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Author Topic: Do I need a dispensation to commune among the Malankara Orthodox?  (Read 1841 times) Average Rating: 0
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David Carroll
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« on: April 05, 2012, 05:00:43 PM »

I'm sorry if this topic is already archived.  Unfortunately I'm a little pressed for time, though.  Please forgive me.

Anyway: I will probably be moving to the city of Coimbatore, India for a year as part of my job (this will be like in June of this year).    Problem is, I am EASTERN Orthodox and I highly doubt that there are any Eastern Orthodox Parishes in that city (unless someone can inform me otherwise.....apparently there is a sizeable Georgian expatriate community in the city of Bangalore, but that is like 6 hours away from Coimbatore)  I know that there is at least one Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church in that city (St. Mary's).  But, then, am I allowed to Commune there?  Would I need some kind of official dispensation from either my own Church (which is presently Greek Orthodox [I was chrismated Antiochian, though]) or the Malankara Orthodox Church?

Thank you.

Oh, and another question: I know that the liturgical language in the Malankara Church is Malayalam (or is it Mayalayam?.....I can never get that right).  But the language primarily spoken in Coimbatore is Tamil.  How necessary is it to learn either tongue if I plan on Communing at this Church every Sunday?
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2012, 06:41:35 PM »

I think you should talk to both bishops. I can't help you with your own bishop but Coimbatore is in the Madras Diocese under Bishop Diascoros. You can reach him here mardiascoros@yahoo.com or here madrasorthodoxdiocese@gmail.com

As for the language, Liturgy will probably be in Malayalam since most MOC parishes outside Kerala are for Malayalee expatriates. However, most churches have service books called "The Living Sacrifice" which has both Malayalam transiliteration and the English translation side by side so you can follow along.
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2012, 07:19:44 PM »

Thank you so much.  That was very helpful.  I'll e-mail His Grace Diascoros (and talk to my own clergy) as soon as I confirm that I'm definitely going.
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2012, 10:58:56 AM »

There are two Oriental Orthodox jurisdictions in India. Both these jurisdictions have churches in Coimbatore. There is an autonomous jurisdiction in full communion with the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, and there is another jurisdiction that declared autocephaly in 1912, this jurisdiction is known as Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in India, and goes by the name Indian Orthodox Church outside of India.

Bishop Dioscorus is the Bishop of the autocephelous Indian Orthodox Church.   The Syriac Orthodox Church in coimbatore in communion with the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch is under Bishop Mar Osthatious Issac.

The contact details of this church is:
St. Mary’s Syrian Orthodox Church
Pudu Thottam, 1st Street, Kannappa Nagar,
Coimbatore – 641 027,
Ph; +91-422 2332237.

Priest: Fr. Mathew Manalelchira. Mob; +91-9500884884

You can talk to this priest and say that you are Greek Orthodox and refer to the 1991 agreement between the Patriarch of Antioch of the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch to offer communion to faithful from each other in localities where the churches of the other does not exist.
http://www.orthodoxunity.org/state13.php

You will need permission from your church, Fr. Mathew will contact Bishop Mor Osthathious if he sees the need to. I am willing to bet, that based on the 1991 agreement, Fr. Mathew will allow you to receive communion.

« Last Edit: April 06, 2012, 11:04:16 AM by dhinuus » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2012, 11:09:22 AM »

Based on what I understand, you probably will have no problem on the Indian side, whether autonomous or autocephalous.  If you're Antiochian, I'm pretty sure there's no problem on that side as well, as I've been offerred communion in an Antiochian Church before so long as the Coptic Church was okay with it.

It's good to see you posting David.
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2012, 11:16:00 AM »

I know that the liturgical language in the Malankara Church is Malayalam (or is it Mayalayam?.....I can never get that right).  But the language primarily spoken in Coimbatore is Tamil.  How necessary is it to learn either tongue if I plan on Communing at this Church every Sunday?
The overwhelming majority of the those who attend Church in Coimbatore in both the jurisdictions are those from the state of Kerala where the language in Malayalam. So the church services will be in Malayalam and not in Tamil, even though Coimbatore is part of the state of Tamil Nadu.

