It is true that there was an independent Catholicose of the East also. However this was a position with in the Nestorian Church and not in the Oriental Orthodox Communion.
Hope all this will finally settle and we will have a united synod in India.
Mathew G M
Dear Mathew, I still cannot conceive the idea that Knanaya and American Diocese are independently under Damascus.
Regarding independence of Catholicate of the East, I think you assumption is not correct. The Church of the East had independent head before the Counfil of Chalcedon. It is after the council of Chalcedon that a section of the Church of the East became Nestorian. There was always an Orthodox section.
Also, when an Orthodox Catholicate of the East was established in the East after Chalcedon, Antioch was not involved. St. James of Edessa has written in his Ecclesiastical history about how the Catholicate for Orthodox originated. St. James clearly identifies the following parties involved - the Nestorians, the King and the Orthodox. Antioch or Antiochiain Patriarch is not mentioned. Also, St. James clearly states that it was with the permission of the King that the Orthodox revived the Catholicate.
I have also another example. Antioch claimed that they have the right to ordain Bishops in Cyprus. But one of the three ecumenical councils concluded that Cyprus can ordain their own bishops. The claim of Antioch was made invalid.
You mentioned about Syriac tradition, but totally ignored the Greek tradition of Antioch. How can you do this oif your study is sincere?
Actually the mother of all Churches of Syriac tradition is the Edessan Church. According to all early accounts (even the Acts of Mar Addai, Didascalia etc.), the founding father of the Edessan Church is Apostle Thomas and his co-Apostles Mar Addai etc. Gregory Bar Hebraeus identifies two Church of Syriac Tradition - the Western Section and the Eastern Section.
I agree that the Western Church (antiochian) originated from St. Peter (as well as other Apostles). But Bar Hebraeus clearly identifies the origin and succession of the Eastern Church, a succession which begins with Apostle Thomas.
So, to the best of my knowledge, current Damascus based SOC was occupying the possesion of Eastern Church and expanding their boundaries through a series of revision of their constitution. Actually the East in 'Patriarch of Antioch and all the East' only means that he is Patriarch of Antioch and the region called 'Anatolia' in Mesopotomia.
'Anatoli" (in Greek Anatoli means East) is a well known geographic region in the south-east of Turkey.
Fr. Philip Raczka of Syrian Catholic Church writes: "At the time the Christian Church began, Antioch was the capital of the Roman province of "the East" (Anatolia). It was the principal economic center of the entire Middle East, as it was at the crossroads of trade routes connecting Europe and Asia. For these reasons it quickly became the center of Church life in the area as well. Although the city was destroyed by an earthquake in the seventh century, the chief hierarchs of Churches in the Middle East still bear the title patriarch of Antioch and all the East."
So, the 'East' means only Anatolia, the East according to the boundaries of the Roman empire. Outside the Roman empire the Syrian Church of the East (Catholicate of the East), Armenian and Georgian Churches flourished. The head of all the three major Churches outside Roman emoire has the title Catholicos.
So, let us preserve the integrity of the Orthodox Syrian Church of the East (Catholicate of the East) and the Western Church (SOC based in Damascus) can preserve the integrity of the Western See.
I have great difficulty accepting the Knanaya, jacobite and American Archdiocese Diocese divisions. Why SOC is not dividing the ethnic Syrian section this way? i.e. why only the Indian Church is divided with this special administrative setup?