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Author Topic: The Ancient "Church of the East"  (Read 23045 times) Average Rating: 0
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paul2004
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« Reply #135 on: July 27, 2004, 11:02:47 AM »

Peter’s personal commission is further fortified by assuring him the keys of kingdom of heaven and the power to bind and loose. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven,” Mat 16:17-19. The key of the kingdom of heaven is not given to Church but to Peter himself. In Isaiah 22:22 we read, “And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder so he shall open and none shall shut, and he shall shut and none shall open.” “He who is holy, He who is true,” has the key of David, Rev 3:7 and that is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is legitimately holding the Keys of the Kingdom of God. “I am He who lives, and was dead and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen. I have the keys of hell and of death,” Rev 1:18. Jesus has authority over all things, created, uncreated, visible, invisible, earthly, celestial, living, dead, temporal and eternal. By promising the keys Jesus endowed all His authority to Peter.




Dear Thomas, I am not very interested in twisting Biblical verses to prove supremacy of Damascus based rule. There are many bulky Orthodox books to disprove the RC church claims, which you also used. There is no point in arguing this topic, because it equivalent to arguing against multitude of Orthodox fathers, including our current supreme spiritual head of OO Pope Shenouda. Pope Shenouda stresses a unity strongly based on one faith. This is the strongest and traditional model of unity.

I already wrote about Patriarch Zakka once keeping the same faith (told to me by a close friend of Patriarch Zakka). But I don't know what is the current faith of the Patriarch, whether he was manipulated by the Jacobites from Kerala.

The RC arguments did not exist in the early church. At present the Jacobite church is trying to copy it from the RC church. There exists strong link between Jacobite church and RC church in North Kerala. One of the Patriarch you accept was RC bishop and kept the same RC faith.  Orthodox fathers of India refuted the RC teachings. There are many works from Orthodox church, please refer to works of Anchel Achen, Mar Osthathios (Niranam).

Please read the work of Pope Shenouda, which was presented in Pro-Oriente. Pope Shenouda disproves all the claims of RC church (which is same as your Jacobite claims).  

We have only one faith within OO tradition, trying to introduce a different understanding will cause a lot of confusion and divisions. So, let us abstain from teaching unimportant teachings and try to focus on unity keeping one confession of faith. If we can bring this understanding among the Indian people, eventually it is possible to appreciate an unity based on one faith.

-Paul


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« Reply #136 on: July 27, 2004, 11:22:51 AM »

Dear Thomas Daniel, I started a new thread on the topic of primacy. Let us discuss and learn from there.

Regards,
Paul
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« Reply #137 on: July 28, 2004, 04:30:38 AM »

What is the proof that he did not ordain bishop?  According to canonical evidences St. Thomas did ordain priests and bishops.  Please read the Coptic Synaxarium which is a canonical work and also the 'Thoma Parvam' which is our traditional work.  It is clearly recorded in the Doctrine of Addai (Syriac manuscript), that Mar Addai was sent by St. Thomas and Mar Addai (of of the seventy Apostles) ordained Mar Aggai to succeed him in the Chair.   If one of the seventy Apostles sent by the Apostle can ordain a bishop, then St. Thomas definitely can.
 
Agreed, but please explain what happened to these Bishops and priests? They all passed away without ordaining their successor? Or they all deserted to some other faith? Why all writers say in the 16 th century the church in Malankara was administrated by Arkadyakon (was not even a priest.)?

Quote
Indian church was without bishop for a period. Vatican codex 22 written in Cranganore 1301 AD, written by Deacon Zacharias attached to Mar Jacob, the current Metropolitan of Malabar says: "MAr Jacob, Bishop Metropolitan, prelate and ruler of the Holy See of the Apostle St. Thomas, namely, our ruler and (the ruler) of the entire Holy Church of the Christians of India".
Was this India is the same India what we talks now? Was the so-called Indian bishop staying in Malankara or was Malankara under his administration?