You will also hear Syriac and even Greek words in some parts of the Liturgy. The words of consecration: "...Take, eat, this is my Body which is broken for you for the remission of sins" is almost always said in Syriac. There is a special affection for people to hear that in the very language that our Lord spoke Armaic/Syriac.

You will defenitely hear Kyrieleison (Lord have mercy) and Stoumin kalos (Lets attend) in Greek. The other Syriac words which are said in Syriac itself and not translated are:
BarkehMor - Bless Master
Kadish - Holy

Would love to hear about your experience once you are there. I am in your exact opposite situation. I am Malankara Syriac Orthodox at a place where there are no Oriental Orthodox churches, and I attend Divine Liturgy at the Greek Orthodox church.
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2012, 03:53:26 PM »

There are two Oriental Orthodox jurisdictions in India. Both these jurisdictions have churches in Coimbatore. There is an autonomous jurisdiction in full communion with the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, and there is another jurisdiction that declared autocephaly in 1912, this jurisdiction is known as Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in India, and goes by the name Indian Orthodox Church outside of India.

Bishop Dioscorus is the Bishop of the autocephelous Indian Orthodox Church.   The Syriac Orthodox Church in coimbatore in communion with the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch is under Bishop Mar Osthatious Issac.

The contact details of this church is:
St. Mary’s Syrian Orthodox Church
Pudu Thottam, 1st Street, Kannappa Nagar,
Coimbatore – 641 027,
Ph; +91-422 2332237.

Priest: Fr. Mathew Manalelchira. Mob; +91-9500884884

You can talk to this priest and say that you are Greek Orthodox and refer to the 1991 agreement between the Patriarch of Antioch of the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch to offer communion to faithful from each other in localities where the churches of the other does not exist.
http://www.orthodoxunity.org/state13.php

You will need permission from your church, Fr. Mathew will contact Bishop Mor Osthathious if he sees the need to. I am willing to bet, that based on the 1991 agreement, Fr. Mathew will allow you to receive communion.
Sorry, I forgot to give you the contact details of the Bishop Mor Osthatheos Isaac. It is:
Mor Osthatheos Isaac
Bishops Residence,
12 - Lazar Garden,
Lazar Nagar, 2nd Steet
Kamraj Nagar, Avadi,
Chennai-91
Phone: +91-44-26563297
Email: deconsaji@gmail.com
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2012, 04:54:53 PM »

Thank you very much.  Which Church I decide to seek Communion in will probably have more to do with transportation/geographical issues than anything else, although I will say I definitely lean more toward the Church still with the Patriarch of Antioch (part of this is because I generally have a distrust toward Churches which "break away".  This is why I'm not an Old Calendarist even though I sympathize with them.  But, of course, I don't know the story behind the Malankara so I'm not in a position to judge.)  In the mean time, I'd appreciate anyone's prayers to give me direction on whether or not I should make this move.
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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2012, 10:20:39 AM »

Dear David

Both the groups are in communion with Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch.   

I can vouch for that personally as I am a member of the Autocephalous jurisdiction and keep the hardship facing the Syrian Orthodox Church in its suffering in my prayers.

Will keep in prayer

George
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« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2012, 10:34:23 AM »

This is why I'm not an Old Calendarist even though I sympathize with them.

You symphatize with Old Calendarists but plan to commune in a non-EO church? Huh Have you considered attending without communing? Or just saying prayers privately at home since there aren't any EO churches?

I don't mean to judge since I don't know what I would do in a that kind of situation. The sympathy with Old Calendarists just sounded a little out of place.
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« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2012, 12:15:28 PM »

Dear David

Both the groups are in communion with Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch.   

I can vouch for that personally as I am a member of the Autocephalous jurisdiction and keep the hardship facing the Syrian Orthodox Church in its suffering in my prayers.

Will keep in prayer

George
My friend, are you sure?  I have no doubt that the autocephalous church is praying for the Syrian Church, but if they were in communion, there would have been rampant news about it.

