Author Topic: Christian priests & devotional songs to a pagan Diety ?  (Read 1191 times)

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Offline abdedaloho

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Christian priests & devotional songs to a pagan Diety ?
« on: December 11, 2012, 04:33:00 AM »
Dear all,

Recently a huge controversy is happening in our Church in India. One of the Indian Orthodox Church priests authored devotional songs singing praises of a hindu diety / God and now a audio of the devotional songs penned by him has been released.

Is it proper / allowed for an Orthodox priest to do such an act ? Please see the attached image and you will understand what I am speaking about.

Regards
"He became what we are so that he might make us what he is." — St. Athanasius of Alexandria

Offline Jetavan

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Re: Christian priests & devotional songs to a pagan Diety ?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2012, 11:04:35 AM »
Dear all,

Recently a huge controversy is happening in our Church in India. One of the Indian Orthodox Church priests authored devotional songs singing praises of a hindu diety / God and now a audio of the devotional songs penned by him has been released.

Is it proper / allowed for an Orthodox priest to do such an act ? Please see the attached image and you will understand what I am speaking about.

Regards

It looks like the Deity is Ayyappan, who is believed to an Avatar of Dharma Shashta, a Deity who combines the power of Sustaining (Vishnu) and the power of Transforming (Shiva). It seems that Ayyappan was a historical figure, of maybe 200 years ago, in Kerala, and he was a soldier who was killed while protecting a temple dedicated to Dharma Shashta.

Do you know what the Orthodox priest actually says?
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 11:07:32 AM by Jetavan »
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Offline sheenj

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Re: Christian priests & devotional songs to a pagan Diety ?
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2012, 11:31:22 AM »
Do you know whose Diocese the priest belongs to? I'm sure the Bishop will have certain things to say about this.  >:(

Offline dhinuus

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Re: Christian priests & devotional songs to a pagan Diety ?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2012, 05:16:59 PM »
Do you know whose Diocese the priest belongs to? I'm sure the Bishop will have certain things to say about this.  >:(
The name of the priest is Fr. Mathews Vazhakkunnath.  I believe he belongs to the Nilackal Diocese of the Malankara (Indian) Orthodox Church.  In the news article that came out in local papers; the priest is saying that.. "It is the view that the God and the Devotee are one and the same", that is expressed at Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala that attracted him to write these devotional hymns praising Ayyappa.

The music CD is being released in a function attended by Philiphose Mar Chrysostom the retired Metropolitan of the Marthoma Church. Marthoma Church decribes themselves as the reformed Syrian Church of India; uses similar liturgy as the Syriac Orthodox Church, but is in communion with the Anglican Church.
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Offline Jetavan

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Re: Christian priests & devotional songs to a pagan Diety ?
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2012, 05:26:59 PM »
Do you know whose Diocese the priest belongs to? I'm sure the Bishop will have certain things to say about this.  >:(
The name of the priest is Fr. Mathews Vazhakkunnath.  I believe he belongs to the Nilackal Diocese of the Malankara (Indian) Orthodox Church.  In the news article that came out in local papers; the priest is saying that.. "It is the view that the God and the Devotee are one and the same", that is expressed at Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala that attracted him to write these devotional hymns praising Ayyappa.

The music CD is being released in a function attended by Philiphose Mar Chrysostom the retired Metropolitan of the Marthoma Church. Marthoma Church decribes themselves as the reformed Syrian Church of India; uses similar liturgy as the Syriac Orthodox Church, but is in communion with the Anglican Church.

From the Marthoma website:

The Mar Thoma Church has a well defined constitution, the first four parts of which lay down explicitly its basic teachings. Belief in the Trinity, Salvation through Jesus Christ, the Bible as the foundation for all theological teachings, Nicean Creed, Sacraments of Holy Baptism & Holy communion, the exhortation to preach the Word of God everywhere in the world, the declaration that the Mar Thoma Church is part of the One Catholic and Apostolic Church, the orders of priests and Bishops-these are the basic concepts which form the backdrop of its constitution.
If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.

Offline dzheremi

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Re: Christian priests & devotional songs to a pagan Diety ?
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2012, 05:40:20 PM »
Wait...so is the priest Orthodox or Anglican? Because if he's Anglican/Marthoma/whatever, it's still inappropriate but there's not much that can be said about it (since most Anglicans are really liberal nowadays), but he's Orthodox I can't imagine his bishop being very happy about this, as Sheenj mentioned. Personally, I would not accept anything like that from any of our priests, no matter what particular Church we're talking about. It is highly inappropriate and wrong.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Christian priests & devotional songs to a pagan Diety ?
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2012, 06:01:42 PM »
Do you know whose Diocese the priest belongs to? I'm sure the Bishop will have certain things to say about this.  >:(
The name of the priest is Fr. Mathews Vazhakkunnath.  I believe he belongs to the Nilackal Diocese of the Malankara (Indian) Orthodox Church.  In the news article that came out in local papers; the priest is saying that.. "It is the view that the God and the Devotee are one and the same", that is expressed at Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala that attracted him to write these devotional hymns praising Ayyappa.