Quote
There were bishops in the Indian church, but for a period the church was ruled by Archdeacons.  But Archdeacons in the Eastern tradition are not deacons, but they are above priests and below Bishop in rank. Same tradition is followed in the East Syrian Church.
Thanks for the new explanation. But my understanding is different. What I learned is, “Archdeacon or Arckadyakon: Hudaya canon insists that every bishop should have one arkadyakon, who shall be intelligent, skillful and interested in the welfare of poor and foreigners. He shall be the head of deacons. His job shall be to offer comfortable seats to priests, to give books to koruyo and direct the affairs of the altar. Arkadyakon should be in charge of the day-to-day affairs of the Madbaho. Arkadyakon is empowered to punish the clergy in default in case they quarrel each other. He shall be the spokesman and assistant to the bishop. Arkadyakon is not ordained but so confirmed by Susthathikon, chapter 7 div. VI.”

Quote
I gave you few proofs for St. Thomas ordaining in India. There are many more canonical evidences. Now, can you give me a single evidence to prove your claim that St. Thomas did not ordain in the East?
Please name at lest one person he ordained as priest or bishops from Malankara
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« Reply #138 on: July 28, 2004, 11:19:50 AM »

Agreed, but please explain what happened to these Bishops and priests? They all passed away without ordaining their successor? Or they all deserted to some other faith?


Thank you for at last agreeing to one thing.  The fact the church survived 2000 years in India is enough proof that Indian church had bishops. i.e. without Bishop there is no Church. To learn the names of bishops we need to learn the history of the Church of the East, history by Mar Ishoyab etc.

But in the history of Antiochian church is there a single bishop ordained by Antioch for Indian church before 17th century? I am sure if Antiochian church had such a tradition, their historians would definitely record it. But Scholars prroved that they helped us the first time only when we requested help.  Why they were not able to enquire and find out about our difficulties, if our church was under Antioch? Why they did not help us when the church was part of Assyrian church and later for few years as part of Roman Church?

Also, only very recent Patriarchs like Mar Abdulla and Mar Yakub 111 tried to establish universal supremacy. Before them, it was possible to co-exist as two churches in a peaceful way. For example, in history we know head of Indian Church (Mar Thoma Metropolitans) ordaining their successors with out any external help. This further proves the free nature of the Eastern Church. i.e. even with out the help of Antioch, there can be valid ordination. And help offered by a Church should not lead to subordinating the church receiving the help. If subordination is true, then Antiochian Church is subordinate to Alexandrian church, because current non-Chalcedonian lineage of Antiochian church is with the help of Alexandrian church.  So, ordination does not lead to 'subordination'.
It  did not happen in the case of Antiochian church, so it should not happen in the case of indian church also.


Quote
What I learned is, “Archdeacon or Arckadyakon: Hudaya canon insists that every bishop should have one arkadyakon, who shall be intelligent, skillful and interested in the welfare of poor and foreigners. He shall be the head of deacons. His job shall be to offer comfortable seats to priests, to give books to koruyo and direct the affairs of the altar. Arkadyakon should be in charge of the day-to-day affairs of the Madbaho. Arkadyakon is empowered to punish the clergy in default in case they quarrel each other. He shall be the spokesman and assistant to the bishop. Arkadyakon is not ordained but so confirmed by Susthathikon, chapter 7 div. VI.”Please name at lest one person he ordained as priest or bishops from Malankara

Hudaya canon is relevant in India only after our links with churches following it.  Before that Hudaya canon was not followed. If you go through the Canons of Synod of Diamper, there is a canon which says that the Church should severe ties with the Church of the East to enter in to unity with Rome. No mention of Hudaya in the canons of Diamper.  And Archdeaons in Eastern understanding are ordained people, their rank just below a Bishop.

"Accompanied by Prince Kepha of Muziris, who was consecrated as the Bishop of Cranganore and Malabar, St. Thomas left Cranganore to preach the Gospel elsewhere." [Thoma Parvom]

Antiochian succession was broken after Chalcedon, correct? How they established a new lineage against the Chalcedonian one?

Please check the lineage in the East:
http://www.chaldeansonline.net/church/bedaweed.html

Same is the list followed by Assyrian church of the East and Orthodox Syrian church of the East (Indian Orthodox). Same list is also found in the history of Bar Ebraya. According to Bar Ebraya, history begins with St. Thomas, who was the first Patriarch of the East.  There was only one church in the East with Catholicos as the head. Now it is divided in the Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Assyrian churches.

