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Devotional thoughts for Sunday 2nd Feb 03. Mayaltho (Entry of our Lord
into the temple) Memory of St. Simon and St. Hanna.
From: The watchman upon the wall.
Reading: Gospel according to St. Luke 2:22-40.
Read Verse 22: "they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord."
It is to be noted that in the Jewish custom, the mothers used to observe 40
days as the days of purification as soon as a baby was born to them. After
40 days the infant was carried to the Temple to present the new born to the
Lord God. When they used to take the newborn babies, they had to take any of
the animals like goats or oxen or birds like pigeons or so for sacrifice.
The pre-Christian society had a precedence of offering the first born baby
to the service of God. The same system and customs are in our practice from
the very beginning of Christianity in India. When a lady would give birth
to a baby, she would wait for 40 days and would go to Church after 40 days
only. And when she would go with the newborn, she would take candles/incense
(Kunthirikkam) and oil for the lamps, as symbol of gratitude for the
blessings from God. (We used to maintain the days of purification of our
ladies, as the deliveries in the past were taking place in the houses, until
past 40-50 years. In those days facilities and cleanliness as compared to
the present days were not available or adequate too. Having the high
standard of hygiene and cleanliness in the foreign lands, our ladies outside
India do not wait for 40 days to go Church). We are also in the habit of
dedicating our kids (as Adima) in the sense that they are submitted for the
service of God and to release them from Adima, by paying some money to the
Church, if those persons could not serve God for full time. (As the Jews
offered their first born boys to God's services, we continue the system of
submitting our infants to God and we do it generally in the intercession of
saints of our choice).
Now let us see Verse 24: "And to offer a sacrifice according that which is
said in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons"
were taken. It is clear that the faithful used to offer differently
according to their financial capacity. It is a fact that God would be
pleased in the offering, whether it is costly or comparatively cheap. But it
is mandatory for every faithful to offer something or the other to God. The
Holy Church also expects the same sort of offering from her children and
exhorts them to submit their offerings according to one's own ability. We
believe that God will specially consider the sincere and whole-hearted
offerings and will be pleased to reward the faithful substantially.
Verse 25 introduces St. Simeon, a representative of thousands of faithful
who had been waiting for Messiah. St. Simeon was engaged in copying the Holy
Scriptures on the animal skins in his young age. It is said that when he was
copying the book of Prophet Isaiah, he came across the portion where it is
mentioned that a virgin would give birth to the Savior. He doubted and
started serious thinking. And finally it was revealed to him by God Almighty
that he would have death only after seeing the savior with his own eyes. So
he spent the rest of his life in the expectation of the Saviour of mankind
with prayer and mediation. We read in verse 30: "For my eyes have seen your
salvation". It is believed that St. Simeon had seen Infant Jesus when he was
280 years old. So also we honour another old aged lady St. Hanna. She is
honoured as the representative of the ladies who were in the expectation of
Our Holy Church honours St. Simeon and St. Hanna on 2nd Feb every year when
we would commemorate the entry of Infant Jesus to the Jerusalem Temple.
Moreover 2nd Feb is considered by the Holy Church as a day of the old aged.
(To pray for all living old aged) Youth Movement, MGOCSM, Sunday School and
Prayer Group activists of the Holy Church must separate this day to visit
the old age homes and the houses in the neighborhood. If so they could spend
a little time with the old aged, and they could distribute presentations
like packets of sweets/cloth etc to the old aged in their own homes or old
age homes, irrespective of caste, creed, color and faith. Otherwise there is
no meaning in keeping a day for the old aged in the church calendar.
For the Indian Orthodox Church Feb 2nd is the Memorial Day of the late H.G.
Pathros Mar Osthathios Metropolitan of blessed memory. He was the founder of
the missionary movement "Servants of the Cross". His Grace could convert
more than 22,000 dalit families to Orthodox Christianity. His Grace did a
lot for the social and spiritual up liftment of the dalits and the
downtrodden, as His Grace's predecessor and role model, St. Gregorios of
Parumala. Let the memory and intercession of His Grace be an encouragement
for the growth and development of evangelical and social activities of our
The main message of the reading under consideration is that "waiting with
preparation" is a must to receive our Lord God. In all the worships there is
the need for the waiting and expectation. We must realize the need and act
accordingly. Then only we could make use of the worships more meaningfully.
