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Author Topic: Which Indian/Syrian/Malankara Church Communes with the rest of the Church?  (Read 16954 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: December 28, 2005, 12:13:45 PM »

I'm sure there's a great number of threads on the schism relating to the Indian Orthodox Church, but to be honest, I just can't be bothered reading through all that  Grin. I would like someone to kindly and patiently answer the following for me:

a) How many Indian/Syrian/Malankara Orthodox Churches claim to be the Indian/Syrian/Malankara Orthodox Church? What are their technical names? Who are their respective patriarchs?

b) Are these churches in actual schism i.e. ex-communicated by the other?

c) Which of these churches has maintained communion with the rest of the Orthodox Church?

I'm assuming these should be fairly straightforward questions?

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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2005, 01:51:50 PM »

Oh God, here we go...

I'm sure there's a great number of threads on the schism relating to the Indian Orthodox Church, but to be honest, I just can't be bothered reading through all that  Grin. I would like someone to kindly and patiently answer the following for me:

a) How many Indian/Syrian/Malankara Orthodox Churches claim to be the Indian/Syrian/Malankara Orthodox Church? What are their technical names? Who are their respective patriarchs?

There are two main factions in the Indian Church.  One is the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, unofficially known as the Indian Orthodox Church.  At her head is His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Didimos I, Catholicos of the East and Metropolitan of Malankara.  This Church recognises the spiritual primacy of His Holiness, the Patriarch of Antioch, but defers to the former and the Synod he heads in temporal administrative matters.

The second faction is called variously the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church, the (Malankara) Jacobite Syrian Christian Association, the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church, and the Syrian Orthodox Church in India.  I don't know which of these is the official name, although I suspect it is one of the first two (and even there, I may have botched up the exact terminology).  Its primate, both in terms of spiritual primacy and temporal administrative authority, is His Holiness, the Patriarch of Antioch; its "regional head" (this is not an official title) is His Beatitude, Mar Baselios Thomas I, Catholicos of India. 

Quote
b) Are these churches in actual schism i.e. ex-communicated by the other?

The second faction I named above, via the Syrian Church, views the first faction above as officially excommunicated and schismatic.  The first faction doesn't have the same view about the second.  Hence, the situation is not reciprocal. 

Quote
c) Which of these churches has maintained communion with the rest of the Orthodox Church?

The second faction is in communion with all other Orthodox Churches except the first faction.  The first faction is in communion with all other Orthodox Churches.  It even considers itself in communion with the second faction and the Syrian Church from its own end of the situation, although it is recognised that this is not reciprocal.  As far as I can tell (and I've asked around), all other Orthodox Churches officially take the position that this situation is an internal issue for the Church in India, and so remain in communion with both factions. 

Quote
I'm assuming these should be fairly straightforward questions?

Only if this is as far as you go.  Tongue
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2005, 12:42:20 AM »

How did the division between both churches happen ? Is there any healing efforts ?
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2005, 02:17:36 AM »

"Mor Ephraim" presents a very biased position.  Since he represents the
Indian Orthodox (or Malankara Orthodox Syrian), take whatever he says with a
grain of salt.

The Syrian Orthodox Church of India is fully autonomous.  It offers primacy
to the Patriarch of Antioch, but temporal issues are controled locally by
the Church in India.  The Catholicos of the Syrian Orthodox Christians in
India is His Beautitude Mor Basileos Thomas I.  Often propoganda is spread
by the Indian Orthodox, saying that we have no control of ourselves and that
the Patriarch controls everything.  This is not true.

The other Oriental Orthodox all honor our patriarch and catholicos as
legitimate; there is zero question.  You can see this in the following
photos.

Pope Shenouda with the MJSOC Catholicos:
http://www.stgeorgecheppaud.org/MSCR/JubileePhotos/000345b.jpg

Bishop David with Mor Ivanios of the MJSOC:
http://groups.msn.com/SOCM-FORUM/concelebratedooliturgy2003.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=12

Bishops of the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox (Mor Titus of the MJSOC is the
Indian bishop):
http://ocaphoto.oca.org/PhotoViewer.asp?EID=260&IID=4059&PEID=

The status of the Indian Orthodox is less clear.  We are certainly not in
communion with them, and we do not consider them to be part of the One Holy
Catholic and Apostolic Church.  Bishop David of the Coptic Orthodox Church
holds the same position.

via Mikey

Additionally, please note that the Indian Orthodox church is definitely not in communion with the Patriarch of Antioch, though they are often represented in Oriental Orthodox proceedings. Pope Shenouda cannot possibly be in "official" communion with these schismatic faction accordingly. Some bishops however, respecting the "Eithiopian model," do hold joint meetings with the Indian Orthodox in the United States.
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2005, 02:29:02 AM »

The name of the Syriac Christian Church in India is the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church. This is the church with the canonically ordained Catholicos. Note that the "IOC" was started in 1912 by a deposed Patriarch of Antioch. These schismatics came back into communion in 1964 under Catholicos Augen I. Augen I later split the church again in 1975 by claiming autocephaly and being seated on the "throne of St. Thomas." Their name has changed repeatedly - from Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, to Malankara Orthodox Church, and now, unofficially, the Indian Orthodox Church.

see:
http://catholicose.org/PauloseII/MalankaraChurch.htm
http://catholicose.org/PauloseII/Catholicate.htm
http://catholicose.org/PauloseII/Church_History_Universal.htm

for detailed info written in a neutral style
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2005, 01:53:34 PM »

Hehe.  As soon as I saw Dn. Zach was the newest member, I knew I could find him here.  Welcome, Chemmachen.  I thank you for your clarification regarding the official name of your Church.  Unfortunately, the rest of your post wreaks of the "very biased" nature you accuse my post of. 

Quote
It offers primacy
to the Patriarch of Antioch, but temporal issues are controled locally by
the Church in India.  The Catholicos of the Syrian Orthodox Christians in
India is His Beautitude Mor Basileos Thomas I.  Often propoganda is spread
by the Indian Orthodox, saying that we have no control of ourselves and that
the Patriarch controls everything.  This is not true.

Well, I certainly did not mean to say that your local Synod has no authority whatsoever, but there is a difference between autocephaly and autonomy, and the primary difference is that the local Synod does not have full authority in the latter situation.  They certainly have much authority to govern the affairs of the Church, but not as much as autocephaly.  If you dispute this claim, then I'd say we had both better review canon law. 

Quote
The other Oriental Orthodox all honor our patriarch and catholicos as
legitimate; there is zero question.  You can see this in the following
photos.

Now, if you are implying that I said otherwise, I would say you are wrong.  I never cast doubt on this.

I like the websites, BTW.  They usually have nice photos.  Their content, however, is biased, and ought to be taken with a grain of salt, as you say.     

Quote
The status of the Indian Orthodox is less clear.  We are certainly not in
communion with them, and we do not consider them to be part of the One Holy
Catholic and Apostolic Church.  Bishop David of the Coptic Orthodox Church
holds the same position.

via Mikey

Additionally, please note that the Indian Orthodox church is definitely not in communion with the Patriarch of Antioch, though they are often represented in Oriental Orthodox proceedings. Pope Shenouda cannot possibly be in "official" communion with these schismatic faction accordingly. Some bishops however, respecting the "Eithiopian model," do hold joint meetings with the Indian Orthodox in the United States.

I like the cooperative spirit.  Smiley

I do know about H.G. David, and thought about mentioning that, but hesitated.  Since you have brought it up, I will offer my own two cents.  I have spoken with Copts in the NE United States, and the opinion seems to be that Bp. David's position is at least partly influenced by his friendship with H.E. Mor Kyrillos Aphrem Karim, the Syrian Archbishop in New Jersey.  I have asked other diocesan bishops of the Coptic Church in the US (I have heard from Copts that H.G. David is not the head of a diocese), and they have confirmed--one in writing--that the official position of the Coptic Church is as I stated above in my original post. 

What is H.H. Pope Shenouda's opinion?  Well, it doesn't seem like he is coming out and saying anything.  All I have to go on is what bishops in his Synod have told me is the Church's official position.  It is also interesting that no one in the Syrian/Jacobite Church seems to care about the opinion of the other OO Churches.  Everyone talks about the Copts, but you never hear about the Armenians, Ethiopians, etc.  What is their opinion?

As for whether the IOC is part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church because of our lack of communion with the Syrian Church, I'm not terribly worried if you claim we are not.  After all, as I recall the Orthodox Church is not in communion with the Roman Catholic Church, but you are, albeit in a "limited" sense.  If RC's are OK, then I should think the IOC is OK, unless you can demonstrate that the latter has fallen further away from the Orthodox faith than the former.       

Quote
The name of the Syriac Christian Church in India is the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church. This is the church with the canonically ordained Catholicos. Note that the "IOC" was started in 1912 by a deposed Patriarch of Antioch. These schismatics came back into communion in 1964 under Catholicos Augen I. Augen I later split the church again in 1975 by claiming autocephaly and being seated on the "throne of St. Thomas." Their name has changed repeatedly - from Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, to Malankara Orthodox Church, and now, unofficially, the Indian Orthodox Church.

The bolding is mine, and reflects where I think the bias is in your post (I won't even discuss the websites).  Note that I don't question the issues surrounding what happened in 1912.  I have my own opinion of them, but I am not competent enough to dogmatise about it, and think you can argue the IOC position with or without it. 
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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2005, 01:59:07 PM »

On a more official note, as a site administrator, I will have to advise you to be careful about the way you address Churches.  You are free to refer to the IOC as IOC or by its official name, and you are free to say that your Church's position is that they are schismatic, but "these schismatics" is not going to promote healthy, peaceful discussion.  I am aware that those aren't your words, but Mikey's, but just be aware of that.  Probably you think this is convenient since I belong to one side and have some measure of power here that you, on the other side, do not.  I will try to hold myself to the same standard, and know there's a whole moderatorial team which will make sure I behave myself.  Smiley

God's blessings to you during this Christmas season.  If you see George, tell him I said hello. 
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2005, 08:05:30 PM »

Well, I certainly did not mean to say that your local Synod has no authority whatsoever, but there is a difference between autocephaly and autonomy, and the primary difference is that the local Synod does not have full authority in the latter situation.ÂÂ  They certainly have much authority to govern the affairs of the Church, but not as much as autocephaly.ÂÂ  If you dispute this claim, then I'd say we had both better review canon law.ÂÂ  

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church as per it own church constitution considers the Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church as its Spiritual Head.  Is this something new in the Oriental Orthodox Churches to have the head of another church as the Spiritual Head of its own Church???  Huh

Mor Ephrem, throwing mud at another church is a very childish way to gain a stand for one's own church.  It is like a child going around saying that all his friend's mother's are bad to claim that his own mother is good.

Insted why dont you tell us what your church has acheived as a church so far.
I searched the internet and was not able to find anything related on what this Indian Orthodox Church has acheived on its own.  Please shead some light into this mater.  So please tell us what this great church of yours has achieved on its own  Wink
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2005, 08:43:01 PM »

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church as per it own church constitution considers the Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church as its Spiritual Head.  Is this something new in the Oriental Orthodox Churches to have the head of another church as the Spiritual Head of its own Church???  Huh

I don't think it has ever been interpreted as anything other than the respect with which the Ethiopian Church might look to the Coptic Pope (ignoring their politics, of which I am largely unaware). 

Quote
Mor Ephrem, throwing mud at another church is a very childish way to gain a stand for one's own church.  It is like a child going around saying that all his friend's mother's are bad to claim that his own mother is good.

If you will show me where I threw mud at the Jacobite Church, I will gladly retract it and explain what I meant in a better way.  But I am unaware of where I might have done that, and personally am of the opinion that you are looking for mud where it doesn't exist. 

Quote
Insted why dont you tell us what your church has acheived as a church so far.
I searched the internet and was not able to find anything related on what this Indian Orthodox Church has acheived on its own.  Please shead some light into this mater.  So please tell us what this great church of yours has achieved on its own  Wink

I could ask this of you, but this game is childish.  Instead, why don't you tell me what you mean by this question? 
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2005, 10:45:43 PM »

cmon guys , this is called a non polemical forum.  let us be true to that. 

surely we have some left over christmas cheer to share.

regards

suraj iype
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2005, 10:48:42 PM »

I could ask this of you, but this game is childish.ÂÂ  Instead, why don't you tell me what you mean by this question?ÂÂ  

I was just wondering what the Indian Orthodox Church has accomplished in its years of existence. ÂÂ
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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2005, 10:53:33 PM »

I don't think it has ever been interpreted as anything other than the respect with which the Ethiopian Church might look to the Coptic Pope (ignoring their politics, of which I am largely unaware).ÂÂ  

And I pray to God to open your eyes so that you could realise how much respect you and your church is giving to your Spiritual Head.
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« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2005, 12:46:40 AM »

Note that I don't question the issues surrounding what happened in 1912.  I have my own opinion of them, but I am not competent enough to dogmatise about it, and think you can argue the IOC position with or without it. 

Dear Mor Ephrem,

Here are a list of events that led to 1912:

1902 - The Malankara Synod met under the then Malankara Metropolitan Pulikottil Mor Dionysius and elected two Bishop designates.

1905 - The Syriac Orthodox Synod of Antioch deposed Patriarch Abdul Masih II and enthroned Patriarch Abd Allah II in his place. This decision of the SOC Synod was communicated to Malankara and the Malankara Synod also accepted H.H Abd Allah II as the legitimate Patriarch of Antioch. (There are many reasons given for why H.H Abdul Masih II was deposed. The most common reason that I have heard is that he became mentally challenged and could not carry out his duties as the Patriarch of Antioch. What ever be the reason, this was a decision taken by the Syriac Orthodox Synod of Antioch and accepted by the Malanaka (Indian) Synod)

1908 - The two Bishop elects from India (elected in 1902) traveled to the Middle East and were ordained as Bishops Mor Dionysius Geevarghese (Wattesseril Thirumeni) and Mor Kurilose Paulose (Kochuparambil Thirumeni) respectively by the legitimate Patriarch of Antioch H.H Abd Allah II

1909 - The head of the Malankara Synod, the Malankara Metropolitan Pulikottil Mor Dionysius passed away. In his place the newly ordained Bishop Mor Dionysius Geevarghese (Wattesseril Thirumeni) was installed as the Malankara Metropolitan.

A request was placed by the new Malankara Metropolitan to the Patriarch of Antioch and to the Synod of Antioch to grant autocephaly to the Malankara Church and to establish a Catholicate of the East for Malankara. This request was rejected by the Patriarch and the Synod of Antioch.

1911 - As per the tradition of the Malankara (Indian) Church, the temporal affairs of the church is to be jointly administered by the Metropolitan Trustee (the Malankara Metropolitan), the Priest Trustee and the Lay Trustee. The new Malankara Metropolitan insisted on handling the finances of the church himself. This created serious differences of opinion between the new Malankara Metropolitan Mor Dionysius Geevarghese (Wattesseril Thirumeni) and the Priest Trustee Rev Fr. Konatt Mathen Malpan and the Lay Trustee Mr. C.J Kurian.  This forced the Priest Trustee and the Lay Trustee to complain to the Patriarch of Antioch about the new Malankara Metropolitan. As per this complaint H.H Abd Allah II started interfering in the temporal administration of the Malankara Church, contrary to all prior norms where the Patriarch of Antioch only was the spiritual authority in Malankara and no temporal authority. Naturally the new Malankara Metropolitan was unhappy with Patriarch siding with the Priest Trustee and the Lay Trustee. The Malankara Metropolitan stated openly defying the instructions of the Patriarch. This prompted the Patriarch to excommunicate the Malankara Metropolitan. The Patriarch had the full support of the Malankara Synod for this action. At that time there were five Bishops in the Malankara Synod. They are:

1) Mor Geevarghese Divanasious (Wattesseril Thirumeni) - Malankara Metropolitan
2) Mor Kurillos Paulose(Kochuparambil Thirumeni)
3) Mor Athanasius Paulose (Aluva Valiya Thirumeni)
4) Geevarghese Mor Sevarios (Edavazhikkal)
5) Murimattathil Mor Ivanious

Of these five Bishops, the remaining four (2 to 5) sided with the Patriarch and elected Mor Kurilos Paulose (Kochuparambil Thirumeni) as the Malankara Metropolitan.