-Paul


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« Reply #139 on: July 28, 2004, 03:11:06 PM »

As an aside, I have a question regarding archdeacons in our tradition.  What rank is an archdeacon before he is elevated to that position?  In other words, is a full deacon ordained a priest, and then after being ordained a priest he is ordained an archdeacon?  Or is a full deacon ordained as archdeacon, and then as priest?
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« Reply #140 on: July 28, 2004, 05:31:16 PM »

As an aside, I have a question regarding archdeacons in our tradition.  What rank is an archdeacon before he is elevated to that position?  In other words, is a full deacon ordained a priest, and then after being ordained a priest he is ordained an archdeacon?  Or is a full deacon ordained as archdeacon, and then as priest?      

In my understanding we have honorary archdeacon acting on behalf of the Catholicos for important functions. But this Archdeacon is a full priest.

SOC understanding is very different. The confusion results from mixing of the two.

The title 'Archdeacon' originated in the East Syrian church.

Even in the Roman tradition, they had priest Archdeacons:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01693a.htm


Arkadyaqun (Archdeacon) can be a priest or chor-episcopa.


The orders of the East Syrians are those of reader (Qaruya), subdeacon (Hiupathiaqna), deacon (Shamasha), priest (Qashisha), archdeacon (Arkidhyaquna) and bishop (Apisqupa). The degree of archdeacon, though has an ordination service of its own, is only counted as a degree of the presbyterate, and is by some held to be the same as that of chorepiscopus (Kurapisqupa).

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14413a.htm


-Paul
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« Reply #141 on: August 01, 2004, 06:40:44 AM »

In my understanding we have honorary archdeacon acting on behalf of the Catholicos for important functions. But this Archdeacon is a full priest.

SOC understanding is very different. The confusion results from mixing of the two.

The title 'Archdeacon' originated in the East Syrian church.

Even in the Roman tradition, they had priest Archdeacons:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01693a.htm


Arkadyaqun (Archdeacon) can be a priest or chor-episcopa.


The orders of the East Syrians are those of reader (Qaruya), subdeacon (Hiupathiaqna), deacon (Shamasha), priest (Qashisha), archdeacon (Arkidhyaquna) and bishop (Apisqupa). The degree of archdeacon, though has an ordination service of its own, is only counted as a degree of the presbyterate, and is by some held to be the same as that of chorepiscopus (Kurapisqupa).

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14413a.htm

Its means Malankara was once influenced by Nestorians or were practicing Nestorian rites.

But in SOC traditions Archdeacon are not a full priest (they are only chief deacon). It is not an ordained post but by sustathikon (letter of authority).

The custom is followed in the Middle Eastern church, although the only archdeacon I have known is the late Murad Barsoum of the North American diocese under late Mor Athanasius Samuel (he was the one who translated many of the liturgies to English published by Mor Athanasius).

On the SOR vestments page, illustrated how the archdeacon wears the uroro. http://sor.cua.edu/Vestments/index.html
(Archdeacons (archedyaqno) wear the uroro round the neck. They also wear a zenoro and zende similar to priests.)

Actually in Malankara (both faction) do not have this title now. So in ordination times celebrant bishop asks senior priest to act as one to read certain declarations.
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« Reply #142 on: August 01, 2004, 04:38:04 PM »

We should bring back archdeacons!
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« Reply #143 on: August 05, 2004, 11:20:02 AM »

As I mentioned, we still have Archdeacons, i.e. the one appointed for important events. He is not a deacon, but a priest.  The Malankara Metropolitan is the continutation of Episcopacy, which was stopped by the portuguese. We had bishops before Portuguese arrival and these bishops were part of the Synod of the Church of the East.

Once I went to a library and took a print out of the complete canons of Synod of Diamper (Udayamperoor) from the microfilm section. It is explicitly stated in this Roman Catholic canon that the Indian Church must severe ties with the Catholicos of the East of the Assyrian Church of the East, in order to enter in to relationship with Rome. Aim of Archbishop Menezes of Goa was to bring the church under the Pope of Rome.  The Indian church protested for substituting the 'law of Apostle Thomas' with the 'law of Apostle Peter'.

