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Author Topic: More on Indian Church History (split from "Rome creates parallel...")  (Read 9836 times) Average Rating: 0
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paul2004
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« on: February 16, 2005, 12:59:44 PM »

Dear All,

There are few things we can learn from history.

1) There was only one Church of St. Thomas Christians in India.  Didascalia (Apostolic constitution) assigns Apostle Thomas to East, India and all the neighboring countries. It is a canonical tradition that Apostle Thomas was the founder and ruler of the Church in the East and India.

This Church was not directly involved in Christological controversies of Chalcedon and maintained good relationship with the Assyrian Church of the East. The canonical lineage of the Church of the East and Indian Church begins with Apostle Thomas. In India the Apostle established seven congregations and suffered Martyrdom. The Church of the East in Persia (Assyria) was also founded by Apostle Thomas and his co-Apostles Mar Addai  (Thaddaeus) and disciple Mar Mari.  This is the Edessan Church. The story of King Abgar of Edessa is well lknown.  To this day, both the Assyrian Church of the East, Orthodox Church in India and Chaldean Church believes in the Apostolic lineage of St. Thomas.   In a recent research Mar Bawai Soro, Metropolitan of Assyrian Church of the East proved beyond doubt that the Eastern Church of St. Thomas was an independent Church from early centuries.  Also, from the Ecclesiastical History of St. John of Ephesus (an OO father) we learn that the Orthodox Christians of the East setup a Catholicos of their own after Nestorian Schism and council of Chalcedon.

Today, we have the following Churches believing in the Apostolic lineage of St. Thomas (the lineage was broken many times, but revived with the help of sister Churches):

- Assyrian Church of the East (New Calendar) - Synod headed by Catholicos-Patriarch His Holiness Khanania Mar Dinkha IV.
- Ancient Assyrian Church of the East (Old Calendar part of Assyrian Church of the East) - Synod headed by Catholicos-Patriarch
- Orthodox Syrian Church of the East (a.k.a Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church of India) - Synod headed by Catholicos-Patriarch H.H. Mar Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews 11
- Chaldean Catholic Church of the East (in RC communion) - Synod headed by Catholicos Patriarch Mar Emmanuel III Delly.

2) First Split in the Indian Church (formation of Syro-Malabar):  After the arrival of Portuguese explorer Vasco De Gama on the Indian coast in 1498 a Latin connection started. A Latin congregation was formed. Later, in 1599,  the Latin Archbishop of Goa, with the support of Portuguese, convened a Synod (Synod of Diamper) to bring the entire Indian Church under Roman See. They collected and burned all the written works from Indian Church, stopped Indian rite .... At this point the Indian Church requested help from Eastern rite Patriarchs of Babylon (as mentioned by Dn. Lance), Antiocha and Alexandria (as mentioned by Nick). One Metropolitan (Mar Ahatalla, believed to be sent either by Alexandria or Antioch) of Eastern rite reached Indian shore. He was abducted by the Portuguese Jesuits and kept under their custody. It is believed that Mar Ahatallah was later drowned to sea. His feast is celebrated till date in the Orthodox Church, a major feast in some old Churches in India.

The struggle contniued until 1653 when the Indian Church lead by Malankara Metropolitan Mar Thoma 1, along with people made an oath severing all relationship with Rome. This is the famous Koonan Cross Oath of Mattanchery in 1653.  The group that continued under Rome is the present day Syro-Malabar Church.

To this day the Orthodox Church includes the Koonen Cross oath as a feast day in the calendar.


2) Second Split (formation of the Mar Thoma Church): This happened during the British rule in India. Violating the decision of the Synod of Indian Church, a Protestant reformer went to Antioch, to the Syrian Patriarch and got himself ordained as Bishop. The Antiochian Patriarch gave ordination without consulting with the Indian Synod. The new Bishop returned to India and claimed that he is the legitimate head of the Indian Church. He is the first Indian person directly ordained by an Antiochian Patriarch.  In this situation, the Orthodox Church of India contacted the Patriarch directly and educated him the consequences of adopting Protestant reforms. They convinced the Patriarch and also to give him the status of Spiritual authority.  What followed was a legal battle in which the Protestant reform party claimed ancient parishes and properties of the Malankara Orthodox Church.  In the battle, the Orthodox church succeeded in safeguarding their rights. The reform party left and formed a  Church namely the MarThoma Church in 1889.

3) Third Split (formation of the Syro-Malankara): Mar Ivanios was a highly learned Bishop of the Church.  He was raised from lower status to a highly educated person by the Malankara Metropolitan.  He was ordained a Bishop by Catholicos Mar Baselius Gheevarghese 1. But he was not elected as Catholicos. Disappointed, he started discussing with Rome. His aim was to bring the entire Orthodox Church under Rome and he remain as the head of the Church. Malankara Metropolitan Mar Dionysius (St. Dionysius) informed the Synod about the divisive activities of Mar Ivanios. Catholicos convened the Synod inviting also Mar Ivanios. But Mar Ivanios abstained from participating. The Synod placed restrictions on Mar Ivanios. He formed the  Malankara Catholic Church.

4) Fourth Split (the Orthodox-Jacobite Split):  A residual effect of the above divisions. I don't know if we can call this a split, because though existing as two factions, they keep the same OO faith, same Church rites and Indian traditions. The difference in opinion is only about defining the relationship with Antiochain Patriarch.

Orthodox position:
-  the true lineage of the Church begins with Apostle Thomas. It should be continued as the ancient Church of St. Thomas Christians of India, honoring the throne of Apostle Thomas.
-  our relationship Patriarch of Antioch is at a Spiritual level (in matters of faith) and agree to honoring the Patriarch of Antioch as first among equals compared with the Catholicos of the East.

Jacobite position:
- Indian church was always subordinate to Church of Antioch.
- All priesthood originates from St. Peter, as the head of Apostles, hence the Church in India remain as an autonomous entity under Antiochian Church accepting the throne of St. Peter of Antioch as the true throne.

The supreme court of India studied the arguments of both cases and suggested a united Association meeting of both Churches. The court also appointed an independent counsel to observe the events. The Jacobite faction lead by Mar Dionyisus (except four Jacobite Bishops) decided to boycott the Malankara Association meeting. But the meeting was convened in March 2002 with all Orthodox Bishops and four Jacobite Bishops, priest and lay representatives from each parish. With an overwhelming majority, the Association confirmed H.H. Catholicos Mar Mathews 11 as Malankara Metropolitan.  The independent counsel of Supreme Court of India announced the result by late night. Later the Indian Supreme court approved it with the ruling that the position of the head of the Orthodox Church cannot be further challenged in any other courts in India.

The head of the Jacobite church, Mar Dionysius,  was later ordained as 'Catholicos of India' with the name Thomas 1 for the Malanakra Jacobite Church.

Thus we have two groups in the same faith:
Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church - headed by H.H. Mar Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews 11, The Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan of the Apostolic throne of St. Thomas
Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church - headed by H.B. Mar Thomas 1, Catholicos of India under Antiochian Synod.

What is written above is the way I understand it, writing only for the purpose of information and not to offend anyone. I think in a country like India, where Christians are minority, better unity is needed between Apostolic churches. Also, from OO perspective, unity in faith takes precedence over other issues. We need to view the issues from this perspective.


Peace

-Paul
« Last Edit: February 16, 2005, 01:19:22 PM by paul2004 » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2005, 01:08:37 PM »


- Ancient Assyrian Church of the East (Old Calendar part of Assyrian Church of the East) - Synod headed by Catholicos-Patriarch 


i.e. H.H. Mar Addai II, Bagdad, Iraq.
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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2005, 01:14:01 PM »

Thank you Paul, for taking the time to write this exhaustive history. So according to the Ecclesiastical History of St. John of Ephesus, the argument could be made that there was always a Church of Oriental Orthodox Faith in India, even after the Nestorian Schism and council of Chalcedon.

I hate to ask you for more info (I know your fingers must be tired) but when was the West Syrian rite first introduced, and what rite was used before it?
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2005, 01:43:55 PM »

Indeed, thank you Paul for the extensive and edifying post.  I do have an inquiry as to why there should still remain the Indian Orthodox and the Jacobite Syrian Churches of India.  I understand the justification by differentiating the thrones of St. Peter and St. Thomas, but I think therein lies the problem.  If we as Oriental Orthodox say St. Peter has primacy over St. Thomas, then we have become more like the Romans.  Alternately, one could argue on behalf of Antioch as being the mother church in the same manner as Alexandria had been over Eriterea, in that the secondary establishment of the Indian church was manifested through the efforts of Antioch, but the original church in India was first established by St. Thomas himself.  A very complex situation indeed, but it is somewhat frustrating for me personally in that there should be, canonically, one bishop per see.  I guess it stems from my frustrations over the EO Patriarchate of Alexandria.  It's like I just want to say "Why bother?" to the Greeks.  Not only is the Coptic position the one true successor to St. Mark, but it seems there are so few EO in Egypt anyway, why bother claiming it a patriarchate? But I digress.
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2005, 01:51:48 PM »

when was the West Syrian rite first introduced, 


From 1665, with the arrival of Mar Gregorios of Jerusalem. It became popular by the end of 19th century after the translation of many works to vernacular by the priests of Konatt family, especially Very Rev.  Konattu Mathen Malpan.

and what rite was used before it? 


Must be an ancient form of the liturgy of Mar Addai and Mar Mari, immediate successors of St. Thomas. Thie liturgy was perfectly Orthodox before the Church of the East formally accepting Nestorian faith. 

"In 1668, Mar Gregorios issued an order that the faith, tradition and practises of Malankara Church prior to the arrival of the Roman Catholics, were according to the Nicene Creed" (Dr. David Daniel, The Orthodox Church of India, p. 127)

The Syro-Malabar Church continues with a latinized form of this liturgy. But there is pressure by some bishops in Syro-Malabar to revive the old form of the liturgy.

-Paul
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2005, 02:10:25 PM »

Indeed, thank you Paul for the extensive and edifying post. I do have an inquiry as to why there should still remain the Indian Orthodox and the Jacobite Syrian Churches of India. I understand the justification by differentiating the thrones of St. Peter and St. Thomas, but I think therein lies the problem. If we as Oriental Orthodox say St. Peter has primacy over St. Thomas, then we have become more like the Romans. Alternately, one could argue on behalf of Antioch as being the mother church in the same manner as Alexandria had been over Eriterea, in that the secondary establishment of the Indian church was manifested through the efforts of Antioch, but the original church in India was first established by St. Thomas himself. A very complex situation indeed, but it is somewhat frustrating for me personally in that there should be, canonically, one bishop per see. I guess it stems from my frustrations over the EO Patriarchate of Alexandria. It's like I just want to say "Why bother?" to the Greeks. Not only is the Coptic position the one true successor to St. Mark, but it seems there are so few EO in Egypt anyway, why bother claiming it a patriarchate? But I digress.

