Why do you believe this to be so? If the Jacobite bishops and laity are capable of all that you accuse them of, then to simply put up a website detailing the seizure of a Church should be no problem for them, "hasty language" and all.So who does the parish belong to now? Why is the Church sitting in a state of ruination? If the Church rightfully belongs to the IOC, why don't they use it? How can a Church sit abandoned since the 1970's?
These questions should go to the people of that parish. Orthodox people have the same emotions as the Jacobites, and they do not want to leave their parish. But the other group wants to expell the Orthodox (that is my understanding). Recently in Denver, Jacobite bishop expelled two Indian priests from the Altar. This proves the Jacobite attitude to expell the Orthodox. In such a situation, can you expect the Orthodox people to give up? Is it justice in any way?
Is it better for the Church to rot while the cashbox alone receives attention?
I do not believe this story. In fact cash from so called 'sinhasana churches' and those fragmented entities directly under Damascus rule goes directly to the Syrians. Patriarch wants this money. Who can justify this act? Suppose the story is true, that Orthodox church is taking money from Indian parishes, then there is no reason to question that, because that is the way Syrian Orthodox church is also doing. Every church should do that way. Money from a Church should go to the needs of that Church, its charitable works and the needs of building the Church. It should not go for supporting divisions in the Synod and people.
What happens in Jerusalem is shameful, but it in no way justifies what is happening in India.Then why don't they use it? Why is the Church rotting? It seems like the attitude is "Better for the Church to rot than for Jacobites to pray there!"
The people of those parishes have an issue and they are not able to solve it. IOC cannot open or close a parish. Neither can Jacobite church do it. The Government tries to prevent clash between two groups, that is what happened here. Also, it is better to open the church when people are in peace, than to open it to allow clash inside the Church. Or should people clash inside the Church during liturgy? I do not know the right answer, but tend to think that clash should be avoided inside a Church. In many parishes people of each group tried to disrupt liturgy and physically harass clergy.
I have received criticism of my remarks here via e-mail from a Syriac Orthodox friend who asks:
What distinguishes the Syriac Church from the Indian Church?
The question should be 'what distinguishes the Antiochian church from the Indian Church?'
Antiochian church is a distinct church, we know how this church originated, how they got a Patriarchate, when was it formed, the powers of the Patriarch, his jurisdiction etc. In this sense, it is a distinct Church, and one among many sister churches.
In the definition of Syrian Church by Patriarch Yakub 111 (in his history book), he includes Aramaens and Assyrians, but totally ignores the Indians. In this sense, Indian Christians are a different category. But they want to remain in peace and unity in one faith with the Church of Antioch.
Indian Church was founded by Apostle Thomas, he was the first high-priest (Patriarch) of the East according to Hudaya Canon and the traditional belief of Indian Christians. Antiochian chuch was founded by Apostle Peter and Paul. Though these are different churches, of people of different nation/ethnicity etc., they can remain united in faith, just like Apostles are united.
Syrians do not consider us ethnically equal to them. For example, we have no marriage relationship with them. They consider us different, that is why Indian Jacobites in America have own Indian bishop. If it is Church of same kind of people, then there is no need for an Indian bishop, they can remain under a Syrian bishop. But this is clearly not happening. So, in saying that for one purpose (i.e. for universal rule) Indian church should be subordinate, and for other purposes (marriage, having seperate Indian bishop etc.) they should be seperate, involves double standards and inconsistency. Right? Are we a group of people to be experimented with?
We do not expect an unity based on ethnicity, language, culture etc. Even such a unity is not in the understanding of Catholicity. We are from different civilizations, but we can remain united in one faith, honoring each other, and also honoring if there is any special relationship that exists.
If location, where are the boundaries drawn?
To know that just attend an Indian parish and a Syrian parish, we know people from Syrian culture go to their parish and Indians go to an Indian parish.
If language, do we make a new catholicate for every language group?
When the church grows in different regions, we have to honor that and alloow them to progress keeping their identity. This is how Antioch also developed in to a Patriarchate. Initially there was no such concept, but eventually when Christianity started to grow in that region, they got a Patriarchate with the support of the Emperor of Byzantium.
But in the present situation Catholicate is in the lineage of Apostle Thomas in th East. So, it is not about one Catholicate for each language, but about preserving the integrity and unity of the Church of St. Thomas Christians of the East.
I go to a Syrian Orthodox parish and everyone is from India and we're SYRIAN Orthodox.
Now, that is only a special case, perhaps 0.001 percent of Syrians go to an Indian Church. How can we generalize based on this? When we do not have a church of our identity, we have no option but to participate in the church of another identity (say Coptic, or Ethiopian, or Indian, whichever is closer).
Our unity is in one faith, it is not a unity based on Syriacness or Ethnicity or Universal Supremacy of just one Primate or Language ....
Regarding Syriacness, even the Church of Antioch cannot claim pure Syriac status. Because in Antioch the language was Greek. Syriac Christianity developed in the middle region between Antiochian West and the Church of the East, especially the schools of Nisibis and Edessa. In this sense, Antiochian Church is just one of the many Churches which benefited from Syriac Christianity.
The Assyrian Church, Indian Church etc. also benefited from Syriac Christianity.
Original name of present Syrian Orthodox church was just the 'Church of Antioch'. Just naming the Church to 'Universal Syrian Orthodox' does not explain taking control over all churches of Syriac background. Because of this pride about supremacy of Antiochians, other churches of Syriac background will feel belittled.
Trying to establish that all Churches which benefitted from Syriac Christianity should come under a Church which later adopted the name 'Universal Syrian church' is not according to the understanding of Catholicity, Apostolicity etc. It is just a show of ones power.
So, the Antiochians should remain with humility that their church is just one of the Churches of Syriac background. If we study history, we can conclude that it was Apostle Thomas who founded the Church in Edessa and the East of it, which later developed the schools of Syriac Christianity first in Nisibis and then in Edessa. But Apostolic Christians of St. Thomas feel belittled today, because Antiochians try to take control over them, instead of allowing them to maintain their freedom in Christ and remain in unity in faith between the two Churches.