The music CD is being released in a function attended by Philiphose Mar Chrysostom the retired Metropolitan of the Marthoma Church. Marthoma Church decribes themselves as the reformed Syrian Church of India; uses similar liturgy as the Syriac Orthodox Church, but is in communion with the Anglican Church.



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Offline sheenj

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Re: Christian priests & devotional songs to a pagan Diety ?
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2012, 06:08:55 PM »
Wait...so is the priest Orthodox or Anglican? Because if he's Anglican/Marthoma/whatever, it's still inappropriate but there's not much that can be said about it (since most Anglicans are really liberal nowadays), but he's Orthodox I can't imagine his bishop being very happy about this, as Sheenj mentioned. Personally, I would not accept anything like that from any of our priests, no matter what particular Church we're talking about. It is highly inappropriate and wrong.

If what Dhinuus says is correct, then I am ashamed to say the priest is Orthodox, if in name only. :(

Offline sheenj

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Re: Christian priests & devotional songs to a pagan Diety ?
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2012, 06:13:11 PM »

The name of the priest is Fr. Mathews Vazhakkunnath.

The picture attached gives his last name as Vazhakkunnam.

Offline dzheremi

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Re: Christian priests & devotional songs to a pagan Diety ?
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2012, 06:21:14 PM »
Wait...so is the priest Orthodox or Anglican? Because if he's Anglican/Marthoma/whatever, it's still inappropriate but there's not much that can be said about it (since most Anglicans are really liberal nowadays), but he's Orthodox I can't imagine his bishop being very happy about this, as Sheenj mentioned. Personally, I would not accept anything like that from any of our priests, no matter what particular Church we're talking about. It is highly inappropriate and wrong.

If what Dhinuus says is correct, then I am ashamed to say the priest is Orthodox, if in name only. :(

Lord have mercy! I trust such things are not at all common or acceptable in the Malankara Church, and pray that this man (it is not fit to call him a priest unless he believes and acts like one, I'm afraid) will submit himself to the authority of his bishop and repent of this heresy.

Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Christian priests & devotional songs to a pagan Diety ?
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2012, 06:33:57 PM »
Lord have mercy! I trust such things are not at all common or acceptable in the Malankara Church, and pray that this man (it is not fit to call him a priest unless he believes and acts like one, I'm afraid) will submit himself to the authority of his bishop and repent of this heresy.

It goes beyond heresy, it's apostasy and idolatry. An apostate can be received back into the Church upon his repentance, but not to the priesthood. It's up to the bishop, of course, but it's a pretty extreme case.

Offline Eastern Mind

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Re: Christian priests & devotional songs to a pagan Diety ?
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2012, 06:38:42 PM »
Dear all,

Recently a huge controversy is happening in our Church in India. One of the Indian Orthodox Church priests authored devotional songs singing praises of a hindu diety / God and now a audio of the devotional songs penned by him has been released.

Is it proper / allowed for an Orthodox priest to do such an act ? Please see the attached image and you will understand what I am speaking about.

Regards

It looks like the Deity is Ayyappan, who is believed to an Avatar of Dharma Shashta, a Deity who combines the power of Sustaining (Vishnu) and the power of Transforming (Shiva). It seems that Ayyappan was a historical figure, of maybe 200 years ago, in Kerala, and he was a soldier who was killed while protecting a temple dedicated to Dharma Shashta.

Do you know what the Orthodox priest actually says?

Yep, that's Ayyappan. When I had my fling with Hinduism, I used to pray to him.
"ALL THE GODS OF THE HINDUS ARE DEMONS HAHAHAHAHA!!"

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Christian priests & devotional songs to a pagan Diety ?
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2012, 12:18:32 AM »
Dear all,

Recently a huge controversy is happening in our Church in India. One of the Indian Orthodox Church priests authored devotional songs singing praises of a hindu diety / God and now a audio of the devotional songs penned by him has been released.

Is it proper / allowed for an Orthodox priest to do such an act ? Please see the attached image and you will understand what I am speaking about.

Regards


No, it is not proper. It is scandalous.
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