Please read here:
http://members.aol.com/didymus5/ch18.html


As I already mentioned, Fr. V.C. Samuel asked the question to H.H. Patriarch Yakub 111 about bishops ordained by Antioch for India before 17 th century. The Patriarch answered that there is some mention about bishop for India in the history of Mar Ishodad.   But the history of Mar Ishodad is about the Church of the East and the Church of the East having bishops for India. When Fr. V.C. Samuel asked this , the Patriarch had no reply to give. This event is reported int he autobiography.

Both the Churches of Edessa and that of India strongly believed in Apostolic origin from St. Thomas. This is why Bar Ebraya traces the origin of the Church of the East to St. Thomas, whom he calls the first high-priest of the East.

It is true that our connections with SOC helped us to maintain Orthodoxy. But at that point our aim was to protect the church from Portuguese Latins, hence we were seeking help both from Antioch and Alexandria. Our aim then was to maintain Episcopacy, since the Portuguese practise was to restrict bishops for the Church, as it happened in the case of Mar Ahatallah. But Mar Ahatallah advised the Church to ordain a Metropolitan with twleve priests laying hands. Thus Mar Thoma 1 was raised the Metropolitan head of the Church.  We know what happened after this, the succession of Mar Thoma Metropolitans and then the attempt of Pullikottil Thirumeni and later Mar Dionysius (Vattasheril) to re-establish the ancient Catholicate of the East for Orthodox Christians.  The Catholicate was re-established only in 1912, due to the efforts of the Indian Synod. This re-established Catholicate is in the lineage of Apostolic Thomas and is parallel to the Catholicate of the East of Assyrian (Nestorian) Church.  This I think is the canonical understanding.  

I hope you know when this Catholicate was reduced to a Maphriyan and the Maphriyanate abolished after several years. Though this Maphriyanate helped to keep the continuity, finally declined in the Eastern regions, the revived Catholicate is now for the Orthodox Christians, since they are predominently located in India and gulf regions.  Those places in Persia/Iraq which previously belonged to the Catholicate of the East (such as Dayara of Mar Mattai etc.) were later taken by the SOC.  But the Assyrian Catholicate of the East still have jurisdiction in these regions.

It is a fact that the jurisdiction of the East belongs to the Catholicate of the East.

-Paul
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« Reply #144 on: August 05, 2004, 11:42:13 AM »

The Eastern Orthodox also tried to create a Catholicate of the East.  

In the seventh century there came to be three different Catholicates in the Persian Empire - one the original Persian Church, a second started by the Byzantine or Chalcedonians with Byzantine imperial support, and the third one for the non-chalcedonians.
[Ref. The Indian Orthodox Church - an overview by H.G. Paulos Mar Gregorios]

To give another proof for this, St. Issac the Syrian (Issac of Nineveh) was ordained by Mar Ghevarghese (George), the Catholicos of the East in A.D. 670 as the Bishop of Nineveh, near modern Mosul, Iraq.  The saint is included in the calendar of Eastern Orthodox Churches. If the Catholicate had no validity, then they will not include the saints name.

The non-Chalcedonian Catholicate was revived in the East with the help of Alexandrian and Armenian church in the 6th century.  Armenian Catholicos Christophorus visited the East and consecrated a Monk name Garmai as bishop in the Dayara of Mar Mattai and gave him authority to consecrate bishops, as the Catholicos of the East.
[Ref. SOC at a glance by H.H. Zakka1]

Mar  Theodosius, Patriarch of Alexandria consecrated St. Jacob Baradaeus (St. James of Edessa) as bishop in Constantinople with the support of Empress Theodora.

In 559 AD, St. Jacob Baradeus visited the church in the East and consecrated Mar Ahodemeh as the Catholicos, who became the Catholicos  the East, after the Nestorians had captured its See. This is how the Catholicate of the East was revived for non-Chalcedonians.

Since the West Syrians and the East Syrians were now (7th century) in the same Persian caliphae, eventually the non-chalcedonian Catholicate established relationship with West Syrians. But this resulted in reducing the Catholicate to a Maphriyanate. The Maphriyan was previlege-ridden and eventually perished in the East.