The complexity related to throne is a fundamental factor that contributed to the difference in opinion, otherwise the unity that existed in 1965 when the Catholicos of the Indian Church participated in OO Ecumenical council would be maintained. It is noteworthy that even the official report of the OO council addresses the Catholicos as the Catholicos of the Throne of St. Thomas.   Personally, I believe that the Jacobite difficulty to accept this is due the heavy RC church influence in North Kerala regions, i.e. the confusion about the 'law of St. Peter' (read below quotes) continued even after the Coonen Cross Oath. Only the Orthodox section (Jacobite church) existing in strong RC regions tend to agree to universal supremacy of St. Peter. The Orthodox Church (Malankara Orthodox)  existing in Southern regions, where there is no RC influence, does not agree to this universal rule. But they are faced with another challenge -  the side-effect of Protestant reformation.


The Koonen Cross Oath was not just about the freedom of the Church, but there is an often forgotten aspect of safeguarding what was known as the 'law of St. Thomas'.

"Thus what the Portuguese found when they came here was a Church whose autocephaly had been restored and functioning, a church adhering to the 'law of St. Thomas' which they did not want to exchange for any 'law of St. Peter' as the Portuguese demanded." (H.G. Paulos Mar Gregorios - Indian Orthodox Church - an overview, p.14).

"At the end of the century Menezes, threatening to call in the Portuguese army, browbeat the Raja of Cochin into abandoning the Thomasite cause. Archdeacon George finally capitulated, at least in word. He issued a summons for a synod at Diamper, to be held in l599. Clergy and lay representatives from each church gathered to pledge themselves to a new order.

...

The third of the synod's nine sessions dealt with the division between Peter and Thomas, leading to a decree:

    The Synod is with great sorrow sensible of that heresy, and perverse error, . . that there was one law of St. Thomas and another of St. Peter, which made two different and distinct churches, and both immediately from Christ; and that one had nothing to do with the other, neither did the prelate of the one owe any obedience to the prelate of the other; and that they who had followed the law of St. Peter, had endeavored to destroy the law of St. Thomas, for which they had been punished by him; all which is manifest error, schism, and heresy, there being but one law to all Christians.

...

Shortly after the synod, lingering defiance at the important town of Parayur took the form of a debate staged by actors representing St. Peter and St. Thomas. A third as St. Cyriac, patron of the local church, acted as umpire. According to a report sent to Menezes, Thomas inveighed against Peter: "You have brought into this country an Archbishop . . . who by sheer violence has maintained the cause of the Portuguese, and introduced your law among the people who owe you no allegiance. Your successors, the Bishops of Rome, can have no authority whatever in this country."

"We are both Apostles of Jesus Christ," "Thomas" added. "Our power is, therefore, so equal, that you have no more jurisdiction over my Christians, than I have over yours." "Peter" answered that his law was for all the world. In the end, Cyriac was asked for a decision, which predictably was in favor of Thomas: the true pastor of Christians in India was the Patriarch of Babylon; they should be on guard against the heretic Menezes; the oaths he had extorted at Diamper were null and void.

The debate was repeated elsewhere. Menezes was alarmed, and denounced the actors as mouthpieces of the devil. He sent a priest to exorcise them. "

(Herbert Christian Merillat, The Gnostic Apostle Thomas "Twin" of Jesus, "Menezes and "Methods of Certainty", Chapter 18,


-Paul
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2005, 02:15:27 PM »

I guess it stems from my frustrations over the EO Patriarchate of Alexandria. It's like I just want to say "Why bother?" to the Greeks. Not only is the Coptic position the one true successor to St. Mark, but it seems there are so few EO in Egypt anyway, why bother claiming it a patriarchate? But I digress.

Do we then assume that the Coptic Church is ONLY for Egyptians? Anyway, the the See of the Pope of Alexandria includes all of Africa...
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2005, 02:25:21 PM »



From 1665, with the arrival of Mar Gregorios of Jerusalem. It became popular by the end of 19th century after the translation of many works to vernacular by the priests of Konatt family, especially Very Rev. Konattu Mathen Malpan.


So in light of your words, Fr. Deacon Lance was correct on this point, and the website I referenced (which stated that the West Syrian rite came with the Knanaites) is indeed engaged in "revising" history? How convoluted this situation is. Like my brother St. Shenouti, I find the whole thing distressing.


St. Shenouti - Although I am Coptic Orthodox, and also see our beloved Pope and Patriarch as the Orthodox successor of St. Mark, I must say that your statement concerning the Greek Patriarchate in Alexandria was not appropriate here. It could only cause contention, and would be more appropriate in the Free-For-All forum.

Ari - You are correct that the See of St. Mark is not only for Egyptians, and does indeed embrace all of Africa. Historically, it also embraced Ethiopia and Eritrea, and today there are many Coptic missions throughout sub-Saharan Africa (with largely indigenous priests and faithful), and many Greek as well. I believe that the late Patriarch Petros once stated that if reunion between the EO and the OO was ever achieved, and the two Patriarchates merged, the Coptic (being native and larger) would predominate, and the Greek would become a diocese thereof.
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« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2005, 02:52:58 PM »


Ari - You are correct that the See of St. Mark is not only for Egyptians, and does indeed embrace all of Africa.  Historically, it also embraced Ethiopia and Eritrea, and today there are many Coptic missions throughout sub-Saharan Africa (with largely indigenous priests and faithful), and many Greek as well.  I believe that the late Patriarch Petros once stated that if reunion between the EO and the OO was ever achieved, and the two Patriarchates merged, the Coptic (being native and larger) would predominate, and the Greek would become a diocese thereof.

You are correct, that was the plan for re-union with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate becoming a diocese in the unified see.
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« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2005, 04:24:12 PM »

Forgive me brethren for my indiscretion.  The remark I made concerning the Greeks in Egypt was not meant to be taken as an exclusive statement.  It was rather meant to direct attention to the proper succession to the throne and the presence (or lack thereof) of respective congregations. 

Lo, metania. 
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« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2005, 04:47:13 PM »


No worries Shenouti! Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2005, 05:57:14 PM »


So in light of your words, Fr. Deacon Lance was correct on this point, and the website I referenced (which stated that the West Syrian rite came with the Knanaites) is indeed engaged in "revising" history?  How convoluted this situation is.  Like my brother St. Shenouti, I find the whole thing distressing.


The truth is nobody clearly knows what was the exact liturgy that was being used prior to the Latinizing attempt by the Papists.

The SOC in India, maintains that it was the Syriac rite and the church in India was fully in communion with and a part of the Antiochian Patriarchate. They take the stand that the East Syriac and West Syriac are not essentially different and SOC in India came under the Maphrianate (Catholicate) of the East, which was an institution under the Patriarchate of the East.

The IOC in India argues that it was not, and the church in India prior to the arrival of the Portuguese didn’t have any thing to do with Antioch.

In this argument and counter-argument about autocephaly and autonomy between the two factions of the Malankara Oriental Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholics are exploiting the situation, and converting (which they refer to as re-union) as many as possible from both factions to Roman Catholicism.
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« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2005, 09:31:37 AM »

"The truth is nobody clearly knows what was the exact liturgy that was being used prior to the Latinizing attempt by the Papists."

I would disagree with that.  While their manuscripts and books were destroyed, the Latins who destroyed them accused them of containing Nestorian error, which could only be based on the fact they were of Assyrian/East Syrian provenance.  Again the Indian Jacobites are the only ones I have ever seen claim the West Syrian Rite was in India before the Koonan Cross Oath.

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« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2005, 12:49:06 PM »

Later, a group of Syrian Christians (Knanaites) arrived from from Urhoy (Edessa) in AD 345.  The Church in Malankara (Kerala) thereon adopted the rites & liturgies of the Syrian Church of Antioch and became a part of that ancient Patriarchal See.  Thus the early Christian converts (St.Thomas Christians) along with the new Christian settlers (Knanaites), came to be called 'the Syrian Christians'.  The Church in Malankara continued to be under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Antioch, and his subordinate in the East, the Catholicos/Maphriyono, until the arrival of more Assyrian (Nestorian) bishops in 1490.
In XC,

Nick




Patriarch of Antioch and all the East does not mean that the jurisdiction includes Church of the East and India, rather written in pure Greek (which is the original language of Byzantine Antioch), the word for East is "Anatoli" which is a well defined geographic area to the East of Antioch (Anatolia) comprising much of Eastern Turkey. We know about a fourishing Syrian Church in these regions.  'all the East" in the Byzantine context means only Anatolia.

This Catholicate of the East which originated with Apostle Thomas was not under the direct jurisdiction of Antioch. There was no Antiochian involvement in the formation of the Synod of the East headed by the Catholicos.  We have evidence of Emperor St. Constantine requesting the King of Perisa to take care of Christians and eventually the organization of the Eastern See.

But there were times when the Eastern Church requested help from Antioch. Earliest evidence we have is in the apochrypal work 'Doctrine of Addai (Thaddaeus)', when Mar Aggai (successor of Mar Addai (Thaddaeus)  in the throne) died before ordaining a successor. At this time Eastern church requested help from Antioch, when Mar Serapion of Antioch ordained Mar Palut. According to the doctrine of Addai, Mar Serapion received ordination from Rome.  This also proves that helping with the hand of priesthood is not an evidence for subordination as we know that Antioch was never under Rome.

http://www.intratext.com/X/ENG0853.HTM

After the council of Chalcedon, there was an Eastern Orthodox Catholicate for a brief period. The Nestorians took control over the original Catholicate. An OO Catholicate was established in AD 559 by St. Jacob of Edessa (Mar Yakub Burdana).  St. Jacob himself was not working for Antioch, rather he was ordained a general bishop to take careof  all OO needs in Armenia, Mesopotomia, Persia and even Egypt by Patriarch St. Theodosius of Alexandria. He also setup an OO Patriarchate of Antioch against the Greek Orthodox one through ordaining Mar Sergius.   St. John of Ephesus mentions about the establishement of OO Catholicate, in which he does not mention Antioch when explaining how it was formed. St. John only mentions that the OO Catholicate was parallel to the Nestorian one and it was formed against the Nestorian persecution when the OO requested help from the Persian King. The Persian King summoned both parties and arranged a discussion. The King was convinced about the East Syrian OO  needs and allowed the OO to setup a Catholicate which St. John of Ephesus describes with the statement "a Catholicos of their own" (Ref. Ecclessiastical history by St. John of Ephesus).