Even though the Synod unanimously sided with the Patriarch, a sizable number of laity and priests sided with the excommunicated Malankara Metropolitan, whom they saw was defending the Malankara Church from the interference in its temperal matters by a foreign Patriarch. Those who sided with the excommunicated Malankara Metropolitan were predominantly from the Southern Diocese of Malankara and were known as Metran Kakshi. Those who sided with the Malankara Synod and the Patriarch Bava were predominantly from the Northern Diocese and were known as Bava Kakshi.

1912 - The excommunicated Malankara Metropolitan contacted the deposed (in 1905) Patriarch Abdul Masih II. The deposed Patriarch vacated the excommunication. Mor Dionysius Geevarghese (Wattesseril Thirumeni) also requested the deposed Patriarch to establish a Catholicate in Malankara. One of the four Bishops who originally sided with  H.H Abd Allah II, 5) Murimattathil Mor Ivanious (#5 from the list above) switched side and agreed to be the Catholicate designate.  So there was a deposed Patriarch and an excommunicated Malankara Metropolitain who wanted to elevate Murimattathil Mor Ivanious as Catholicose.  The problem was atleast three Bishops are required to enthrone a Bishop as Catholicose. From the entire Malankara Synod other than the candidate for Catholicate nobody supported this move. They obviously needed one more Bishop. They solved this problem. The three of them namely the deposed Patriarch Abdul Masih II, the excommunicated Malankara Metropolitan Mor Dionysius Geevarghese (Wattesseril Thirumeni) and the Catholicose Designate Murimattathil Mor Ivanious first ordained a priest as Bishop (with out any Synod's approval or election). Then in turn this new Bishop, the depose Patriarch and the excommunicated Malankara Metropolitan enthroned Murimattathil Mor Ivanious as Baselious Paulose I, the Catholicose of the East.

This is how in 1912 the Catholicate of the East, came into existence. The Catholicote was established with out any sanction from either the Syriac Orthodox Synod of Antioch or from the Malankara Synod.

Even though H.G  Mor Dionysius Geevarghese (Wattesseril Thirumeni) was excommunicated in 1913, the excommunication was officially lifted by the legitimate Patriarch of Antioch, H.H Ignatious Elias III (Manjanikkara Bava) in 1931.

The Indian Orthodox Church claims it obtained autocephaly in 1912, by viture of the establishment of the Catholicate. My issue is not with the Church in India (Malankara) gaining autocephaly. Most likely the Malankara Church deserves autocephaly. My issue is the way it was gained. The autocephaly was claimed, without the approval of the Synod in Malankara nor with the Synod of Antioch. The Patriarch of Antioch (even if you argue that the deposed Patriarch was valid) cannot by himself establish an institution of Catholicate without the authorization and approval of his Synod.

I have tried to present the facts here as unbiased as possible. If any of the dates or facts I have presented above is wrong, please point it out with proof and I will stand corrected.

In Christ,
Mathew G M
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« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2005, 03:24:40 AM »

Wait.  I thought Matthew777 said in another thread that there were no politics in the Indian Church...   Smiley

Seriously, this thread has gotten way off topic.  It now seems to be rehashing issues already addressed in some earlier threads.  (Look in this forum's archives at June and March of this year.)  Please try to stay on the original topic of this thread.  If you want to discuss other issues, please start another thread, be polite, and make sure you don't just repeat the points already made before. 

I am not even going to pretend I understand the schism you are discussing.  I belong to the Armenian Church, which has a number of mind boggling--and embarrassing--problems of its own.  I know how painful and infuriating these things can be.  However, I also know that my Church's problems are not going to be resolved by airing them on a discussion forum for all to see.  Likewise, I also don't believe that your Church's schism is going to be resolved here.

I don't know about the Indian Orthodox, but the Armenians celebrate Christmas in just a little over a week from now.  Let's get into the spirit of the season and not display any bitterness on this board right now.
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« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2005, 08:51:00 AM »

I don't know about the Indian Orthodox, but the Armenians celebrate Christmas in just a little over a week from now.ÂÂ  Let's get into the spirit of the season and not display any bitterness on this board right now.
I keep telling you: it's the Purple Demons!!!
I'm sure this is all the work of the "Purple Demons" which our Spiritual Mothers and Fathers told us about.
For those who don't know, the "Purple Demons" are special demons sent to tempt people into strife and arguments. They are released from Hell only during the 4 major Fasts (Lent, The Apostles Fast, the Dormition Fast and Advent). But don't worry, the sound of the Bells or talanton on Pascha, the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the Dormition and Christmas sends them scurrying back to Hell.
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« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2005, 11:17:30 AM »

I have tried to present the facts here as unbiased as possible. If any of the dates or facts I have presented above is wrong, please point it out with proof and I will stand corrected.

Dear Mathew,

Thank you for your post.  I will try and check my sources to verify the claims you make: it's not that I don't trust you specifically, I simply don't trust anyone--IOC or SOC--to tell the whole truth in these matters.  Nevertheless, facts are facts if proven to be so.  I've heard this version of the story before, and it still doesn't really change my mind.  I could theoretically accept that all this is true wholeheartedly, reject such awful beginnings, and still side with the IOC based on proper canonical principles.  I've tried to do that in prior posts, and so people who are interested should look there.

I would like to thank you especially for the polite way in which you expressed your views.  I wish more members of your Church who are active online could conduct themselves in the way you have here.   
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« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2005, 11:26:20 AM »

I was just wondering what the Indian Orthodox Church has accomplished in its years of existence. 

Whatever comprehensive list of "good works" I could come up with to satisfy you would only lead you to provide a similar list attempting to establish that your Church has done more, when I think we can both claim to have done a similar amount.  I could also say that any lack of progress has been because our Malayalee people like to constantly shoot themselves in the foot with litigation and church politics.  In the end, I think this particular line is unfruitful.  Much of the problem in India, I believe, is because our two Churches are so much alike, and human beings tend to agitate against that which is most like them.   

Quote
And I pray to God to open your eyes so that you could realise how much respect you and your church is giving to your Spiritual Head.

I disagree with people in my Church who would disrespect the Patriarch in any way, and I can honestly say I've never met anyone who disrespected him; they may have issues with some of his policies (more probably, they have the policies of his autonomous Indian flock in mind, and criticise him because he's the top official), but not with him or his office per se.  However, I suspect we may be operating with two different definitions of "respect".

Anyway, sir knight, don't you have some other dragons to slay?  Tongue 
« Last Edit: December 30, 2005, 11:27:24 AM by Mor Ephrem » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2005, 12:07:29 PM »

Mor Ephrem (Phil)

Thank you for your kind welcome. I am not interested in making enemies here. Generally I wish you and everyone well. As a clergyman, however, I have a duty to the truth.

I hope you will understand that when I come across people like you that bury their head in the sand when it comes to "the truth" about the history of your church, it "lights my fire". Others in this thread have presented clear facts about the history of your church. Yet you try to mislead people from other Oriental Orthodox Churches into thinking that your church was legitimately formed and in complete harmony with the rest of orthdoxy.

You say you have not "heard enough to change your mind." You present no argument "of Christian substance" to back your claims of autocephaly, much less locking up churches, accepting Bishops who "jump ship with property," and your "respect" for the church outside India.

Aside from your support of a church bent on destroying the Malankara Jacobite Church in order to cement legitimacy, I am sure you're a nice guy. At least George has told me so in the past. So, I wish you well, but I hope you wake up one day. Jesus is not the Lord of schism, but of unity.

Earlier, you made some statements saying that the IOC Catholicose is well respected by the other Oriental Orthodox hierarchs. I posted links that showed pictures of Jacobite bishops and Catholicose with these hierarchs. Can you produce any?

I want to make clear to the other Orthodox church members in this forum that  Indian Orthodox Church hierarchs are never invited to participate in the highest level meetings and joint declarations. To suport my claim, see the press release below detailing the latest ecumenical meeting:

Heads of Oriental Orthodox Churches Conclude their Eighth Meeting, December
9-10, 2005, with a Common Declaration

The Common Declaration signed by their Holinesses, Pope Shenouda III, Patriarch
Mar Ignatius Zakka I and Catholicos Aram I, reaffirmed their unity of faith
based on common doctrinal position and theological teachings and manifested
through Eucharistic communion and other sacraments of the Church.

The three Heads of churches reaffirmed their commitment to the ecumenical
movement both through the World Council of Churches and the Middle East Council
of Churches. In their solidarity and unity of faith, they feel responsible to
strive for the unity of all the churches, in the region and other parts of the
world.

It is with the same spirit that their churches are actively engaged in bilateral
theological dialogues with Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican and Reformed Churches
which will further spell out the authenticity and orthodoxy of the
Christological teachings of the Oriental Orthodox Churches.

Together they called for the preservation of the sacredness and integrity of the
Christian Family, an institution established by God, hence condemning all
practices and behaviors related to marriage and sexual orientation that are not
in accord with biblical and moral teachings.

They reaffirmed the importance of inter-religious dialogue, underlining that
Christian-Muslim Dialogue has been an integral part of the history, civilization
and culture of the Middle East. With the prevailing situation and developments
in the region, this dialogue of life should be enhanced to develop mutual
respect and understanding between Christian and Muslim teachers, scholars and
community leaders.

They appealed to their communities living in different parts of the world to
remain firmly attached to their native lands by supporting initiatives and
actions that promote Peace with justice in the Middle East, highlighting the
role their respective churches have played in this respect. The peace process
must continue they said and UN Security Council resolutions must be implemented
by Israel, and Iraq should regain its independence, integrity and sovereignty.
Only full justice will bring a real, permanent and comprehensive peace in the
region.

Condemning all forms and expressions of violence, Heads of churches stressed
that Religion in its essence is a promoter of love, hope and reconciliation.
They appealed to their churches worldwide to remain faithful to the gospel
committing themselves to give renewed efficiency and vitality to the witness of
their churches.

The full text of the Common Declaration is posted on the MECC website at:
www.mec-churches.org <http://www.mec-churches.org/>
-------------
WHERE WAS MOR DYDIMOS 1? Grin
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« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2005, 12:28:14 PM »

Again to Phil,

I just want to be clear on this matter. When I use the term "you" in my posts, I am not necessarily referring to Phil, or any other individual. But if you support the IOC Catholicose, who is under excommunication, then you support the actions of the IOC church, which includes strife, appropriating property built by others, locking up churches, making up history as time progresses, and driving spirituality and the unity of the faith from S. India.

Would there be a Pentecostal presence in S. India if Mor Vaterseril (or Mor Augen 1) stayed with the true faith? These hierarchs sweared an oath to remain obiedient to the Patriarch of Antioch when they were ordained, just as any deacon swears an oath to the bishop consecrating them. In the oath, they pronounce anathema upon themselves if they break alliegiance. How can one in their right mind support oath breakers? Their struggles have gained the faith nothing, since the Jacobite Church is autonomous (and always has been). But we not only respect our Syriac fathers, brothers and sisters - we honor and love them, and wish to enlarge the common Kingdom of God which we share.

If you haven't met anyone who "doesn't respect the Patriarch" then your head is in the sand.

Would Mor Ephrem the Syriac poet and scholar have sided with the IOC? Have you, Phil, even thought about this when you chose your handle? Maybe you will follow in the footsteps of your handlesake one day and simply wake up?
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« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2005, 01:39:47 PM »

Mor Ephrem (Phil)

Thank you for your kind welcome. I am not interested in making enemies here. Generally I wish you and everyone well. As a clergyman, however, I have a duty to the truth.

Dear Dn. Zach,

I fully understand and support your "duty to the truth" as a clergyman.  But I also think that clergymen shouldn't be so impassioned about church politics, no matter what their faction.  As someone considering the clerical life, I'm cognizant of some of my failings as a layperson, and try to hold myself to such a clerical standard even now, as practice for the future (not that I'm a good example).  I think if clergymen on both sides sought holiness instead of fomenting discord, we'd be in a better situation today. 

Quote
I hope you will understand that when I come across people like you that bury their head in the sand when it comes to "the truth" about the history of your church, it "lights my fire". Others in this thread have presented clear facts about the history of your church. Yet you try to mislead people from other Oriental Orthodox Churches into thinking that your church was legitimately formed and in complete harmony with the rest of orthdoxy.

Please don't misinterpret my posts.  I don't think I've ever tried to "mislead people into thinking that my church was legitimately formed".  I don't know all the details, and quite frankly don't trust the people who claim they do.  I'm quite happy to take as a given your church's position on the formation of our jurisdiction as a given in these debates, for argument's sake.  I don't think it diminishes my position, however. 

Only Mathew G M has presented anything close to "clear facts", and with due respect to him, I would like to check them out for myself.  What "lights my fire" is that people on both sides twist the facts to suit their agenda to such an extent that I can't trust anything anyone says.  What you and kefa have posted are "facts", mixed with a liberal dose of polemic, he more than you. 

To the question of "complete harmony", I can only say what other Oriental Orthodox leaders have told me is their Church's position on this problem.   

Quote
You say you have not "heard enough to change your mind." You present no argument "of Christian substance" to back your claims of autocephaly, much less locking up churches, accepting Bishops who "jump ship with property," and your "respect" for the church outside India.

You would like to paint all of us with one brush because it's easier for you to deal with.  Unfortunately, you don't know me.  I don't like locking up churches (although I recognise it as the fruit of Christians taking each other to court instead of dispassionately settling their affairs amongst themselves, acknowledging that the saints will one day judge the world), I take no position on bishops who "jump ship with property" (I'm not sure, for instance, who owns property...the diocesan bishop or the "Church"), and I respect the Church outside India.  I even respect your leaders, although this doesn't prevent me from disagreeing with them.  Ask George about the time I met your bishop this past semester, who I met first when he was still a priest.  You will find no disrespect there.  Keep looking, and you will still not find it. 

The problem is that some people on your side seem to interpret "disagreement" as "disrespect".   

Quote
Aside from your support of a church bent on destroying the Malankara Jacobite Church in order to cement legitimacy, I am sure you're a nice guy. At least George has told me so in the past. So, I wish you well, but I hope you wake up one day. Jesus is not the Lord of schism, but of unity.

I agree, but this is a double-edged sword: it works both ways. 

Quote
Earlier, you made some statements saying that the IOC Catholicose is well respected by the other Oriental Orthodox hierarchs. I posted links that showed pictures of Jacobite bishops and Catholicose with these hierarchs. Can you produce any?

I didn't say "well respected", I said "in communion".  There is a difference: the former relates to human relations, the latter to canonical status. 

The request for pictures is juvenile.  First off, we don't tend to put all our photos online like you do.  I'd have to track down photos, scan them in, etc.  Second, anyone can make their own photos these days, and anyone can question their authenticity.  I'm not saying that this is the case with the photos you provided, but I am simply making the point that pictures alone don't necessarily prove anything.  I can find pictures of the Patriarch and your late Catholicos Baselios Paulos II with the Pope of Rome, but that doesn't mean you're all Roman Catholics in Syrian drag. 

Quote
I want to make clear to the other Orthodox church members in this forum that  Indian Orthodox Church hierarchs are never invited to participate in the highest level meetings and joint declarations. To suport my claim, see the press release below detailing the latest ecumenical meeting:

Heads of Oriental Orthodox Churches Conclude their Eighth Meeting, December
9-10, 2005, with a Common Declaration

The Common Declaration signed by their Holinesses, Pope Shenouda III, Patriarch
Mar Ignatius Zakka I and Catholicos Aram I, reaffirmed their unity of faith
based on common doctrinal position and theological teachings and manifested
through Eucharistic communion and other sacraments of the Church.

WHERE WAS MOR DYDIMOS 1? Grin

Good question.  Here are some other good questions.  Where was the Catholicos of Etchmiadzin?  Where was the Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church?  Where was the Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Church?  By your logic, I would also have to say that they are not invited to the "highest level meetings and joint declarations", and so, like the Indian Orthodox Church, are not part of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.  Thankfully, your logic is erroneous.

You would do well to admit that this meeting was not a meeting of the Oriental Orthodox Churches unqualified, but a meeting of the Oriental Orthodox leaders in the Middle East.  This also explains why the leader of your autonomous Church was not represented.

All of us--clerics and laity--have a "duty to the truth".   
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« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2005, 01:51:49 PM »

Again to Phil,

I just want to be clear on this matter. When I use the term "you" in my posts, I am not necessarily referring to Phil, or any other individual. But if you support the IOC Catholicose, who is under excommunication, then you support the actions of the IOC church, which includes strife, appropriating property built by others, locking up churches, making up history as time progresses, and driving spirituality and the unity of the faith from S. India.