May God bless us all.
Watchman upon the wall.
Heated debate seems to be going on this topic and every one see to be
blaming each other for this situation. Let us however have a look at the
situation calmly and objectively.
The Chinese (second & third generation in US) make it a point to learn
Madrian at home and the family converse in that language at home. It is
only the fourth generation which dropped their mother tongue.
Fifth and sixth generation Tamil Brahmins in US still learn and speak
Tamil & Sanskrit.
But, a native Malayalee, when there are guests at home (especially if the
guest is an expatriate mallu) will use expressions like "Sittedda!
Didn't I tell you to sit". or "There is lot more fried potato sitting".
His kid is going to the nearest English Medium School where some
pseudo-English person teaches expressions like: "Please 'catch' this bag
for me while I tie." or "She 'only' broke the window" and he thinks it
The problem for the expatriate Malayalee is the fact that if his child
has to follow the Indian school syllabus, they have to follow the CBSC
syllabus which has no language except Hindi and English. Further more;
the "Babu's" of Indian Embassy in these places are Hindi fanatics who
try to ensure that the students with non - Hindi mother tongues score
far below the Hindi speaking children. For our children the only thing
we can give, which will ensure security in the future when we are not
around to support them, is education. So we opt for English and any
language other than Hindi.
Bank Balance is not what we are concerned about. We came/migrated abroad
due to the fact that we could not find any good opportunities back home
in Kerala. I think the situation has deteriorated in the past 15 years
or so. I came to Kuwait in 1988, went through the traumatic experience
of the Iraq's invasion. fled the war zone through Jordan. returned in
1991. Every vacation I take in Kerala, I add to my collection of horror
stories where the locals try to fleece the expatriate take advantage.you
want real horror stories I can give you any number. One, I had a run in
with a Customs Inspector, who demanded a Bribe of $ 50.
Dear Forum members
Hanna Hajjar who runs the forum where this message appeared, is a
known trouble maker. You are all aware perhaps of the conflict
between the Assyrians and the Arameans that has affected the SOC. The
Assyrians who are mostly in the Church of the East (Nestorian church)
have political ambitions of establishing a state for themselves in
Iraq. They claim that all ancient Christians of Mesopotamia are
Assyrian. Arameans are not willing to agree with the claim and anyone
who reads the Bible knows this. The SOC has mostly people of Aramean
descent, although under the Maphrianate of Tirgis there are people
who may claim an Assyrian ancestry. I don't think that anyone can
trace themselves to purely an Aramean or Assyrian line; so the
affiliations today are primarily political. Anyway this issue has
affected the SOC even though Assyrians are a minority. They have
created trouble for HH and all bishops of our church who have spoken
out against the unnecessary divisions these people have created.
Hanna Hajjar is one of them and so are a number of people who write
on his forum. They are also the source of the rumors on HE Mor
Clemis. Since they are opposed to all SOC bishops because of their
stand on the Assyrian issue, they will write anything that supports
their claims and are misusing this issue.
Everybody seems to suspect that some investment of money was made by
HE with the knowledge of HH and bishops like Mor Yulius Cicek and the
money may have been lost. But none of those who have lost the money
have come forward and complained within any church forum or in any
Mor Clemis is a very simple person and devout. He strictly observes
the traditions of the church including prayer, fasting, etc. He is a
very innocent man. He had the desire to do many things for the
church. In his residence he almost always immersed in study in his
library. He is one of the few masters of Syriac living today. He is
widely known to be very close to HH having been his secretary for
several years. He had very good relations with his archdiocese and
church being the simple man he was. He is known to make decisions
only after consulting with HH and the people. If he did go in for an
investment of the money I strongly believe that he did with the
knowledge of many. Could he have been defrauded? I can see that, but
I would think so were the others involved. Since nobody has come out
we do not know what happened
St. George Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church
Cheppaud, Alleppy (Dist)
--- In IndianOrthodox@yahoogroups.com, Thomas P wrote:
> Many real Syrians are against the present hierarchy of Damascus
based Patriarch. Following is a website of the real Syrians.
