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Author Topic: The Malankara Church: Orthodox Syrian or Syrian Orthodox?  (Read 9349 times) Average Rating: 0
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Matthew777
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« on: August 28, 2005, 11:40:22 PM »

As far as I know of, there are two major churches in the United States that claim to be Malankara Orthodox. One refers to itself as Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church and its site can be found at http://www.malankara.com/
The other is the The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, to which I belong, and its site is www.indianorthodoxchurch.org/
Please forgive me if I am mistaken. It is possible that both sites belong to the same church or that both have the right to refer to themselves as Malankara Orthodox Churches.
Anyways, it would be great if anyone could help me out.

Peace out.
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2005, 03:48:49 AM »

I honestly need help on this so if anyone can give me the 411 then please hook me up.
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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2005, 06:52:31 AM »

OS = Under the Catholicos of the East (Spokane falls under this).

SO = Under the Patriarch of Antioch
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2005, 07:11:45 PM »

Someone on Christian forums, who claims to belong to the "true Malankara Church", accuses that the diocese under Bishop Thomas Mar Makarios is actually a schismatic group that he established in breaking from the greater body of Malankara churches.
Personally, I have no idea what this guy is talking about and neither do I believe it.
According to his claim, www.malankara.com belongs to the "true church" and www.indianorthodoxchurch.org/ belongs to the "schismatic church".
One of the "evidences" this guy gives is from Bisop Makarios' pages at Alma College's site:

"Makarios came to the United States from India in 1963 as a priest to earn a doctorate in religion. When he returned to India and was consecrated as a bishop he asked to return to the U.S. to minister to Indian families he had met there.

When he's not teaching he travels throughout the United States and Canada as well as to other countries throughout the world to minister to 7,000 families and 75 churches. He is the founder and leader of the U.S.-Canada Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Church of India, founded by Saint Thomas, an apostle of Christ, in India in 52 A.D. Since the mid-19th century, only Makarios family members have been priests or bishops in the church."
http://www.alma.edu/about/family/faculty/makarios
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2005, 09:19:03 PM »

Supposedly, there are two Indian Orthodox groups in India, one is legitimate and the other is heretical. One is the Indian Orthodox Church, to which I belong, and it is schismatic of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
The IOC is comprised of the upper class Christians in India and is favored by the government while the SOC is comprised of the working classed and is suppressed by the government.
If anyone can confirm or disprove anything I just said then please do.
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2005, 09:33:56 PM »

IC XC NIKA

Personally, from my understanding, the Coptic Synod has no stance on the Independent Indian Orthodox Church.
I'll say, personally, in my humble opinion, I believe the Independent as well as the Antiochian governed Church in India are both equally Orthodox; and it appears it is more of a political battle over a dogmatic one.

in XC,
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2005, 09:39:15 PM »

If it were only a political battle, why would the members of the different factions murder each other over their differences? Why would churches be destroyed?
Check this out:
http://kundarapally.tripod.com/
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2005, 09:44:06 PM »

IC XC NIKA
Matthew777,
The Lord give you His peace.

Why not?  That sounds like politics to me.  But, I'll leave that for Mor Ephrem, who most certainly has a better understanding on the topic.

in XC,
shawn
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2005, 09:48:52 PM »

One of the reasons why I left the Roman Catholic Church is its history of violence against rival Christian groups. It would be even worse for Indian Orthodox Christians to kill fellow Indian Orthodox Christians.
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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2005, 10:03:01 PM »

"Finally due to the continued requests of the bishops, clergy and the vast number of people, the Patriarch had to convene the Universal Synod of the Syrian Orthodox Church in 1975 and had to take necessary action against the defiant Catholicose.ÂÂ  Because of the stubborn attitude of the opponents, the Patriarch was forced to excommunicate the Catholicose Augen I, in order to safeguard the true faith of Malankara Church, after giving ample time to correct his stand."
http://www.malankarachurch.org/malankara/MalankaraChurch2.htm

Supposedly, I belong to the excommunicated group, the only place in Oriental Orthodoxy where individuals campaign to be elected bishops and actually enter a celibate priesthood in hopes of being a bishop.
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« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2005, 10:36:55 PM »

"The Malankara Jacobite Syriac Orthodox Church, or sometimes called Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church, an Orthodox church in Malankara (Kerala) is a branch and an integral part of the Syriac Orthodox Church with the Patriarch of Antioch, His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas as its supreme head. The local head of the church in Malankara is the Catholicose of India, His Beatitude , ordained by and accountable to the Patriarch of Antioch.