Now an association with Antioch occured in 7th century when he Eastern OO  entered in to closer relationship with Antioch, perhaps as a support against the severe persecution from the Nestorians. "The patriarch accepted the request and honored the old custom of the Church of the East which allowed three bishops in the absence of the Catholicos to consecrate a new bishop in dire circumstances." (the words of H.H. Zakka 1).   Subsequently Mar Marutha was ordained as Catholicos with a new title "Maphriyan"  introduced by Antioch.  The authority and power of a 'Maphriyan' was reduced compared with that of a Catholicos. Thus the new position 'Maphriyan' became a subordinate position under Antioch with Mar Marutha. This practise continued until the 18th century.  "In the year 1860, after the death of Maphryono Mor Baselios Bahnam IV of Mosul, the Maphrianate was abolished by a decision of a synod." (words of H.H. Zakka 1)

We need to keep in mind that the Indian Church was continuing a seperate lineage beginning with Mar Thoma 1  who freed the Church from RC at Coonen Cross Oath (1653).  The Indian lineage continued as the Mar Thoma Metropolitan succession. Mar Thoma 1,  11,  111, 1V, V .... were all ordained in India. Antiochian Patriarch did not ordain anyone.  This succession was disrupted only in the first half of 19th century when a person of the Protestant reform party went to Antioch for helping with ordination. He returned with the name Mar Athanasius and claimed to be the legitimate Mar Thoma Metropolitan. This was the first ever recorded ordination of an Indian person by an Antiochian Patriarch. But the Orthodox Church refused the claim of new Metropolitan and what followed was a legal battle in which the Patriarch (as he was the one who gave ordination to a Protestant reformer)  himself was brought to India to help the Indian Church. Indian Church won in the battle, but a direct association with Antioch was established as a side-effect (which the Malankara Jacobites interpret as subordination and Malankara Orthodox understands as a Spiritual relationship).

By this time the OO Catholicate was extinct. Indian Church wanted to revive it since most of St. Thomas Christians of OO faith were now confined to India (the persecution in Persia distroyed much of OO there, and the remainign people in Persia came directly under the jurisdiction of Antioch after the Maphriyanate was abolished). But to revive it the Indian Church needed help, as they needed more Bishops to be ordained  etc. Malankara Metropolitan St. Dionysius (Vattasheril Thirumeni) was the chief architect who realized that to strengthen the Church and to safeguard the integrity, the ancient Catholicate of the East should be revived in India.
Thus, the Church requested help from Patriarch.

At this time there were two Patriarch in Syria. One was the original Patriarch namely Mar Abded Messih. The second on one was Mar  Abdulla.  Mar Abdulla was not elected Patriarch earlier, thus he left the Church and joined the RC, serving the RC diocese of Mardin for about 9 years.  With the support of  two more Syrian Bishops he succeded in withdrawing the firman of Mar Abded Messih  (the Firman given by Sultan of Turkey which is essential for legal status as Patriarch). Now Mar Abdulla claimed that he is the legitimate Patriarch.  The Indian Church convened Malankara Association meeting in 1911, with representatives from each parish and decided to send an envoy to Syria to study the situation there and if found advisable after appropriate investigation invite Mar Abded Messih.

Indian Church sent an envoy to study the real situation (Sent by Vattasheril Mar Dionysius, the Malankara (Mar Thoma) Metropolitan), because both Patriarchs would send letters to India claiming as the legitimate one. After the studying the real situation, the Malankara Metropolitan came to the conclusion that Mar Abded Messih is the real Patriarch (because in SOC cannon, when there are two Patriarchs the senior most one has precedence). 

Mar Abded Messih was invited. One new bishop was consecrated as there were only two other Bishops other than the Catholicos-elect (H.G. Paulos Mar Ivanios). The Bishops were Mar Dionysius (Malankara Metropolitan), Mar Ivanios, Mar Gregorios (newsly consecrated). H.G. Paulos Mar Ivanios was elevated as Catholicos of the East by Mar Abded Messih along with the Malankara Metropolitan and two bishops at the ancient St. Mary's Church, Niranam (only surviving church established by Apostle Thomas) in 1912.

Eventually the position of Malankara Metropolitan was merged with Catholicose of the East after Mar Dionysius.  This is why the official title of the head of the Indian Church includes the prefix  "Mar Baselius Mar Thoma" where "Mar Baselius" represents the Catholicate of the East and "Mar Thoma" represents the lineage of Mar Thoma Metropolitans of India.

But there was a group in Malankara Church encouraged by Mar Abdulla and his successors. They promoted division in the Malankara Church through appointing special delegates who gave ordination with out the permission of the Indian Synod and bishops of dioceses. There was only one Orthodox Synod in India until 1972. Two Bishops (Mar Philoxenos and Mar Clemis) seperated from the Synod headed by Catholicos Augen 1 (Mar Augen represented the Indian Church in the OO  ecumenical council of 1965).   Mar Philoxenos was later ordained Catholicos for Malankara Jacobite with the help a Pariarch in the succession of  Mar Abdulla in 1975. In 1975 they formally adopted the name "Malanakara Jacobite Syrian Church"

The constitution of the Malankara Church (both factions united) was adopted in 1934 and it was later accepted by the Patriarch. The constitution defines the protocol between two Churches and the spiritual relationship between the two Churches.  It must be noted that the Indian Supreme Court also considers this as the valid constitution, on the basis of which the Court requested both sides to unite in 2002. This remained the only constitution of the Church until 2002 when the Malankara Jacobite church seperated with a newly drafted constitution.

-Paul



















Next time we see the Eastern Church reuqesting help from Antioch is in the

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« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2005, 01:21:30 PM »

As for the Knanaya, their own ancient song (used both by Orthodox and RC sections) indicates that they boarded ship with the blessing of Catholicos of the East as they sing  "munnam malankara ....katholikka arulale kappal pukinthu ...."  (Kappal - ship, katholikka - Catholicos).  They came in the 4th century to escape the persecution of the Persian  King Shapur 11 (AD 345).  From this it is clear that they came from the jurisdiction of Catholicose of the East, who was Orthodox and the liturgy they brought here must be a variant of the litirgy used in Catholicate of the East - which is the ancient Syriac liturgy of Mar Addai and Mar Mari.  Nestorian  faith was incorporated in to this liturgy after Chalcedon. The Catholicos when Kananaya migrated (Catholicos Mar Simun) is a saint. He suffered martyrdom for refusing to collect tax for the King.

The lineage is as follows:

Mar Thoma Sleeha (Apostle Thomas) (AD 35-72)   |   Apostolic period
Mar Addai Sleeha (Apostle Thaddaeus) (72-120)    |
Mar Aggai Sleeha (Apostle Aggaeus) (120-152)      |
Mar Mari Sleeha (152-85)                                    |
Mar Abrosius (185-201)
Mar Abraham (201-13)
Mar Yakoub (213 - 31)
Mar Ahod Abuei (231-46)
Mar Shaluppa (246-66)
Mar Pappa (Babai) (267-336) 
Mar Simun Bar Sheba (337-50)  - Kananaya migration.
.... (lineage continues)
Mar Baselius Paulos 1 (1912 - 13)  - relocation to India
Mar Baselius Gheevarghese 1 (1925 -28)
Mar Baselius Gheevarghese 11 (1929-64)
Mar Baselius Augen (1964-75 retired due to age)  - OO council of 1965
Mar Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews 1 (1975 - 1991 retired due to age)
Mar Baselius Mar Thoma Mathews 11 (1991 -  )


-Paul
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« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2005, 01:36:20 PM »

"The truth is nobody clearly knows what was the exact liturgy that was being used prior to the Latinizing attempt by the Papists."

I would disagree with that. While their manuscripts and books were destroyed, the Latins who destroyed them accused them of containing Nestorian error, which could only be based on the fact they were of Assyrian/East Syrian provenance. Again the Indian Jacobites are the only ones I have ever seen claim the West Syrian Rite was in India before the Koonan Cross Oath.

Fr. Deacon Lance

I studied in a Syro-Malabar college in India, where I learned Eastern Syriac. They still follow the liturgy of Mar Addai and Mar Mari after removing Nestorian elements from it and some Latinization. It is indicated in the canons of Synod of Diamper to remove Nestorian elements.  Both sections of Malankara Church must be using the same liturgy until 1653 (Koonen Cross oath). Thereafter the Orthodox section slowly adopted the Antiochian liturgy through Bishops visiting from Jerusalem etc., yet preserving some of the essential Indian liturgical and cultural traditions.

Current movement in the Syro-Malabar is to completely remove the Latin aspects and make it pure in the ancient form.  There are two groups within Syro-Malabar - one pro-Latin and the other pro-East Syrian.  The basis of every liturgy is the liturgy of St. James, first Archbishop of Jerusalem. He developed the first formal liturgy, which the Apostles took to different nations. I would assume that the basic structure of all liturgies used in Apostolic Churches must be the same. 

-Paul



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« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2005, 02:38:06 PM »


Wow Paul, that was quite exhaustive.  Thanks!
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« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2005, 03:00:32 PM »

What ever Mr. Paul wrote about the Catholicate is a perspective of Indian Orthodox Church. To understand the Catholicate, please visit http://catholicose.org/PauloseII/Catholicate.htm

H.G Paulose Mor Gregorious, a bishop of “Indian Orthodox Church ”, then remban Paul T Varghese and Principal of the Orthodox Theological seminary, Kottayam and world renowned scholar, wrote on October 9, 1968 in the "News from Seema" page 21-22, "We in India belong to this Patriarchate even if we have our own Catholicose and are autonomous. We have no other sources from which to renew our ancient tradition, except the tradition of Antioch, of the Great Syrian Church, which once had spread through the length and breadth of Asia, right up to China and Korea. It would be the height of ingratitude and most deplorable folly on our part if we grieve his hart (the Patriarch) with any world which seeks to dissociate ourselves with the patriarchate of Antioch."

Renowned historian Mr. George Varghese of Indian Orthodox Church wrote “Malankara Sabha (an official church magazine of Malankara Orthodox Church)” “ From the time of Nicea synod till 1490 Malankara church was with Jacobite / Orthodox faith. From 1490 until the time of Udumperroer Synod, 1599, Nestorian Faith influenced Malankara. 1665 Mor Gregorious of Jerusalem reestablished the Jacobite / Orthodox faith. (The Malankara Sabha, Page 21, Issue No. 41, August 1986)

In reply to the above statement Rev. Fr. Dr. V.C. Samuel wrote, “ From 470 the Catholicate of Persia were influenced by the Nestorian Faith and by 486 it officially accepted the faith. After that by 629 only the Anthiocan Syrian Catholicate was able to reestablished in Persia (The Malankara Sabha, Page 25, Issue No. 41, October 1986).

For a true faithful there are yet sufficient evidences to show that Malankara was an archdiocese of the Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch. Dr Neal says, ‘a Jacobite bishop arrived in Malankara in AD 696,’ ‘History of the Holy Eastern Church, Vol II P 88.