> -Thomas P
Following is a message recently came in Syrian/ Assyrian
(Suryoyo/Othuroyo) forum. East Syrians accepting Patriarch in
Damascus like to call themselves "Assyrian Orthodox".
The definition of Syriac Church by Patriarch Yakub 111 can be read
This definition also include both Assyrians and Arameans (Syrians).
Now there is a division in Syriac church. Assyrians want the name to
be "Assyrian Orthodox", while the Aramean leadership (most bishops are
Arameans) are suppressing the Assyrians.
In the below message you can read the opinion of both Assyrians
(Othuroyo) and Syrians (Arameans)(Suryoyo), both express that the
present Patriarch is Damascus should be removed. It also reflect the
present state of the Syriac church. Also the Assyrian brother is
saying that "chevalier" title is not given to any Syrians. "It is
special for ignorant Keralite Indians".
We are neither "Othuroyo" or "Suryoyo". In Syriac we are "Hindo",
because the word for Indian in Syriac is hindo. Both factions should
understand our real identity which is Indian, instead of going for an
unrealistic Syriac identity in a cheap way. Even the definition of
Syriac church by Patriarch Yakub 111 does not include us Indians.
The many discussions on the topic, "To teach or not to teach Malayalam"
clearly demonstrate the merits of both sides of the argument.
Learning another language is always good. It expands your world.
However, children have to have an interest. They also have to have an
aptitude for grasping the mechanics of the language. Some children learn
certain things (e.g., Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Spanish) faster and
better than others.
There are other influential factors that get in the way of learning
Malayalam.... such as demands of other academic, religious, spiritual and
social pursuits, interests of parents, social environment (E.g., plenty of
Malayalees around), etc. Time and effort spent on one thing limits the time
and effort that can be spared for other things. That is why we all have to
make choices. Each individual will tend to feel that his/her choices were
better than the choices of others.
Teaching our children Malayalam is a personal choice, that is influenced by
the many factors mentioned earlier. Since Malayalam teaching cannot be
successfully accomplished at the Church alone, the church community has to
recognize the reality.
Backgrounds, situations and priorities are different for different people.
In an open society, as in America or India, we cannot force anyone to do or
learn anything against his/her will. There's a saying, "A man convinced
against his will is of the same opinion still".
For every choice we make in life, there's always a tradeoff. Unfortunately,
we cannot decide not to choose. Understanding this, perhaps we can agree to
disagree on the personal choices we have to make as individuals.
We do not need any other data about the pathetic condition of the Syriac
Patriarchate than their own website Syric Orthodox Resources. There are more
bishops in that church than priests and other institutions. Also I read a
story about the California area bishop Eugene Caplan (Clemis) which will
ashame everybody. Then the followers of this Patriarchate should learn more
about that see.
Isaac Thomas Vadakedom
1, I read with interest the posting of the sitting Managing Committee member
Mr Philipose about the appointment of bishops. I do not find the name of Mor
Nicholovos as the Asst. Metropolitan. If bava thirumeni has send Kalpana to
all the parishes about the appointment of bishops did it include the name of
Mor Nicholovos and why in many parishes still the name of Mor Nicholovos is
not mentioned in the tubden? Is it a matter left to the choice of parishes?
I think it is within the autholrity of Mor Barnabas thirumeni to issue
2, The church, any church, will not get over from its problems and will not
have spiritual growth so long as the faithful give more importance to
personal considrations than the faith/doctrines of the Church. What I have
observed is, like or even worse than pentecostals, many of our faithful's
approach towards the church is relative to their favorite leaders (church is
seen in relation to certain favorite leaders). This in other words is due to
the ego we all hold dearer than the faith of the Church. My doubt is 1, why
the faithful need be concerned as to the person, who is the priest or the
bishop rather than the question whether or not such priest or the bishop is
bonafide and 2, why the priest need be favoring a particular bishop and not
honor the directions from above? and 3, why a bishop or a priest should
cling on to a particular parish or diocese in utter defiance to the all set
principles of modesty and canons of the church? Who could check or prevent
when the guard itself is steeling the property?