In contrast, another faction of Malankara Orthodox Church, the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church is the Indian Orthodox Church, an autocephalous church. Both are of the Oriental Orthodox communion."
http://www.southhouston.us/project/wikipedia/index.php/Malankara_Jacobite_Syriac_Orthodox_Church

Supposedly, I belong to the autocephalous church. What I would like to know is how the hirerarchies of the two groups split. From what I've heard, it was over wealth and power but that sounds all too simplistic.
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« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2005, 10:59:54 PM »

Now, what if we were to put two and two together:

"The people who were eager for the continuation of its Holy Apostolic faith, organized themselves and worked tirelessly for the revival of the true faith.  Finally due to the continued requests of the bishops, clergy and the vast number of people, the Patriarch had to convene the Universal Synod of the Syrian Orthodox Church in 1975 and had to take necessary action against the defiant Catholicose.  Because of the stubborn attitude of the opponents, the Patriarch was forced to excommunicate the Catholicose Augen I, in order to safeguard the true faith of Malankara Church, after giving ample time to correct his stand."
http://www.catholicose.org/PauloseII/MalankaraChurch.htm

After excommunication, Augen I founded his own independent Malankara Church, and established a diocese in the United States:

"In 1975 Rev. Fr. K.C. Thomas was elevated as a bishop by name His Grace Thomas Mar Makarios. In 1976 the parishes in America and Canada were brought under a new Diocese called "Bombay Diocese". The Managing Committee and the Holy Episcopal Synod declared establishment of the American Diocese in January 1979. His Holiness Baselios Mar Thoma Mathews I, Catholicos and Malankara Metropolitan came to America in July 1979, and the American Diocese was established officially by His Holiness presiding over the enthronement ceremony of His Grace Thomas Mar Makarios as the first Metropolitan."
http://www.indianorthodoxchurch.org/americandiocese.html

If this schism did take place, and if I belong to the schismatic group, then wouldn't what I've belonged to for the past three years be a lie?
 
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« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2005, 12:08:16 AM »

From what I've read, the IOC gets the government to shut down the SOC churches so that no one can worship.
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« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2005, 01:14:06 AM »

Free for all ,thats a way to put the churches in India that claim succession from Saint Thomas.The more one reads about them the more confusing it gets.
The heresies they are accused of also can be confusing, first off its Nestorianism than  in ways it sounds more like Monophsitism. There is proof that Nestorian bishops worked in India.
The Indian church subject to the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Zakka I have denied being  heretical.The  Indian Orthodox church is still considered Heretical by both Rome and Constantinople . While Rome has accepted the Syrian Churches declarations accepting Orthodox Christology.
There are also 2 Eastern Catholic churches in India.
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« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2005, 01:39:18 AM »

Rome no longer considers the Oriental Orthodox Churches heretical. There was an agreement made.
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« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2005, 02:40:24 AM »

This is an important story to get to the bottom of. It's more than church politics if people have been killed over it and if churches have been forced to shut down.
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« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2005, 04:29:12 AM »

This is an example of the controversy going on...

"Jacobites against Catholicos entering church
Author: Our Staff Reporter
Publication: The Hindu
Date: August 30, 2002
URL: http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/2002/08/30/stories/2002083001350500.htm

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday adjourned to September 3 for final hearing a writ petition filed by the Catholicos of the East and Malankara Metropolitan, Baselius Marthoma Mathews II, supreme head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, and other Metropolitans under him, regarding the Church dispute.

The Bench, comprising the Chief Justice, B.N. Srikrishna, and Justice C.N. Ramachandran, was informed today by the counsel for the Jacobite faction that the Jacobite Syrian Association was not in favour of allowing the Catholicos of the East to enter the St. Mary's Church at Manarcaud and perform religious rituals there.

The Bench had on Wednesday sought the views of the Jacobite Syrian Association on allowing the Orthodox Syrian Association and the Malankara Metropolitan to perform religious rituals at the church. It was also submitted that in fact, the Catholicos had never entered the church and done any religious service during the last 30 years.

In the writ petition, the Catholicos and the Metropolitans had sought permission to exercise their power over as many as 1,150 churches and pleaded for a direction to the State Government and the police to provide adequate and effective protection for exercising such powers. During the arguments, counsel for the Orthodox faction had confined his plea for police protection for performing religious services to nine churches. They were the Marthoman Christian Church, Kothamangalam, St.Mary's Church, Angamaly, St. George Church, Karingachira, Martha Mariyan Church, Kandanad, St. Kuriakose Church, Mampara, St. Mary's Church, Errikumchira, Marthoman Church,, Mulanthuruthy, St. Mary's Church, Manarcadu, and the St. Peter's and St. Paul's Church, Puthemkurizhu."
http://www.hvk.org/articles/0902/13.html
 
And this is an explanation of the division...

"This wing of the Orthodox Church in Kerala, India, originated in 1912 with the establishment of an autocephalous Catholicate for the section separated from the ancient Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Christian Community of Malabar. The Chief of this Church since then assumed the title ‘Catholicos of the East’. In 1934, this independent group got organised itself under the banner ‘Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church’ with headquarters in the town of Kottayam in southern Kerala. Though in 1964 the group reunited with the Syrian Orthodox Church following the consecration of a Catholicose by the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, they once again separated from the Holy Church in 1970's. The present Catholicos of the Church is Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews II."
http://www.catholicose.org/PauloseII/Catholicate.htm
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« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2005, 10:58:00 AM »

Wow.  First off, Matthew777, you need to take a few deep breaths and chill out.  This is not meant to be offencive, I actually do take your concerns seriously.

Then, search the OO folder; there are a handful of threads which go into great detail regarding the Indian situation.  I haven't carefully read your posts in this thread (it may seem to go against my taking your concerns seriously, but I've gotta balance that with a busy life...I don't even read all the threads on this site like I once used to, but only a limited few), but it seems you're reading a lot of stuff from one side.  There are usually two sides to every story, but in the Indian case, I think there are three: the "Catholicos" side, the "Patriarchal" side (the source for much of the information you post in this thread), and the truth.  I'm not one to issue blanket absolutions for our Church (under the Catholicos of the East), but I think that when all is said and done, if I had to make the judgement call, I'd say our Church was more in the right--not completely right, but more right than wrong.  Others will respectfully disagree with my assessment, but it is mine, and I'm a sinner, and I'm in good company in the Orthodox Church. 