There is a granite cross, preserved at Santhom Madras, inscribed therein in old Palavi language, dating back to 8 th century. Translation of Dr Burnel as GM Rae certified reads, ‘Suffering of the One, true Christ and God in the Highest and ever Holy Guide, was punishment on the Cross.’ In other words, the One crucified and suffered was God. Palavi was Persian language, not Indian. Nestorians never believed the concept of suffering God. They curse those who say God suffered. So there is no possibility that a Nestorian would epitomize something, which he detests. On the other hand Jacobites do hold that Jesus Christ was God while suffering on the Cross. His Godhead did not separate from His body or soul even for a split of second- “Theopaschite theory.”
 
Another granite inscription - a ditto copy of the cross - written in 7 th century is kept in Kottayam Valiapally. This clearly shows that some Persian-Jacobite wrote and brought that to Malankara. Thus Malankara Church was Jacobite during 8 th century.

Bishop Mor Dionesius I presented a Syriac (Estrangleo) bible to Dr Buchanan in 1807. He preserved it at Cambridge University. The bishop said to Buchanan, ‘we kept this bible for thousand years. Now it is safer with you.’ Faithful of Mavelikara Church said to Buchanan, ‘we had bible for the past 1400 years, ’ (‘Christian Researches in Asia,’ p.137). Now the question remains whether or not the said bible was Nestorian or Jacobian. This Bible contains reading index for special occasions / festivals. St. Mary is mentioned as Theotokos, (Mariam Yeldoth Aloho). Nestorians calls her Christotokos. ‘Theotokos’ is heresy for them. This sufficiently proves that the said bible was Jacobian. If the faithful so dearly kept a Jacobite bible there is no doubt for me that those who kept it also held the same faith. Thus Malankara Church was under the patriarch of Antioch at least from the time of Syrian colonization of Malabar.
 
The Catholicose of Selucia who had contacts with Malabar was under the supremacy of the same patriarch. By the end of 5 th century it fell to Nestorians. Nestorians waited opportunity to sneak into Malankara as and when they got opportunity. Patriarchs after Michael Rabo and last Catholicose Barebraya were very feeble and could achieve nothing worth to record and they neglected Malankara or they assumed everything was fine. Nestorians took advantage of the situation and sneaked into Malankara. For two centuries Nestorians exerted their influence in Malankara. Buchanan records what the faithful told him, ‘whatever is your faith, our faith is undefiled because we come from land where the disciples were first called Christians,’ Christian Researches in Asia, edn 1812 p. 147. This instance would prove that the ignorant faithful received them under mistaken identity thinking that they came from the same patriarch. Please read, “Indian Church of St Thomas, by EM Philip ch 16.

According to Rev. Dr. I. Daniel Corepiscopa of Indian Orthodox Church, in his book "The Syrian Church Of Malabar" published in 1945 from Madras, writes, "Thr Syrian Church of Malbar was founded by St. Thomas. It came into close connection with the Persian Church, but this connection in its latter stage was not with the Nestorian section but with the Maphriante in Tigrith which was West Syrian Orthodoxy. Only between 1490 and 1599 the Syrian Church was in close contact with Nestorian, which however, was not due to a right understanding about the true nature of that tradition but due to mistakes. Nevertheless, the connection had not jeopardized the Orthodoxy of the Church. The Roman Catholic attempt inder the Portuguese was to bring the Syrian Church under Roman fold and event of 1653 was a total reacation against it. With the arrival of Bisop in 1665 the Syrian Church came for the first time in direct contact with the West Syrian Patriarchate which so far had been indirectly maintained through the Maphrianate of Tigrith. Trough this event the ancient Orthodox Faith of the Syrian Church was once again restored."

In the same book were he try to establish the legitimety of the 1912 Catholicate institution, he writes, "The Syrian Church was orthodox all through the past in its history, that it was autonomous in its church administration, and the the institution of the Catholicate in 1912 in it was valid and in accordance with the true traditions found within the West Syrian Church"
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« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2005, 03:24:30 PM »


Thank you Reji, for providing the Jacobite Orthodox perspective.  All of this information from both of you is a lot to absorb.  It grieves my heart to see Oriental Orthodox separated from one another by politics.
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« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2005, 05:49:09 PM »

Indeed...politics.
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« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2005, 01:13:43 PM »

In one Ecumenical meeting, Fr. V.C. Samuel asked Patriarch Yakub 111 as question whether there is mention in any one of the historic works of Antiochian Church about sending a Bishop to India. Patriarch Yakub 111 replied that there is one mention in the work of Mar Ishodad about Syrian Church sending a Bishop. For this Fr. V.C.  Samuel replied that Mar Ishodad is a father from Eastern Syrian Church and it means only that the Eastern Syrian Church sent a bishop.  The Patriarch had no further reponse. This event is reported in the autobiography of Fr. Samuel.

There are two Syrian Churches:

Church of the East  (Using East Syriac)  - This is the ancient Church founded by Apostle Thomas. He was of Jewish origin and used Aramaic as language.  Edessa and Nisibis were the centers of this Church. These were the centers of Syriac Christianity.  After the martyrdom of Apostle Thomas, the holy remains were taken to Edessan Church, the mother of Syrian Church.

Church of the West (Using West Syriac) - Western Syrian Church is part of the Antiochian Church, a Byzantine Church.  The Antiochian Church also included a large Greek community. Some of the Antiochian fathers (for example St. Severus) wrote only in Greek. But after Chalcedon the Greek part seperated. Today they are the Antiochian Greek Orthodox. The Syrian section towards the East of Antioch (Anatolia) remained in OO faith, they are the Antiochian Syrian Orthodox.


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« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2005, 01:23:41 PM »


For a true faithful there are yet sufficient evidences to show that Malankara was an archdiocese of the Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch. Dr Neal says, ‘a Jacobite bishop arrived in Malankara in AD 696,’ ‘History of the Holy Eastern Church, Vol II P 88.


What does this prove?   There was always an OO community in the East. They were also ridiculed as  Jacobites. Even the Copts were ridiculed as Jacobites.  It was a general term used to ridicule all OO.
But the OO churches rejected that name. There were OO Bishops and later Maphriyans in the succession of Catholicos of the East visiting India. This does not prove that the Synod of the East should be under the Synod of Antioch.  The Synod of the East should be independent. One should not intervene in the administrative affairs of the other or cause divisions. 

These mutual visits were not to establish any authority of rule. The question of authority started only with the first Indian Bishop who received ordination directly from Patriarch (i.e. Mar Athanasius of reform party). This is how Patriarch started intervening in material affairs of the Church, which later lead to establishing thronal Churches in india which are directly governed by Damascus.   This is not consistent with the canonical framework.  According to canon there is only one Synod in the East headed by Catholicos of the East. There cannot be an intrusion creating independent churches (Kananaya, etc.)  and thronal churches.

-Paul



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« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2005, 02:10:54 PM »

Dear Thomas, You made several quotes, of which none of them prove that the Church of the East should function as part of Antiochian Synod as a subordinate entiry.  It only proves the common tradition between OO section of the Eastern Syrian Church (St. Thomas lineage) and the Syrian Church of the West (Antiochian lineage), i.e. the common faith and spiritual traditions.   There is a historic reason (persecution and spiritual help as churches of same faith)  why the OO section was reduced to a Maphriyante, which was later abolished. But the original status is that of the Catholicate of the East, a lineage that is common to all Churches of the East until few years after Chalcedon. Hope you know that the visiting OO fathers from the East wrote in East Syriac and even today the Assyrians use East Syriac.

When the political situation is favourable (no persecutiuon or other troubles which may hinder the purpose of the Church), there is nothing canonically wrong in raising the See of the East to the original status. In Hudaya Canon St. Thomas is the first in the lineage of Catholicos of the East.

We base our understanding about history not based on few quotes supporting what is our interest, rather a collective understanding is needed. We can always find something that may seem to support our interests. This is not the way of deriving a truth through studying history. Unless someone is recording history as it happens (chronicle),  there is no absolute truth in few quotes of a later author (rather truth is understood through a collective understanding), because authors  may change their understanding later based on further studies and investigation.  Also, all the quotes you produced, including the first one is just about our common spiritual traditions, of which OO faith is most important. Also, the first quote of more of an emotional one originating from the great love towards 'our ancient tradition', of which OO faith is the most important.   We all know that the author H.G. Paulos Mar Gregorios was a metropolitan of Malankara Orthdoox Syrian Church and he was the one who strongly supported the autocephaly of the Indian Church and very much wanted to establish unity between Antiochian and Indian Churches. For example, his letters to the Patriarch is evidence.

 Let me quote from one such letter written by H.G. Mar Gregorios to the Patriarch dated 03-10-1982:


"Your Holiness, even apart from our personal friendship, we should be able to communictae wih each other  by means other than the columns of the public press. Only because direct communication have failed to elicit any response from Your Holiness, I am resorting to this way of getting in touch. ...

Your predecessor vilolated all canons and the constitution of the Church by consecrating a rival catholicos and rival Bishops here. You have not so much as expressed a word of regret in public about this, though you have often told me in person that this was a huge error on the part of the late Patriarch Ignatius Yakub. ....

I want Your Holiness and our sister communities in India to know that the Malankara Orthodox Church has not violated any of the canons of the Church. We are anxious for peace.........I, for one, sincerely hope that you will so cooperate, when left to your own counsel. Your Holiness' brother in Christ. Sd/- Paulos Mar Gregorios, Metropolitan of Delhi and the North"


(His book "Introduction to Orthodox Churches" is worth reading, it is a very good introduction to Oriental and Eastern Orthodox churches.)

What we need to examine are works of the nature chronicles. In none of the ancient Antiochain history works, there is mention of Antioch sending a Bishop to India or that Indian Church is under Antiochian Synod.

Among all works, the history of Mar Michael the great of the Antiochian Church is most important. It is a huge book. Fr. V.C. Samuel had the Syriac version of this work. I have seen this in his study room. He told me that there is no mention of Antiochain Church taking care of the spiritual needs of the Indian Church in early centuries.  Indian Church was requesting a help at a difficult juncture in history in the 17th century, to help with ordination and other spiritual needs.  We know the efforts of some fathers to teach Western liturgical rite during the 17th and 18th centuries. This itself proves that our community was not knowing the Western rites.  It took many more years to adopt it for our needs and later to translate to vernacular.


-Paul
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« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2005, 05:30:07 PM »

Is there any move with in the Indian Orthodox Church to stop using the West Syriac Rite, priestly vestments etc and go back to East Syriac Rite or may be some sort of indigenous Hindu tradition based rite ?

Almost all the saints of the Oriental Orthodox Church in India like St. Gregoious of Parumala, St. Baselious of Kothamagalam (Maphrian of the East, under the Patriarch of Antioch), St. Athanasious of Aluva (Malankara Metropolitain, under the Patriarch of Antioch) , St. Elias III of Manjanikkara (Patriarch of Antioch), teach thru their writings that the Malankara Church is part of the Anitochian Synod.

