Greetings in His most Holy Name.
May the love and joy of the Christmas Season carry us all into the New Year.
Phil has done a good deed and I earnestly want to help him in his collection of legitimate historical documents.
The "Shalmootho" (oath) of St. Gregorius Geewargis of Parumala
Submitted to H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Peter III of Antioch & All the East
At his consecration as Metropolitan on December 16, 1876ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€š
In the name of the Father, Son and the Living Holy Spirit, the One True Living God, I, the weak and sinful Chathuruthil Geewargis Dayaroyo of Kochi Kanayannur Kovilakam precincts of Kanayannoor at Mulanthuruthy-muriyil,1 ministering at the Church of Mulanthuruthy, residing at Parur East Church, in trust, fully according to my own will, gladness and contentment, write this declaration binding on myself.
Before the Almighty Living God, before His holy angels, and before this altar—the Holy of Holies of God's Mysteries, and before the holiness of the primal head of Syrians in the four quarters of East India and Malayalam reigning on the Apostolic Throne of Antioch, Patros the Third, our blessed father and God's High Priest Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius, I pledge thus:
May God our Creator give Your Holiness long life and protect your virtuousness.
Before the reverend priests, before all races and before the Honorable British Travancore Cochin Government, I pledge as stated below:
My weak self proclaims the mystery of our faith. Again, before God I confess faithfully that I accept and honor the Holy Fathers who proclaimed to us and taught us the perfect faith that is firmly founded on the faith of all the Prophets, of the pure Apostles and of the three Holy Synods.
Before all, I accept the twelve Apostles, the four Evangelists Matay, Markos, Lukos, and Yohannan and the blessed and great mason Apostle Paulos who provided a foundation for the Holy Universal Church.
I accept the fiery Mor Ignatios, Diwanasios, Athanasios, Yulius, Kurilos, Baselios, Gregorios, Dioscoros, Severios, Timotheos, Philexinos, Antimos, the great one among the elect Mor Barsawmo and all the malpans (teachers) like them who have arisen and are to arise in the God's Holy Syrian Church. It is just that I abide in obedience at all times, as I am indebted, to the high priesthood of the Honorable Patros the Third, Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatios, who is firmly seated in Apostolic faith on the Apostolic Throne of Antioch, as the primordial Patriarch of the Syrians of Antioch and all the East including India and Malayalam. At all times I will abide in obedience to you accepting your commandments. I will never ever deviate, less or more, left or right, from your words, canonical decisions, firm commandments and ways. I fully agree that this pledge of mine is true to the pledges of our father Abraham, Is-haaq, and Yaqob.
As is said "In vain you take and in vain you give," except for ordaining those are qualified as required by the canon, I will, never, at no time, ordain any one taking any reward, appoint an unmarried priest to administer a church, ordain a deacon who has married a widow, and accept, agree to accept, or permit or encourage anyone to accept a priest who after ordination marries a widow or any one who marries after ordination, ordain anyone who has not come forward justly without deceit and guile, ordain anyone without inquiry and testing, accept in any way, permit or agree to accept anyone who has been accursed or excommunicated by the Holy Fathers of Antioch, commune or dialogue in any way with any of them, ordain anyone outside the jurisdiction that I am appointed over, accept anyone coming from other jurisdictions in any manner without inquiry and confirmation that such persons are just, orderly, and mature2 into churches in my jurisdiction
, offer or permit anyone to offer any spiritual and religious services, respond to any difficulties, persecution or disappointments from people of other faiths with anything other than the suffering for our faith, disobey any commandment from the Holy Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatios of Antioch to go or arrive at any place at any time even if weakened by illness or by age or anything else, or do anything that my ordination I have accepted or will accept permits, such as a chastised metropolitan consecrating another metropolitan, or other deeds, or behave contrary to the declarations, rules and decisions of the canon especially highlighted in this declaration. If indeed I commit these I wholly believe that I will be accursed, execrated and excommunicated from that moment like anyone who does such deeds, or accepts them. When Korah, Dathan and Abirom offered incense, God's wrath fell upon them.3 I believe that the earth split opened its mouth and swallowed them and fire consumed their priests.4 May God prohibit me from such deeds! My weak selves will never, at any day, violate the decisions, rules, and canon laws particularly noted in this declaration as well as those omitted from this declaration for brevity but stated here as the many other canon laws, decisions, rules, practices, and customs of the Jacobite Syrians, any commandments of Your Holiness or those of the Patriarchs who will be in this position over the times publicly or in private, and conduct or encourage, do or persuade to do, speak or incite speech, help or promote, agree or persuade any conduct, deeds or speech, in opposition to or disapproval to such commandments, and never detract from or depart from these commandments or oppose or be silent and never join other ways opposed to the faith of the Jacobite Syrians or do anything or accept anything opposed to the customs of our Syrian Church, or ever believe in any doctrine contrary to those of the three Holy Synods. If indeed I do, as were Satan and Cain cursed by God, I will be accursed and execrated from the mouths of God, the head of the Apostles, Apostle Patros, and his eleven brothers, the Apostles of our Lord Meshiha, the fiery Mor Ignatios, the holy fathers who participated in the three Holy Synods, all the malpans (teachers) who were given breath by the Holy Spirit, the authority equivalent to Apostle Patros and the steward of the truth of our Lord Meshiha, Patros the Third the exalted Moran Mor Ignatios Patriarch and all the high priests who will succeed him on the Apostolic throne of Antioch and in addition will be separated from God's Holy Church and the communion of the Holy Mysteries and removed and distanced from the blessings and positions I have received and stripped of the white robes of high priesthood. May God's wrath be upon me!
Again, for the judgment according to the righteous judgements of the Holy Spirit, and as the Evangelion commands "all that you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven",5 and according to the authority bestowed on Your Holiness by God, I will not only become eligible to be expelled from your presence, judged and removed from my position; if I modify or alter this document that I have written myself of my own volition or any of the pledges stated above, it is just that Your Holiness proclaim that I am fraudulent, so that no one trusts my word. If ever such an occasion arises, Your Holiness or any of your successors in that position can demand that I take back this document after paying 2850 British rupees.
Now, I pray for the blessings of God and our Lord Yeshu Meshiha to fulfill the pledge that I have made with rectitude, and by His grace help and strengthen me and bless me to receive Him graciously when He comes to judge the living and the dead according to their deeds, good or evil. I petition to be counted among the righteous and not among the fraudulent.
I confess before God and before His holy altar that the holy angels, the living Cross, the venerated Evangelion, those ordained to priesthood and the honorable people are witnesses to my pledge.
Amen, barekhmor al shubqono. AD 1876 Vrischikam 26.
Note: ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€š This translation is from the Malayalam version scribed by Mor Gregorius himself and executed as a legal document. This document was produced as evidence in the Seminary litigation. The translation attempts to be as faithful as possible to the original. Tediously long sentences are translated as such to the extent possible. Words are translated to their semantic equivalents in English appropriate to the context.
In His Love,
Dn. Joel Jacob