I suggest you read everything you can on the Indian Church from these threads, and take *everything* you read from both sides with a grain of salt--none of the sources are very objective, but if you sift through them all, eventually you'll see a bunch of facts which cannot be questioned, and based on these you might be able to evaluate the situation better.  It is hard for me to do this, so I can understand if it is much harder on you as a convert to our Church: you don't know our language, so already your ability to get to the truth via the sources is considerably handicapped, and then you're not Indian, and so you don't have an inside knowledge of the situation, you don't hear all the personal experiences, anecdotes, etc., and sometimes experience them yourself.  I pray for you as you struggle with these things.     
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« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2005, 11:24:06 PM »

The news article I gave is from a publication called The Hindu so I doubt that it would be biased for either side. If our church is really manipulating the system to steal SOC churches then that's pretty low.
Thank you for trying to help out though. I understand that politics is politics.
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« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2005, 11:28:42 PM »

One once said that if there was such thing as a perfect Church, I shouldn't enter it, lest it be made imperfect.

God bless.
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« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2005, 09:56:07 AM »

The news article I gave is from a publication called The Hindu so I doubt that it would be biased for either side. If our church is really manipulating the system to steal SOC churches then that's pretty low.
Thank you for trying to help out though. I understand that politics is politics.

I'm not going to get into details here because I don't want to start yet another feud between Orthodox and Jacobites on this site.  There is enough material here for you to read so that you get some idea of the positions each side holds. 

As for "The Hindu" being biased or not, it is my experience that just about every paper is biased (esp. when dealing with this issue).  There is no unbiased journalism in India--or in America. 
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« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2005, 12:54:55 PM »

I don't want to start yet another feud between Orthodox and Jacobites on this site. 

Why make the distinction? Aren't we all Orthodox?

There is enough material here for you to read so that you get some idea of the positions each side holds. 

Sounds good. I should check it out.
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« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2005, 08:58:31 PM »

Why make the distinction? Aren't we all Orthodox?

Sure.  But the Patriarchal Church has officially adopted "Jacobite" as part of its name--"Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church"--and uses it proudly and often.  They also sometimes call themselves "Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church".  I don't deny them the title Orthodox, but while they use both Orthodox and Jacobite (the latter more frequently in my experience), we use only Orthodox, so I was simply using what I figured was a useful convention to distinguish between the two. 
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« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2005, 11:30:14 PM »

ÂÂ  I don't deny them the title Orthodox...

From what I've read, the IOC in India does. I'd sincerely would like to know what the deal is in forcing the shutdown of SOC churches. I've seen the pictures, I'd like to know what they mean.
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« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2005, 09:57:59 AM »

From what I've read, the IOC in India does. I'd sincerely would like to know what the deal is in forcing the shutdown of SOC churches. I've seen the pictures, I'd like to know what they mean.

Lol. 

1.  The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church does not deny the Jacobites the title Orthodox.  But when you have two groups calling themselves Orthodox, and one also calls itself Jacobite (usually a derogatory term, kind of like "Uniate" for Eastern rite Catholics) in an official manner in order to stress, I presume, the Syrian connection, it is simply convenient to label the two factions as Orthodox and Jacobite.  No one in our Church seriously denies that they are Orthodox; heck, we'll commune them without any problems, they have issues with communing us. 

2.  We are not forcing churches to shut down.  Since the Indian Church is autocephalous, all properties belong to it and are subject to the Metropolitan of Malankara, per a mutually agreed to Constitution.  Therefore, all Orthodox churches in India are ours, and our Church is claiming its legal rights, and is justified in doing so, even if I personally think sometimes it would be better to let go.  If the Jacobites have churches, it is because they have the majority in a particular church and that has gone unchallenged by the local people, or because they've built their own, or some reason like that.  Those churches without a clear majority, or where some other issues come up to the fore, are contested by both parties, and often in court, and sometimes for the time being these churches remain closed and in disrepair.  No one likes the situation, and if it wasn't for the fact that I know you know nothing about the situation other than what's on some propagandistic English language websites, I would be offended by the implication.       
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« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2005, 06:43:51 AM »

Who granted our autocephalous status?
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« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2005, 07:15:12 AM »

That information and more can be found in the threads I referred to earlier.  I'm sorry I didn't find them for you and link to them here, but they are easy enough to find on your own.  I encourage you to read them. 
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« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2005, 04:20:37 PM »

God bless the originial and Apostolic Indian Orthodox Church, the Throne of St. Thomas.
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« Reply #28 on: September 05, 2005, 04:59:21 AM »

God bless the originial and Apostolic Indian Orthodox Church, the Throne of St. Thomas.

Which one would that be, the SOC or the IOC?

"Dear Mathew,

What an earnest searcher of Truth you are! Your question in this forum
is one of the most sincere and instructive in this forum's history. The
split in the Malankara Church has led to confusion - and God is not the
author of confusion. This, sadly, is the work of man in his attempt to
gain predominance.