Again, just because I am a member of the IOC doesn't mean I necessarily support all its actions.  But there is a warped notion of "obedience" that I discern from my dealings with Jacobite faithful, whether online or in person, and this makes your reaction understandable.   

Anyway, the actions you cite are riddled with polemic the way you have described them.  The situation is much more complex oftentimes than we'd like to admit.  Making things simpler is more "useful". 

Quote
Would there be a Pentecostal presence in S. India if Mor Vaterseril (or Mor Augen 1) stayed with the true faith? These hierarchs sweared an oath to remain obiedient to the Patriarch of Antioch when they were ordained, just as any deacon swears an oath to the bishop consecrating them. In the oath, they pronounce anathema upon themselves if they break alliegiance. How can one in their right mind support oath breakers? Their struggles have gained the faith nothing, since the Jacobite Church is autonomous (and always has been). But we not only respect our Syriac fathers, brothers and sisters - we honor and love them, and wish to enlarge the common Kingdom of God which we share.

I think there would be a Pentecostal presence in India right now with or without the infighting among Orthodox.  There are other places in the world where Pentecostals and other heterodox groups are making inroads even without infighting among Orthodox.

The issue of faithfulness to vows comes up every so often, and like other issues is painted in a way so as to make one side look immaculate and the other look whorish.  Unfortunately, the truth is probably a lot less clear cut. 

And what do you mean by "wish to enlarge the common Kingdom of God which we share"?  Certainly, we don't think they--or you--are going to hell for any of this, although I wish I could say this was reciprocal.  I think our disagreement with the Syrians and a lot of the politics fomented in India prevents some from showing love for the Syrians (and more probably your faction in India), but I don't seriously think anyone hates them.  We respect them, we honour them, but we disagree with them, and this is where it becomes hard to see "love".  I don't necessarily think you as a faction "hate" us, although it is hard sometimes to see your "love".   

No one can claim to be a good Christian in any of this. 

Quote
If you haven't met anyone who "doesn't respect the Patriarch" then your head is in the sand.

No, it means I haven't met anyone who disrespects the Patriarch.  I've met plenty who disagree with some of his policies, or those of his autonomous flock in India.  Again, you must be equating the two. 

Quote
Would Mor Ephrem the Syriac poet and scholar have sided with the IOC? Have you, Phil, even thought about this when you chose your handle? Maybe you will follow in the footsteps of your handlesake one day and simply wake up?

Back in the days of St. Ephrem, this problem did not exist.  Why be anachronistic? 
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A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
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« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2005, 02:27:13 PM »

Ozgeorge,

I think there is something to be said for those purple demons.  Every December I notice people getting more and more cranky. 

To my Indian brothers,

If you want to debate these issues, that's fine.  Just try to keep it polite.
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« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2005, 07:40:20 PM »

Ozgeorge,

I think there is something to be said for those purple demons.  Every December I notice people getting more and more cranky.

Maybe it's overflow from the shopping.  People get downright evil shopping for Christmas gifts. 

We'll try to be good, Salpy.  Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2005, 03:05:26 AM »

LOL!!!

Purple demons!  I'll remember that.  That is hilarious.

I'm a moderator of a popular forum website, so if you don't mind, ozgeorge, I'd like to use that...lol

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #24 on: January 01, 2006, 02:24:32 AM »

LOL!!!

Purple demons!ÂÂ  I'll remember that.ÂÂ  That is hilarious.

I'm a moderator of a popular forum website, so if you don't mind, ozgeorge, I'd like to use that...lol

God bless.

Mina

Of course you can use it......It is an undeniable fact!
You watch, when Lent comes round, things will get nasty again, and I will post the message to you: "Hey Mina, remember what I said about Purple Demons?"
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« Reply #25 on: January 01, 2006, 09:46:19 PM »

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
A century-old deceit and double-mindedness by the called ones who were called to serve the Lord and to spread the Word of the Lord to the faithful.

The 'Malankara Edavaka Panchangam - 1908', by Geevarghese Ramban (Late Mor Baselius Geevarghese I)

""And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. The Antiochean Apostolic Throne bearer with the venerable name Abdedaloho, H.H. Ignatius Patriarch governs the Holy Church"

This was published in the year 1908, after Mor Abdul Messiah was removed from his position as the Patriarch and H.H. Ignatius Abdedaloho (Abdullah) Patriarch was governing the Church.  This Clearly shows the devotion and submission of the Late Mor Baselius Geevarghese I ("IOC SAINT DESIGNATE") towards H.H. Ignatius Abdedaloho.  But later in 1912 the same Geevarghese Ramban received ordination from the excommunicated Mor Abdul Messiah.  It is very ironical that nothing about the throne of St. Thomas is mentioned in here. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
'Mathopadeshasaarangal', by Mor Geevarghese Divannasius Vattaserril

"The primal and complete ecclesiastical authority of the Holy Church rests in the Patriarch of the throne of Antioch, H.H. Mor Ignatius."

This was recently changed by the IOC faction to flatter the faithful according to their wish and will.  In the same book, Mor Vattaserril (The present saint of IOC) describes about the after effects if some one gets excommunicated from the Church.  "If some one is found guilty of his doings, he has to be excommunicated.  Once excommunicated, he is not supposed to participate in any sacraments of the Holy Church, and the faithful should not participate in any sacraments offered by the alleged person." 

Mor Vattaserril was ordained as a Metropolitan in 1908, by H.H. Mor Ignatius Abdedaloho, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East.  But due to his wrong doings, Mor Vattaserril was excommunicated from the Church in 1911, by the same Patriarch.  In the life history book written by Z.M.Parett, 'Vattaseril Mor Deevannasius', pg. 464 says that Mor Vattaseril after being excommunicated did not offer the Holy Qurbano or participate in any holy sacraments for a while.  Again, it is ironical that some one who was excommunicated from the church was later canonized as a Saint to the same degree of St. Gregorios.   

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   
Murimattom Mor Ivanios ( Mor Baselius Poulose I)

Was ordained in 1876 by the Patriarch of Antioch and was loyal to the Church until 1911.  He was present in the meeting that decided to replace Mor Vattasseril by H.G. Mor Koorilose as the Malankara Metropolitan.  Mor Murimattom organized the necessary things needed for the Mooron Sanctification at the Aluva Thrikunnathu Seminary by H.H. Ignatius Abdedaloho in 1911.  Mor Murimattom even sent a Metropolitan Bull to all the churches requesting their presence and support.  The bull started as:
 
"From Metropolitan Mor Ivanios as instructed by our Holy Father the Patriarch H.H. Mor Ignatius Abdedaloho."

 But in 1912 he was ordained as the Catholicose by Mor Abdul Messiah, the non-canonical Patriarch.  It is ironical that this Mor Abdul Messiah while he was on the throne wrote a bull that was a reply for every one who requested for the re-establishment of the Catholicate in India.  The bull said, ""Cursed is the one who even thought of this treacherous thought."

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Ougen Mor Themothios ( Mor Baselius Ougen)

Ougen Mor Themothios was ordained as the Catholicose of the East by H.H. Mor Iganatius Yakub III, the Patriarch of Antioch on May 22, 1964.  During the ordination Mor Ougen was made to wear a white rob and had a Shosappa over his head which was rare scene that any one would see at the ordination of a Catholicose.  Mor Ougen's salmoosa:

" I the feeble and meek Ougen Mor Themothios, chosen for ecclesiastical office of the Catholicose, confess my belief before this synod and before the Head of this synod, H.H. Moran Mor Ignatius Yakub III, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, that the Patriarch is my Head, that I accept from St. Peter, the Head of the Holy Apostles upto your Holiness all the canonical Patriarchs who have reigned on your Holiness's throne and all those who come after Your Holiness.  Once again, I repeat my canonical connection with the Holy throne of Antioch.  I swear that I shall no depart from this solemn Oath". 

But after achieving the office of the Catholicate, the doings of Mor Baselius Ougen and the oath he took were absolutely contradictory.  But, think about this.  How can a High priest deviate from the oath that he took inside the burning altar of the Holy God?  " Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; and do not love a false oath.  For all these are things that I hate, says the Lord"- Zechariah 8:17

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« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2006, 01:27:51 PM »

 Stavro, Rev Deacon and Kefa,
I will leave it up to our Jacobite brothers to explain what happened between 1912-1958. We also have our own opinion of 1912.


 As of the Supreme Court Verdict of 1958, the judgment was in favor of the Catholicos (methran) party.  it was the final verdict in this long series of litigations.  After the '58 verdict was implemented, the bishops of the former Patriarchal faction lost all rights and privileges.  It  is then the four bishops of the (patriarchal) faction had to submit to the Catholicos and the Malankara Metropolitan (as  per the judgment.  The bishops included : Mor Gregorios Gheevarghese(Valiyamparambil), Mor Severios Paulose, Mor Abhraham Clemis, and Mor Paulos Philexinos.  After the verdict was implemented, this verdict could no longer be questioned.   The former patriarchal party must pay all the financial debts to the courts.  The then Catholicose, geevarghese II, did not allow this to happen because we were one church at the time.  The peace was completed once the Catholicos and Patriarch accepted each other.  The Patriarch, represented by Mor Yulios Elias,  accepted the Catholicos unconditionally (he had no other choice) and Catholicos accepted the Patriarch subject to the Constitution of the Church.
        Fact:  This constitution limits the authority of the Patriarch as well as the Catholicose.  It gives the power to the Synod and puts the Synod as the final authority.  But it does offer the Patriarch all Primacy honors and due appropriate respect.  A patriarch who is recognized by the Malankara Synod is to preside over the Catholicose Installation and vice versa.  He is not allowed to do anything in Malankara without the permission of the Synod, which includes coming to Kerala as well as ordaining.
        After the mutual acceptance of the Catholicose and Patriarch, the first United meeting of the one Holy Orthodox was convened in St Mary's Church, Puthencavu.  It is the here where the most blessed Paulos Mor Philexinos (H.B Paulose II) publicly declares "until the moon and stars shine, we shall be under the banner of Catholicate."  (Please tell the Very Rev. kuriakose Moolayayil Achen to add Mor Philexinos  name to his book) because a few weeks later, he led the Antiochian movement.  Now what is the Antiochian Movement?  people who were unhappy with verdict of 1958 came together under the leadership of Mor Paulos Philixenos.  This was a very small group at that time led by only one of the four bishops that came over.     As we can see the other three bishops (mor Gregorios, Sverios, and Clemis) stood with the decision of the Synod.  So the synod decided to expel Paulose Mor Philexinos for his Anti-Synodol actions.  The Patriarch played the role of non-interference, even though he desired Peace since his installation as Patriarch.  The synod decided that Mor Philexinos was not allowed to enter any of the 1064 church or to ordain anyone.  However, some of the Churches welcomed him and Mor Philexenos went around ordaining people.  Some of them include Dn Eapen Ezhumelil ( now Very Rev Chor Episcops Eapen Ezhumelil) and Dn John Jacob (yuhannon Mor Philexinos) Dn Thomas (thomas mor Themotheos) just to name a few faces.
          There were many people of the former Patriarch Party  who were unhappy with the actions of Paulose Mor Philexinos.  Even some of them were dead against him and stood with the side of the Catholicos.  This included Fr CM Thomas (now HB Thomas).
         So the church continues like this for another 5 years and Catholicose Gheevarghese II passes away.  Now, as per the Constitution  During the Installation of the Catholicose, if there is Patriarch who is recognized by the malankara synod, he has the right and privilege to preside over the installation." It was the Malankara Synod who elevates the Catholicos and the Patriarch is who presides over it.   The Malankara Synod chose Augen Mor Theimotheos unanimously as Catholicose-designate.
             Brief History of Augen Mor Timotheos:  baptized by the name Mathew, later tonsured Augen after staying at Mor Augen Monastery.  Spent much of his time with sleeba Mor Osthatios and traveled through the Middle East spending much time with Patriarch Abdulla  and Patriarch Abdul Messiah.  During his stay, he acquired great scholarship the Syriac language.  He is considered one of the greatest Syriac scholars of the 20th century.  Many greats have acquired their elementary knowledge of syriac from him.  Especially mentionable by name are Malankara Malpans Chor Episcops Abraham Konnatu (son of the konnatu Mathan Malpan Chor Episcopa)  and Kannyamparmabil Kurien Chor Episcopa.  Rabban Augen was one of the last sharbos of malankara ( the last one I believe was Abby Pathicaal Rabban, Mor Tithos)  After realizing the need for Independence, Augen Mor Timotheos  came over  to the Catholicate faction in 1942 as a  with many followers from the Kandanadu Diocese which include the American Diocese Metropolitan Mor Barnabas.  After coming over, he was severely beaten in Piravom during Holy week.
             His Holiness Patriarch Yacub III arrived or returned to in Kerala in 1964 and presided over the elevation Mor Augen Mor Timeotheos as Catholicose Augen I.   Patriarch Yacub III was born in 1912 and was the Abbot of Majinakkaro dayro in Kerala for many years.  He was aware of the schism that erupted in Malankara (kerala).  He knew Malayalam and was a master of the beth Gazo.  He was Mor Severios Yacub for several years until he became Patriarch.
             Catholicose Augen I- There are some who claim his Shalmoosa (oath) was to the Malankara Synod and others claim it was to the Patriarch of Antioch. I do not trust any fabricated forms of the document. A shalmoosa pledging allegiance to Patriarch of Antioch goes against the very reason behind the Supreme Court verdict in favor  Catholicose party.  Nonetheless, the Patriarch during his sermon once again proclaims his desire to establish peace since his installation as Patriarch of Antioch.
             So from the 1964-70, the Church enjoyed peace in Malankara.  During the unity, Church made many great improvements in its spiritual activities as well as the Seminary.  Now, the seminary has a program to educate the clergy with a GST and BD and has an affiliation with Serampore. Many of the greats who graduated from this seminary include Fr Adai Jacob , Fr John Jacob( Mor Philexinos of MJC), and Fr Markos (LL Kurilos of MJC) to name a few.  I am also proud to say that 90 percent of our clergy are theologically trained from the same seminary as the priests that I have mentioned.
              Catholicose Augen ordained 3 out of the 5 candidates chosen from the Malankara Association in 1966.  The three include Mor severios, theophilos, Timethoes (present Catholicose). The two who were not ordained were Fr Paul Varghese and Fr MV George, Later Mor Gregorios and Osthathios.  The Catholicose participated in the Oriental orthodox conference held by Emperor Hailie Salassie.  The Malankara Association is held and they decide to elect Mathews Mor Athanasius (vatakunnel) as Catholicose Designate in 1970.
          1970-  Peace is threatened by the "bull" of the Patriarch of Antioch questioning the priesthood of St. Thomas among other things.  Some of the others include:
-The Catholicose is not allowed to call himself His Holiness and he is not allowed to wear red.
-Patriarch Yacub III accuses the Malankara Synod of teaching Chalcedon Theology.  This was never clarified

Chaos in Malankara.  1972, the most rev Kaduvil Paul Ramban goes to Syria and gets ordained by the Patriarch of Antioch.  This violates the said Constitution.  The first open violation of the Patriarch of Antioch.
           Some history about Kaduvil Paul Ramban-  known for extreme ascetics life and piety.   He is well educated including an MA in History from Columbia University.  He is the author of several books.  It is a known fact that he was very desirous of becoming a bishop.   he was displeased because he was not chosen in 1966 as one of the bishop candidates.  On a side note, he, unlike some, is an honor to the Bishphoric itself.   
           The Malankara Synod decided not to recognize this bishop and forbade him to go to any of the 1064 churches.  But, some churches in the north welcomed him.  The Patriarch of Antioch then decided to ordain Rabban Aphrem Aboodi as Mor Timethoes and sent him as the Patriarchal Delegate and the Malankara Synod refused to accept him as such.  He  visa was later cancelled by the Indian government for the trouble he created there.  He was then forced to leave India.  This is a foresight to what will happen to him again by his own diocese.   In  1974 two more were sent to Syria.  They were Fr. CM Thomas and Fr PM Gheevarghess who became Mor Dyonosios and Mor Gregorios.  By this time, the Malankara Synod repeatedly sent letters to Patriarch pleading with him not to do such actions.  These petitions were signed by all the bishops of the Malankara Synod Mor Clemis and Mor Philexinos.
           Eventually this small group became a big group and Mor Clemis and Mor Philexinos left the Malankara Synod and joined with the newly ordained bishops and set up a parallel administration, or known as Jacobite.  The bishops with the faithful went around reclaiming the churches that they believed was rightfully theirs.  Like the greatest saint(Jacob Bardeus) that the Jacobite church is named after,  the newly ordained bishops with the help of Mor Clemis and Mor Philexinos went around ordaining as many people as they can for survival and strength.  Often the priestly candidates were unqualified and were not theologically trained.  Anybody who was willing to step up for the cause was ordained.   At this point, theological training was not a necessity the only thing that was important is that the Patriarch of Antioch was.  So essentially, knowledge of Orthodoxy didn’t matter, only infallibility of a Patriarch.  Come to think of it, not much has changed!