It can be clearly be seen in the Salmosha of St. Gregorios of Parumala

http://sor.cua.edu/Personage/MGregoriusGChathuruthil/18761216shalmootho.html

So does the IOC consider the above oriental orthodox fathers as saints ? If so what is the IOC position about their teachings regarding the Antioch - Malankara relationship.



In one Ecumenical meeting, Fr. V.C. Samuel asked Patriarch Yakub 111 as question whether there is mention in any one of the historic works of Antiochian Church about sending a Bishop to India. Patriarch Yakub 111 replied that there is one mention in the work of Mar Ishodad about Syrian Church sending a Bishop. For this Fr. V.C. Samuel replied that Mar Ishodad is a father from Eastern Syrian Church and it means only that the Eastern Syrian Church sent a bishop. The Patriarch had no further reponse. This event is reported in the autobiography of Fr. Samuel.

There are two Syrian Churches:

Church of the East (Using East Syriac) - This is the ancient Church founded by Apostle Thomas. He was of Jewish origin and used Aramaic as language. Edessa and Nisibis were the centers of this Church. These were the centers of Syriac Christianity. After the martyrdom of Apostle Thomas, the holy remains were taken to Edessan Church, the mother of Syrian Church.

Church of the West (Using West Syriac) - Western Syrian Church is part of the Antiochian Church, a Byzantine Church. The Antiochian Church also included a large Greek community. Some of the Antiochian fathers (for example St. Severus) wrote only in Greek. But after Chalcedon the Greek part seperated. Today they are the Antiochian Greek Orthodox. The Syrian section towards the East of Antioch (Anatolia) remained in OO faith, they are the Antiochian Syrian Orthodox.


Paul

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« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2005, 06:56:18 PM »

There are many factual errors. In 1912 there were more than just two Bishops in Malankara.

There were 3 more Bishops in the Malankara Synod. They were H.G Paulose Mor Kurilose of Panmpady , H.G Paulose Mor Athanasious of Aluva , H.G Geevarghese Mor Severious. In addition to the above there was H.G Sleeba Mor Osthatious who was a delegate of the See of Antioch. So there were a total of 6 Bishops in India in 1911.

Did you forgot about them or is it that you don’t consider them Bishops ? The last I checked the IOC official calendar remembers these fathers.

Of these six, only two, H.G Paulose Mor Ivanios who was later elevated as Catholicose and H.G Geevarghese Mor Dionysius (Vattesseril) supported the move to install a Catholicose. The majority of the Malankara Synod was against it.

The same can be said about the action of Mor Abded Messih. He was not authorized by the Antiochian Synod to re-instate the Catholicate / Maphrianate that the Synod had abolished in 1860.

So the establishment of a Catholicate in 1912 by just two Bishops and one Patriarch was with out the consent or authorization of either the Malankara Synod or the Antiochian Synod.



Mar Abded Messih was invited. One new bishop was consecrated as there were only two other Bishops other than the Catholicos-elect (H.G. Paulos Mar Ivanios). The Bishops were Mar Dionysius (Malankara Metropolitan), Mar Ivanios, Mar Gregorios (newsly consecrated). H.G. Paulos Mar Ivanios was elevated as Catholicos of the East by Mar Abded Messih along with the Malankara Metropolitan and two bishops at the ancient St. Mary's Church, Niranam (only surviving church established by Apostle Thomas) in 1912.

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« Reply #25 on: February 18, 2005, 07:14:22 PM »

Is there any move with in the Indian Orthodox Church to stop using the West Syriac Rite, priestly vestments etc and go back to East Syriac Rite or may be some sort of indigenous Hindu tradition based rite ?

Almost all the saints of the Oriental Orthodox Church in India like St. Gregoious of Parumala, St. Baselious of Kothamagalam (Maphrian of the East, under the Patriarch of Antioch), St. Athanasious of Aluva (Malankara Metropolitain, under the Patriarch of Antioch) , St. Elias III of Manjanikkara (Patriarch of Antioch), teach thru their writings that the Malankara Church is part of the Anitochian Synod.




That was sarcastic!   I already explained how the original Catholicate of the East was reduced to Maphriyanate and then abolished, thus bringing entire East Syrians of Persia directly under SOC.

Both the Orthodox and Jacobite section follow many Indian customs.  There is a Coptic father, St. Shenouda (Mar Sinuthius) who accompanied St. Cyril (Mar Koorillos) to the council of Ephesus. St. Shenouda was against hellenization of the Alexandrian Church and he promoted the use of Coptic language.  There is nothing wrong if a church decided to use more vernacular. This is accepted in the OO tradition, because faith is more important for the OO than any other differences of a wordly kind. 

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church is a Church founded by Apostle Thomas, whose language was Aramaic (Syriac). So, the Church gives high importance to studies and research in that language at the Seminaries. But liturgy is translated to Indian languages also - Hindi, Tamil etc. Today the liturgical language of majority is Malayalam. As the Church grows in other regions of India, there will be more use of Hindi, Tamil etc.

There is nothing wrong in attempting to create an OO version of East Syriac rite, the Syro-Malabar Church is any way doing it.  Some of the pro-Orthodox Bishops of Syro-Malabar want it that way.

We all agree that there is official dialogue between OO and RC in which Syro-Malabar is part. If we agree on faith aspects, I don't think liturgy is an issue, i.e. we won't remain seperated because of the liturgy used. If liturgy is the criteria for unity, then OO churches are using different liturgies. It is clear that unity is not on the basis of liturgy, rather it is based on the faith expressed in the liturgy.  East Syriac rite existed in the united Church before the council of Chalcedon.  Ancient form of this  liturgy is not anathema.

Regadring the shalmosa, A shalmosa is the oath of allegiance.  A Bishop ordained by the Catholicos of the East will declare oath of allegience to him and a Bishop ordained by the Patriarch will declare oath of allegiance to him. This is natural.  India was under British rule for several years and some Indian Kings entered  in to pact with the  British, allowing the British to rule India.  Such documents are still preserved. But we know that such documents are valid only for that period, when Indian Kings allowed the British to take care of administration for whatever reason.  British cannot use it today to claim authority over India.

We need to take in to account the sequence of events, we cannot build an argument based on an independent  piece of material taken from history.  It is a fallacy to do so, just to confuse ordinary people for certain advantage or divisive activity.

We need to appreciate the changes that happened in the Indian Church after Koonen Cross oath, the local succession of Mar Thoma Metropolitans,  re-establishing the Catholicate of the East in 1912, adopting the constitution in 1934, participation in the ecumenical council of 1965, the unity that existed until 1972,  independent representation in OO dialogues with EO etc.   We need to honor the developments and the unity.


Let me ask this question. When St. Jacob Burdana was ordained by Patriarch of Alexandria, what was the oath of allegiance? Can this be used to interpret that SOC is always under Alexandria?  When Armenian Catholicos ordained a Bishop in the Church of the East, what was the oath of allegiance?

There are certain situations in history when we need a lot of help from a sister Church. There is also a time to do more work independently with out bothering others too much.  Indian Church should be focusing on a lot of work they can do in India instead of trying to justify western subordination.  What defines our relationship is faith. When churches are united in the same faith, there is no need to worry about man made issues of supremacy, universal rule etc. 

Peace always

-Paul
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« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2005, 07:23:26 PM »

The Late Catholicose Geevarghese II was Malankara Metropolitain as well. In fact this saintly father was the only Malankara Metropolitain who led a unified Malankara Church till he passed away. His successor was Catholicose Augen I. Both these fathers were Catholicose and Malankara Metropolitan, and didn't use Mar Thoma in their title. This addition to the IOC Catholicose title happened just 20 years ago, in 1982 or so when Catholicose Mathew I started using it.


Eventually the position of Malankara Metropolitan was merged with Catholicose of the East after Mar Dionysius. This is why the official title of the head of the Indian Church includes the prefix "Mar Baselius Mar Thoma" where "Mar Baselius" represents the Catholicate of the East and "Mar Thoma" represents the lineage of Mar Thoma Metropolitans of India.

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« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2005, 07:44:18 PM »

There are many factual errors. In 1912 there were more than just two Bishops in Malankara.

There were 3 more Bishops in the Malankara Synod. They were H.G Paulose Mor Kurilose of Panmpady , H.G Paulose Mor Athanasious of Aluva , H.G Geevarghese Mor Severious. In addition to the above there was H.G Sleeba Mor Osthatious who was a delegate of the See of Antioch. So there were a total of 6 Bishops in India in 1911.






You are right.  But only the bishops I mentioned cooperated with the Malankara Metropolitan Mar Dionysius and Patriarch Mar Abded Messih in order to re-establish the Catholicate of the East.

The Bishops you mentioned were not cooperating with Mar Dionysius, the Malankara Metropolitan. Initially Malankara Church was informed that a new Patriarch (Mar Abdulla)  is elected. Then the Church also received the message from Mar Abded Messih that Mar Abdulla occupied the position by paying money to the Sultan (to withdraw firman).  Indian Chuch convened the Supreme Synod and sent a delegation to study the issue there and decided that Mar Abded messih is the legitimate Patriarch.


The bishops 'dhinuus' mentioned were ordained/elevated  by Mar Abdulla. They were in the party of Patriarch Mar Abdulla.  Mar Dionysius was working together with Patriarch Mar Abded  Messih who was the original Patriarch. Even though Mar Abdulla payed money to the Sulatan of Turkey to withdraw the firman (Firman is a the legal approval of Sultan of Turkey) of Mar Abded Messih, in his spiritual status Mar Abded Messih was still the legitimate Patriarch.

Patriarch Mar Abdulla sepererated the Knanaya Church and gave it independent status and ordained Bishop Gheevarghese Mar severios in 1911.  Metropolitan Paulos Mar Athanasius was also ordained by Patriarch Mar Abdulla.  Then Mar Abdulla elevated Metropolitan Paulos Mar Koorilose as the Malankara metropolitan of the his party.

Here we see how the difference that existed between Mar Abdulla and Mar Abded Messih  resulting in a division.  By 1970, the Church was reunited, that is why some of the above fathers in the former Mar Abdulla party is included in the Orthodox calendar, as a result of reconciliation.

Peace

-Paul
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« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2005, 07:51:21 PM »

The Late Catholicose Geevarghese II was Malankara Metropolitain as well. In fact this saintly father was the only Malankara Metropolitain who led a unified Malankara Church till he passed away. His successor was Catholicose Augen I. Both these fathers were Catholicose and Malankara Metropolitan, and didn't use Mar Thoma in their title. This addition to the IOC Catholicose title happened just 20 years ago, in 1982 or so when Catholicose Mathew I started using it.