Nevertheless, as I understand it, the autocephalous group is in communion with all other OO churches.
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« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2012, 01:34:11 PM »

Yes, Mina, according to their official website here the Malankara Orthodox Church is in communion with the other Oriental Orthodox Churches: "The Church is in communion with the other Oriental Orthodox Churches namely, Antiochene, Alexandrian, Armenian, Eritrean and Ethiopian Orthodox Churches." (I take "Antiochene" to mean "Syriac"...unless there is some other Oriental Orthodox Church of Antioch that I am unaware of!)
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« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2012, 01:39:42 PM »

Based on what I understand, you probably will have no problem on the Indian side, whether autonomous or autocephalous.  If you're Antiochian, I'm pretty sure there's no problem on that side as well, as I've been offerred communion in an Antiochian Church before so long as the Coptic Church was okay with it.

It's good to see you posting David.

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« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2012, 01:41:35 PM »

Dear David

Both the groups are in communion with Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch.  

I can vouch for that personally as I am a member of the Autocephalous jurisdiction and keep the hardship facing the Syrian Orthodox Church in its suffering in my prayers.

Will keep in prayer

George
My friend, are you sure?  I have no doubt that the autocephalous church is praying for the Syrian Church, but if they were in communion, there would have been rampant news about it.

Nevertheless, as I understand it, the autocephalous group is in communion with all other OO churches.

whoa, wait, the AOCA is in official communion with the SOCA? I would be highly surprised if that was the case. Perhaps unoficially (off the books, so to speak) I can understand...
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« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2012, 01:55:58 PM »

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« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2012, 02:05:10 PM »

Dear David

Both the groups are in communion with Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch.   

I can vouch for that personally as I am a member of the Autocephalous jurisdiction and keep the hardship facing the Syrian Orthodox Church in its suffering in my prayers.

Will keep in prayer

George
My friend, are you sure?  I have no doubt that the autocephalous church is praying for the Syrian Church, but if they were in communion, there would have been rampant news about it.

Nevertheless, as I understand it, the autocephalous group is in communion with all other OO churches.

whoa, wait, the AOCA is in official communion with the SOCA? I would be highly surprised if that was the case. Perhaps unoficially (off the books, so to speak) I can understand...

What do you mean?
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« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2012, 06:37:55 PM »

Yes, Mina, according to their official website here the Malankara Orthodox Church is in communion with the other Oriental Orthodox Churches: "The Church is in communion with the other Oriental Orthodox Churches namely, Antiochene, Alexandrian, Armenian, Eritrean and Ethiopian Orthodox Churches." (I take "Antiochene" to mean "Syriac"...unless there is some other Oriental Orthodox Church of Antioch that I am unaware of!)
I think that list was more enumerating the Oriental Orthodox Churches rather than listing exactly who we were in communion with.
As I understand it, in theory the MOC is only in schism with the Autonomous Syrian (Jacobite) Orthodox Church in India. However since they're a part of the SOC we're not supposed to commune with the SOC either.
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« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2012, 09:26:38 PM »

Dear David

Both the groups are in communion with Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch.  

I can vouch for that personally as I am a member of the Autocephalous jurisdiction and keep the hardship facing the Syrian Orthodox Church in its suffering in my prayers.

Will keep in prayer

George
My friend, are you sure?  I have no doubt that the autocephalous church is praying for the Syrian Church, but if they were in communion, there would have been rampant news about it.

Nevertheless, as I understand it, the autocephalous group is in communion with all other OO churches.

whoa, wait, the AOCA is in official communion with the SOCA? I would be highly surprised if that was the case. Perhaps unoficially (off the books, so to speak) I can understand...

What do you mean?

i thought it was implied by that post that the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese was in communion with the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch (the former being EO, the latter being OO).
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« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2012, 10:21:43 PM »

Dear David

Both the groups are in communion with Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch.  

I can vouch for that personally as I am a member of the Autocephalous jurisdiction and keep the hardship facing the Syrian Orthodox Church in its suffering in my prayers.

Will keep in prayer

George
My friend, are you sure?  I have no doubt that the autocephalous church is praying for the Syrian Church, but if they were in communion, there would have been rampant news about it.