"Often propoganda is spread
by the Indian Orthodox, saying that we have no control of ourselves and that
the Patriarch controls everything."

Rev Deacon, Let me give a few examples:
I am going to agree with Phil on this.  Let me give a few examples:
It was the Patriarch that decided the ordination of Kaduvil Paul Rabban, not the synod.   The Jacobite Synod, for reasons best known to them, decided not to ordain Fr Gheevarghese.  But Fr. Gheevarghese with the help of the "Patriarch's Spiritual Son" Dr. Daniel Babu Paul got ordained Gheevarghese Mor Polycarpos.
 The Patriarch also decided  to ordain Rabban Yeldho through his own initiative  and now he is Yeldho Mor Tithos chosen by His Holiness, the Patriarch.


In Conclusion,
 You are right Kefa brothers.  Our Liturgy and vestments are all from the Syriac Rite.  Nobody denies that!  But liturgy is for everyone not just a select group of people. Liturgy is the common work of the people.
What has our Church produced? If nothing else, theologically qualified priests with a desire and search for Orthodoxy.
  Our bishops are heavily qualified.  Even in America, Our Priests have received a number of degrees from theological Seminaries from all over including places like  Oxford, Harvard and Yale.  Many of them have graduated from St Vladimir’s with their MDivs, MTHs, DMiNS, MA. It is the search for Orthodoxy that drives them not this factional feuding (ex IOC?).  I am proud to say Mor Tithos is a graduate from St. Vladimir’s as well as Rabban Fr. Edyp Aydin.  Currently, George Aramath is a seminary student at St. Vladimir’s. I applaud him for his thirst and search for Orthodoxy. 
Don’t be afraid Jacobite brothers of the IOC who persecute you.  God will judge us if we are wrong, but remember he will do the same to you, so act accordingly.
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« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2006, 05:45:00 PM »

Dear Kefa,

The 'Malankara Edavaka Panchangam - 1908', by Geevarghese Ramban (Late Mor Baselius Geevarghese I)

""And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. The Antiochean Apostolic Throne bearer with the venerable name Abdedaloho, H.H. Ignatius Patriarch governs the Holy Church"

This was published in the year 1908, after Mor Abdul Messiah was removed from his position as the Patriarch and H.H. Ignatius Abdedaloho (Abdullah) Patriarch was governing the Church.  This Clearly shows the devotion and submission of the Late Mor Baselius Geevarghese I ("IOC SAINT DESIGNATE") towards H.H. Ignatius Abdedaloho.  But later in 1912 the same Geevarghese Ramban received ordination from the excommunicated Mor Abdul Messiah.  It is very ironical that nothing about the throne of St. Thomas is mentioned in here. 

It doesn't necessary show anything like devotion and submission.  What it shows is a) a quote from Mt. 16 and b) a statement of who the current Patriarch of Antioch was.  And, from the way you've presented the facts, it would seem appropriate to evaluate history the way you have.  But why did Baselios Geevarghese I change his views on the matter in four years?  That's worth investigating, and like other things, I've heard two versions of this.

Quote
'Mathopadeshasaarangal', by Mor Geevarghese Divannasius Vattaserril

"The primal and complete ecclesiastical authority of the Holy Church rests in the Patriarch of the throne of Antioch, H.H. Mor Ignatius."

This was recently changed by the IOC faction to flatter the faithful according to their wish and will.  In the same book, Mor Vattaserril (The present saint of IOC) describes about the after effects if some one gets excommunicated from the Church.  "If some one is found guilty of his doings, he has to be excommunicated.  Once excommunicated, he is not supposed to participate in any sacraments of the Holy Church, and the faithful should not participate in any sacraments offered by the alleged person." 

Since you're obviously not incapable of providing citations, I would ask you to cite your source for the information that the IOC changed this recently.

Quote
Mor Vattaserril was ordained as a Metropolitan in 1908, by H.H. Mor Ignatius Abdedaloho, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East.  But due to his wrong doings, Mor Vattaserril was excommunicated from the Church in 1911, by the same Patriarch.  In the life history book written by Z.M.Parett, 'Vattaseril Mor Deevannasius', pg. 464 says that Mor Vattaseril after being excommunicated did not offer the Holy Qurbano or participate in any holy sacraments for a while.  Again, it is ironical that some one who was excommunicated from the church was later canonized as a Saint to the same degree of St. Gregorios.

It's not necessarily ironical.  First, your Church has not canonised him because she views him as excommunicated, and this is consistent.  Our Church has because it views the excommunication as illegitimate.  This is also consistent.  Second, we have mutually recognised saints who were "excommunicated" when they were alive.     

In this and in the other quotes above, I note something which I have noticed is a tendency in Jacobite writings; namely, a conflation of concepts of "Church".  The word "Church", with the understandings it has, is used without qualification.  But when one takes this logic to its logical end, they would disagree (a very few draw near to consistency), and then qualifications begin to be made.  But if the qualifications are made in the beginning, they have less of a case.  Sad. 

Quote
Murimattom Mor Ivanios ( Mor Baselius Poulose I)

Was ordained in 1876 by the Patriarch of Antioch and was loyal to the Church until 1911.  He was present in the meeting that decided to replace Mor Vattasseril by H.G. Mor Koorilose as the Malankara Metropolitan.  Mor Murimattom organized the necessary things needed for the Mooron Sanctification at the Aluva Thrikunnathu Seminary by H.H. Ignatius Abdedaloho in 1911.  Mor Murimattom even sent a Metropolitan Bull to all the churches requesting their presence and support.  The bull started as:
 
"From Metropolitan Mor Ivanios as instructed by our Holy Father the Patriarch H.H. Mor Ignatius Abdedaloho."

 But in 1912 he was ordained as the Catholicose by Mor Abdul Messiah, the non-canonical Patriarch.  It is ironical that this Mor Abdul Messiah while he was on the throne wrote a bull that was a reply for every one who requested for the re-establishment of the Catholicate in India.  The bull said, ""Cursed is the one who even thought of this treacherous thought."

Where can anyone find this? 

Quote
But after achieving the office of the Catholicate, the doings of Mor Baselius Ougen and the oath he took were absolutely contradictory.  But, think about this.  How can a High priest deviate from the oath that he took inside the burning altar of the Holy God?  " Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; and do not love a false oath.  For all these are things that I hate, says the Lord"- Zechariah 8:17

Well, if we're going to argue like this, I would say that it appears it is not only High Priests of the IOC who deviate from oaths; your own bishops seem more than capable of the same. 
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« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2006, 10:24:09 PM »

Whatever comprehensive list of "good works" I could come up with to satisfy you

Really I would love to know about some of the great accomplishments of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.  Just out of curiosity.  Other than imitating the Syrian Orthodox Church's anything and everything what has this Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church achieved on its own two feet.  Please correct me if I am saying this out of my ignorance.
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« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2006, 10:47:21 PM »

Since you're obviously not incapable of providing citations, I would ask you to cite your source for the information that the IOC changed this recently.

Dear Mor Ephrem,
I saw that you are looking for proof that the IOC has altered the book Mathopadesa Saarangal, which is a book about the catechism of the church  written by Late Lamented Geevarghese Mor Divannasious (Wattesseril Thirumeni).

In the reputed Malayalam (Indian) Newspaper called 'Mangalam' a journalist named Mr. Santosh M Jacob had written an article on 17-Feb-2003 titled "Wattesseril Divannasiosinte Pusthakam Thiruthi" (Wattesseril Divannasious's Book Altered). In this article he gives images for the original book that was published in 1908 and the latest edition of this book where the current IOC leadership has altered the words of the author.

Here is a link to a copy of that newspaper article.
http://www.geocities.com/malankarav5/20030217VattasserilMangalam.htm

The above link is a pro Patriarch faction website, I am not asking you to trust everything that’s on that website.  (The above website says the newspaper is dated 17-Feb-2002, I think it’s a typo, it should have been 2003)

The newspaper Mangalam is a secular publication and has no connection with either factions of the Malankara Church. If this article was wrong or misleading, I am sure the leadership from Devalokam would have approached the newspaper to retract the story, tender an apology, which has not happened. If the newspaper would not have obliged, I am sure the Devalokam leadership would have approached the Civil Courts and filed a law suite against Mangalam and asked for damages for publishing an incorrect news story. This also has not happened. This only reinforces that the newspaper article is right.

In the original book, Wattesseril Thirumeni writes: "The supreme spiritual leader of our church is the Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatious of the See of Antioch". In recent reprints the IOC leadership has altered it to read: "The supreme spiritual leader of our church is the Catholicose Moran Mor Baseliose who in on the Catholicate Throne"

Next time you are around Kottayam , you yourself can verify this by dropping in at the Orthodox Theological Seminary library and checking out the 1908 edition of this book and the latest re-print.

In Christ,
Mathew G M
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« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2006, 11:04:21 PM »

  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  1970-  Peace is threatened by the "bull" of the Patriarch of Antioch questioning the priesthood of St. Thomas among other things.  Some of the others include:
-The Catholicose is not allowed to call himself His Holiness and he is not allowed to wear red.
-Patriarch Yacub III accuses the Malankara Synod of teaching Chalcedon Theology.ÂÂ  This was never clarified


Now you are trying to propagate that the Patriarch made peace to break peace. ÂÂ As you every well know the Patriarch accepted with great desire for peace and Christian love. ÂÂ He accepted the Catholicose without any strings attached. ÂÂ Unlike the Catholicose faction who accepted the Patriarch according to some constitution. ÂÂ This ‘as per the constitution’ was added at the last movement by the catholicose faction. ÂÂ And Throne of St. Thomas is something Malankara never heard of up until the time of Mor Augen. ÂÂ I really don’t know on what grounds you say that the 1958 court verdict went in catholicose factions favor. ÂÂ Ever wondered why the catholicose abandoned the pazaya seminary and Devalogam aramana was bought overnight after the verdict. ÂÂ And on what grounds do you say that Mor Augen’s salmoosa was for the synod. ÂÂ I am just wondering what history will be told by MOSC after another 100 years. ÂÂ You go on to say that the Jacobites ordained unqualified personals. ÂÂ Then why were they bishops who came from SOC readily accepted with garlands into MOSC without any association elections. ÂÂ
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« Reply #31 on: January 02, 2006, 11:22:48 PM »

  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚  ÃƒÆ’‚ Catholicose Augen I- There are some who claim his Shalmoosa (oath) was to the Malankara Synod and others claim it was to the Patriarch of Antioch. I do not trust any fabricated forms of the document. A shalmoosa pledging allegiance to Patriarch of Antioch goes against the very reason behind the Supreme Court verdict in favor  Catholicose party.  Nonetheless, the Patriarch during his sermon once again proclaims his desire to establish peace since his installation as Patriarch of Antioch.


I always found this a little confusing.  Maybe you could clear this up.  As per Mor Vattaseil, Abded Messiha was the rightful Patriarch which MOSC still cling on to this day.  Then why did Vattaseril Thirumeni The Saint of MOSC send Mor Augen to Syria to get ordained when Abded Messiha was still in India.  Was Abded Messiha not needed anymore after the reinstation of the Catholicate???
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« Reply #32 on: January 03, 2006, 12:00:32 AM »

Really I would love to know about some of the great accomplishments of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.  Just out of curiosity.  Other than imitating the Syrian Orthodox Church's anything and everything what has this Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church achieved on its own two feet.  Please correct me if I am saying this out of my ignorance.

I think ignorance is revealed in the statement "other than imitating the Syrian Orthodox Church's anything and everything".  Many Churches follow a rite originally developed in one place and transplanted in their own lands without anyone thinking anything of it.  Greeks and Serbs, for example, get along in relative peace, recognising each other's status, without the former trying to establish its hegemony over the latter by claiming the latter is imitating the Greek Orthodox Church's anything and everything.  Maybe this kind of "you are nothing without us" argument is made elsewhere, I don't know, but harping on this point is the characteristic, in this case, of immaturity.  We can both make our cases in a better way without such antics. 

I suppose I could give you an answer to your question, but you haven't demonstrated to me that you are serious in the least, so I don't intend on bothering with it.  I fully expect this to be interpreted as an "admission of defeat" because you seem to generally tend towards convenient misinterpretation, but whatever.     
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« Reply #33 on: January 03, 2006, 12:02:22 AM »

I always found this a little confusing.ÂÂ  Maybe you could clear this up.ÂÂ  As per Mor Vattaseil, Abded Messiha was the rightful Patriarch which MOSC still cling on to this day.ÂÂ  Then why did Vattaseril Thirumeni The Saint of MOSC send Mor Augen to Syria to get ordained when Abded Messiha was still in India.ÂÂ  Was Abded Messiha not needed anymore after the reinstation of the Catholicate???

Dear Kefa,
We have to keep things in perspective. It was not Wattesseril Thirumeni but Aluva Valiya Thirumeni (Paulose Mor Athanasious) who sent Deacon Mathai to the Middle East. He joined Mor Augen monastery, became a monk (Ramban), and took the name Augen. Later on he was elected to be the Bishop of Kandanad . He switched sides to join the Catholicose faction much later; only in 1942, ie only after he was ordained a Bishop.

But your question still stands. Mor Abdul Messish was deposed in 1905. Fr. Wattesseril went to the middle east to get ordained three years later in 1908. So if he was sincere in his stand that Mor Abdul Messish’s deposition was not valid, then he should have gone to Mor Abdul Messish and not Mor Abud Alluh II for ordination.

The truth is that Wattesseril Thirumeni took that position that Mor Abdul Messish’s deposition was not valid only in 1911, when Mor Adud Alluh II started interfering in the temperal matters of the Malankara Church, as per the complaint from the Priest Trustee Rev Fr. Konatt Mathen Malpan and the Lay Trustee Mr. C. J Kurian.

In Christ,
Mathew G M
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« Reply #34 on: January 03, 2006, 12:12:50 AM »

Dear Mathew,

Thanks for your message. 

I didn't have time to read the article at that link, although I did look at the parallel texts highlighted in the illustration, and see the difference in the texts.  I don't generally trust the website the article is found at to be an unbiased, objective website (although I am familiar with it and read it regularly to keep abreast of other points of view).  I also don't trust the newspapers in Kerala.  People may argue that they are secular papers and have no connections with either side, but I doubt that's true.  Everyone has their favourites, and newspapers are not exempt from this. 

With that said...the book Mor Dionysios wrote is, as you say, a catechism.  Presuming that it is being used currently somewhere to instruct people in the faith, I could theoretically see why they might want to alter the text to reflect a current reality.  However, because we still give a good measure of honour to the Patriarch of Antioch, disagreements notwithstanding, and because I take issue with people editing someone else's work (it would be much better to let the work stand as written and teach what you must teach through some other means), I would not be in favour of this were this to be proven true; actually, I would reject it.   
« Last Edit: January 03, 2006, 12:13:12 AM by Mor Ephrem » Logged

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« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2006, 02:41:59 AM »

Dear Kefa,
 I do not deny the fact that our liturgy and most of our traditions are from the Syriac Rite.  I am talking about the period after 1958.  You are absolutely right!  The Patriarch accepted the Catholicose unconditionally and the Catholicose did accept the Patriarch "subject to the constitution only."  This way the Patriarch (as well as the Catholicose) cannot interfere in the matters of the Church without the approval of the Synod. Dont you wish that was happening right now for MJC?  The Constitution gave due respect, honor, and primacy to the Patriarch of Antioch soo long as he didnt interfere in the matters of Malankara without the consent of the Synod.    Now, Do you really think the verdict of 1958 was in favor of the Patriarch Party?  Yes, H.H Patriarch Yacub III claims that he wanted to establish peace.  He was enthroned in 1957, but Peace was made only through the Supreme court Judgment of 1958. 
   

