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.)ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š 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.
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?
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),ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š 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
-ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š 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.