Nevertheless, as I understand it, the autocephalous group is in communion with all other OO churches.

whoa, wait, the AOCA is in official communion with the SOCA? I would be highly surprised if that was the case. Perhaps unoficially (off the books, so to speak) I can understand...

What do you mean?

i thought it was implied by that post that the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese was in communion with the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch (the former being EO, the latter being OO).

I don't think he's mentioned the EO Antiochian Church at all.  I think he's saying that both of the Indian Churches are in communion with other OO jurisdictions.
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« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2012, 10:45:38 PM »

ok, what are the three groups that geovar is referring to then? I assumed he was including the AOCA since the OP mentioned that is his home church.
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« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2012, 12:11:12 AM »

To avoid further confusion Let me explain myself

There is ONE Malankara(Indian) Orthodox Church founded by St. Thomas which faced together the onslaught of Roman Catholicism in 17th Century.
There is ONE Syrian Orthodox Church that donot accept Chalcedon that came to the help of the Indian church in 17th Century.
From 17th Century to late 19th /20th Century the ONE Malankara (Indian) Orthodox Church adopted the Liturgical worship and traditions of Syrian Orthodox Church.
In Late 19th Century, a Syrian Orthodox Patriach demaded the Churches in Malankara be under the Syrian Church .
Senior Syrian Orthodox Patriach came to help of the Church in India and blessed that you have had a full Church before our coming to our help and to ensure the mission started by St. Thomas continue its mission and to ensure that the Church in India stand alone apart from force established Catholicate of the East in 1912.
In 1965 when the Council of Heads of Oriental Orthodox Church was held in Adis Ababa the ONE Malankara (Indian ) Orthodox Church was represented by the Catholicose of the East
In 1965 when  the Council of Heads of Oriental Orthodox Church was held in Adis Ababa the ONE  Syrian Orthodox Church was represented by the  Patriach of the Syrian Orthodox Church.
Since 1970's there are two groups One stating their prelate is the Syrian Orthodox Patriach and other to which I belong that its prelate is the Catholicose of the East in Kottyam.
 There are vested powers and evil that want to divide and force the two communities to call each other heretics  while there are many fathers who had been monks and priests of Syrian Orthodox Church having none to pray at their tombs. As a member of the Church that strongly believe in God's providence that Syrian Church came to our help the reason why I just couldn't hesitate writing in forum when it is portrayed otherwise. 



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« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2012, 02:08:28 AM »

I didn't now there was an Old Calendar church or movement among Antiochian Orthodox Christians; or is the poster currently under the Antiochian Patriarchate, but personally follows the Old (Julian) Calendar.  I find it strange that an Old Calendarist is ready to commune in an Oriental Orthodox Church; the Old Calendarists of whom I am familiar are very aggressively opposed to Eastern Orthodoxy's contemporary ecumenical ties to the Oriental Churches.
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« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2012, 02:29:30 AM »

I didn't now there was an Old Calendar church or movement among Antiochian Orthodox Christians; or is the poster currently under the Antiochian Patriarchate, but personally follows the Old (Julian) Calendar.  I find it strange that an Old Calendarist is ready to commune in an Oriental Orthodox Church; the Old Calendarists of whom I am familiar are very aggressively opposed to Eastern Orthodoxy's contemporary ecumenical ties to the Oriental Churches.

i think he said he's not an OC but he sympathizes with them.
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« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2012, 03:33:03 AM »

No, he said he was chrismated "Antiochian".
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« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2012, 05:49:58 AM »

David:

Getting back to your question My suggestion would be that you need to research yourself a bit to see where the differences in OO and EO  are and how we have come to understand that differences in past need not seperate the two communities from going forward in to full communion in the future and check with priests/ bishops from EO and OO.

When we moved as family to Calgary, Canada in 2000  I was looking for  a  Church for me and family to commune  not fully able to follow the Ethiopian Liturgy with no translation to English, the Coptic service  held on Saturdays when I had school/work and the Syrian, Armenian and Indian parishes non existant. Providence landed me to OCA parish where I clarified with the priest and Bishop and was told based on my circumstances we are welcome to commune and they know how much the difference has come to almost nil in faith. The priest defended that to the parish at a later date when one of the parishoner asked why We from Indian / Oriental Orthodox are given communion when it was denied to Roman Catholics.