The title "Mar Thoma" was used in the Church  for a long time after Koonen Cross Oath (1653). We have the succession of Mar Thoma 1, 11, 111, 1V, .....  until the Patriarch tried to abolish the title 'Mar Thoma' and forced a new title 'Mar Dionysius'.  When the Catholicate was revived, the old tradition was continued after first four Catholicoi. It takes time to revive old traditions, especially those forcibly suppressed.  It took few years for Mar Thoma 1 to organize the Koonen Cross oath to liberate the Church from the 'law of Peter' forced by Rome.


-Paul

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« Reply #29 on: February 18, 2005, 07:59:30 PM »

Dear dhinuus,  I do not like the idea of seperating Knanaya Church from Malankara Synod. Originally they were integral part of Malankara Synod.  In the same way I have great difficulty digesting the concept of independent thronal churches of Patriarch in India.

The only way to get out of this loop is unity. Lack of unity will always result in arguments which can lead to wrong feelings between people of same faith. What we need is one Indian Church, one Antiochian Church, one Coptic church, one Ethiopian Church ..., each existing within their own boundaries in perfect peace and unity. 

-Paul
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« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2005, 08:05:54 PM »

Amen!
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« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2005, 02:23:05 PM »

Dear Paul,
On this we are on the same page. The need of the hour is oriental orthodox unity in India. Though not 100% water proof, the schism in India is more or less geographical with the North Kerala (mostly former princely state of Travancore, before India became a Republic) siding with the Catholicose H.B Thomas I and Patriarch H.H Zakka I, while South Kerala (mostly former princely state of Cochin, before India became a Republic) more or less siding with Catholicose HH Mathews II.

Unity happens out of love. It does not happen with people from south branding the Northerners are un-educated, ill-informed, Roman Catholic influenced etc or vice versa. How can unity happen when there is no mutual respect, lack of mutual understanding and there is lack of love? I won't repeat the words Catholicose H.H Mathew II used to refer to those who supported the Patriarch. It was broadcasted by secular TV in India. You know what I am referring to.

Unity has to happen in stages. The first step is to stop all mutual accusations and civil court cases for control of parishes. Let the side which has the majority in each parish control each parish. Let us remove all schisms and establish full communion. Let that continue for some time, Let all the old wounds heal. I know this is not the same as full oriental orthodox unity and a united synod. But this would be the first step. The Holy Spirit will work wonders when there is an atmosphere of love. Slowly a united Synod will emerge. This was what was proposed by H.H Zakka I, when he visited India the last time. He went on public record to say that he is prepared to remove all schism and accept the IOC as a sister oriental orthodox church.

From what I understand as an outsider, the majority with in the IOC also favor this approach. But an ultra-patriotic, vocal minority with in the IOC doesn’t want the Indian Church to have absolutely anything to have with the Antioch. They want to stop using the West Syriac rite, start using Hindustani musical notes in the liturgy instead of the Syriac nodes, change the priestly vestments and stop commemorating the Patriarch of Antioch in the liturgy.

Now if anyone in the IOC is expecting those who are siding with the Patriarch will all of a sudden completely abandon their current position and come and tow the above line, for the sake of a United Malankara Synod,  I can tell you with absolutely certainty, it will never happen.

Now in the middle of this, if the Roman Catholic Church wants to establish a parallel Catholicate in India for their Malankara Syriac Rite and convert as many Malankara Oriental Orthodox from both the Patriarch side and Catholicose side, who are to blame. Is it us Oriental Orthodox or the Roman Catholics?

Patriotism and ethnic pride to some extend is good, but when it crosses a line it can easily become counter productive.

Forgive me a sinner...



Dear dhinuus, I do not like the idea of seperating Knanaya Church from Malankara Synod. Originally they were integral part of Malankara Synod. In the same way I have great difficulty digesting the concept of independent thronal churches of Patriarch in India.

The only way to get out of this loop is unity. Lack of unity will always result in arguments which can lead to wrong feelings between people of same faith. What we need is one Indian Church, one Antiochian Church, one Coptic church, one Ethiopian Church ..., each existing within their own boundaries in perfect peace and unity.

-Paul
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« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2005, 02:38:45 PM »

You are right. But only the bishops I mentioned cooperated with the Malankara Metropolitan Mar Dionysius and Patriarch Mar Abded Messih in order to re-establish the Catholicate of the East.

Out of the 6 bishops only 1 sided with Mar Dionysius, that was Mar Ivanious who was going to be elevated as Catholicose.

The Bishops you mentioned were not cooperating with Mar Dionysius, the Malankara Metropolitan. Initially Malankara Church was informed that a new Patriarch (Mar Abdulla) is elected. Then the Church also received the message from Mar Abded Messih that Mar Abdulla occupied the position by paying money to the Sultan (to withdraw firman). Indian Chuch convened the Supreme Synod and sent a delegation to study the issue there and decided that Mar Abded messih is the legitimate Patriarch.

Never heard about such a Supreme Synod covenedy for this purpose nor the synod authorizing sucha a trip. Where was this synod held ? Who all attended ?

The bishops 'dhinuus' mentioned were ordained/elevated by Mar Abdulla. They were in the party of Patriarch Mar Abdulla.

Paul, what you fail to mention is that Vattesseril Mor Dionysius was also ordained / elevated by Mar Abdulla.

Even though Mar Abdulla payed money to the Sulatan of Turkey to withdraw the firman (Firman is a the legal approval of Sultan of Turkey) of Mar Abded Messih, in his spiritual status Mar Abded Messih was still the legitimate Patriarch.

I am not going into your accusations about Mor Abdulla. Even if Mar Abded Messih was still the legitimate Patriarch, he could not have by himself re-instuted an institution in 1912, that was abolished by the Synod in 1860. Neither the Antiochian Synod nor the local Malankara Synod had authorized such a move.

Metropolitan Paulos Mar Athanasius was also ordained by Patriarch Mar Abdulla. Then Mar Abdulla elevated Metropolitan Paulos Mar Koorilose as the Malankara metropolitan of the his party.

If in your eyes Mar Abdulla and all those whom he ordained didnt side with the truth and were currupt paying bribes, why is the IOC in the process of Canonizing Late Paulose Mar Athanasious of Aluva ?

Forgive me a sinner..
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« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2005, 06:19:47 PM »

Although I find the history interesting, let us not get any more off topic in this thread (we've already drifted off quite a bit). 
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« Reply #34 on: February 20, 2005, 01:28:52 AM »

Dear All,

Our leaders fight for power like small children fighting for dominance in the playground.  We say we have great ecumenical relations, but establishing rival churches, and ordaining disobedient bishops is a step backwards in establishing full-communion.

Neither the IOC nor the SOC will ever agree to peace using these methods.  The mentality of the Catholic Church on Petrine supremacy has spread to the SOC.  Why should the SOC be denied the great honor that the RC church enjoys? Why should the IOC be denied the honor that the other heads of the OO churches enjoy?  We are at an impasse, and what we seek is not a movement towards reconciliation, but an acceptance of our differences, and amassing as many allies as possible.

Why do so many in the United States look down on the Orthodox?  Because we belong to an old school of thought?   Well, many a time, I don’t think it’s the theology that most are referring to; rather it is our persistence to stay faithful to problems - old problems.  We are worried about thrones and dominance, and ignoring the spiritual needs of our people. 

In India. for the Orthodox, what constitutes an exemplary Christian is someone who stands loyal with the Catholicate or the Patriarchate.  Whatever happened to defending the gospel, and working towards one body in Christ?  This hypocrisy continues, and we continue fall short of our potential. 

Greg.
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« Reply #35 on: February 21, 2005, 11:37:55 AM »


If in your eyes Mar Abdulla and all those whom he ordained didnt side with the truth and were currupt paying bribes, why is the IOC in the process of Canonizing Late Paulose Mar Athanasious of Aluva ?

Forgive me a sinner..

If there was no dispute between Mar Abdulla and Mar Abded Messih, and Mar Abdulla succeeded Mar Abded Messih with his proper consent, IOC would have fully accepted Mar Abdulla.  Unfortunately there was bitter rivalry between the two. We have to agree that Mar Abded Messih was legitimate, because we have a clear evidence before us, i.e. when he departed, he was buried in the same monastery where all previous Orthodox Patriarchs are buried. If he was not a Patriarch or not Orthodox, he won't be buried there.  The conclusion is that he was a Patriarch and he was Orthodox. His name is thus included in the IOC calendar.

Don't know when Metropolitan Paulos Mar Athanasious was included in the official calendar. I know it is there for many years, must be after the unity of 1970s. Now again in March 2002 there was unity. So from IOC perspective, there are people in the Church who considers this father as saint. Once the Synod agrees to their ambition, it is binding to the entire Church.

-Paul
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« Reply #36 on: February 21, 2005, 12:23:08 PM »


Out of the 6 bishops only 1 sided with Mar Dionysius, that was Mar Ivanious who was going to be elevated as Catholicose.


There were three bishops accepting  the decision  - Mar Dionysius (Malankara Metropolitan), Paulose Mar Ivanios (Murimattathil), Mar Gregorios (Kallacheril, Kurichi). 


Never heard about such a Supreme Synod covenedy for this purpose nor the synod authorizing sucha a trip. Where was this synod held ? Who all attended ?


There was a Malankara Association meeting in 1911.  The managing committee meeting held on 6.26.1911 recommended to convene the  Malankara Association meeting. Malankara Association met on 9.7.1911 (at M.D. Seminary) in which representatives of 214 parishes participated (Most parishes of Kottayam, Quilon, Thumpamon, Niranam and about 40% of Ankamali-Kandanad).

"Mar Dionysius made a long and exhaustive introductory speech recapitulating the circumstances leading to the meeing and his personal conduct with the Patriarch." (Dr. David Daniel, The Orthodox Church of India)

Decision of the Malankara Association included the following:

- A delegation consisting of three Rambans - Punnose of Parumala, Gheevarghese of Vakathanam and Kuriakose of Pampadi was constituted to proceed to Syria and enquire in to the real situation of Mar Abdulla and Mar Abded messih and report to the Malankara Association and till then neither the Association not the managing committee not the representatives of parishes not the Turstees not any office-bearers oof the trust of Church should enter in to any contact whatsoever with the Patriarch Mar Abdulla. The delegation, if found advisable after appropriate investigation, invite Mar Abded Messih to Malankara.

The delegation found that Mar Abded Messih was unjustly removed from throne and he was still the valid Patriarch. The delegation included Ramban Kuriakose of Pampadi (later Pampadi Thirumeni who is well known for his innocent nature and charity, and considered a saint by both factions).

-Paul
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« Reply #37 on: February 21, 2005, 12:46:57 PM »

Nick,

Well I hope I don't offend anyone here but I think this is maybe a little historical revisionism on the part of the Indian Jacobites, not unlike what one finds among some Eastern Catholics that claim a portion of their Church was never seperated from Rome.
 
