Last week the Malankara Roman Catholic church raised their Metropolitan to Major Archbishop. They are currently promoting the title 'Catholicos' instead of 'Major Archbishop'. Article from the Indian Orthodox Church analyzing this.
Is The Catholicate of the Romo-Syrians in India Canonically Genuine or Bogus? by Chor-Episcopos Kuriakos Thottupuram, Ph.D., D. D, Chicago
" First of all our readers should know that a major archbishop is not the equivalent of a Catholicos or Patriarch. The title of Major
Archbishop is a Roman term to signify the head of a semi-independent Roman Catholic national church. I used the word, 'semi-independent', because no major archiepiscopate is totally autonomous in the strictest sense like any other national orthodox churches. A Roman Catholic major archiepiscopate is legally under the jurisdiction of the Pope, who has universal jurisdiction over every part of the Roman Church. A major archbishop is mandated to send his periodic reports to the pope and his Congregation of the Oriental Rites (now Churches!). He acts only in accordance with the Oriental code of canon laws accepted by Rome. So there is no such thing as independence. Even a Uniate Patriarch has no independent authority, or otherwise called autocephaly."
" Catholicos means universal or common head of a national Church, which is a Patriarchal rank in the East. Important primatial sees
within the territories of the Roman Empire were recognized with patriarchates, the heads of which were patriarchs. Heads of primatial
sees outside the Roman Empire were called Catholicoi; both a patriarch and Catholicos signified the same canonical ecclesiastical position.
The Catholicos of the East was and is a Patriarch, just like the popes of Rome and Alexandria are also Patriarchs. This is very clear in the
first diptych of the Syrian Church, where we pray for the living spiritual fathers. We read as follows: 'Let us pray for our
holy, revered and blessed Patriarchs (see the plural here) our Farther Mor Ignatius, our Father Mor Basilios, and our Father Mor
Gregorios-Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦ This is taken from original Syriac texts."
"When the Orthodox Catholicos of the East, who was a patriarchal functionary, became a Nestorian, there was need for an Orthodox
occupant for that See."
" The Romo-Malankara Syrians always wished that the Catholicos of the East defect to Roman Catholicism. They thought the dissident Mafriano might defect to Romanism. None of them did it. Now their effort is to create a Catholicos of their own."
"Another question: Archbishop Basilios is Catholicos of 'WHAT, WHERE'? Catholicos of Trivandrum? Is there a canonical Catholicos
of Trivandrum? If so, it is a new invention."
" Another very important concern: Do the canons of the Roman Church, whether Latin or Oriental, accommodate a Catholicos, or do they stipulate that a major archbishop is a Catholicos? I am challenging the Romo-Syrians to show any canonical evidence to substantiate their claim. Nowhere in the Roman Canon laws do we have any evidence to prove that a major archbishop is a Catholicos. If this is so, why did the Romo-Syrian Archdiocese of Trivandrum hastily create this illusion? Who is behind it? We definitely can guess who could be
behind this media stunt. Why did not Archbishop Anthony Cardinal Padiyara declare himself a Patriarch or Catholicos (Catholicos was a
legitimate patriarchal rank according to the (Nestorian) tradition of the Church of the East to which the Romo-Malabarese Syrians
liturgically and ecclesiologically belong?"
" Readers, Rome has never issued a mandate establishing a Catholicate under the Pope. Let us quote the report from the Vatican regarding the elevation of Archbishop Cyril Basilios.
' Other Pontifical Acts. Vatican City. February 10, 2005 (VIS). The Holy Father elevated the 'sui juris' Metropolitan Church of the Syro-Malankara to the rank of Major Archiepiscopal Church, and he promoted Metropolitan Archbishop Cyril Mar Baselios Malancharuvil, OIC of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankara , India to the dignity of Major Archbishop. (He was) born in Ullannor, India in 1935, and was ordained a priest in 1960. He was ordained a bishop in 1978 and was appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankaras in 1995.-Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦ "
"Readers, can you find any mention of a Catholicos here? Definitely Rome has never dreamt this title for the head of the Romo-Malankara
"A week ago, one of my relatives in India emailed me about the festivities upon the news that the Romo-Malankarese have a 'BAVA'. I
wondered if they would call their new so-called Catholicos a 'BAVA'. Bava comes from the Arabic word, BABA, which is the Arabic version of the Greek word, PAPAS, or PAPA. This is the same as Papa in Latin, which means Pope in the English language. Actually this is the title
of the head of a Church. If the Romo-Syrians have a Catholicos and if he is under the Roman Pope, are there two Bavas or popes? Think about it seriously.
To conclude: A major archbishop is not a Catholicos. If the Romo-Syrians still insist that their major archbishop is a Catholicos
now, his position is un canonical and has no foundation in Church history. The so-called Catholicate of the Romo-Malankarese is phony.
It is indeed BOGUS+"
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