To bring a word of reassurance - your Faith is not a lie. On essential
doctrine, the Indian Orthodox Church believes the same as the Syrian
Orthodox Church. The teachings about Christ, salvation, Bible, mission,
etc. are the same.

The difference is in the hierarchy and its origins. This is a long and
complicated story. I encourage you to sift through some of the archives
of this group. You will find detail after detail and argument after
argument concerning this split. This forum does not censor legitimate
opinions as some others do - you will find both sides.

In a nutshell, before the Portuguese came in the 1600s all the
Christians were Syrian Orthodox. All the Orthodox in Malankara (Kerala, India)
were Syrian Orthodox until the 1850's (some Nestorians are present, but
again using a form of Syriac in their worship).  Now about half the
Orthodox is Syrian Orthodox and half Indian Orthodox. Catholics are the
majority of Christians.

Two singular figures bring us to the present predicament in the
Orthodox Church. (I'm sure there are more, but these two will suffice for
now). One is Bishop Dionysius Vatterserril, who is the beginning of the
schism (1850s). He went to a deposed patriarch (HH Abdul Mashish) and
became ordained as a leader of the Indian Christians. He could not get
ordination from the legitimate Patriarch of Antioch. As you can imagine,
this did not sit well with the faithful when they heard about it.

Some were attracted to this new leader because he represented
independence from a "foreign culture". (As if Jesus was Indian!) Also because of
issues with property ownership (rumors were started that the Patriarch
of Antioch wanted to directly control each parish,
etc.), some were attracted to Mor Vatterseril. Eventually, the Mor
Vatterseril group got the backing of powerful media and corporate
conglomerates. Some bishops decided to join the Mor Vatterseril group. Because
of parish and family loyalties, many people came under this group's
control.

One big problem arose - who controlled the parishes. The Syrian
Orthodox built all the churches, seminaries, etc. But in some areas the
supporters of the Indian Orthodox were large in number. So, instead of
leaving the church and building their own facilities, the Indian Orthodox
decided to take over what they could. Their aim was to destroy the Syrian
Orthodox so that no one could challenge their legitimacy.

Legitimacy is a sore spot for the Indian Orthodox. Many theories have
emerged as to the "ancient" nature of the Apostolic Succession they
purport. Though ordained by a successor of St. Peter, their leader claims
that they have an Apostolic right to rule the Indian Christians because
of the missionary activity of St. Thomas, who was martyred in southeast
India (ca. AD 50-70). This is patent rubbish, because St. Thomas did
not ordain a recorded successor.

Now we come to the 1950's, 1960's, and 1970's. Many worked for peace
and reunification of the church on both sides because everyone realized
that the two groups were practicing the same faith derived from Syriac
Christianity. The leader of the Indian Orthodox Church, after swearing
to uphold all the aspects of faith (including succession), knelt before
the Patriarch of Antioch Ignatious Yakub III and received the title
"Catholicos of the East," a title that was abolished in the Church in the
1800s but resurrected to celebrate the fact that the Indian Church was
an important integral part of the Universal Church, and that a strong
position of authority had beengiven to the Indians. The name of the
Catholicos was Mor Augen I.

Unfortunately, in 1975 Mor Augen I blatantly forgot his oath to the
Universal Church, claiming again that the Indian Church is autocephalous.
Many properties built by those who remained true to the Universal
Church were stolen. Some churches are closed to this day because a few
families who are Indian Orthodox refuse to leave parishes where the majority
is Syrian Orthodox. The Syrian Church is not seeking the closure of any
church.

The current schism in the church rests with Mor Augen I, his successor,
and supporters. Period.

The matter eventually went to the Supreme Court of India, which
unequivocally stated in 1995 that the Indian Church is NOT autocephalous.
Period.

Hence, the ordination of their present Catholicos is in question. The
court limited the temporal authority of the Patriarch of Antioch in a
way that was not acceptable to the Syrian Orthodox. So, in a bold move,
and exercising the right to freedom of religion granted by the
Constitution of India, the Syrian Christians withdrew from the legal association
of churches that were in dispute in the Supreme Court case and formed
another legal association.

BUT the Supreme Court's decision that the Indian Orthodox Church is NOT
autocephalous still holds!

The current Patriarch, HH Ignatious Zakka I Iwas, left the legitimate
Catholicate vacant for several years before the ordination of Mor
Baselios Thomas I in hopes of bringing the two churches back together.
Unfortunately, hopes for a lasting peace from a theological point of view
were dashed when the Indian Orthodox Church unilaterally declared Mor
Vatterserril as a saint, without permission from the Patriarch. Now, the
Indian Orthodox have several hundred court cases against the Syrian
Orthodox Church. We have none against them. This is an effort to exhaust the
Syrians and gain control of parishes. Some churches are closed because
a sharing settlement cannot be reached. Again, in every case, though
foolish, the Syrian Christians are willing to share the parishes in
question rather than see the parish closed. The Indian Orthodox would rather
the parish rot. See for yourself -
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SOCM-FORUM/message/6895

The issue for you, Mathew, is whether you should leave a schismatic
group and join the Universal Church. A few things to keep in mind. The
Indian Orthodox faction is under excommunication. The sacraments practiced
are legitimate, but not legal! No one questions the legitimacy of the
Syrian Orthodox Church outside of India. No group outside of India
believes that the Indian Orthodox Church is fully legitimate (although the
group has representatives in various international bodies). Being part
of the Universal Church reminds us that our faith is not an ethnic
association, but the message of Christ to all people through all time. The
Syrian Patriarch received the right to administer India in AD 325 at the
council of Nicea(of "creed" fame)!!!