Some Interesting Notes:
Before 1958
     Patriarch Aphrem is the first one to proclaim  that Vattaseril Thirumeni has no Priesthood. 
     Catholicose Gheevarghese II has no Priesthood, so our Jacobite Brethren refer to him as "Vridthan Punoose (old man Stephen)"
     The priests and Deacons who follow Vattaseril Dyoniosos ghave no Priesthood.
     None of the Baptisms, Ordinations, marriages, or Holy Mooron consecrated by these (fake) priests and high priests are considered valid.
 
         ----1958-  Yes Kefa Brothers, the Supreme Court Verdict is in Favor of the Catholicose Party.  All the court expenses are to be paid by the former Patriarchal Party

All of a sudden, when it is time to Pay the expenses, Patriarch declares:
      Mor Dyonoios Vattaseril has priesthood
      Old Man Punnoose is Catholicose Gheevaghese II
      All the priests and deacons are under Catholicose Gheevarghese II have Priesthood
      Baptism and Marriages are recognized.
     All the bishops of the (former) patriarchal party of Malankara submit themselves before the Catholicose-  ( ask anyone who attended the Unified Orthodox meeting held in St Marys Puthen Caavu)

     1970- 12 years have passed.
        First Vattseril Dyniosios had no Priesthood, then Catholicose Gheevarghese II  now St. Thomas?  Something is def wrong here
I have said all facts before, now this is my personal Theory.
    I think by this time Patriarch Yacub III was jealous of Catholicose Augen.   The Indian Church was getting stronger.

I dont believe we are perfect.  But, I do believe in real Orthodox Christianity.  Orthodoxy is not limited to the Syrian Patriarchate.  Orthodoxy is beyond the Syrian Church of Antioch.  What unites us is not that the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch is the head of the church or the Catholicose for that matter, but the fact that the IOC and SOC share the same faith (of the Three Ecumenical Councils) with the one head and that is Mooran Yeshu Messiah.  Please understand that!  We support Orthodoxy not Syrian Supremecy.
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« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2006, 11:55:41 AM »

Yes Kefa,
   A third grade education and a former malayalam language reacher are good enogh to be considered theologically qualified bishops.  Yes, our church would accept anybody.   Mor Athanasius, Mor Militios, Mor Severios and Mor Nickolovos are certainly qualified.  I was referring to others when I meant "not qualified".  I did mention Mor Tithos, Mor Philexinos, Mor  Kurilos, Mor Athanasius(kaduvil Jr)  certainly as qualified theologically anyway.
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« Reply #37 on: January 03, 2006, 02:35:49 PM »

ÂÂ A third grade education and a former malayalam language teacher are good enogh to be considered theologically qualified bishops.ÂÂ  

Dear Benyono,
I do understand your sarcasm and whom you had in mind when you wrote the above line. I wont go into that since you havent named anyone. I have a much broader question. What would be the qualification to be a Bishop ? Should we insist that all our Bishops should have a Doctorate ? or atleast a Master's degree ?

Also what are your thoughts about public campainging by induviduals to get elected as Bishops? I have seen cases where the election publicity material and canvassing methods used by some of the Bishops prior to election was even worse than those used by politicians in secular politics. Wouldnt that be considered stooping too low and considered unqualified, however great that induviduals formal education is ?

Some of the greatest Bishops of the Malankara Church including St. Gregorious of Parumala didnt have any formal college education....

In Christ,
Mathew G M

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« Reply #38 on: January 03, 2006, 06:05:58 PM »

Your right! Parumala Thirumeni does not have a College education, but he was very educated for his time.
I am not proud of the present election process of our bishop candidates at all.  This is no different than how  politics played a role in the Early Church. But, that does not justify the actions of our Bishop Designates.  But I would also like to say that it is better than one individual (patriarch) choosing his sycophants.  Like I said, we are not perfect.  I am sure every monk with a Skipp on his head has a desire to become a bishop. A Doctorate or Master s does not matter. 
Of course prayer life would be the ideal qualification.  But how do we discern a man of prayer?  Private Prayer is done in a room with the door closed. 
Regarding Theological Education:  Medical doctors:  they are not allowed to practice without going through Medical School and passing their exams. I doubt anybody would see a doctor if he had no medical school or license behind him.  You dont see our Priests discussing the latest surgical procedures and trying to use them? Why should the educational training of a priest be any different?  We should alll insist on some kind of theological training because the only common ground we have is faith and if you have no theological understanding, how can we even communicate on a theological basis?
Dont get me wrong Respected Mr. Matthews, there are many things that I appreciate about the Jacobite bishops.  I especially appreciate  HB Thomas I.  He does not have the arrogance of a bishop.  He is welcoming and diplomatic.  Many of our bishops can learn this from him.
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« Reply #39 on: January 03, 2006, 08:55:50 PM »


But your question still stands. Mor Abdul Messish was deposed in 1905. Fr. Wattesseril went to the middle east to get ordained three years later in 1908. So if he was sincere in his stand that Mor Abdul Messish’s deposition was not valid, then he should have gone to Mor Abdul Messish and not Mor Abud Alluh II for ordination.

The truth is that Wattesseril Thirumeni took that position that Mor Abdul Messish’s deposition was not valid only in 1911, when Mor Adud Alluh II started interfering in the temperal matters of the Malankara Church, as per the complaint from the Priest Trustee Rev Fr. Konatt Mathen Malpan and the Lay Trustee Mr. C. J Kurian.

In Christ,
Mathew G M


In 1902, the Holy Episcopal Synod of Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church held under the then Malankara Metropolitan, Pulikottil Mor Dionysius, selected two Metropolitan-designates and in 1908 they were ordained as Mor Kurillos Paulose (Kochuparambil) and Mor Dionysius Geevarghese (Wattasseril) by the Patriarch of Antioch Mor Ignatius Abded'Aloho (Abdulla II).  The next year the Malankara Metropolitan Pulikottil Mor Dionysius V, who led the Kerala Church in one of its most difficult period, died and in his position the newly ordained Metropolitan Mor Dionysius Wattasseril was instituted with the title 'Mor Dionysius VI'.  But unfortunately within a short period, the new Malankara Metropolitan trustee Mor Dionysius VI had differences of opinion with his two other co-trustees, the renounced Syriac scholar 'Konatt Mathen Malpan' (Priest trustee) and C J Kurien (lay trustee).  Within a short tome, this conflict become so serious, and thus started challenging the age old relationship, that the Malankara Church have with the Patriarchal See of Antioch.  Finally in 1910, when Wattasseril Mor Dionysius VI started to defy even the orders of his spiritual supreme, the Patriarch Mor Ignatius Abed'Aloho II excommunicated the bishop.  A year later in 1912, Wattasseril Mor Dionysius managed to bring to Kerala, Abdul Mesiha, a former Patriarch who was dethroned by the Holy Synod because of his un-canonical practices and get ordained a Catholicose for his group. The Syrian Christians argued that a important order like the Catholicate that was abolished in 1865 as per the decision of a Holy synod, can be reinstated only through another  Episcopal Synod and above all in this particular issue Abdul Mesiha who was supposed to be ordained a Catholicose in Kerala was an un-canonical Patriarch, dethroned by a Synod. 

The fact that Abdul Mesiha was not a Patriarch is strengthened with further evidences  when it is considered that Wattasseril Mar Dionysius went to Patriarch Mor Abded'Aloho (Abdulla) II for his consecration as Metropolitan, who had succeeded Abdul Mesiha, although Abdul Mesiha was living there at that time.  If Abdul Mesiha was the canonical Patriarch, as claimed by the Methran group, then why did Wattasseril Mor Dionysius, the father of the Methran group went to Patriarch Abded'Aloho II the successor to Abdul Mesiha to get ordained, remains very mysterious.

 

Now as per you Patriarch Mor Abded'Aloho became uncanonical Patriarch because Wattasseril did not like him and because He "interfering in the temperal matters of the Malankara Church" Huh
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« Reply #40 on: January 03, 2006, 08:59:14 PM »

As per the verdict by the Supreme Court of India Malankara Orthodox Church in an integral part of the Syrian Orthodox Church.  So how can there be legally an independent Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church under the banner "Indian Orthodox Church"  Huh
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« Reply #41 on: January 04, 2006, 12:20:32 AM »

As per the verdict by the Supreme Court of India Malankara Orthodox Church in an integral part of the Syrian Orthodox Church.  So how can there be legally an independent Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church under the banner "Indian Orthodox Church"  Huh

Well, technically, there is no such thing as a Jacobite Church.  That term was originally one of derision.  But people use the term Jacobite as a shorthand, and the same goes for "Indian Orthodox Church".  I've never seen "Indian Orthodox Church" as the official name of the Church, and would protest against it if the reason was to remove any reference to the Syrians. 
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« Reply #42 on: January 04, 2006, 12:27:53 AM »

Now as per you Patriarch Mor Abded'Aloho became uncanonical Patriarch because Wattasseril did not like him and because He "interfering in the temperal matters of the Malankara Church" Huh

Dear Kefa,
I think you misunderstood what I said, thats not what I said. Please re-read my post.

In Christ,
Mathew G M
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« Reply #43 on: January 05, 2006, 01:46:25 AM »

Dear all,

I'm sure this has been talked about over and over again, and many zealous people have been always participating in these debates.  As I read more of these posts, I get confused (and in other ways frustrated with some of the attitudes of the posts here, which is very immature).

I wish to ask a simple question, and I want a "Yes" or "No" answer.  If it cannot be limited to a "yes" or "no" answer, I prefer member "dhinuus" to answer this question, since he is the most respected in the Syriac faction.

According to the documents posted in the other thread concerning the situation, specifically the letter of H.H. Mar Ignatius Yakoub III, when he wrote:

Quote
Secondly, Saint Thomas the Apostle had never founded any throne to be called "Throne of Saint Thomas the Apostle', for he was not a priest as it is evident from the Gospel of Saint John 20:21-24.  As he was not a priest, how could he found a throne?  Therefore none of the early writers mention that he had founded the Catholicate throne.  As Your Excellency have acknowledged in the confession of faith that you had made in 1932, the Synod of Nicea had confirmed the Catholicate of the East.

I want to know if this is true or not.  Was there another intention of the Patriarch for writing this, or did he truly believe and defend (or did he say otherwise in other letters) that St. Thomas was not a priest?

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #44 on: January 05, 2006, 08:30:04 PM »

I wish to ask a simple question, and I want a "Yes" or "No" answer.ÂÂ  If it cannot be limited to a "yes" or "no" answer, I prefer member "dhinuus" to answer this question, since he is the most respected in the Syriac faction.

According to the documents posted in the other thread concerning the situation, specifically the letter of H.H. Mar Ignatius Yakoub III....

I want to know if this is true or not.ÂÂ  Was there another intention of the Patriarch for writing this, or did he truly believe and defend (or did he say otherwise in other letters) that St. Thomas was not a priest?


Dear Mina,
I am humbled by you addressing me as the 'most respected' in the Syriac faction.

Here is what I know about the issue:

1) The so called latter number No.203/70 from Late H.H Yakob III Patriarch does exist. It's not something that has been fabricated.

2) This above letter was NOT a Kalpana (Patriarchal Encyclical) to Bishops, Priests and Laity NOR was it a declaration about faith. It was ONLY a private letter sent from the Patriarch Yakob III to Catholicose Augen I .

In that private letter the Patriarch is raising three greviences namely:
      a) Some Bishops in India were Churches within the Patriarch's jurisdiction in the Middle East and even appointing priests to those parishes without even consulting with the Patriarch.
      b) Some Bishops in India, while ordaining Priests and Deacons were skipping the portion where they are supposed to instruct them to be obedient to the Patriarch who is the head of the Synod.
      c) The Catholicose using a title of "Throne of St. Thomas" , which was not used before. There is no history or tradition anywhere that St. Thomas 'ordained bishops' in India.

4) To argue his case about 3c, H.H Yakob III has quoted the passage from John 20:22-23. It was raised by the Late Patriarch just for the sake of argument.

There is no way of knowing what the Late Patriarch truly believed. He has never issued any public Patriarchal Encyclical or statement saying St. Thomas is not a Priest. The only place where he has said something close to that is in a 'private letter' addressed to just one individual in the context of John 20:22-23.

In the Divine Liturgy (Holy Qurbana) in the 4th 'dypthic' (Thubden) initially only the names of St. Peter and St. Paul was mentioned by name. It was the Syriac faction AND NOT the Catholicate faction that added the name of St. Thomas also to the Thubden as per a Patriarchal Encyclical.

So if you ask me; Does the Syriac Church believe that St.Thomas is not a priest? The answer is NO. The Syriac Church respects and venerates St.Thomas along with the other 11 apostles and mentions him by name along with St. Peter and St.Paul in the 4th Thubden of the Divine Liturgy.

St. Thomas please intercede for us...

Mathew G M
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« Reply #45 on: January 06, 2006, 02:48:51 AM »

Dear Matthew G M,

Thank you for your answer.  The reason I say this is because I find that you give straightforward answers without any hint of anger or annoyance.  I read the posts here sometimes, and I just get lost and confused and frustrated, especially since this is an issue I personally care about since I dealt with it when creating an Orthodox club in my university.

Just wanted to ask one other question concerning your post:

Quote
In the Divine Liturgy (Holy Qurbana) in the 4th 'dypthic' (Thubden) initially only the names of St. Peter and St. Paul was mentioned by name. It was the Syriac faction AND NOT the Catholicate faction that added the name of St. Thomas also to the Thubden as per a Patriarchal Encyclical.

Why if I may ask?  And when has this been added?  The reason I ask is perhaps the Catholicate faction may confuse this as if the Syriac faction accepted the Indian Orthodox Catholicose as sitting on the throne of St. Thomas.

I also am interested in one other point.  Can or "should" the issue of upholding the throne of St. Thomas be a hindrance to unification of the Indian churches?

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #46 on: January 06, 2006, 02:02:04 PM »

Why if I may ask?  And when has this been added?  The reason I ask is perhaps the Catholicate faction may confuse this as if the Syriac faction accepted the Indian Orthodox Catholicose as sitting on the throne of St. Thomas.

Dear Mina,

For the when question, the name of the St. Thomas was added to the 4th Thubden of the Divine Liturgy per the deliberations of the Holy Synod and issued as a Patriarchal Encyclical in 1987. The only other apostles mentioned by name are St. Peter and St. Paul.

I can only speculate as to the Why question.

In the late 70's and the early 80's the Catholicose faction had printed thousands of copies of this private letter from Patriarch Yakob III to Catholicose Augen I, and distributed it widely. This letter was blown out of proportion, and mis-interpreted as a statement of faith from the Patriarch, while all it was a correspondence between two individuals.

My guess is, the 'Patriarchal Encyclical' to remember the name of St. Thomas also along with that of St. Peter and St. Paul was to dispel any doubt in anyone’s mind that the Syriac Church does not respect or venerate St. Thomas the Apostle.

Can or "should" the issue of upholding the throne of St. Thomas be a hindrance to unification of the Indian churches?

It probably should not.

Here is where it could be a problem; the Patriarch faction while having a Catholicose (Maphrian) in India, recognizes and respects the canonical connection between the Church in Malankara to that in Antioch and considers him as the supreme spiritual leader of the church. It teaches that ever since the Ecumenical Council of Nicea, India is under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East. It is true that there was an office of Catholicose (Maphrian) in the Syriac church, but this office always functioned under the Patriarchate of Antioch.

However the teaching of the Catholicose faction is not the same. They teach that St.Thomas established a See in India and the Church in India was always autocephalous. Their interpretation of the Syriac connection was that of a foreign church trying to subvert the autocephaly of the Indian Church.

The position of the Patriarch faction is that there is tradition of St. Thomas ordaining priests in India, however there is no accepted history or tradition about St. Thomas ordaining Bishops in India. So there was no See of St. Thomas in India. But for the sake of peace and unity if the Patriarch faction did accept the teaching about the 'Throne of St. Thomas' then they will also be denying the canonical relationship between the Church in Malankara and See of Antioch, which they have been teaching for centuries.

There was a revolutionary concept for peace put forward by H.H Zakka Ist in 2004 after the Second Synod of Mulanthuruthy. He said the Syriac Church will accept the Indian Orthodox Church as a sister church which will end schism. But those who choose to stay with the Patriarchate should be allowed to do so. Individual parish churches where the majority choose to stay with the Syriac Church should be allowed to do so, and should not be dragged to civil courts. Ofcourse this will mean parallel oriental orthodox jurisdictions in India, but that’s not anything new. There are several places where we have a Coptic Bishop and a Syriac Bishop and an Armenian Bishop and these three churches functioning as sister churches.