But the Catholicate of the East was revived in 1912 for St. Thomas Christians of India by St. Dionysius. Though the Indian church tried to revive it before the Malankara Metropolitan, it was done only in 1912.


-Paul
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« Reply #145 on: August 06, 2004, 01:08:22 AM »

Dear Paul & others
Slomo

Please clarify three questions. If you can answer without deviating from the question and a short answer, then only reply to it. Else please ignore my request.

1. Was Indian Church under the Nestorian Church? If were not what was the faith of the Indian Church before the arrival of Europeans in India?

2. Which catholicate was reestablished in India in 1912? Was it Nestorian Catholicate or the Catholicate of Syriac Orthodox Church?

3. Who reestablished the Catholicate in India in 1912? And who authorized to do it?

Again I request, a short and straight answer, else please ignore my request.
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« Reply #146 on: August 06, 2004, 11:59:44 AM »

I try to make the answers as short as possible. I can understand why you carefully selected the questions. But my careful answers as below.

Ans 1. To some extent. But not before the Church of the East adopted Nestorian faith in 6th century. But after that, for a period of time. The proof is in the canons of Synod of Diamper. The church was also brought under Roman church rule for a while, until it was liberated in Coonan Cross.  But there is also the evidence that the Metropolitan charge of India did not sign the Nestorian agreement (refer to the history by Paulos Mar Gregorios).

2. The Catholicate revived in 1912 is in the continuity of the current Nestorian (because there was only one Catholicose of the East before 6th century) and the non-Chalcedonian Catholicate (revived in 6th century by Armenian Catholicos and St. Jacob Baradaeus).

There is no such thing as Antiochian Catholicate (if that is what you meant by Syrian Orthodox). But Antiochian Orthodox was later renamed in to Syrian Orthodox of Antioch. There are two churches of Syriac heritage, both equally influenced by the Syrian heritage of Edessa and Nisibis. They are:

Antiochian Orthodox (recently known as Syrian Orthodox of Antioch or more recently Universal Syrian Orthodox, but originally a Greek Church)

Orthodox Syrian Church of the East (also known as Syrian Orthodox church of the East, Orthodox Syrian Church, or Indian Orthodox)

These are two independent Syrian Churches, one in the West, and the second in the East, with two independent Apostolic lineages.

After the revival of Catholicate in 6th century, in the 7th century SOC offered some help, especially when Nestorians persecuted the Orthodox in the East. But this resulted in reducing the Catholicate to a Maphriyan. But in its original status, Catholicate has independent lineage originating with Apostles Thomas (one of the twelve) and Thaddaeus (one of the Severy).


i. Church of the East (initially based in Edessa, where Apostle Thomas founded the church together with St. Thaddaeus, now existing as Orthodox Syrian Church (Indian Orthodox), Assyrian Church (Nestorian), and Chaldean/ Syro-Malabar Church (Roman Catholic).

(Syro-Malabar church even today uses the old Eastern liturgy of Apostles Addai and Mari).

ii. Antiochian Church (later renamed as Syriac Orthodox and then in the 20th century as universal Syriac Orthodox).

The liturgy of St. James used in the present form developed in the See of Catholicos of the East, developed by St. James, the bishop of Edessa.

Nisibis, the orignal center of Syriac Christianity is also in the See of Catholicos of the East.

3. Catholicate was reetsbalished in India with the help of the Senior and blessed Patriarch Mar Abded Messih (who was focrible expelled by three SOC bishops).  In the 6th century, the parallel Patriarchate for non-Chalcedonians was created by Mar Jacob Baradeus with the help of Alexandrian Patriarch, who authorized him to strengthen the Church. There are numerous other examples of churches helping each other to maintain Episcopacy. But the Catholicate revived in India is in the lineage of Apostle Thomas, the first Episcopa of the East.


-Paul
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« Reply #147 on: August 06, 2004, 12:19:31 PM »

- Syriac Christianity did not originate in Antioch, but in Nisibis and Edessa.

