I recently read that the Indian (Malankara) Orthodox Church was a schismatic Church on a OO website, and that it looks as if "a formal division now looks likely, as this group has shown no signs of recanting their heresies and rejoining communion with the Oriental Orthodox faith."
Is this true?
The ecclesiastical situation in India has been very difficult for the past hundred years or so for the Orthodox. It's been discussed before in this section of the forum, and you should look for it and read it for some more information. The posts you will read from me will reflect my position, and hopefully my Church's as well, since I belong to the Church in question.
As I understand the history from all I've read from both sides of the argument, after the Roman Catholics came to India and caused all sorts of havoc in the local Church, most of the people accepted union with Rome. A good sized minority sought assistance from the Patriarch of Antioch, who sent clergy and monastics to India. The Church adopted the West Syrian liturgical practices, and maintained the Orthodox faith, and this continued for a few hundred years. In the late 1800's, the Syrians were still appointing Middle Eastern bishops for the Indian Church, although priests and deacons were ordained from among the native population. When the Indian Church requested an Indian bishop, the Patriarch ordained someone the local Church specifically requested not be ordained, since they knew of his intentions to start his own Syrian rite Protestant confessing church. The Patriarch went through with it anyway, and he started his own church. The Indian Church perceived that complete independence was the only way the Church could operate normally in this situation, and so the Patriarch Abdul (who, according to our Church was illicitly deposed in favour of a new Patriarch, a recent convert from RCism who converted to Orthodoxy in order to obtain the throne) came to India, consecrated our Catholicos, and granted us autocephaly in 1912. The Church of Antioch, and those Indians who remained faithful to her, did not recognise this, declared them schismatic, and promptly ordained Indian bishops for their own people. In 1934, the autocephalous Church promulgated its constitution, which recognised the spiritual authority and primacy of the Patriarch, while vesting the Catholicos and his Synod with both spiritual and temporal authority in the Indian Church. In 1957, there was a reconciliation, and both factions combined under the terms of the original 1934 constitution, which was finally accepted by Antioch. In 1965, a council of all the heads of the OO Churches met in Addis Ababa, and our Catholicos was received as the head of the Church in India, successor to Saint Thomas, etc. In 1970 or thereabouts, the Patriarch wrote an encyclical and sent it to the Indian Church in which he re-asserted his claims over the Indian Church and no longer seemed to recognise the terms and conditions he himself blessed and accepted (I think it was the same Patriarch both in 1957 and the 70's) and even seemed to espouse heretical ideas. Our Church excommunicated him, he excommunicated us, and there was a schism which has continued to this day.
My personal opinion on all this (and the above is the most brief synopsis of the situation I can write) is that, whatever your position is on the legitimacy of the actions undertaken in 1912, one cannot argue what happened in 1957, where the Patriarchate accepted the constitution of what they perceived as the "schismatic" party *as is*, with no alterations, and the Churches were reunited. After that, there was one Church, recognised by all, and after that, all the divisive actions started with Antioch. It is worth noting that all the other Oriental Orthodox Churches to this day maintain full communion both with the Syrians and with the independent Malankara Orthodox Church, although a formal division exists between the latter two. In spite of all this, though, intercommunion is very common.
Are there reconciliation efforts taking place? Or is this site not up to date and reconciliation has already occured?
The site seems up to date, I suppose, although reflecting a certain bias. There have been reconciliation attempts, most recently in 2002 or thereabouts, but they did not achieve much.
And what exactly were the heresies being embraced by the Malankara Orthodox Church?
Good question. As I said, the site seems to reflect a certain bias. On top of that, there are people who generally don't seem to know the proper use of certain terms. However, assuming that they mean what they are saying, I don't know what possible heresies they could accuse us of. It would be interesting to hear from them what they think is heretical about us. If they said we were schismatics, I could sorta understand that, but heretical is a new one.
This has nothing to do with the Malankara Orthodox Church, but the same site that I refered to above states "The Copts and the Greek Orthodox allow intermarriage, and the children of such a marriage are permitted communion in both Churches", I was curious as to if this was true. Anyone know?
I think this was part of an agreement between the Coptic Orthodox and the Greek Orthodox in Alexandria. I've never seen any official documents, though, as I have with regard to the similar situation in Antioch.