However this proposal was not accepted or followed thru by the Catholicose faction.

In Christ,
Mathew G M
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« Reply #47 on: January 06, 2006, 08:46:21 PM »

This discussion is a brilliant one because it seems that both sides are able to post their respectful, sincere points for open debate. Passion is a good thing, but it is heartening to note that name calling is minimal. Unfortunately, most forums are run by either faction A or faction B and people are not able to gain insight into the true state of affairs. Kudos to the moderators.

I wonder if the original creator of the thread has had his questions answered?

Additionally, I wonder if there is such a thing as actionable "truth" in this discussion. Meaning - if one side is "wrong" or at least "dubious" in its position, how should this be dealt with? (One side must be less right than the other from the Christian point of view because the two viewpoints are diametrically opposite.)ÂÂ  i.e. If the IOC is truly autocephalous, shouldn't the Jacobite Church cease to exist? Why are these agitators continuing to cause trouble? If the IOC was created and sustains itself in an un-Christian fashion, shouldn't those sincerely seeking Christ and His kingdom return to the Syriac Communion? Who would then perpetuate the "throne of St. Thomas?" Jacobites of course believe they belong to the mother church, and the true blue IOC member believes that his Catholicos and Bishops are all direct successors of St. Thomas. You be the judge of who is right.


 Wink As a member of the SOC, I would like to ask 2 questions I have not seen answered before: If the IOC believes that the "Synod" is the governing body, and the Catholicos is a functionary of the Synod, then how can they accept a unilateral action by Patriarch Abdul Mashih II in ordaining Mor Baselious Paulose I and starting this whole mess? No legitimate Synodal decision was made here. In fact, the Universal Synod rejected the actions of Mor Mashih II (not to mention that he was deposed in 1905). What about the Persian Synod? They did not approve this ordination either. The legitimate Indian Synod also rejected this act. How does the current IOC respond - they made Mor Vaterrserril, a chief instigator in this saga, a saint?

If the IOC believes it is the "people's church" (indigenous to S. India), then why do the bishops own all the property? In the supposedly "autocratic" SOC, where the "Patriarch wants to meddle in day to day affairs," the members of each parish own the parish, with the Bishop presiding over the spiritual matters and appointment of Vicars. The people make day to day decisions because they actually own the places of worship. Who really is with the people?

 Shocked P.S. I again appreciate "Mor Ephrem" and the opportunity to post in this forum.

I am very disappointed in his answers to my last posting, however. I find his responses evasive, and I think he smugly "misunderestimates" the simple nature in which I pose questions. He seems to want to raise doubts instead of answering specific questions clearly, and is dismissive when those simple answers cannot be brought to light. For example, I did not ask for pictures of hierarchs to be “juvenile,” but to illustrate the point to the Coptic brother that the IOC Catholiocs is not welcomed openly by Pope Shennouda. I mentioned the Middle East Council of Churches joint meeting because my Catholicos and church WAS represented by the Patriarch (indeed, I was there too in spirit),ÂÂ  but that the IOC Catholicos or his church was not there in any fashion, underscoring the nature of the situation.

Again, the point of this thread was to communicate to a uniformed Coptic believer the status of the church in India with respect to being in communion with the main body of Oriental Orthodoxy. I presented evidence that the IOC is not in communion and that only the Jacobites are in full, open communion. I then proceeded to bring up facts as to the formation of the IOC and alluded to others who brought up facts. I was met with "I don't trust anyone who says they know the whole truth" concerning this matter? What's the point in studying history, and again, what's the point in clinging to the historical "throne of St. Thomas" if we can’t trust anything we hear concerning these matters? The truth must be that devastating, because no Jacobite is afraid of it at all.

What Phil and others espousing his views do not get is that when his priest, bishop, and/or Catholicos do things that are uncannonical - mind you, I realize everyone makes mistakes and everyone needs forgiveness, but not too many people do things that are "uncannonical" and get themselves excommuinicated -ÂÂ  then he (Phil) is with them hand in hand if he takes communion from them and/or their supporters. Will Phil refuse communion from Mor Nicolovos, who split the American Jacobite Church and is under excommunication? I doubt it.

If you are not publicly against the untoward and unChristian actions of your group after all this time (the locked up churches, etc.), THEN YOU ARE TACITLY FOR THEM, DESPITE YOUR INTELLECTUALIZATIONS AND RATIONALIZATIONS. Period and end of story. If you believe these actions are unjust, then how can you take communion from these people if they constantly repeat their offence? What concretely have you done to combat the unjust actions you admit to?

You must expect that the IOC will roll over the innocent Jacobite faithful who will finally be forgotten, glibly dismissed in the fog of history you mention?

If my church was acting in blatant non-Christian activity, as a clergyman with a "duty to the truth," I would have to vigorously stand up against it, privately at first, publicly (after 150 years?), and follow Christ outside said church as a last resort if needed.

Do your duty, Phil. Godspeed.

P.P.S. Much of our faith and tradition is "anachronistic." Indeed, to make our faith and traditions credible in a "modern" world, a reverence for the truth and good practice is wantonly necessary. You evaded the point in your response to my mention that your "handlesake" would not support your views.
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« Reply #48 on: January 07, 2006, 01:32:36 AM »

As a member of the SOC, I would like to ask 2 questions I have not seen answered before: If the IOC believes that the "Synod" is the governing body, and the Catholicos is a functionary of the Synod, then how can they accept a unilateral action by Patriarch Abdul Mashih II in ordaining Mor Baselious Paulose I and starting this whole mess? No legitimate Synodal decision was made here. In fact, the Universal Synod rejected the actions of Mor Mashih II (not to mention that he was deposed in 1905). What about the Persian Synod? They did not approve this ordination either. The legitimate Indian Synod also rejected this act. How does the current IOC respond - they made Mor Vaterrserril, a chief instigator in this saga, a saint?

It has been my observation that Patriarchal faction members focus their efforts on the events of the early twentieth century, and this is why I've always been willing to allow, at least for arguments' sake, that the "IOC" was wrong back then.  After the reconciliation, however, the same does not hold.  But no one from the former faction seems willing to consider it in this way, and I believe this is because no one has seriously considered this argument.

Quote
If the IOC believes it is the "people's church" (indigenous to S. India), then why do the bishops own all the property? In the supposedly "autocratic" SOC, where the "Patriarch wants to meddle in day to day affairs," the members of each parish own the parish, with the Bishop presiding over the spiritual matters and appointment of Vicars. The people make day to day decisions because they actually own the places of worship. Who really is with the people?

"People's Church" sounds like a democratic movement, and I don't think the Indian Church is such.  As for why the bishops own the property, well, I've never heard of people owning all the property of the Church in any jurisdiction as anything other than a deviation. 

Quote
Shocked P.S. I again appreciate "Mor Ephrem" and the opportunity to post in this forum.

I am very disappointed in his answers to my last posting, however. I find his responses evasive, and I think he smugly "misunderestimates" the simple nature in which I pose questions. He seems to want to raise doubts instead of answering specific questions clearly, and is dismissive when those simple answers cannot be brought to light. For example, I did not ask for pictures of hierarchs to be “juvenile,” but to illustrate the point to the Coptic brother that the IOC Catholiocs is not welcomed openly by Pope Shennouda.

Allow me to restate my point.  Lots of people can use photographs in order to convey an idea that doesn't exist.  For example, there is a vagante sect that uses pictures of its "bishop" with certain officials of our Church as evidence that they are in full communion with us, when the reality is to the contrary.  So I don't think pictures really ought to serve as "nails in coffins". 

It is interesting that Jacobites usually focus on H.H. the Pope of Alexandria in this matter, to the exclusion of the heads of the other Orthodox (Oriental) Churches.  Why is that?  I could present evidence, if not pictures, that our Catholicos has participated in official functions of the other Churches openly and fully.  But somehow, the other heads are not as important as the Pope.  With no disrespect intended for the Pope, I think this underscores a certain understanding of ecclesiology in the Patriarchal faction. 

Quote
I mentioned the Middle East Council of Churches joint meeting because my Catholicos and church WAS represented by the Patriarch (indeed, I was there too in spirit),  but that the IOC Catholicos or his church was not there in any fashion, underscoring the nature of the situation.

Neither were the Ethiopian or Eritrean Churches, nor the Catholicosate of Etchmiadzin.  So am I to presume that you view the nature of their situation in the same way as the nature of ours?

Your Church was not represented at the Middle East Council of Churches because a) you claim to be autonomous and b) you are not in the Middle East.  If you claim it was represented, one of these two must be not completely true. 

Or another possibility exists.  Your Church was represented, in spite of lack of representation, because you share the same faith as the hierarchs.  Well, I could claim the same. 

Quote
Again, the point of this thread was to communicate to a uniformed Coptic believer the status of the church in India with respect to being in communion with the main body of Oriental Orthodoxy. I presented evidence that the IOC is not in communion and that only the Jacobites are in full, open communion. I then proceeded to bring up facts as to the formation of the IOC and alluded to others who brought up facts. I was met with "I don't trust anyone who says they know the whole truth" concerning this matter? What's the point in studying history, and again, what's the point in clinging to the historical "throne of St. Thomas" if we can’t trust anything we hear concerning these matters? The truth must be that devastating, because no Jacobite is afraid of it at all.

Not quite.  You (and/or your fellow Jacobites) haven't demonstrated that the IOC is not in communion with the main body of Oriental Orthodoxy, only that the Church of Antioch is not in communion with it and that Bishop David of the Coptic Church in the USA feels the same way.

It's not for no reason that I don't trust what I hear.  Partisans on both sides have an axe to grind, and so, knowing that, I don't take anything and everything they have to say as gospel truth.  It's not that the truth is devastating, it's that it has to be sifted out of the polemic.   

Quote
What Phil and others espousing his views do not get is that when his priest, bishop, and/or Catholicos do things that are uncannonical - mind you, I realize everyone makes mistakes and everyone needs forgiveness, but not too many people do things that are "uncannonical" and get themselves excommuinicated -  then he (Phil) is with them hand in hand if he takes communion from them and/or their supporters. Will Phil refuse communion from Mor Nicolovos, who split the American Jacobite Church and is under excommunication? I doubt it.

No, I have never refused Communion from him (or from any Orthodox hierarch) unless it was for my own unpreparedness. 

Excommunication, as I've said before and will say again, is a double edged sword.  It can be applied, but if it is not recognised, or it is made for the wrong reasons, it can actually hurt the issuer.  It is a fact that the Syrian Church considers him excommunicated.  But if our Church does not recognise the validity of that action, then what?  I had this argument once before with one of our mutual friends, and the conclusion seemed to be that "if the Patriarch does it, it's right".  Unfortunately, it's not that simple, in this specific case and in general. 

And I haven't even begun to talk about the "uncanonical" actions of the Church of Antioch. 

Quote
If you are not publicly against the untoward and unChristian actions of your group after all this time (the locked up churches, etc.), THEN YOU ARE TACITLY FOR THEM, DESPITE YOUR INTELLECTUALIZATIONS AND RATIONALIZATIONS. Period and end of story. If you believe these actions are unjust, then how can you take communion from these people if they constantly repeat their offence?

Um, because I'm not a Donatist?  I can (and in some cases do) insist that certain policies are not the best, but this doesn't mean that I reject priesthood.

Quote
What concretely have you done to combat the unjust actions you admit to?

I haven't done anything concrete except to make my views known to various people.  What have you done? 

Quote
You must expect that the IOC will roll over the innocent Jacobite faithful who will finally be forgotten, glibly dismissed in the fog of history you mention?

This assumes that I hate Jacobites.  That is not true. 

Quote
If my church was acting in blatant non-Christian activity, as a clergyman with a "duty to the truth," I would have to vigorously stand up against it, privately at first, publicly (after 150 years?), and follow Christ outside said church as a last resort if needed.

Do your duty, Phil. Godspeed.

Hehe.  I don't think my Church is acting in a blatantly non-Christian manner, otherwise I wouldn't have elected to join it.  But you're right, I might have to leave and serve elsewhere if what you mentioned actually came to pass.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you view it Smiley ), this would probably not lead me into the arms of the Syrian Church. 

Quote
P.P.S. Much of our faith and tradition is "anachronistic." Indeed, to make our faith and traditions credible in a "modern" world, a reverence for the truth and good practice is wantonly necessary. You evaded the point in your response to my mention that your "handlesake" would not support your views.

My point was that its nonsensical to insist that St. Ephrem would've supported your side or mine.  On what basis do you claim he would reject my views? 
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« Reply #49 on: January 07, 2006, 01:46:47 AM »

Dear Mathew,

Here is where it could be a problem; the Patriarch faction while having a Catholicose (Maphrian) in India, recognizes and respects the canonical connection between the Church in Malankara to that in Antioch and considers him as the supreme spiritual leader of the church. It teaches that ever since the Ecumenical Council of Nicea, India is under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Antioch and All the East. It is true that there was an office of Catholicose (Maphrian) in the Syriac church, but this office always functioned under the Patriarchate of Antioch.

Everyone alludes to the Nicene canons, but no one ever cites them.  Which specific canons are being invoked here?   

Quote
However the teaching of the Catholicose faction is not the same. They teach that St.Thomas established a See in India and the Church in India was always autocephalous. Their interpretation of the Syriac connection was that of a foreign church trying to subvert the autocephaly of the Indian Church.

As I was telling one of your clergymen earlier, certain concepts are anachronistically applied in certain contexts, and autocephaly is one of them.  Certainly, no one declared the Indian Church autocephalous from its beginning, but no one declared it dependent on another Church either.  St. Thomas came, established the Church in India, and that was it.  I would argue it was autocephalous functionally, if not officially. 

The Syriac connection was not about a foreign Church trying to subvert this autocephaly.  If I had to weigh in on this, I would argue that it was about seeking help in a time of need. 

Quote
The position of the Patriarch faction is that there is tradition of St. Thomas ordaining priests in India, however there is no accepted history or tradition about St. Thomas ordaining Bishops in India. So there was no See of St. Thomas in India. But for the sake of peace and unity if the Patriarch faction did accept the teaching about the 'Throne of St. Thomas' then they will also be denying the canonical relationship between the Church in Malankara and See of Antioch, which they have been teaching for centuries.

Here, again, we are using terms which are anachronistic, IMO.  St. Peter never establlished a See in the way we would imagine it in Antioch.  He simply established and headed the first Christian community there.  Functionally, I would argue this is the same thing as establishing a See, because it establishes a Christian community around the local bishop.  In the same way, we can affirm that St. Thomas established Christian communities in India in local areas--the tradition that he built seven churches in India has never been called into question by anyone that I know of. 

"Bishop" also is a questionable term.  Where in the apostolic age was there a clear-cut distinction between priests and bishops?  This is something that developed later, but the terms were much more interchangeable back then. 

Quote
There was a revolutionary concept for peace put forward by H.H Zakka Ist in 2004 after the Second Synod of Mulanthuruthy. He said the Syriac Church will accept the Indian Orthodox Church as a sister church which will end schism. But those who choose to stay with the Patriarchate should be allowed to do so. Individual parish churches where the majority choose to stay with the Syriac Church should be allowed to do so, and should not be dragged to civil courts. Ofcourse this will mean parallel oriental orthodox jurisdictions in India, but that’s not anything new. There are several places where we have a Coptic Bishop and a Syriac Bishop and an Armenian Bishop and these three churches functioning as sister churches.

However this proposal was not accepted or followed thru by the Catholicose faction.

I disagree with this proposal on the basis of certain canonical principles.  However, for the sake of peace (a more important goal than canonical exactitude), I would support such a proposal, and wish it was adopted when it was suggested.  Litigation would be over, and it would afford an opportunity for reconciliation and, hopefully a few generations after the passing of all this bitterness, would allow for a more canonically proper model of peace to come into being. 
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« Reply #50 on: January 07, 2006, 01:52:17 AM »

2) This above letter was NOT a Kalpana (Patriarchal Encyclical) to Bishops, Priests and Laity NOR was it a declaration about faith. It was ONLY a private letter sent from the Patriarch Yakob III to Catholicose Augen I .