- According to Canon, it was Apostle Thomas who sent Apostle Addai to Edessa and a church was formed there. Mar Addai ordained Mar Aggai to succeed him. This is the origin of the Catholicate of the East.

- The Church in Antioch was founded by Apostles Peter and Paul, as well as other Apostles.

- Both the Antiochian church and the Eastern Church were equally influenced by the Syriac Christianity of the region between the two (i.e. Edessa and Nisibis).


A brief summary of the nature of two churches in the Syriac tradition.

Apostolic Antiochian Church:
-----------------------------------

- Founded by Apostles Peter and Paul, as well as few other Apostles.

- Headed by the Bishop of Antioch, later known as the Patriarch of Antioch.

- Non-Chalcedonian Orthodox lineage was broken after Chalcedon, but revived with the help of the Alexandrian Church.

- This Church compiled the prayers and liturgies written by Syriac fathers associated with the schools of Edessa and Nisibis and use it, and shares the liturgies with the Church of the East.

- Grealty influenced by Greek culture of Antioch, even had church fathers who wrote only in Greek.

- Perished in Antioch and surrounding regions due to many reasons. At present no Christian community in Antioch.

- Today exists as Antiochian Greek Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch, Antiochian Syrian Catholic, Maronite etc.


Apostolic Church of the East:
------------------------------------

- Founded by Apostles Thomas and Addai. Apostle bartholomew also worked briefly in the East, before moving to Armenia. Apostle Addai also worked in Aremenia.

- Headed by the Metropolitan of the East, later known as the Catholicos of the East, in the lineage of Apostle Thomas.

- Influenced by Syriac heritage of Edessa and Nisibis. Church of the East complied the prayers and liturgies of Syrian fathers associated with Edessa and Nisibis. Shares same Syriac heritage of all Syriac churches including the Western Antiochian Syrian church.

- The non-Chalcedonian Orthodox lineage was broken few times. In the 6th century it was revived with help of Alexandrian and Armenian church, and in early 20th century with the help of Apostolic Antiochian Church (though the Church also tried to get the help of Alexandrian church).

- Greatly influenced by Eastern culture, and now the non-Chalcedonian community exists mostly in India, since the Persian church perished due to many reasons.

- Exist today as the Assyrian Church of the East (Nestorian), Orthodox Syrian Church of the East (non-Chalcedonian Orthodox), Chaldean Catholic church of the East/Syro-Malabar (Roman Catholic).

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Almighty finds a way to preserve Apostolic lineage in each region where an Apostle was sent in the first century!
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« Reply #148 on: August 28, 2004, 10:12:32 AM »

In A.D. 52 St. Thomas the Apostel of India arrived in South India and baptized  Four Hindu Priest family (Bhramins Family) and that is the foundation of Christianity in India.  The heriditory of that family is known as St. Thomas Christians and later Indian orthodox church.

Canai Thomman came with one of the Bishops from Anthoicia and married and settled in Kerala and that group of Christians are known as Knannai Christians and those are scattered in Indian Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox and Catholis in Kerala.

St. Thomas is killed in a.D. 72 during his mission and has buried in Mylapore, Madras in India and later the Saints remainings were taken to Edeisa.  A part of the remining is in Madras, Mylapore st. thomas mount which is with the Catholics.   A small piece of bone is kept in the St. Thomas Orthodox Church in Dubai, that is brought by Late H.G. Dr. Paulose Mar Philoxinos(The ex-Vice President of The world Christian council),. Dr. Philoxinos was the secretary of King Hailee Selazi of Ethiopia before he becomes a Decon.

In 1971 The Indian orthodox Church split in to two fractions with a reason of the supremacy of the Church.  The fraction that accepted The Antiocian Patriarchis as the supreme head left the church and known as Jacobites, The Syrian Orthodox Church .  The majority stays with the leadership of The Catholicos of the India and known as The Indian orthodox Church.  The Indian orthodox Church is having 3,500,000/ members in Kerala and around the world.  Majority of them are in Kerala, Middle East and U.S.A.  the Church is leading by the Catholicos H.H. Dr. Moron Mar Basalios Marthoma Mathews ll. and 24 Bishops.  

Charly Varughese Padanilam,   Houston, TX.
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