The Universal Church has been drained by this fight, but plenty of
talent still remains. Your faith, whether called "Indian Orthodox" by some,
is actually and truly Syrian Orthodox. The Syrian Church has witnessed
for Jesus Christ since the very beginning of Christianity. If you are
willing, you can find yourself in the company of those who have bled and
died for the faith you hold. You can help rebuild that which was lost.

As an aside, if the Indian Orthodox Church is administered by the
"Catholicos of the East," then what right does he have over the Christians
outside the East? You and I are in the West, where there should be no
question over who has jurisdiction (The Patriarch of Antioch AND all the
East (not just the East), supreme head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox
Church).

Whatever your decision, I thank you for your questions. Similar
questions are asked by our youth members all the time. We all must be honest
searchers for the Truth.

Dn. Zach Varghese, M.D.
Southern Regional Youth Advisor
Mor Gregorious Syriac Orthodox Student Association"
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SOCM-FORUM/
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« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2005, 04:43:36 PM »

The main question that I have goes as follows - How is the current situation in India any different from when the Greek Orthodox Church decided to become autocephalous?
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« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2005, 12:05:46 AM »

Interesting comments.  I think I know where you probably asked this, so I'm not surprised by the response you received.  Unfortunately, like most answers to questions about the situation, it is a mix of truth and "not-so-truth". 

I have recommended more than once that you should do actual research into this--not simply asking questions in discussion fora (although this can be useful and provide hints for further study) and perusing websites.  I am tempted to respond at least to parts of this response, but I will force myself not to do so.  If you care about your Church, you will do actual research, including, but certainly not limited to, the internet.  One good book you might read is The Orthodox Church of India, by Daniel David.  You will probably be able to get it through interlibrary loan.
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« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2005, 12:38:42 AM »

I have to echo Mor Ephrem's suggestions.  Everything you will read in this situation is biased.  Trust me.  I had a heated discussion with an SOC about this, and in the end, shifting his mind from the biases, he agreed that there seems to be an ambiguity on the issue of autocephaly of the IOC, that it reflects the relationship between the Coptic and Eritrean churches, and Eritrea is autocephalous.

Therefore, it is possible that your Church is right after all for claiming its own autocephaly.  However, I still need to get a translation of the Hudaya Canon and the letter Mar Yacoub sent to Mor Augen, which allegedly said that "St. Thomas wasn't a priest."

And the other problem is the claims of being a successor to St. Thomas, but I've read good IOC arguments on this.

God bless.
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« Reply #32 on: September 06, 2005, 03:18:54 PM »

 How is the current situation in India different from when the Greek Orthodox Church decided to become autocephalous?
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« Reply #33 on: September 06, 2005, 03:22:41 PM »

What did the Greek Church do?

Was there mutuality or was there disagreements and excommunications?

God bless.
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« Reply #34 on: September 06, 2005, 03:27:47 PM »

"The first national Church to emerge from the independence struggles of the 19th Century was the Church of Greece. On the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, 1821, Germanos, the Archbishop of Patras, raised the banner of revolt against the Turks (which cost the Patriarch of Constantinople, Gregory, his life). This war of independence was successful and, as the Hierarchs of the Greek Church did not wish to remain subject to a captive Patriarch in Constantinople, in 1833 a synod of Greek Bishops declared their Church autocephalous, although this was not officially recognized by Constantinople until 1850. In 1864, the Diocese of the Ionian Islands was added to the Church of Greece, and in 1881 the Dioceses of Thessaly and a part of Epirus were likewise joined to her. This Church is the third largest in the Orthodox world and is ruled by a Holy Synod, presided over by the Archbishop of Athens."
http://www.stots.edu/article.php?id=56
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« Reply #35 on: September 06, 2005, 03:32:49 PM »

From what I've read, the IOC declared to be autocephalous, and then in 1958 (I think), there was recognition of the IOC by the SOC "subject to the IOC constitution."  It is this last quote that I'm researching.  I've read the constitution, but there's something about the Hudaya canon that I want to investigate.

It sounds similar nonetheless.

God bless.
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« Reply #36 on: September 06, 2005, 07:53:50 PM »

From what I can gather, politics is politics. This is a political problem, not an Orthodox one.
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« Reply #37 on: September 06, 2005, 11:17:56 PM »

From what I've read, the IOC declared to be autocephalous, and then in 1958 (I think), there was recognition of the IOC by the SOC "subject to the IOC constitution."  It is this last quote that I'm researching.  I've read the constitution, but there's something about the Hudaya canon that I want to investigate.

It sounds similar nonetheless.

God bless.

