Hi Fr. Deacon! I understand your synopsis of how the titles are confirmed, etc. in the Roman Catholic communion. I still have some questions/comments though.
How can he assume it? He just does. You call your self Catholicos or Patriarch and have liturgical books printed with that in it. What is Rome going to do? Protest? Maybe. Take any action? Unlikely to never.
This situation seems strange to me. If I am understanding you (and others) correctly, he asked Rome for the title, Rome said no, and he took it anyway. Is that a correct assessment? If Rome sees that this is causing a flap with the Orthodox, why wouldn't Rome protest? I have a great deal of respect for the current Pope and see that he is quite diplomatic. I would think that he would be interested in keeping up good relations with the Orthodox, even though some of the prelates under him are not.
As too the Armenian patriarchs I think you get my point though. They really shouldn't be either but it is not a cause for animosity between EOs and OOs. The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem shouldn't be either.
I'm not sure if I'm understanding you correctly. Are you saying that there should not be an Armenian or a Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem? Only an EO one? I always thought that the situation in Jerusalem was kind of unique because it is the birthplace of Christianity. Also, the experience of the Armenians is unique because they were scattered to the four winds and deprived of 3/4 or more of their homeland by the Turks, so it stands to reason that they would have prelates in a variety of places to minister to their scattered flock.
But I do understand your point. Ideally, there would not be three Apostolic Churches claiming to have Patriarchs of Alexandria, and the indigenous Orthodox Church would be the only one.
But for the Indian Church the Syro-Malabars are really the original church from which the Syro-Malankars split and went under the Syrian Patriarch and adopted his rite. The case could be made the Syro Malabar Archbishop is the only one who can truly claim to be succesor of St. Thomas.
I'm not sure if I agree with this assessment. I have only read two books on this subject (one by Leslie Brown and the other by and an EO author interested in the OO Churches, her name escapes me at the moment, but she is affiliated with Syndesmos...), and the terminology is somewhat confusing (the names of all the Churches involved are quite similar) so I stand to be corrected by Phil, Paul, or Reji. Unless I am misunderstanding you (which is quite possible) this post makes it sound as if the Indians who placed themselves under the Patriarch of Antioch are schismatics and those who remained under the Pope of Rome are true successors of St. Thomas. Respectfully, I disagree.
Based on what I have read, the Church in India was a completely independent Orthodox Church until the time of the Portuguese invasion, at which point attempts were made to force them under the Roman Pope. At that time (the time of the Koonan Cross oath), they wrote to Antioch and Alexandria for help. Alexandria sent them a bishop of Syrian extraction (Mar Aithalla Theodore), but he was captured by the Portuguese, and according to different accounts, either drowned or taken to Europe and tried as a heretic, where he reposed in the Lord. This was in the mid-17th century if I am not mistaken.
I don't have my source material with me at work, but if need be, I can post more when I get home. Long story short, the Indians placed themselves under Antioch in order to avoid being forced under Rome, although some portions of the Orthodox Church did split off and embrace the Roman communion.
Later, something similar happened with the Anglicans during British rule, resulting in the Mar Thoma, etc.
(Man, I hate European imperialism :flame:)
As to rites, I was under the impression that before all of this happened the Indians used an East Syrian rite, but again, I stand to be corrected by my brothers in the IOC, Simhasana, and Jacobite Churches.