I am not in anyway belittling the honest efforts of a priest or bishop in
any given situation. Such efforts need be honored and documented and timely
appreciated. My own case I would cite. I was appointed vicar of a parish
that was conducting its services in a rented day-care centre. I continuously
spoke to invoke awareness for an own facility and after about two years of
uncesaing admonitions the faithful came forward and finally we bought a
beautiful church, converted it to suit our tradition and the bishop came,
performed temporary sanctification and conducted the first service. The
first thing I requested the bishop was to appoint a new vicar for the
parish. Again, after some time my wish was sanctioned. It is ridiculous for
me to think that since I inspired the faithful to buy and alter the parish I
should be vicar for ever. Let the parish go on without me for, I did not
work for favor of any indivdual personally but to the Church as a whole.
Should all faithful, priests and bishops think in this way there is no need
of any politics in the church. People build their own empire by nepotism and
red-tapism in the name of the church but not the kingdom of God, which is
the real problem. Let us all pray that Holy Spirit work and enlighten all.
My dear brother Mathew Samuel's posting on women's role
reflects a typical androcratic (male) statement,
which affirms the stance of a patriarchal system
over, and against biblical appeal. I commend him though for at least
being sensitive, where he tries to pacify women's frustration by
upholding our church's leniency in allowing infant girl's into the
altar during baptism.
I believe,the demands of God must be distinguished from the demands
of a particular culture or tradition. The bible as a whole makes it
clear that God's people are to bring justice and wholeness to all
human beings. (Their job is not to uphold culture and tradition
especially the ones that are detrimental to women because these
traditions have a far-flung ramification in women's community and
personal lives (Jesus' examples of breaking each one of those
traditions is without parallel in `civilized' societies). The notion
(statements) that women are equal, but not equal enough to have
voting rights, all are worthy but women are little less worthy to be
altar girls (due to our cultural heritage) do not really hold water
in the coming Christendom or are `valid' reasons for denying
ordination of women, but instead reflect a cultural situations in
which men relate to women through dominance (whose driving force is
in almost all case not God) and that Malankara Orthodox denomination
is keen on upholding traditions against- women's equality with men -
by denying them voting rights and ordination or taking favorable
steps to meet that end.
I wonder if folks who do not want to be controversial have ever
thought what a controversy must have resulted when people responded
to Jesus' call "Follow me" and immediately left their fishing and tax
collecting businesses and took off after this unknown itinerant rabbi?
I cannot believe first-century folks found this behavior any easier
to take than people would today. The Bible presents these scenes with
great economy of words, but we can use our imaginations to figure out
the accounts. Take the passage in Mark chapter 1 where Jesus called
Simon Peter and Andrew, and also James and John four men in the
fishing business. In both cases, Mark tells us "straightway"
immediately these men left their business and followed Jesus. Don't
you think there was a tremendous reaction? What about Peter's wife,
or the father of James and John? These families depended on fishing
to live. Do you really think the various members said, "Oh great, you
men go off and engage yourselves. No problem. Have a wonderful
spiritual retreat, and if it lasts a couple of years so what?"
Hardly. I suspect there was quite a bit of anxiety when these men
laid down their nets and walked away with Jesus.
Or what about the list of women in Luke 8:2-3, who went around the
countryside with Jesus? Take Joanna, who was the wife of King Herod's
steward. Do you think her husband said, "Of course you can use a
change of pace, and all that tramping around will be more fun than
cooking, cleaning and mending my togas?" I have a strong suspicion
that these women's decision to follow Jesus caused a tremendous
controversy in their neighborhoods, families, and even in Herod's
The passion narrative shows the men weak, vacillating, denying,
betraying, and hiding. It is a woman who anoints Jesus beforehand for
burial; a kindness that he asks to be remembered of her wherever the
gospel is preached. (Mark 14:3,Mat.26: 6). In the Jewish world women
had little veracity as witnesses. How odd then God to choose women as
witnesses of His resurrection! By the way, (question in IOIF old
posting) the reason why Mary was told not to cling on risen Jesus was
not because she was a woman but if you recall (Luke chapter 24?)