What is it from the Hudaya canons that you want to investigate? 
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« Reply #38 on: September 07, 2005, 05:16:40 AM »

I don't think I'll be going to church again until I learn as much of the truth as I can.
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« Reply #39 on: September 07, 2005, 10:59:22 AM »

Well, that's not a smart move.  It's not even like you're in a "hot" parish; you're in a convert parish in the Western US isolated as much as possible from the situation.  Why would you abandon the Eucharist because some Indians in the jungle don't get along?   
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« Reply #40 on: September 07, 2005, 11:03:47 AM »

Also, I'll be frank: so far, judging from this thread, you haven't found any useful information.  Useful information will only be found once you read both sides and sift out the bias from both.  Furthermore, your ability to gather information will be hampered since you don't know our language and so far you have stuck with websites.  It's going to be difficult for you to "learn as much of the truth as you can", and staying away from church and from the sacraments until you do is just what Satan wants.       
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« Reply #41 on: September 07, 2005, 05:40:17 PM »

I asked before a translation of the Hudaya Canon.  All I got is what it allegedly says, a recap.  With all due respect, I personally want to read a translation rather than know from others a summary of what it says.

And the letter I also want to read.  I want to verify if the IOC says what it says or not, for I can't even believe an SOC (or any OC) would say such a thing about St. Thomas.

God bless.
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« Reply #42 on: September 07, 2005, 05:48:54 PM »

I asked before a translation of the Hudaya Canon.  All I got is what it allegedly says, a recap.  With all due respect, I personally want to read a translation rather than know from others a summary of what it says.

And the letter I also want to read.  I want to verify if the IOC says what it says or not, for I can't even believe an SOC (or any OC) would say such a thing about St. Thomas.

God bless.

I am not sure if a translation of the Hudaya Canon exists in English, unless it is the same as a four volume treatment I'm familiar with done by a German scholar whose name escapes me at the moment.  Two volumes are Syriac text, and the other two are a translation.  I don't blame you for wanting to read the real thing, I'm just not sure if it will be possible unless you know Syriac or Malayalam. 

As for the letter, I've seen photos of the letter, written in Syriac.  So far, I have not come across any translation of it in any language.  I would be interested in knowing if it exists in Malayalam, so that I could read it for myself.  I'll have to ask around. 
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« Reply #43 on: September 07, 2005, 07:10:13 PM »

Why would you abandon the Eucharist because some Indians in the jungle don't get along? 

Because this is more than just not getting along, this is siezure of church property and killing. I need to learn the truth as much as I can, from both sides.
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« Reply #44 on: September 07, 2005, 09:36:02 PM »

It's going to be difficult for you to "learn as much of the truth as you can", and staying away from church and from the sacraments until you do is just what Satan wants.       

There is a church in my mind and the Eucharist in my heart. It is not my fault if our Church has its mistakes, problems, and evils.
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« Reply #45 on: September 08, 2005, 07:47:21 AM »

Because this is more than just not getting along, this is siezure of church property and killing. I need to learn the truth as much as I can, from both sides.

The Church has always had problems, so don't let this scandalise you too much.  I'm not saying this to dismiss what's going on in India, as it's felt much more deeply by us, but still, the Church everywhere is full of sinners, and so this kind of stuff has happened before and continues to happen.
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« Reply #46 on: September 08, 2005, 07:49:47 AM »

There is a church in my mind and the Eucharist in my heart. It is not my fault if our Church has its mistakes, problems, and evils.


It's not your fault if sinners act within the Church, but this stuff about "there is a church in my mind and the Eucharist in my heart" is a little more scary to me. 
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« Reply #47 on: September 08, 2005, 11:12:01 AM »

[quote author=Mor Ephrem link=topic=6975.msg92886#msg92886  I'm not saying this to dismiss what's going on in India, as it's felt much more deeply by us, but still, the Church everywhere is full of sinners, and so this kind of stuff has happened before and continues to happen.
Quote

This is not just a problem in India - the North American bishops of the IOC actively support the siezure of SOC property. As a member of the church, would I not be endorsing this behavior?
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« Reply #48 on: September 08, 2005, 06:55:32 PM »

This is not just a problem in India - the North American bishops of the IOC actively support the siezure of SOC property. As a member of the church, would I not be endorsing this behavior?


Matthew, it was only a while ago that I asked you who the IOC Metropolitan of America was, and you didn't know.  Now you are an expert on their official opinions?  Give me a break, you don't even know them!  Come to New York, I'll introduce you to them and you can ask them anything you want. 
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« Reply #49 on: September 08, 2005, 11:01:36 PM »

If you disagree, could you please dispute this claim?
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« Reply #50 on: September 09, 2005, 12:45:38 AM »

If you disagree, could you please dispute this claim?

No, because, quite frankly, I'm having a hard time taking you seriously.  You didn't even know who the bishop was, and now you're telling me what he supports.  You didn't even cite your source for the claim that my bishop supports what you say he does.  Why should I take the claim or you seriously? 

Seriously, come to NY.  I meet with the bishops fairly regularly, and I could introduce you to them.  Ask them whatever you want.  It would be better for you if you did that than if you continued to speak about something you don't know anything about as if you were an expert. 
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« Reply #51 on: September 09, 2005, 12:48:54 AM »

Is there not court litigation over church propreties which our bishops actively engage in?
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« Reply #52 on: September 09, 2005, 12:51:11 AM »

Is there not court litigation over church propreties in which our bishops actively engage in?

Yeah; tell me what you know about it other than that. 
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« Reply #53 on: September 09, 2005, 03:58:07 AM »

Tell me what you think I should know. Wink

Honestly, though, every church has problems, but I would like to know the full scope.
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« Reply #54 on: September 09, 2005, 10:01:40 AM »

Tell me what you think I should know. Wink

Honestly, though, every church has problems, but I would like to know the full scope.