I don't think the Indian Christians were ever Nestorian, but then I don't believe the Assyrians are Nestorians as defined by Ephesus, nor do I believe the OOs are Monophysites as defined by Chalcedon. I think it possible the given the language and cultural barriers the Indians could have very well accepted Assyrian bishops without problem being far away from the conflicts of the Greeks and Syriacs and their respective schools and the Ecumencial Counicls.

Fr. Deacon Lance

The Church of the East became Nestorian

This website seems to confirm what I have posted above. It is maintained by the Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church in India, so of course it reflects that perspective:

http://www.malankarachurch.org/malankara/MalankaraChurch2.htm


The idea that the entire Church in India went Nestorian at some point, and remained so until the arrival of the Portuguese, just doesn't wash with me. From what I have read, it seems that there was always an Orthodox presence. Of course, as I have said, I am very far from an expert in this field and stand to be corrected.


Dear Nick,  We have written records of the Synod of Diamper. One of the articles of this Synod is to stop any future interaction with the Patriarch of the Church of the East.  Church of India had interaction with the Church of the East.  They had interaction with both the Nestorian part and later with the OO part.  Another aspect linking the two Churches is their common Apostolic heritage.  For the Church in Edessa and the entire East, St. Thomas is the founding father.  This aspect was more important for the Church, e.g. the 'law of Thomas' the Church tried to preserve during and after the Synod of Diamper. 

Even today, among St. Thomas Christians of India, linking the familiy lineage to an Indian person baptised by St. Thomas is very important. Most families have their family history available.  There are elaborate family meetings, which are spiritual events, but only members belonigng to the family are invited. So, the stress was more on Apostolic identity, which linked the Persian and Indian Churches.

-Paul

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« Reply #38 on: February 21, 2005, 02:49:02 PM »

Thank you Paul, for taking the time to write this exhaustive history.  So according to the Ecclesiastical History of St. John of Ephesus, the argument could be made that there was always a Church of Oriental Orthodox Faith in India, even after the Nestorian Schism and council of Chalcedon.

I hate to ask you for more info (I know your fingers must be tired) but when was the West Syrian rite first introduced, and what rite was used before it? 


Thank you Paul, for taking the time to write this exhaustive history.  So according to the Ecclesiastical History of St. John of Ephesus, the argument could be made that there was always a Church of Oriental Orthodox Faith in India, even after the Nestorian Schism and council of Chalcedon.

I hate to ask you for more info (I know your fingers must be tired) but when was the West Syrian rite first introduced, and what rite was used before it? 


Dear Nick,   We cannot ignore what is recorded in the 'Universal Christian Topography' of Cosmas, a 6th century Alexandrian traveller who later became a monk. It is also mentioned the the Indian Church at that time had a fully developed liturgy.


The pepper coast of Malabar and the isles of the
ocean, Socotra and Ceylon, were peopled with an increasing
multitude of Christians and the bishops and clergy for those
sequestered regions derived their ordination from the catholic [the
Catholicos, the Assyrian Patriarch] of Babylon.
  (Journal of Assyrian
Academic Studies)


- Cosmas Indicopleustes, The Fourth Book of the Christian Topography of Cosmas
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/awiesner/cosmas.html

Cosmas:
http://www.gospelcom.net/dacb/stories/ethiopia/cosmas_indico.html

We are reluctant to accept the fact that Indian Church was part of the Church of the East from ancient times. This is because we think negatively about the Assyrian Church of the East due to this Church adopting Nestorian faith at a later point in history. But for many years this Church was Orthodox, with common Apostolic roots with the Indian Church.   This Church gave us many martyrs and saints.

There are many records in the Church of the East about India and the Bishops appointed by Catholicos of the East.  There is clear indication in the traditional songs of Knanaya community that they came to India with the permission of Catholicos of the East. And this Catholicos Mar Shimun was an Orthodox matryr.

From a historic perspective, the Apostolic Church of India is natural heir to the succession of OO Catholicos of the East, the instituion revived by St. Jacob of Edessa (Burdana) and later revived in India for the OO by Mar Dionysius, the Malankara Metropolitan.  In my opinion Mar Dionysius was a great visionary. The revival of  the ancient lineage of the East for OO was an important turning point in the history of the Eastern Church.

Today, when the Jacobites and Syro-Malanakra RC established rival Catholicates, they should be thankful to Mar Dionysius.  Because, without this visionary father they won't be knowing about the importance of Catholicate of the East. We believe that this father was specially selected by almighty towards this great act in history. Who else can do this than an adrent defender of OO faith, great ascetic and the author of first OO catechism in Indian vernacular? It was an act comparable to that of St. Jacob Burdana.

-Paul
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« Reply #39 on: February 22, 2005, 09:56:15 AM »


Thanks once again Paul, for sharing your knowledge.  Thanks also to dhinnus, Reji, and the others.  This thread has been rather illucidating to me, although there is a lot to absorb.
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« Reply #40 on: February 22, 2005, 12:27:50 PM »

Actually Indian Church is described in Book 3 of  the Christian Topography of Cosmas.  "The Christian Topography has been preserved in two manuscript copies, one in the Laurentian Library at Florence, and the other in the Vatican." (Catholic Encyclopedia)

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/fathers/index.htm#Cosmas_Indicopleustes


Even in Taproban+¬,43 an island in Further India, where the Indian sea is, there is a Church of Christians, with clergy |119 and a body of believers, but I know not whether there be any Christians in the parts beyond it. In the country called Mal+¬,44 where the pepper grows, there is also a church, and at another place called Calliana45 there is moreover a bishop, who is appointed from Persia.46 In the island, again, called the Island of Dioscorid+¬s,47 which is situated in the same Indian sea, and where the inhabitants speak Greek, having been originally colonists sent thither by the Ptolemies who succeeded Alexander the Macedonian, there [179] are clergy who receive their ordination in Persia, and are sent on to the island, and there is also a multitude of Christians. I sailed along the coast of this island, but did not land upon it. I met, however, with some of its Greek-speaking people who had come over into Ethiopia.48 And |120 so likewise among the Bactrians and Huns and Persians, and the rest of the Indians, Persarmenians, and Medes and Elamites, and throughout the whole land of Persia there is no limit to the number of churches with bishops and very large communities of Christian people, as well as many martyrs, and monks also living as hermits.


44. Mal+¬  - Malabar  (also in book xi)

45  Calliana, now Kaly+óna, near Bombay, is named in the Kanh+¬ri Bauddha Cave inscription. Mention is also made of it in the Peripl++s of the Erythraean Sea, which states that it was raised to the rank of a regular mart in the times of the elder Saragones, who was probably one of the great S+ótakarni or Andrabhritya dynasty.

46. 3 Gr. a)po_ persi/doj xeirotonou&menoj. This is the verb used in the Acts of the Apostles, xiv, 23: ordained by the laying on of hands.

47. 4 Dioscorid+¬s is the island now called Socotra. The name, though in appearance Greek, is in reality Sanscrit, from Dv+«pa Sukh+ód+óra, that is, Island Abode of Bliss. A description is given of it in c. 30 of the Peripl++s of the Erythraean Sea, which was writtten about the middle of the first century.
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« Reply #41 on: February 22, 2005, 12:33:55 PM »


There were three bishops accepting the decision - Mar Dionysius (Malankara Metropolitan), Paulose Mar Ivanios (Murimattathil), Mar Gregorios (Kallacheril, Kurichi).

Dear Paul,
This is not true. Mar Gregorios (Kallacheril, Kurichi) was not a Bishop at the time arrival of Mar Abded Messih. When he arrived it was only Mar Abded Messih and Mar Dionysius (Vattesseril) who was prepared to lay hands on Paulose Mar Ivanios and elevate him as Catholicose. The other 4 bishops of the Synod didnt want to do that. Since as per the canon three bishops were required, Mar Abded Messih first ordained Mar Gregorios (Kallacheril, Kurichi) as Bishops with the participation of Mar Dionysius and Mar Ivanious. Then Mar Abded Messih elevated Mar Ivanious with the participation of Mar Dionysius and the new bishop Mar Gregorios (Kallacheril, Kurichi).

There was a Malankara Association meeting in 1911. The managing committee meeting held on 6.26.1911 recommended to convene the Malankara Association meeting. Malankara Association met on 9.7.1911 (at M.D. Seminary) in which representatives of 214 parishes participated (Most parishes of Kottayam, Quilon, Thumpamon, Niranam and about 40% of Ankamali-Kandanad).

Paul,
This is another distortion of the fact. If you take the Managing committee, there were three trustees. They were Metropolitain Trustee: Mor Dionysius Vattesseril, Priest Trustee: Fr. Konat Mathan Malpan, Lay Trustee: Mr. C.J Kurian.

Neither the Priest Trustee Fr. Konat Mathan nor the Lay Trustee Mr. C.J Kurian supported the idea of establishing a Catholicate violating a Synodal decision of 1860.

Now if you look at the Episcopal Synod of that time out of the 5 Malankara Bishops, the majority 3 of them were also against this move.

So neither the majority of the Managing Trustees nor the Majority of the Episcopal Synod of that time supported this move.

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« Reply #42 on: February 22, 2005, 02:42:12 PM »

Dear Paul,
This is not true. Mar Gregorios (Kallacheril, Kurichi) was not a Bishop at the time arrival of Mar Abded Messih. When he arrived it was only Mar Abded Messih and Mar Dionysius (Vattesseril) who was prepared to lay hands on Paulose Mar Ivanios and elevate him as Catholicose. The other 4 bishops of the Synod didnt want to do that. Since as per the canon three bishops were required, Mar Abded Messih first ordained  Mar Gregorios (Kallacheril, Kurichi) as Bishops with the participation of Mar Dionysius and Mar Ivanious. Then Mar Abded Messih elevated Mar Ivanious with the participation of Mar Dionysius and the new  bishop  Mar Gregorios (Kallacheril, Kurichi). 



Paul,
This is another distortion of the fact. If you take the Managing committee, there were three trustees. They were Metropolitain Trustee: Mor Dionysius Vattesseril, Priest Trustee: Fr. Konat Mathan Malpan, Lay Trustee: Mr. C.J Kurian.

Neither the Priest Trustee Fr. Konat Mathan nor the Lay Trustee Mr. C.J Kurian supported the idea of establishing a Catholicate violating a Synodal decision of 1860.

Now if you look at the Episcopal Synod of that time out of the 5 Malankara Bishops, the majority 3 of them were also against this move.

So neither the majority of the Managing Trustees nor the Majority of the Episcopal Synod of that time supported this move.



- Mar Gregorios was a Bishop when the Catholicos was elevated.  We were not discussing who were bishops when Mar Abded Messih arrived, rather who were supporting the act of reviving the Catholicate of the East.  The Bishops not supporting it were the ones ordained by Mar Abdulla.