She was one of the three people who anointed Jesus' body with spices
(after crucifixion) and according to (Numbers 19:11,22) she is
probably supposed to keep the law of untouchability for 7 days!??.
But she does touch the resurrected Christ's foot and worship Him in
Mathew 28:9? (See significance of foot cleaning IOIF posting).
Does this mean that women did touch the holy Eucharist in its
Now it becomes clear that Jesus treated women as He did, not because
He was `gallant' or `nice' but because the restoration of women to
their full humanity in partnership with men is integral to the coming
of God's egalitarian society.
The Holy Spirit assigns gifts to women and men for the explicit
purpose of enriching their common life. It is our gifts, not our
gender that determines our function in the body. Everyone's gifts
exist for the benefit of one another and thus the "common good" God
has indeed called both men and women to exercise their gifts for the
building up of the body (Rom 12:4-8; 1 Cor 12:4-26, Eph 4:11-12). To
restrict women's gifts is to disobey God. Many earlier IOIF posting
correctly observes that the Bible nowhere demands women to be
ordained, but if the whole truth is to be known, neither does
Scripture demand men to be ordained. Ordination is simply a human
symbol that affirms God's calling for a person's life. Anointing was
a means by which God's people acknowledged a divine appointment. In
the Old Testament, in obedience to God, Israel poured olive oil on
the heads of prophets, Levites(could become priests) and kings. In
the New Testament churches, the head of the church prayed and laid
hands on individuals whom God had called all believers are priests
(1 Pet. 2:5, Rev: 5:8) and Jesus is the Head priest (Heb: 3, 5, 9).
(The renting of the temple veil in Holy of Holies specifically
denotes that the old order of Levites priest are replaced now all
believers enter the Holy of Holies by prayer through Jesus' death
(Heb. 10: 19-22).
All said and done- the bottom line is - Love should be the basis or
guide for all our actions and decisions. It is the key to
interpreting God's word. Any interpretation of scripture that removes
love for God, love for each other, or love for your neighbor is a bad
interpretation. Using our ability to recognize LOVE takes man's will,
influence, bad translation, interpretation, or false teaching out of
the picture. No one is between God and us. We are responsible only to
God and God is the only one each of us has to please, and by obeying
God we please all.
I would like to hear comments from IOIF sisters and also brothers ---
Love in Christ
Raji Johnson, Austin, TX
Yesterday Jessy is detached from the Ventilator for the first
time and she is started breathing by self. Still no movements
of body parts or no response to sense or sound.
Baby girl is recovering and she is still in the ventilator.
In our Lords Love
Thomas Daniel (Reji)
Jose Kurian Puliyeril, Abu Dhabi.
When going through many of the postings in the recent digests, it reminds me
of the Hebrew Church, about which St. Paul is making a reasonable remark in
Hebrews 5:12-14. (I also admit the fact that there is difference of opinion
about the author of the book to Hebrews among the Biblical Scholars, but the
generally accepted authorship lies with St. Paul still) St. Paul is accusing
the Hebrew church that they were not at all trying to grow spiritually.
Hence they were happy indeed in discussing and learning the same topics
which they had learned while they were as good as babies in Christianity.
They were not interested in the further subjects and topics, other than
which they had learned so far. "For when for the time you ought to be
teachers, you have need that one teach you again which be the first
principles of the oracles of God; and are become such a have need of milk,
and not of strong meat". Are we also not in the same category? Yes we also
like to be like spiritual babies drinking light and soft milk. That is why
we do question Holy Communion, Holy Confession etc and bring them to
discussion forums for explanation. Somebody mentioned in one of the recent
digests that when our Lord established Holy Qurbana for the first time and
administered among His Apostles, Our Lord did not give Holy Confession and
absolution. In reply to this, Mr. Jacob Varghese from Sharjah wrote that
washing of the feet of the Apostles was as good as a confession. That is the
teaching of the Holy Church. It is the fundamental and basic faith. What is
established as faith, and observed by the Holy Church for centuries together
without any sort of suspicion, should not be dragged for further discussion
of our immature spiritual visions. When we say that our Lord did not give
absolution/forgiveness of sins, are we not questioning our Lord? Such an
argument is a heresy. Let us try to protect the faith handed over to us by
our forefathers and try to be meaningful Christians in word and deed. Why
Confession is made compulsory? Who made it compulsory? Our Lord Himself said
" it is a mystery for myself and my own people". He entrusted the Sacrament
to His disciples and asked to continue till the end of the world. St. Paul
reminds us of the need to be purified before receiving the Holy Qurbana.