I'm not playing this game, Matthew.  If you do your research honestly, then even online I think you will be able to find some of what you're looking for; you'll find a lot right on this website.  Right now, I'm not convinced that you are serious.  You want me to feed it to you so you don't have to do the work, you want me to tell you something so that you can feel you are OK where you are or else you'll leave.  If you decided to leave and join the Syrians, I'd be happy: they are just as Orthodox, and at least you wouldn't be abandoning the Church and the Eucharist for the "Church" and "Eucharist" "in your heart".  That's twisted.   
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« Reply #55 on: September 09, 2005, 11:20:51 AM »

I don't think I'll be going to church again until I learn as much of the truth as I can.

I'm not sure I understand your situation... but if you don't feel you can go have Communion because you'd be participating in these problems, you could always attened and receive Communion in another Oriental Orthodox Church (Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopian, Eritrian, etc) that's not involved in these matters until you feel you understand the Indian situation enough to make a decision.  I'm not saying that you should abandon your Church and go to one of the sister Churches over these issues, but I would think that doing so for a time would be a preferable solution than not receiving Communion at all until you've figured things out.
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« Reply #56 on: September 09, 2005, 06:10:47 PM »

  Right now, I'm not convinced that you are serious.

I am serious but in order to gague the full scope of this situation, one must be able to understand and argue for both sides. In the SOCM forum, I have been arguing in favor of our Church. In this one, it makes more sense to present the arguments of theirs.

If you decided to leave and join the Syrians, I'd be happy

I have no intention at this time to leave our church and neither is there an SOC church in my town. I just would prefer to take a break from St. Gregorios until things make more sense.

I'm not sure I understand your situation... but if you don't feel you can go have Communion because you'd be participating in these problems, you could always attened and receive Communion in another Oriental Orthodox Church (Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopian, Eritrian, etc) that's not involved in these matters until you feel you understand the Indian situation enough to make a decision.

Thank you for making a good point. It is possible that I will attend the Greek Church for the time being.

Peace.
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« Reply #57 on: September 10, 2005, 04:14:16 PM »

I am serious but in order to gague the full scope of this situation, one must be able to understand and argue for both sides. In the SOCM forum, I have been arguing in favor of our Church. In this one, it makes more sense to present the arguments of theirs.

No it doesn't, because this is not a majority IOC website.  Heck, OO are only a fraction of the total membership here.  You're presenting "their" arguments because you want me to answer them, and I'm not going to do that.  I've done my time on SOCM and other Yahoo groups answering questions and asking them; I'm pretty much through with that.  I've gotten enough answers and have enough facts to believe what I believe, and so I am going to worry about being a Christian instead of a partisan.  I hope you will arrive at this "place" yourself through prayer and study and find peace so that you can begin in earnest to save yourself. 
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« Reply #58 on: September 10, 2005, 05:51:23 PM »

What is your personal opinion of what goes on and the pain caused?
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« Reply #59 on: September 15, 2005, 11:34:57 AM »

Dear Matt,

   Do what Mor says. Thats the only way. I tell you cos I have been through that. And I know that even I not very steady yet.
There are good arguments on both sides. And there is atrocious behaviour on both sides. Pray  and try to learn.

In any case you are not going to be condemned , just because your church was doing something that was not very right.

Another bit of advise, instead of asking questions straightaway, go through the archives on this site and ICON and SOCM.  These arguments have taken place, what a million times. You can gain something from that.

I know it is difficult, but just go on ahead with a clear and cool mind.  Maybe you can start to make something out of this messy dispute.

Now I am cradle IOC, and I am in India, I know the language and have relatives on both sides, still it was very tough for me, to even start thinking independently.

regards
Suraj Iype
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« Reply #60 on: September 15, 2005, 08:43:59 PM »


Now I am cradle IOC, and I am in India, I know the language and have relatives on both sides, still it was very tough for me, to even start thinking independently.

It is quite possible that learning of the mistakes of my church is enough to free me to be more independent of a person. I am a servant of God but the Church was made for man, not man for the Church.
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« Reply #61 on: September 16, 2005, 06:47:04 AM »

Unlike on this forum, someone on the SOCM forum answered my question of how the current situation in India is different from when the Greek Orthodox Church decided to become autocephalous:

Dear Matthew,

Though we recognize the Byzantine churches as Orthodox, the reality is that
we've been separated from each other for almost 1500 years. As a result, we've
both developed different praxis in that time. So just because they might do
something (i.e., grant autocephaly), doesn't mean we are compelled to do it.

There are two major differences: Necessity and Minority Views.

On Necessity

There was no necessity for a split to occur in India. Further, I would argue
that there was no real necessity for the GOC to split either, but I think their
position is more understandable.

The Greeks splitting from Constantinople occurred because of war between two
ethnic, neighboring rivals: Turks and Greeks.

I can understand a temporary arrangement (which has happened just about
everywhere, including the Near East) where extended autonomy (what some would
call autocephaly) is granted due to dire circumstances. But the monks of Mt.
Athos give us a better example. When the Turks were perched to conquer
Constantinople, the monks from the Holy Mountain went to the Turks, explained
their situation to them, and offered their allegiance to the Turks. If you get
the opportunity to read any material on this topic, you'll see how the monks are
very critical of the mixing of nationalism with the church: especially on
Cyprus.