In addition I asked our Indian Orthodox Bishop HG Makarios of Memory Eternal if it is ok and he told as long as I am treated no differently I can commune and told if i felt a slight suspicion otherwise never to even go there. For 5 years we communed there and during that time we slowly established the Indian Orthodox parish in Calgary. However in 2006 we moved again to another location Fort McMurray in Canada where there was no Orthodox parish of EO or OO. The 5 years of having not a place to commune regulary made me see how important it is. From 2011 October, we are back in Calgary and our Indian Orthodox parish now has a full time priest.

Hope this helped

George

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« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2012, 05:53:22 AM »

David:

I addition I also wanted to clarify that I  donot see anything wrong if you felt that you are led to worship at the jurisdiction taht believe the Syrian Orthodox Patriach is their prelate  during your time in India

George
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« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2012, 08:04:22 AM »

Dear David

Both the groups are in communion with Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch.   

I can vouch for that personally as I am a member of the Autocephalous jurisdiction and keep the hardship facing the Syrian Orthodox Church in its suffering in my prayers.

Will keep in prayer

George
My friend, are you sure?  I have no doubt that the autocephalous church is praying for the Syrian Church, but if they were in communion, there would have been rampant news about it.

Nevertheless, as I understand it, the autocephalous group is in communion with all other OO churches.

Here in the UK there is no loss of communion between the Indian, Jacobite and Syrian Orthodox Churches and I have been to many celebrations of the Liturgy where all three communion together. When we had a Liturgy at the Indian Orthodox Church the Syrian bishop, though unable to attend because out of the country, sent a priest to represent him.

Just a few weeks ago I was at a pan-Orthodox liturgy where there was a shared communion.
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« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2012, 12:03:04 AM »

A tangent was split off and put here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,44232.msg736732/topicseen.html#top
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« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2012, 08:00:00 PM »

Dear David

Both the groups are in communion with Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch.  

I can vouch for that personally as I am a member of the Autocephalous jurisdiction and keep the hardship facing the Syrian Orthodox Church in its suffering in my prayers.

Will keep in prayer

George
My friend, are you sure?  I have no doubt that the autocephalous church is praying for the Syrian Church, but if they were in communion, there would have been rampant news about it.

Nevertheless, as I understand it, the autocephalous group is in communion with all other OO churches.

whoa, wait, the AOCA is in official communion with the SOCA? I would be highly surprised if that was the case. Perhaps unoficially (off the books, so to speak) I can understand...

It's not exactly off the books. There is a kind of "official" unofficial communion. See the document that was linked earlier. Here it is again: http://www.orthodoxunity.org/state13.php

A selection from the above:
Quote
1. We affirm the total and mutual respect of the spirituality, heritage and Holy Fathers of both Churches. The integrity of both the Byzantine and Syriac liturgies is to be preserved.

2. The heritage of the Fathers in both Churches and their traditions as a whole should be integrated into Christian education curricula and theological studies. Exchanges of professors and students are to be enhanced.

3. Both Churches shall refrain from accepting any faithful from one Church into the membership of the other, irrespective of all motivations or reasons.

...

9. In localities where there is only one priest, from either Church, he will celebrate services for the faithful of both Churches, including the Divine Liturgy, pastoral duties, and holy matrimony. He will keep an independent record for each Church and transmit that of the sister Church to its authorities.

10. If two priests of the two Churches happen to be in a locality where there is only one Church, they take turns in making use of its facilities.

11. If a bishop from one Church and a priest from the sister Church happen to concelebrate a service, the first will preside even when it is the priest's parish.

...

13. Godfathers, godmothers (in baptism) and witnesses in holy matrimony can be chosen from the members of the sister Church.

14. Both Churches will exchange visits and will co-operate in the various areas of social, cultural and educational work.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 08:04:37 PM by samkim » Logged

주 예수 그리스도 하느님의 아들이시여 저 이 죄인을 불쌍히 여기소서.
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