out between them and the Orthodox.  The Orthodox held a meeting of the Association where they invited the Jacobites to participate and help settle things.  Other than four bishops (who joined our Church), no one else came from the Jacobite side (they'd argue the meeting and elections were set up to automatically favour our Church, so they abstained), Antioch consecrated a Catholicos for the Jacobites, they started making more bishops, etc.  I think things are not progressing well, maybe even they have been set back.  Hopefully it will happen in our lifetime, but I'm not so sure.
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« Reply #40 on: July 08, 2004, 07:39:08 PM »

Thanks, Phil, for all of this information.  I will pm you about the tome.  This situation really makes me sad.  I pray for the Church in India. :'(
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« Reply #41 on: July 09, 2004, 12:53:01 AM »

I've been meaning to add something to this discussion for some time, and now I have the time to do it.  Some of it will seem polemical, I'm sure, but really all I'm interested in is the objective facts of the situation, which are hard to get a lot of the time.  I'm convinced that an honest look at the objective facts by both sides will, one way or another, yield a solution to the present dilemma.  Unfortunately, almost no one seems interested in this.  I'm not directing these points at anyone in particular, so no offence is intended; however, I think it will be clear which side I support, although I recognise both sides in this dispute as fully Orthodox and in full communion with the other Oriental Orthodox Churches, although not in formal communion with each other.    

The first thing I want to address is the title of the bishopric of Antioch.  The occupant of this see is styled "Patriarch of Antioch and all the East".  I've frequently heard Jacobites appeal to this title, given at the First Ecumenical Council, as justification for their position.  I think I recall reading that here or in another thread.  The title refers not to everything geographically east of Antioch, however; it refers to the eastern part of the Roman Empire.  It does not address territories outside the bounds of the Roman Empire, and India is among these.  For example, the Greek Patriarch of Antioch "and all the East" does NOT claim jurisdiction on several Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions east of him (e.g., Japan), because that is not the jurisdiction which was determined by the Council.  The Syrian Patriarchs of Antioch cannot exceed the jurisdictional limits set down by the Ecumenical Council based on a faulty reading of its canons.  

Yes the Nicene Synod was convened by the Byzantine emperor and its edicts could be administratively enforced only in the Roman empire. However, it was regarded as an ecumenical synod by the entire Christendom with the exception of the Gnostics and Arians (who our holy fathers would not regard as Christians but as heretics).  This was also true of the Church in the Persian empire whose head the Catholicos of Seleucia-Ctesiphon (south of Baghdad) was explicitly identified as subordinate to the Patriarch of Antioch. This Church accepted the canons of the Nicene Synod and existed in communion with and subordinate to the Patriarchate until the late 5th century when their acceptance of Nestor's Christological dogma lead to their estrangement. The fact that "of the East" extended beyond the confines of the Roman Empire is evident from the injunction we find in the canons of the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople as recorded in MS 14528 in the British Museum: "The Bishop of Alexandria shall govern those (churches) that are in Mizraim (Egypt) and the Bishop of the East (Seleucia) those of the East only, the seniority which is given by the canons of Nikia (Nicea) to the Church of Antioch being preserved." (Translation by Howard in "Canons of the Primitive Church"). Gibbon in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Ch XLIL Vol III (1890) p. 354 notes that the "filial dependence of the Catholici of Seleucia on the Patriarchs of Antioch is attested by the canons of the Oriental Church." Clearly if the SOC is at fault in reading the canons of the ecumenical synods quite eminent historians were as well. Even after the Church of the East was estranged from the Patriarchate in part due to the political pressures from the ruling Sassanians who deplored the association of Persian Christians with a spiritual authority in the Roman empire a number of Christians in Persia especially prisoners of war who were forced to settle in the Persian territory remained subordinate to the Patriarchate (and their descendents do to this day.) The Maphrianate that administered these Christians were always subordinate to the Patriarch of Antioch.

Regardless of the history there is a logical problem here as well. Any church that subscribes to the Nicene Synod as one of the primary sources of its theology and ecclesiastics cannot then say that it applied only to Roman empire.
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« Reply #42 on: July 09, 2004, 12:56:01 AM »

Now...In Orthodoxy, all bishops are equal in dignity, regardless of title.  Titles are matters of honour, and also serve a purpose in some jurisdictional considerations.  However, whether the head of an autocephalous Church is called Patriarch or Catholicos makes no difference: they are equal.  If, within the Syrian Orthodox Church, they choose to make a Catholicos second to a Patriarch, there is no problem with that, but they cannot then say that the Catholicos of Etchmiadzin, for example, is inferior to the Patriarch of Antioch: he is not, they are equal.  And so, the Patriarch of Antioch and the Catholicos of the East, as heads of autocephalous Churches, are equal.  Forgetting and ignoring are two different things.  If you have both SOC and IOC official texts for the consecration of Mooron, I'd be happy to review them to look for discrepancies in the texts.    