- Regarding the Association of 1911, how can you expect the Bishops loyal to  Mar Abdulla to support the move.   It was a valid meeting in which all were invited. If some people abstained, still it is valid, because all were invited and majority of parishes joined it. Also, the meeting did not make any final decision, but only appointed a delegation to go to Syria to study the developments and issues between Mar Abdulla and Mar Abded Messih.  The delegation found that Mar Abded Messih was the legitimate Patriarch and Mar Abdulla paid money to the Sultan in an attempt to withdraw the firman of the former.  I don't think Pampady Thirumeni can do it wrong, as he was undisputedly impartial.

-  Let us assume that there was no dispute about the reestablishment of Catholicate in 1912.  It was well accepted by both sections (though the Jacobites accepted it at a later point around 1958).  No one questioned the validity of this after that. 

- Thus in 1970s we had only one Malankara Synod. In 1975, it was Mar Philoxenos and Mar Clemis who pioneered establishing a rival Catholicos for Jacobites. when Mar Philoxenos was ordained rival Catholicos, he was given the title Mar Paulos 11, thus agreeing to the undisputed fact that the revival of Catholicate in 1912 was valid (i.e. the first Catholicos was Mar Paulose 1).   The large majority in the Malankara Synod, including the Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan was against elevating a rival Catholicose in 1975. How do you justify this act?   The majority decision of the Malankara Synod was ignored by the Jacobites in 1972 when the Patriarch appointed an unconstitutional delegate (Mar Aboodi) who violated canon by giving ordination in dioceses with out the permission of Bishops of dioceses.  Canon was thrown in air! 

As a conclusion.

- Both sides accepted the act of 1912. There is no dispute about this act today.
- We had only one Synod in 1970s in which all Bishops were members and headed by Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan H.H. Mar Baselius Augen.  But two bishops disobeyed the Synod and wanted to elevate a rival Catholicose.  They achieved their goal with the help of an uncanonical Patriarch delegate who organized the Jacobites to revolt against the Synod.

- The Church was supposed to be reunited in March 2002, following the recommendations of the Supreme Court,  but again the Jacobite faction bishop Thomas Mar Dionysius boycotted the Association meeting and elevated a rival Catholicos. In the Association of March 2002 also, large majority of the Bishops supported the united Synod.

History teaches that the tendency is always towards unity.  This is natural because it is not spiritual for a Church of the same faith to remain seperated (thus violating Apostolic canon) for a long time in the same region.

-Paul
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« Reply #43 on: February 23, 2005, 12:02:03 PM »

- Thus in 1970s we had only one Malankara Synod. In 1975, it was Mar Philoxenos and Mar Clemis who pioneered establishing a rival Catholicos for Jacobites. when Mar Philoxenos was ordained rival Catholicos, he was given the title Mar Paulos 11, thus agreeing to the undisputed fact that the revival of Catholicate in 1912 was valid (i.e. the first Catholicos was Mar Paulose 1). The large majority in the Malankara Synod, including the Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan was against elevating a rival Catholicose in 1975. How do you justify this act?

Paul,
You are right we had a united Synod in 1960's. We also have to look into the general mood and environment that existed at that time. In 1964 Augen Mor Themothious was selected as the Catholicose by the united Synod. The Patriarch of Antioch and All the East elevated Mor Augen as the Catholicose of the united Church. In the middle of the enthronment Mor Augen read aloud a pledge and I quote:

"I the feeble and meek Augen Mor Themothious chosen for the ecclesiastical office of the Catholicose confess my belief before the Synod, and before the head of the Synod His Holiness Moran Mar Ignatious Yacoub III, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East that, the Patriarch is my head, that I accept from St.Peter the head of Holy Apostles upto your Holiness all the Canonical Patriarchs who reigned on your Apostolic See and all those who come after your Holiness. Once again I repeat my canonical connections with the Holy See of Antioch. I swear that I shall not depart from this solemn oath."

Every body rejoiced in that occassion and celeberated the spirit of unity, except the ultra-patriotic, right fringe, who hated this pledge. To his merit Mor Augen lived up to his pledge for most part of his life, at least till the age up to which he was taking decisions. Towards the last few years of his life, Mor Augen was very old and was not fully in control. The ultra-patriotic right-fringe started getting control of the Catholicate. There were words and deeds coming from the Catholicate office that was the exact opposite of the above quoted pledge. This deeply pained the faithful who cherished the connections with the See of Antioch.

There was a private letter from the Patriarch to the Catholicose that should have been kept private between the two. This was published, taken out of context, mis-quoted and mis-used by the right-fringe to inflame the passions of one section of the faithful. A rift started appearing.

As I had mentioned in one of my previous posts the rift was more or less geographical with the North (most of Angamaly, Kandanad and Cochin diocese) siding with the Patriarch and the South (most of Niranam, Thumpamon and Quilon diocese ) siding with the Catholicate. Kottayam diocese in the middle was almost split in half.

However in the Malankara Association the South had a majority. This was because in the Malankara Association was not based on proportional representation. It was based on the concept that one parish - one representative. Most of the parishes in the North were very large with each parish having 3000 or more members, in the South there we more number of smaller parishes with 10 or 15 members. But a parish with 3000 members and a parish with 10 members send the same number of representatives to the Malankara Association. So in the Malankara Association there was a majority for those from the South, but that majority in the association was not a true reflection of the general sentiments of the faithful.

It was under these circumstances when Mor Augen was not fully in control of the Catholicate, and the Catholicate office was being run by people very much against any form of Antioch-Malankara relationship, the pledge of Mor Augen was completely forgotten that a rift emerged. Very soon Mor Augen abdicated from the Catholicate (some say he was forced to Abdicate, others say he voluntarily did, I dont know).

Now about the delegate. The Holy See of Antioch having a Metopolitain delegate in India is not a new thing that occured in the 1960's or 1970's. It has been there for a long time. There was always a delegate of Antioch in India since the 1600's. Mar Gregorious Jaleel SOC Archbishop of Jerusalem, Mor Baselious Eldho SOC Maphirian of the East, Mor Ivanius Hidayatullah, Mor Sleeba Mor Osthathious, Mor Yulios Elias are to name a few. Of the above Mar Gregorious Jaleel , Mor Baselious Eldho and Mor Sleeba Osthathious are venerated as saints.

I am not trying to justify the rift or trying to say it is ok. I just wanted to give the circumstances.

Will the current IOC Catholicose be willing to give the same pledge his predecessor Mor Augen gave during his enthronement when we had unity. I dont think he would. Because over the past 20 years since the abdication of Mor Augen we the oriental orthodox in India has drifted futher apart.

Lord have mercy...
Mathew G M
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« Reply #44 on: February 23, 2005, 02:50:43 PM »

"..., that I accept from St.Peter the head of Holy Apostles upto your Holiness all the Canonical Patriarchs who reigned on your Apostolic See and all those who come after your Holiness. Once again I repeat my canonical connections with the Holy See of Antioch. I swear that I shall not depart from this solemn oath."

Who is denying this?   It is well known that Sts. Peter and Paul founded the Church in Antioch. We do have a canonical connection, especially in matters of faith as it is clearly expressed in the constituion of 1934, the one constituion of the Malankara Church (which the supreme court of India validated as the true constitution).  It is clearly mentioned in the consitution that the Church of India is in the Orthodox Syrian Church of the East founded by Apostle Thomas and that the head of the Orthodox Syrian Church of the East is Catholicose of the East.

It is a two way relationship, i.e. neither the Patirarch nor the Catholicos can violate the constitution. If the Patriatrch violates it, he becomes uncanonical.  It is a two way relationship, where one side cannot dictate.

Why the Jacobite Church is not following our old constitution?

Quote

Now about the delegate. The Holy See of Antioch having a Metopolitain delegate in India is not a new thing that occured in the 1960's or 1970's. It has been there for a long time. There was always a delegate of Antioch in India since the 1600's. Mar Gregorious Jaleel SOC Archbishop of Jerusalem, Mor Baselious Eldho SOC Maphirian of the East, Mor Ivanius Hidayatullah, Mor Sleeba Mor Osthathious, Mor Yulios Elias are to name a few. Of the above Mar Gregorious Jaleel , Mor Baselious Eldho and Mor Sleeba Osthathious are venerated as saints.

The violation was not having a visiting father. Many fathers from different sister churches visited India. Catholicos Vasken 1 of Armenia visited the Indian Church. Pope of Rome also visited the Catholicos of the East.  A visit is not a violation.  Violation occurs when  the visiting father ignores the Synod and gives ordination and organize people to revolt against the Synod.  Mar Aboodi appointed by Mar Yakub 111 disobeyed the Bishops of each diocese an freely gave ordination even to the untrained people. It is the bishop deciding who should be ordained a priest and the Synod deciding who should be ordained a bishop.

When we have a constitution (that of 1934), the protocol in that constitution must be followed.  Appointing a delegate in this situation is not equivalent to what happened in the past (the period when we had no protocol between the churches). There has to be an order, a discipline, about the functioning and administrative matters of a Church. It is not that any one can freely interfere violating constitution (and canon). By all means the free interferance of Patriarch Yakub 111 violating the Synod (the large majority in the Synod of 1972) was unconstituional and uncanonical.   Patriarch Zakka agreed that his predecessor was violating canon.


We know that Patriarch Yakub 111 tried to establish the supremacy of Petrine throne and denied the priesthood of Apostle Thomas. His letter was circulated and taught in Jacobite parishes towards creating a rival group. Even today there are Jacobites believing that Apostle Thomas did not receive priesthood. It was a threat to the Orthodox faith of the Indian Church. When the Synod reacted to this teaching, he was appointing an unconstitutional delegate in 1972.


Regarding Pledge, a 'shalmossa' is not a fixed document. It can be drafted in different ways in different circumstances.  Alexandrian church helped the Antochian church with ordination and continuaton of succession. But that relationship in faith was continued. None of them tried to subjugate the other or claimed to be the superior based on Petrine primacy. It was a relationship based on one faith and in unity.

The  chief celebrant for an ordination can also  create a pledge for use.  Different bishops have different pledges, drafted based on the existing conditions.  The amalogion of Patriarch of Ethiopia (Abune Theophilos) was drafted in Ethiopia in which an Indian father was also involved.  Essentially a pledge should carry the important aspects of faith, and heresies anathematized. Other than this the jurisdictional aspect is based on the current conditions.   When the Indian Church is electing its own Catholicos, there is no need to include any subjugation to the Patriarch.  But if the Patriarch is invited and he is the chief celebrant, the ordained Bishop can pledge loyalty to the same faith of the Patriarch. So, the essential component of any Amalogia is the faith.  'Shalmosa' is not a constant document, but the faith expressed in it is the only fixed thing.

Patriarch St. Severios wrote that the validity of priesthood is not a matter of throne, but of  maintaining the Orthodox faith.

Let us try to follow the same constitution of 1934 followed by Catholicos Mar Augen, those before him and those after him, which is followed until today in the Malankara Church.


-Paul

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