Dear Mathew,

The letter, as I've found it, ends with "Our Father, who art in heaven, etc.", which I was always given to understand was the way official letters ended.  I certainly wouldn't see the point in putting it in a private communication.  Maybe you know more about the history of this practice? 
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« Reply #51 on: January 07, 2006, 02:02:13 AM »

More of the same, I see. No substantive answers, just the endless roundabout of pointless handwaving and smokescreen. Godspeed, sir. I hope one day you might "fall into the arms of the Syrian Church" before your church stops trying to break them. In the mean time - Matt 7:6

Rev. Dn. Zacharia Poycattle Varghese, M.D.
St. Ignatious Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church, Carrollton (Dallas) Texas
zvarghese@gmail.com

P.S. I find it comical that you "could claim the same" with regard to the SOC faith in the exchange over the MECC meeting before. What is all this ink spilt for then? We have no throne of St. Thomas, w/o a throne of St. Thomas your church has nothing to coalesce around and has no raison d' etre. No one in this forum questions the legitimacy of the SOC. Doesn't that tell the esteemed readers something? You claim we minimize the Eithiopians and Eritreans (who would like nothing more than to kill each other, btw), yet you don't address the point - Where is a joint declaration btwn any other hierarch and the IOC Catholicos? Where is the fraternal correspondence, or joint functions, or anything other than hot air?

You aren't claiming that the Syrian Church is doing anything wrong, so what would you have me stand up against? Obviously, I am standing up against people like you and those more militant than you publiclly. Additionally, besides just studying theology, I am actively engaged in nationwide ministry. Also, I am a physcian, by the grace of God. I hope this answers your question as to my Christian stand and witness. As a suggestion, you could refuse to take communion from Mor Nicolovos, for starters. I do. Just a suggestion. Smiley If you think you can explain why your church behaves in the way it does citing Jesus' actions, Scripture, and moral sense, send me an email.

FINALLY: A quote from Mor Augen I - a distant relative of mine :

When ordained, Mor Augen said in his salmoosa (oath of office) " I the feeble and meek Augen Mor Themotios chosen for ecclesiastical office of the Catholicose confess my belief before the Synod, and before the head of the Synod His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Yakub 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 up to your Holiness all the canonical Patriarchs who reigned on your Throne and all those who come after your Holiness. Once again I repeat my canonical connections with the Holy Throne of Antioch. I swear that I shall not depart from this solemn oath. ” He later renounced this oath and split the Malankara Syriac Church in the 1975.

AND from the Wed. midnight prayers of the Syrian Orthodox Church (Second watch Qolo)

Apostles! adversaries have encircled the Church from all sides to hinder the spread of the gospel that you have preached. Therefore, intercede for us before the Lord who chose you, so that there may be no divisions and disputes in the Church and among the children of the Church. O Lord! let Your truth be a furnace that keeps Your word as pure as gold. May the priests cry aloud in purity that, blessed is the Lord who sustains the growth of the Church.
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« Reply #52 on: January 07, 2006, 02:19:19 AM »

For example, I did not ask for pictures of hierarchs to be “juvenile,” but to illustrate the point to the Coptic brother that the IOC Catholiocs is not welcomed openly by Pope Shennouda. 

Dear Dn. Zach,

This is your lucky night...  Although I've already told you about my view of pictures, one of my brother seminarians has brought some pictures to my attention, and I provide links to them here for your perusal.

The first is of the current Catholicos of the East, H.H. Mar Baselios Marthoma Didimos I (back then he was the Catholicos designate, H.B. Thomas Mar Timotheos), with H.H. Pope Shenouda III, during His Holiness' visit to Missouri in 1994.   

http://www.stmarystlouis.bizland.com/H.H.%20Pope%20Shenouda%20receiving%20a%20gift%20from%20H.H.%20Patriarch%20Bassellious%20of%20the%20Indian%20Orthodox%20Church.htm

The second page contains pictures of H.H. Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews II, who recently stepped down, at the celebrations commemorating the 1700th anniversary of Christianity in Armenia.  You will note that, in each photo he is depicted in, he is standing immediately to the right of H.H. Catholicos Karekin II.  He is also shown conversing with H.H. Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow. 

http://aypfm.leserveur.com/NGAR_F.htm

The following picture comes from (I believe) the consecration of Parumala Church by H.H. Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews II.  In the picture is an Armenian bishop I have yet to identify.

http://www.parumalachurch.com/html/photo_gallery/130.htm

Finally, an album of pictures of the late H.G. Paulos Mar Gregorios.  You will see pictures of him with various Oriental Orthodox leaders. 

http://www.paulosmargregorios.info/PHOTOS/IMAGE/album/album/index.html

Enjoy the photos! 
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« Reply #53 on: January 07, 2006, 02:23:08 AM »

Obviously, I am standing up against people like you and those more militant than you publiclly. Additionally, besides just studying theology, I am actively engaged in nationwide ministry. Also, I am a physcian, by the grace of God. I hope this answers your question as to my Christian stand and witness.

But your original question was not about my Christian stand and witness, it was about what I was doing in a concrete way to combat unjust actions.  That is what I asked you--your own question--and your answer is insufficient. 
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O Holy Mor Ephrem,
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« Reply #54 on: January 07, 2006, 02:47:40 AM »

Since I am still online -

Again, what injustice would you have me stand up against? If my answer was insufficient (your words), then you are admitting that your actions are as well, for you are doing nothing more. My answer was to suggest that by the grace of God I am doing something positive in the church to build it up while studying, as opposed to merely attacking one faction or trying to find stilts to prop up the schismatic side. BTW I am not claiming that others aren't doing positive things. Tell me what you're doing. Maybe we can exchange notes.

Thanks for the pictures. See, that was not so hard. You're right that pictures can be manipulated, but they speak volumes in context. I admit I am somewhat surprised to see a few of these, but I venture to state that these pictures are abberations and not the norm. But good for you. However, none of these are taken at Oriental Orthodox Forums or Meetings, but either at non Oriental Orthodox functions or Armenian general celebrations (nothing clarifying positions or doctrine). The general pictures of Paulose Mor Gregorious are good ones for your side in any context (though they are not dated, 1964-1975 the church was one). He was an able worker in the WCC and beyond. BTW, where are the Eithiopians and Eritreans you so cherish?

Do you think if the Patriarch of Antioch asked the Pope of Alexandria to stop appearing with those excommunicated, he would? Do you think the Pope can readily identify those excommunicateed from Jacobite prelates without guidance? I mean, the Copts remember the Patriarch in the Diptychs, but of course there is no mention of the IOC Catholicose. BTW, anything more recent? I mean, the present IOC Catholicose was just ordained. What about a felicitation or two? Now that would be someting.

What about a joint declaration? As you allude to - these instruments are much more substantive. I can point to many. Again, is the IOC a bastard child kept in a corner and treated gingerly (KJV terminology), or fully loved and respected in full public view? I think the former is closer to the truth when it comes to inter-church relations since the Copts generally respect anathemas pronounced by Antioch.

A quote - "Um, because I'm not a Donatist?  I can (and in some cases do) insist that certain policies are not the best, but this doesn't mean that I reject priesthood." "Insisting" that "certain policies are not the best" "in some cases" is not what we are speaking of here. We are talking about your Bishops violating scripture right and left by coveting property that they nor their followers built and in the process engineering the DESTRUCTION of the church from which they derive they entire faith system. We are talking about MAKING UP THEOLOGY and ecclesiology with the throne of St. Thomas and its corrollaries. You really don't get this, and until you do you are part of the cycle of degradation the church is experiencing, driving faithful to other churches like pentecost in droves.

I'm glad you're not a Donatist though. What about a follower of Jesus? He never made anything up nor coveted his neighbor's property, and no one claims that the SOC is engaged in such activity.

BTW, I hope it has been made clear in the "church documents thread" that the letter Patriarch Ya'qub sent questioning  the use of the term "Throne of St. Thomas" was immediately rescinded and never read in any church, and as pointed out was not a bull expounding doctrine. Regardless - this is in no way sufficient to serve as the crux of the reason for the 1975 schism unless the schismatic party was looking for an excuse.


Farewell. Remember, Matt 7:6
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« Reply #55 on: January 07, 2006, 03:38:03 AM »

Quote
I mean, the Copts remember the Patriarch in the Diptychs, but of course there is no mention of the IOC Catholicose.

Just a clarification, since people like to use the Coptic Church as "an example."  We do commemorate the Patriarch of Antioch and the Patriarch of Eritrea along with our Pope.  WE DO NOT commemorate the Armenian Catholicos, the Ethiopian Patriarch, or any Indian Catholicose normally.  Therefore, please, if you must use the Coptic Church as an argument, the diptychs is not a good argument, for that would mean, "logically," that the Armenians and Ethiopians are not sister churches.

About one or two months ago, the Coptic Church in Atlanta, Georgia hosted a conjoint Oriental Orthodox liturgy with priests represantative of the Coptic, Indian (Catholicose faction), and Ethiopian churches, communing together.  This hasn't caused any problems, which seems to mean that parts of the Coptic Church include the Indian Orthodox Church into communion:

http://www.suscopts.org/stmaryatlanta/orientalliturgy.html

Dear Matthew,

Like Mor Ephrem said, that would indeed cause problems, for it is uncanonical.  Recently, I have been criticized for wishing a unity among the Coptic Orthodox and the Greek Alexandrian Orthodox to temporarily have different patriarchs at the time.  This is considered an ecclesiological "error" called "phyletism."  In addition, it might continue to cause problems where on the outside the unity is achieved, but on the inside, fights may still sadly continue.

I still however wish, and am hopeful, that HH Mor Ignatius Zakka Awas who seems to seek peace still wants unity.  I wish then that "temporarily" we could have an "uncanonical" union until further talks may consumate a full canonical unity under one Indian Church.

Thank you Matthew for answering my questions.  You have been very helpful, dear brother.  Smiley

God bless you and Merry Christmas (or Merry Theophany, depending on the calendar Wink )

Mina
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« Reply #56 on: January 07, 2006, 04:17:38 AM »

Dear Mina,

You beg the question - why don't you remember the Eithiopians, Eritreans, and the IOC in the Dyptch? There is a strong reason that undercuts the gist of what you are trying to say. You don't remember the E & E's even though you have an official agreement with those churches. No such agreement, BTW, exists with the IOC in any context.

You admit a "partial" communion. What is that? There is no such thing. The entire church is in communion, or it is not. People may make individual decisions to do this and that, but these decisions are not necessarily canonical.

If you mean "limited" communion - I understand this term. This means an official agreement has been worked out clarifying points of agreement and disagreement. There is no such thing in this context.

Why didn't the Copts in Atlanta invite representatives of the Jacobite faction? This seems like a slight if the others were invited? There is no 'communion' question. We have 3 churches there.

I appreciate your sincere desire for truth in this matter. I do not relish the fact that the communion is broken. Long live Pope Shenouda, Patriarch Zakka, and the Hierarchs of Armenia, Eithiopia, and Eritrea!

Farewell Again.
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« Reply #57 on: January 07, 2006, 04:38:07 AM »

I do not know why we don't commemorate the Ethiopians or the Armenians.  It is very strange to me as well, but the Pope's orders have mentioned only two churches and nothing else.

What I mean by "partial" communion is that some bishops accept communion with the IOC.  In fact, Bishop David is the ONLY bishop that I heard that does not.  I know of no other.  The two other bishops in the American land allow it, as well as HE  Metropolitan Seraphim of the BOC.  There's also a picture of HG Bishop Antonious Markos of the African missions with an IOC priest on the welcoming of a new priest in their new church in South Africa, of which HG partook of the liturgy.

So, if the question is whether or not the IOC is allowed communion with other OO counterparts, the answer is yes.  Whether it is justified is part of the debate here.  I have no answer for the latter.  IMHO however, I wish for unity and I see nothing but strict faithful Oriental Orthodoxy in both Indian church's members, seeking to spread the Orthodox faith here in the US, and that is desirable and quite influential to me, and I wish that the air of confusion around this division may disappear some day.

God bless.

Mina
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« Reply #58 on: January 07, 2006, 09:30:40 AM »

I want to know if this is true or not.ÂÂ  Was there another intention of the Patriarch for writing this, or did he truly believe and defend (or did he say otherwise in other letters) that St. Thomas was not a priest?


this letter is something malankara orthodox syrian church falsely use to promote its heresy.
plese visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SOCM-FORUM/message/7306 to learn more on this.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SOCM-FORUM/message/7306

The Syrian Orthodox Church considers St. Thomas as an Apostle.  So this title of an Apostle is greater than a bishop or a priest.  So this whole letter is in no way trying to degrade the Apostle of Malankara, St. Thomas.  So quoting Gospel of Saint John 20:21-24 to define priesthood is a theological issue.  This same theology was taught by the Saint of MOSC Mor Vattaseriel when dealing with priesthood.  Please refer to 'Mathopadeshasaarangal' by Mor Vattaseirel.   MOSC still quotes Saint John 20:21-24 in their seminaries while dealing with subjects related to priesthood.

So this private letter written to Mor Augen is shamefully being circulated by MOSC just to have some kind of stand in their quest to promote heresy.

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« Reply #59 on: January 07, 2006, 09:37:36 AM »

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church never included St. Thomas in their Thubden untill very recently.  As a matter of fact, Syrian Orthodox Church included St. Thomas in their Thubden even before the MOSC.  Can this be seen as MOSC has something negative about St. Thomas?  Ofcourse not.
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« Reply #60 on: January 07, 2006, 03:39:30 PM »

Again, what injustice would you have me stand up against? If my answer was insufficient (your words), then you are admitting that your actions are as well, for you are doing nothing more. My answer was to suggest that by the grace of God I am doing something positive in the church to build it up while studying, as opposed to merely attacking one faction or trying to find stilts to prop up the schismatic side. BTW I am not claiming that others aren't doing positive things. Tell me what you're doing. Maybe we can exchange notes.

Again, your original question seemed specifically aimed at my actions or lack of actions to end unjust actions, and not "what are you doing to advance the kingdom of God", which is what you seem to have turned to once I asked you the same question.  Very well.  I suspect that, with the exception of your ordination, which gives you more opportunities to "do" things, we are pretty much in the same business.  I don't wish to get into my activities because I don't really see the point.  You have someone in your parish who knows me.  If you're really interested, ask him.  If that doesn't satisfy you, email me privately. 

Quote
Thanks for the pictures. See, that was not so hard. You're right that pictures can be manipulated, but they speak volumes in context. I admit I am somewhat surprised to see a few of these, but I venture to state that these pictures are abberations and not the norm. But good for you. However, none of these are taken at Oriental Orthodox Forums or Meetings, but either at non Oriental Orthodox functions or Armenian general celebrations (nothing clarifying positions or doctrine). The general pictures of Paulose Mor Gregorious are good ones for your side in any context (though they are not dated, 1964-1975 the church was one). He was an able worker in the WCC and beyond. BTW, where are the Eithiopians and Eritreans you so cherish?

Of course, you would argue that they are abberations, which is why I knew when posting those links that they wouldn't really accomplish anything.  You asked specifically for pictures with the Coptic Pope, and I provided one.  IIRC, you never asked for anyone else, but I provided other pictures anyway, though not of the Ethiopians and Eritreans.  Why?  My source didn't provide any.  Even if he did, I don't think it would improve anything. 

Quote
Do you think if the Patriarch of Antioch asked the Pope of Alexandria to stop appearing with those excommunicated, he would? Do you think the Pope can readily identify those excommunicateed from Jacobite prelates without guidance? I mean, the Copts remember the Patriarch in the Diptychs, but of course there is no mention of the IOC Catholicose. BTW, anything more recent? I mean, the present IOC Catholicose was just ordained. What about a felicitation or two? Now that would be someting.

Other points have been addressed already by a member of the Coptic Church.  I will simply add that I like to give the heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches credit: I don't think they are idiots, I think they are very capable of figuring out who is who.   

Quote
What about a joint declaration? As you allude to - these instruments are much more substantive. I can point to many. Again, is the IOC a bastard child kept in a corner and treated gingerly (KJV terminology), or fully loved and respected in full public view? I think the former is closer to the truth when it comes to inter-church relations since the Copts generally respect anathemas pronounced by Antioch.

