[quote author=Thomas Daniel (Reji) link=
If every bishop is equal, let every bishop have his own Orthodox Church under him. Why we need Catholicose or Patriarchs? Let us abolish these honors and make small small autocephalous churches. I think it is not against the orthodoxy.
Catholicose of IOC can have administrative control on churches all over the world, just because all members are form one ethnic group, it is orthodoxy.
When Patriarch of Antioch claim administrative control on his churches all over the world, just because they are all in one faith and keep same liturgical tradition, it is Un Orthodoxy.
I do not understand what is this orthodoxy?
Dear Mr. Thomas Daniel, Orthodoxy does allow some freedom to maintain ones ethnicity, cultural aspects, language etc. This freedom is described in the New Testament by Apostle Paul.
There are two aspects of old canons, jurisdictional boundaries defined in Byzantine administrative canons are not followed strictly today by any Church. EVery church has dioceses and parishes in different parts of the world, with out following the jurisdictional boundaries of Ecumenical councils.
So, there are two aspects of Ecumenical councils.
1) The faith aspects which remain unchanged.
2) Boundaries of administration, which can change over time.
(1) above is considered most important by all Churches.
Jurisdiction is not based on the use of a liturgy. Consider Eastern Orthodox churches, they have same canon (the Rudder), same liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, but they have Holy Synods in each region.
The Eritrean church uses the same liturgy as the Ethiopian church, but the Eritreans are not subordinates today.
Bishops are equal, but according to Apostolic Canons, bishops of each nation should remain united with a head bishop, who is elected among them. A Patriarch or Catholicos is a head bishop, Patriarch within Byzantine empire and Catholicos as the head of Churches out side Byzantium, such as Armenian, Georgian, and the Church of the East.
I do not understand why Jacobite leaders promote a narrow view of church as a unity based on use of liturgy, supremacy of Petrine throne etc. Two or more churches can use the same liturgy. Whether they use the same liturgy or not, unity is based only on one thing, i.e. the same confession of faith. Even the validity of priesthood is defined in terms of faith. Consistently, the Jacobite leaders are teaching a very narrow view of the Church, which caused people to think about the church as a sectarian or ethnic entity. A lot of work is needed in India to help people to understand the true nature of the Church, an understanding of what Catholicity and unity really means.
It is in canon that bishops of a nation should remain united. Canon also mentions that bishops should not remain independent, but should be part of the Synod. Bishops of Knanaya, Simhasana and other entities in the Jacobite church do not sit in the same Synod. But to create a show they will join in some celebrations. Since common man in Indian knows nothing about canons, it is easily to misguide them for the advantage of the Damascus based hierarchy, to teach their false reachings borrowed from RC church, to capture churches in India, ordain rival bishops, divide dioceses, families etc.
We need to observe that we are not doing the same towards Syrians in the middle-east. We only pary for their well being and growth of faith in their region.
A bishop is not to be allowed to leave his own parish, and pass over into another, although he may be pressed by many to do so, unless there be some proper cause constraining him. as if he can confer some greater benefit upon the persons of that place in the word of godliness. And this must be done not of his own accord, but by the judgment of many bishops, and at their earnest exhortation
Canon XXXIII. (XXXIV.)
No foreign bishop, presbyter, or deacon, may be received without commendatory letters; and when they are produced let the persons be examined; and if they be preachers of godliness, let them be received. Otherwise, although you supply them with what they need, you must not receive them into communion, for many things are done surreptitiously.
Canon XXXIV. (XXXV.)
The bishops of every nation must acknowledge him who is first among them and account him as their head, and do nothing of consequence without his consent; but each may do those things only which concern hisown parish, and the country places which belong to it. But neither let him (who is the first) do anything without the consent of all; for so there will be unanimity, and God will be glorified through the Lord in the Holy Spirit [some mss. read: through the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Father through the Lord by the Holy Spirit, even the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit].
Canon XXXV. (XXXVI.)
Let not a bishop dare to ordain beyond his own limits, in cities and places not subject to him. But if he be convicted of doing so, without the consent of those persons who have authority over such cities and places, let him be deposed, and those also whom he has ordained.
Canon XXXVI. (XXXVII.)
If any person, having been ordained bishop, does not undertake the ministry, and the care of the people committed to him, let him be excommunicated until he does undertake it. In like manner a presbyter or deacon. But if he has gone and has not been received, not of his own will but from the perverseness of the people, let him continue bishop; and let the clergy of the city be excommunicated, because they have not corrected the disobedient people.
Canon XXXVII. (XXXVIII.)
Let there be a meeting of the bishops twice a year, and let them examine amongst themselves the decrees concerning religion and settle the ecclesiastical controversies which may have occurred. One meeting to be held in the fourth week of Pentecost [i.e., the fourth week after Easter], and the other on the 12th day of the month Hyperberetaeus [i.e., October].
Canon XXXVIII. (XXXIX.)
Let the bishop have the care of all the goods of the Church, and let him administer them as under the inspection of God. But he must not alienate any of them or give the things which belong to God to his own relations. If they be poor let him relieve them as poor; but let him not, under that pretence, sell the goods of the Church.
What does the above Canons teach? How is it compatible with the current fragmented model followed in Jacobite church? Syrian Patriarch violated some of the above canons when he freely ordained rival bishops against the decision of the Synod in India. In this sense the Indian church can say that the Jacobite church is an uncanonical entity, if canons are strictly followed.