If in Orthodoxy all bishops are equal then there was no need for the recognition of Patriarchates at the Nicene Synod. The office of bishop is best defined in the writings of St Ignatius of Antioch. The rights and duties of bishops are described there. Clearly by early 4th cent. an ecclesiastical position above the bishopric became necessary. After the Patriarchates were recognized it is meaningless to argue that all bishops are equal.

Nobody makes the claim that Patriarch of Antioch has jurisdiction over the Armenians under the Catholicate of Etchmiadzin or argue about their equality. This Catholicate was not even considered in the Ecumenical Synods and developed independently as a separate jursidiction for an ethnic community.  

If you are alluding that the situation of the Catholicate in the IOC is equivalent to that of Etchmiadzin you are mistaken. The claim is that the Catholicate of IOC succeeds the Catholicate of the East. The "translation" of the Catholicate (of course without the people who it was supposed to have jursidiction over) allegedly happened at the hands of a SOC Patriarch of Antioch in 1912. We will leave aside for the moment that this Patriarch was removed from his position and that he did not have the authority of the Synod of the Church; we will also leave aside for the moment that such a "translation" of ecclesiastical positions across jurisdictions has no precedent. If a Syrian Orthodox Patriarch were to independently consecrate a Catholicos, he could not have consecrated a successor to the Catholicate of Seleucia-Ctesiphon which has a legitimate succession in the Church of the East to this day. He could have at best consecrated a successor to the Maphryono of Takrit (the Syriac equivalent of the Greek "Catholicos") which had become defunct in the 1860s. This was an office always subordinate to the Patriarch of Antioch. The IOC cannot at the same time claim that they have succession to an ancient ecclesiastical position which is necessary for their claim to antiquity but in the same breath claim that the character of the position changed entirely. Of course if the IOC were to admit that they created a new Catholicate in 1912 independent of the Patriarchate the claim to being an autocephalic church has merit. But consistently IOC has argued against this because this would affect their rights over churches that belonged to the Syrian Orthodox Church in Malankara.
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Thomas Daniel (Reji)
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« Reply #43 on: July 09, 2004, 01:01:46 AM »


 Forgetting and ignoring are two different things.  If you have both SOC and IOC official texts for the consecration of Mooron, I'd be happy to review them to look for discrepancies in the texts.    
There is no IOC text for any liturgy. Every liturgy to date in the IOC is from the SOC. Of course, IOC has engaged in distorting meaning in translations. The liturgical text may refer to the Patriarch but the name is omitted in practice. The Patriarch is not the only person subject to such treatment. St. Peter is deprecated as well. For instance where the Syriac Orthodox liturgy of the matrimony clearly attests in a hymn in the betrothal service that St. Peter was entrusted with the administration of the "house" (the Church) and St. John with the Gospel. It is fashionable among IOC priests to distort this to "St Peter was entrusted with guarding the house."
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« Reply #44 on: July 09, 2004, 01:04:36 AM »

.  

Regardless, I've never seen anyone in the IOC ever question the position of the Patriarch of Antioch in the Church.  On the contrary, it is affirmed, although perhaps not in the way your leaders would like.     May I have the citation for this?  I find it interesting that you claim the Hudaya Canon says this, Thomas says the SOC Canons state a Catholicos is inferior to a Patriarch, and yet the SOR website says in one place that Hudaya Canon forms a part of the canon law of the SOC.  It is hard to discern fact from opinion in these discussions because those involved are usually too devoted to their own side to take a step back and look objectively at the facts, so wherever possible I'd (personally) like to see official documentation to back up claims.I haven't thoroughly studied this article, but I have read through it, once in the past (when an Ethiopian Orthodox friend alerted me to it and asked me if this was what was taught in India; he thought it was heretical), and once today.  

Hudaya Canon authored by Maphryono Bar `Ebroyo is one of the main sources of the church's canon law. It is not the only source of canon law. Moreover, the Maphryono did not come up with these laws. They were compiled from many canons of the early church and Patriarchs before him (refer to Patriarch Aphrem Barsoum's Scattered Pearls, Gorgias Press, 2003). Canons have been adapted as well later.
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