Joint declarations arise out of need, not because two bishops just had tea, and the biscuits were so good they sent their priests out to draft an encyclical about how good they were.  For hundreds of years, our Churches had virtually no contact with each other, and the only "joint declaration" they shared was their common faith, the "rock of the Orthodox faith of the three Ecumenical Synods".  I fail to see how joint declarations, and/or their absence, define anything.  Applying your logic to some of these joint declarations, I would have to say that certain members of the Church were not really so, as our friend Mina rightly noted. 

Quote
A quote - "Um, because I'm not a Donatist?  I can (and in some cases do) insist that certain policies are not the best, but this doesn't mean that I reject priesthood." "Insisting" that "certain policies are not the best" "in some cases" is not what we are speaking of here. We are talking about your Bishops violating scripture right and left by coveting property that they nor their followers built and in the process engineering the DESTRUCTION of the church from which they derive they entire faith system. We are talking about MAKING UP THEOLOGY and ecclesiology with the throne of St. Thomas and its corrollaries. You really don't get this, and until you do you are part of the cycle of degradation the church is experiencing, driving faithful to other churches like pentecost in droves.

I'm glad you're not a Donatist though. What about a follower of Jesus? He never made anything up nor coveted his neighbor's property, and no one claims that the SOC is engaged in such activity.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.  The only reason I have limited myself to what you and other of your faithful have said is because I don't want to get into this fight.  Don't misinterpret my silence as a confession of your Church's lack of wrongdoing. 

As for making up theology and ecclesiology, you (plural...not simply participants in this debate [and even here, some may be excused], but others with whom I've spoken in the past) haven't demonstrated to my satisfaction that you have a thorough understanding of these.   

Quote
BTW, I hope it has been made clear in the "church documents thread" that the letter Patriarch Ya'qub sent questioning  the use of the term "Throne of St. Thomas" was immediately rescinded and never read in any church, and as pointed out was not a bull expounding doctrine. Regardless - this is in no way sufficient to serve as the crux of the reason for the 1975 schism unless the schismatic party was looking for an excuse.

What does "immediately rescinded" mean in terms of a "private letter"? 

Quote
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Why stop there?  Let us read the whole chapter and ask for God's mercy. 
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« Reply #61 on: January 07, 2006, 03:54:23 PM »

Dear Mina,

You beg the question - why don't you remember the Eithiopians, Eritreans, and the IOC in the Dyptch? There is a strong reason that undercuts the gist of what you are trying to say.

I would be interested in hearing more about this.  What is this "strong reason"? 

Quote
You admit a "partial" communion. What is that? There is no such thing. The entire church is in communion, or it is not. People may make individual decisions to do this and that, but these decisions are not necessarily canonical.

If you mean "limited" communion - I understand this term. This means an official agreement has been worked out clarifying points of agreement and disagreement. There is no such thing in this context.

Where are you getting your definitions from?  I have my suspicions that your definition for the latter comes from the Syrian Church's agreement with the Roman Catholic Church. 

Anyway, if you read on, Mina, when admitting a "partial communion", went on to say that he knows of only one bishop in the Coptic Church that does not commune with us.  If true, that's a lot more than partial.   

Quote
Why didn't the Copts in Atlanta invite representatives of the Jacobite faction? This seems like a slight if the others were invited? There is no 'communion' question. We have 3 churches there.

All the news reports I read about this event were specific that there were representatives of the Indian and Syrian (once referred to as "Antiochene") Churches present.  I don't know if they appeared in any of the photos, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.  If they were absent (even after they were invited, and I don't think they would be intentionally ostracised), that wouldn't surprise me either (although I wonder why it was reported that they were there).   

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« Reply #62 on: January 16, 2006, 06:57:00 AM »

This is with reference to the use of  pictures of various hierarchs in the arguments.

There are two things I would like to say. 

I think it was last Jan, our church (IOC) hosted a group of Armenian clergymen from their  See in Echtmiadzin, they  participated in the liturgy:, there is a Jacobite church, 10 mins drive away. I understand that they did not visit there. 

Also the historical Armenian church in Mumbai has been handed over to the IOC, and one of our priests celebrates there. There are a couple of wonderful Armenian grandmas and they do participate.

As I understand it, none of the churches in the OO communion have openly stated their position. As of now they are considering both sides to be canonical.

Surely if the IOC is seen as uncanonical they rest of the communion has to make it official. As such the precense or absence of pictures does not prove anything. 

I hear in SA , the coptic bishop Mina mentioned is helping to set up a IOC church . Also I heard that at the consecration of the Jacobite church in Abu Dhabi, the vicar of the IOC parish who was Present in the Church, was called into the sanctuary by HH, from what I understand HB Mor Thomas I was also present.
Also I remember that Paulos Mar Gregorios and HH the Patriarch, then Mor Severios Zakka concelebrated in Geneva after one of the WCC meetings.

I hope Dn Zach can confirm this, let us accept one thing the situation is fluid as of now.

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« Reply #63 on: January 18, 2006, 07:07:41 PM »

Sorry I am a little late (perhaps this helped the Jacobites a lot Smiley  I know you guys don't like me writing my opinion as I write against division in the Church  Smiley  ) 

I would lilke to tell you the official Oriental Orthodox position:

- According to the official Oriental Orthodox family of Churches there are seven Churches - Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox, Eritren Orthodox, Malankara Orthodox Syrian (aka Indian Orthodox), Armenian Orthodox Church of Etchmiadzin and Armenian Orthodox Church of Cilicia. All these seven Churches sent representatives to official dialogues of OO with other Churches.

So, Indian Orthodox church is sending representatives/ contributions independently to all OO councils with other Churches. Jacobite Church also participate, but on behalf of SOC representing SOC Church in India.

- The meetings in New Jersey area organized by Metropolitan H.G. Mar Karim is a local event. All OO churches are free to organize such events.  There is another assembly of OO churches in Atlanta in which both Indian Orthodox and Syrian Orthodox participate along with Coptic and other sister Churches.

- I know the Malankara Jacobites are always tempted to prove their identity (and at the same time they want to be known as SOC). In my opinion this is not practical. You should be known in one identity and name. Otherwise ordinary people will be confused about the identity and we will continue to have conflict between Church identifying itself as Malankara Orthodox and the church identifying itself both as SOC and Malankara. Our Lord taught us that we cannot have two masters. One master for each church is a reasonable rule which avoida a lot of confusion and bring a lot of peace to all. Afterall we are all giving improtance to one and only one thing - that is our common confession of the same OO faith of three Ecumenical Councils.

-Paul

A note to Jacobites: I think the approach of trying to exclude Malankara Orthodox Syrian church (or writing such messages to mislead others is not good for anyone). You do not gain anything by talking against millions of people in India believeing in Oriental orthodox faith (if that faith is of any importance for you).  Perhaps only when we are persecuted in the name of OO faith we will understand the importance of remaining united in that faith. For example in the 5th and 6th centuries our Churches accepted anyone who believed in OO faith without bias. In our times we have more freedom hence we engage in fighting within OO believers in the name of numerous unimportant issues.




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« Reply #64 on: January 21, 2006, 12:44:15 AM »

Kefa,  I'm amazed that you don't know what the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (autocephalous) has accomplished.  Just go to their main Indian website and you will see the hospitals, orphanages, ashrams, training schools, colleges and seminaries they operate.  This church way outshines all the Orthodox in America put together!
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« Reply #65 on: December 02, 2006, 07:40:18 AM »

I don't see the present status of the Indian Orthodox Church as any way unique.
Other Orthodox Churches, such as the Church of Greece and the Orthodox Church in America, have claimed autocephaly. How is the Indian Orthodox Church in error for doing the same? 

Peace.
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« Reply #66 on: April 11, 2011, 04:56:07 PM »

The indian orthodox church under the catholic of the east,based in kottayam,kerala is truely an apostilic church and is in communes with all the orthodox churches namely russian,ethopian,greek,bysapatian and oriental.
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« Reply #67 on: April 12, 2011, 01:00:12 AM »

The indian orthodox church under the catholic of the east,based in kottayam,kerala is truely an apostilic church and is in communes with all the orthodox churches namely russian,ethopian,greek,bysapatian and oriental.

LOL

For one thing, no, it's not a universally agreed upon contention that the Methran faction is truly in communion with the other OO churches. It is the standard teaching of the Syriac Orthodox Church that it is indeed not, and some from other OO churches have come to agree with this opinion.

Secondly, the fact that you say that you are in communion with the Chalcedonians is hilarious.
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« Reply #68 on: April 12, 2011, 04:08:14 AM »

In the UK the chairman of the Council of Oriental Orthodox Churches in the UK and Ireland is Dr Mathews Mar Thimothios, Metropolitan of UK, Europe and Africa Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.

The President is His Grace Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Other members of the Council include His Grace Archbishop Athanasios Dawood of the Syrian Orthodox Church, and bishops and priests from all the other Orthodox Churches. At present due to various circumstances there is not a representative of the Jacobite Orthodox community, but there had been for many years.

The relations between all of the Orthodox communities in the UK is entirely fraternal.

Father Peter
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« Reply #69 on: April 14, 2011, 02:13:20 PM »

In reply to the original question, in Ethiopia the only Malankara Orthodox clergy present in the country (teaching at Holy Trinity Seminary in Addis Abeba) belong to the independent Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (MOSC) and from what I remember from news of Ethiopian Orthodox hierarchs visiting Kerala they always seemed to concelebrate with the catholicos and metropolitans of the MOSC, not the patriarchal Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church.

I think the Addis Abeba Patriarchate's perspective lines up with that of the rest of the Oriental Orthodox Churches - the schism in Malankara Orthodoxy is an internal matter to be resolved by Antioch and Kottayam and not their sister churches outside India.
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« Reply #70 on: April 14, 2011, 02:29:46 PM »

When my bishop, Metropolitan Seraphim, visited India, he was received as a welcome guest by the hierarchs of both communities without any suggestion on either part that he should have to choose to visit only one community. 
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« Reply #71 on: April 14, 2011, 03:11:34 PM »

This sort of reminds me of the Antiochian schism that was in America before Metropolitan Philip. The two communities didn't want anything to do with each other, but the leading hierarchs were best friends, and both sat on the Holy Synod of Antioch. I suppose the only way to know for sure what's going on is for the Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch and his Holy Synod to issue a definitive statement.
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« Reply #72 on: April 14, 2011, 03:20:05 PM »

That wouldn't really solve anything since the Syrians are one party to the ongoing dispute.
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« Reply #73 on: April 14, 2011, 04:59:51 PM »

I think the Addis Abeba Patriarchate's perspective lines up with that of the rest of the Oriental Orthodox Churches - the schism in Malankara Orthodoxy is an internal matter to be resolved by Antioch and Kottayam and not their sister churches outside India.

No, there simply is not consensus agreement on this issue; there are two parties of thought: HG Bishop David and HE Metropolitan Aphrem Karim being two perfect examples of the other school of thought.
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« Reply #74 on: May 11, 2011, 12:51:20 PM »

I think the Addis Abeba Patriarchate's perspective lines up with that of the rest of the Oriental Orthodox Churches - the schism in Malankara Orthodoxy is an internal matter to be resolved by Antioch and Kottayam and not their sister churches outside India.

No, there simply is not consensus agreement on this issue; there are two parties of thought: HG Bishop David and HE Metropolitan Aphrem Karim being two perfect examples of the other school of thought.

I think this particular example is less "another school of thought" and more a unique situation in the Northeastern US hierarchical scene.  As recently as the late 2000's (2008?) our Catholicos and his delegation were received as a delegation from a sister Church by HH Pope Shenouda III, and visits have been exchanged back and forth.  The Coptic bishop in the Southern US has worked closely with our bishops here, I've been communed in Coptic churches without having to lie about who I am, etc.  Similar things can be said about all the other OO jurisdictions.  I think the situation of HG Bishop David and HE Metropolitan Karim is more "SCOOCH politics" than a representation of another point of view widely held in the OO communion. 
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« Reply #75 on: May 11, 2011, 01:17:06 PM »

Representatives of both parties to the disagreement are full and participating members of the Council of Oriental Orthodox Churches in the UK.

Father Peter
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« Reply #76 on: May 11, 2011, 01:52:20 PM »

I think this particular example is less "another school of thought" and more a unique situation in the Northeastern US hierarchical scene.

Oh please. Given that the position is also upheld by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch and most likely also the Catholicos of the Patriarchal faction, it is quite clear that this is an underestimation of the strength of this side of the disagreement.
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« Reply #77 on: May 11, 2011, 02:20:34 PM »

Since the Syrian archbishop in the UK, and clergy of the Jacobite party, and the Metropolitan of the Indian Orthodox are all on the council of the Oriental Orthodox Churches without problems then it would seem that the controversy is not universally accorded the same weight.
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« Reply #78 on: May 11, 2011, 03:06:43 PM »

Since the Syrian archbishop in the UK, and clergy of the Jacobite party, and the Metropolitan of the Indian Orthodox are all on the council of the Oriental Orthodox Churches without problems then it would seem that the controversy is not universally accorded the same weight.

True enough. Nonetheless, it is clear that there is a party of opposition to union with the MOSC within the OO Tradition.
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« Reply #79 on: May 11, 2011, 07:22:37 PM »

I think the Addis Abeba Patriarchate's perspective lines up with that of the rest of the Oriental Orthodox Churches - the schism in Malankara Orthodoxy is an internal matter to be resolved by Antioch and Kottayam and not their sister churches outside India.

No, there simply is not consensus agreement on this issue; there are two parties of thought: HG Bishop David and HE Metropolitan Aphrem Karim being two perfect examples of the other school of thought.

I think this particular example is less "another school of thought" and more a unique situation in the Northeastern US hierarchical scene.  As recently as the late 2000's (2008?) our Catholicos and his delegation were received as a delegation from a sister Church by HH Pope Shenouda III, and visits have been exchanged back and forth.  The Coptic bishop in the Southern US has worked closely with our bishops here, I've been communed in Coptic churches without having to lie about who I am, etc.  Similar things can be said about all the other OO jurisdictions.  I think the situation of HG Bishop David and HE Metropolitan Karim is more "SCOOCH politics" than a representation of another point of view widely held in the OO communion. 

It's good to see you again!  We've missed you.   Smiley
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« Reply #80 on: May 12, 2011, 06:03:09 AM »

It's good to see you again!  We've missed you.   Smiley  

I've nothing to add to the discussion, but I refuse to miss the opportunity to agree with Salpy and say hello to my brother and friend. Phil, I pray that you are well; it's great to see a post from you!   Grin

Many years,

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« Reply #81 on: May 12, 2011, 11:52:36 AM »

Since the Syrian archbishop in the UK, and clergy of the Jacobite party, and the Metropolitan of the Indian Orthodox are all on the council of the Oriental Orthodox Churches without problems then it would seem that the controversy is not universally accorded the same weight.

True enough. Nonetheless, it is clear that there is a party of opposition to union with the MOSC within the OO Tradition.

Sure there are those that oppose us, otherwise there would be no dispute.  But the dispute is between the Syrian Patriarchate and the Church in India.  The other Churches maintain communion with us and vice versa, as can be demonstrated in any number of ways to those who are willing to give less credence to myopic polemical statements and more credence to reality and truth. 

Anyway, I've covered a lot of this in previous posts I've made here over the years, I don't think I need to repeat what hasn't changed.  But I am grateful to Salpy and Neil for their kind words and wish to greet them: Christ is risen!   
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« Reply #82 on: May 12, 2011, 07:40:52 PM »

But I am grateful to Salpy and Neil for their kind words and wish to greet them: Christ is risen!   

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« Reply #83 on: May 13, 2011, 05:44:40 AM »

al-Masīḥ qam! Ḥaqqan qam!
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« Reply #84 on: May 13, 2011, 09:48:17 PM »

I think this particular example is less "another school of thought" and more a unique situation in the Northeastern US hierarchical scene.

Oh please. Given that the position is also upheld by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch and most likely also the Catholicos of the Patriarchal faction, it is quite clear that this is an underestimation of the strength of this side of the disagreement.

Considering that I know HG Bishop David in person, I can agree very well with Fr. Deacon Phil's assessment.  So, oh please, don't talk about anything you don't even know.  Fr. Dn Phil and I are both in the same diocese and vicinity of HG Bishop David and I personally had to deal with the situation very badly.  I tried to challenge him on the issue, but for my luck, neither of the other American Coptic bishops were available.

I'm sure he knows that the other Coptic bishops commune with the independent faction.  But he's obviously stuck with SCOOCH politics.

Great to see around here, Fr. Dn. Phil :-)
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