In India, there was no war, nor anything that would have facilitated this action
as necessary.

On Minority Views

As your message points out, "the Hierarchs of the Greek Church did not wish to
remain subject to a captive Patriarch in Constantinople."

Whereas in Greece you see the synod moving to be separate from Constantinople
because of the war difficulty, in India, less than the majority of the bishops
wanted to split from Antioch, and half of
those bishops ended up creating a Roman Catholic Uniate group (the Malankara
Catholics).

Now as we compare the situation with Greece and India, let's first understand
how the ideas of self-rule entered into the minds of the Malankara culture. If
you study the demographics of churches in Kerala, you'll see the Syrian Orthodox
concentrated in the North of Kerala, and the IOC concentrated in the South.
When the British ruled India, they had it in mind to conquer all the indigenous
Christians of the land, and bring them under British thought. Their Church
Mission Society helped to incite the Marthomite movement in Southern Kerala,
which led to a schism in the late 19th century. The British strategy was to
incite xenophobia in the Christians, encouraging them to reject any foreign
hierarch (they would of course be permitted their own hierarch if they were
united with the Anglican-communion). So this notion of rebellion against
foreigners began with the British. In one generation, the SOC in the South
shifted to an anti-foreigner view; this was due in large part to their close
affiliation (such as inter-marriages) with Marthomite families. I challenge you
to ask 10 random IOC individuals if they have at least one Marthomite parent or
immediate relative. I suspect that over half of them would confess a close
family relation to these individuals.

In any case, the Syrian Orthodox Church in India had only one bishop until the
time of the Marthomites. ONLY ONE. After this, the Patriarch of Antioch split
Malankara into several diocese. Until this point, there was no chance of bishop
rivalries or struggles because there was only one bishop. Now there were more.
Those in the South later fell to the idea of nationalism.

A little recap:
- The Greek hierarchs wanted this split, the Indian hierarchs didn't.
- The Greeks split from other ethnic Greeks because of a direct war with their
foreign ethnic neighbors. The IOC's goal was to split from non-Indians, while
no war was affecting the Indian population.

NOW... Had the SOC in India truly sought a holy separation of administration,
there is no doubt by any party that it would have been granted if it was a)
necessary or b) the majority. Instead, it was a minority of a few individuals
who found a means to sieze property and lock the Orthodox Christian community in
India in a never-ending spiral of litigation. There was nothing holy or
spiritual about this.

The fruits of these actions were poisonous to the Christians of Kerala. With
the British support for the Marthomite subversion, and the immediate fruits of
the IOC split being half of the IOC splitting from themselves and creating a new
Roman Catholic Uniate group, it makes one wonder who the real architetct of this
whole situation was.

In Christ,
Mike Wingert
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SOCM-FORUM/message/7027

Peace.
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« Reply #62 on: September 18, 2005, 03:00:31 PM »

Unlike on this forum...

Sigh.  It's not because I don't want you to know our side of the story, but it's because you want things to be handed to you, and that's not going to happen.  I'm a full time student, and I've got Patristics with Fr. John Behr to worry about; I don't have time to convince you of anything.  If "Mike Wingert" has such time, good for him and for you, but you are only hearing one side of the story, and a biased side at that (not that there's not bias on the other side, btw).  You need to see both sides in order to make an informed conclusion.  I've directed you to sources which will prove useful to you in your research.  Use them.  Good luck. 
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« Reply #63 on: September 19, 2005, 03:02:29 AM »

Sounds fair enough.

Peace.
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« Reply #64 on: September 25, 2009, 10:29:53 AM »

Dear Mathew,
I went through your posts.... Both the churches are comprised of the original St Thomas Christians of India, My cousins are jacobites while Im an Indian ( Malankara Orthodox), The primate of our Church is The catholicate of east based out of kottayam, while for the  Jacobites it is Patriarch of Antioch.
It all started when we Indian Christian asked the help of east syrian christians for help way back .... for details you can check this website: http://www.orthodoxsyrianchurch.com/index.php/history

But i would like to inform you that the Government of India is not biased , the ruling from the honorable supreme court is that the both the primates ( IOC and Syriac patriarch of antioch) are equal, even after the ruling that the churches other than EAE and Simhasana churches should be given back to IOC the Jacobites ( Syrian orthodox) are not giving it back and the leftist govt of kerala is supporting them (SO).

I have seen in your posts that you have been pasting the jacobite factions version and then coming to an undertstanding of our church... my humble request to you to refrain from that.

The IOC is not an broken away faction but its is a church comprising of all those St Thomas christians who have retained thier Indian values and ethos and the ancient tradition ( even though the liturgy is now west syriac) of Nasrani/mapilas.
The church was independent thorought its history till the western Roman catholics and Protestant evangilists attacked it an dthat was when we looked towards syria for help, and when the east syrians did not help us the west syrian Patriarch hgelped us.. but we wanted a Spirtual guide not another foriegn ruler who controls every aspect of the church matters. and that was the reason for establishing the catholicate seat in Kottayam.
You should be proud of that fact that you are part of the ancient Indian orthodox church.
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