Refer I Corinthians 11: 26 We accept the Holy body and blood of Jesus to
have an inter- connection and an abideness with our Lord God as per His
promise in St. John 6:55. God in the Old Testament era itself exhorted "you
be holy as I am Holy" (Leviticus 20:7). Holy bodies only can unite with the
Holiness of Holy God. Or in other words, we must purify our own bodies and
minds before we might attempt to abide with our Lord God. That is why we are
asked to have purification of our minds and bodies, before accepting the
Holy mysteries. Each Apostolic and Episcopal Church has its own rules and
regulations to safe guard the teachings of their forefathers. A priest
cannot administer the Holy Qurbana to any one who might open his/her mouth
in front of the priest. The priest must be satisfied in the understanding
that the one who receives the mysteries has a strong faith that the
mysteries are the true body and blood of our redeemer. We should not have
any sort of confusions regarding the faith and practice of our ancient
Church. After all communion means 'come in union' (with God). Let us think
how we could utilize the God given chances for our better experience and
satisfaction. Let us not forget our Lord's words "I am the true vine and my
father is the husbandman." "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot
bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine: no more can you, except
you abide in me." St John 15:1, 4. Let us try to be in our Lord Jesus for
ever and ever. Otherwise we could not have spiritual growth and development.
Now may I congratulate and express the heartfelt gratitude to Respected Aju
Semmachen for his wise, apt, and timely posting on 'Language issue and
giving Holy Qurbana' in IOIF digest # 729. The note contained correct
answer, based on the teachings and traditions of the Holy Church and Church
Fathers, to the questions and queries raised by our members of the forum. A
special thanks for the convincing, admirable and appreciable presentation of
the facts and the faith of the Holy Church. Hope all members would be
satisfied with the answer given by Respected Semmachen.May God bless us all.
Jose Kurian Puliyeril, Abu Dhabi.
One week back I have received a very neatly packed parcel on my
office desk through courier. The sender was Mr. Kurien Varghese from
Kuwait. Since I was not expecting such a parcel, I have opened it
immediately. The parcel contains 2 CD's and there was no forwarding
note attached. After reaching home I have played the CD and found
that it contains the recording of our Holy Qurbana. Then I rememberd
that, there was a posting sometime back in IOIF Digest asking about
the availability of any such Holy Qurbana CD by one of our IOIF
members. In a subsequent digest, Mr. Kurien Varghese not only
informed about the availability, but also volunteered to send to
anybody who needs it. Then I send a mail to him requesting for one
copy which he has now forwarded to me. When I have requested him
about the charges, he says "I do not charge for the CDs. Please use
it in the same way as you would be attending a Holy Qurbana."
These are certain rare moments in life when you truely feel that we
are too small compared to such true selfless and reliable christian
volunteers like Mr. Kurien Varghese.
On behalf of Divine Children's Home I extend my sincere gratitude and
appreciation to Mr. K.G.Geevarghese, Abu-Dhabi who contributed Rs.2000 and
Rajam Abraham, Texas who contributed $60 towards Divine children's Home,
Trivandrum as per my posting a month before. Thanks again.
Staten Island, NY
Dear Cherry Cherian,
Welcome to IOIF. It was quite a surprise seeing your post from far
away New Zealand. I am from Allepey too(Chempumalil), who had the
great honor and privelage to participate with Valiachen Kottathuvila
as the Chief celebrant of quite a few Qurbanas in my childhood.I
think the longest times you and me spent together must been in the
Church for Qurbana without much contact outside of it.Guess it must
be providence that this must be an avenue to take on our friendship
from where we left it and it nicely fits IOIF objective.
Now to matters that has to be seriously addressed.
"But I'm of the opinion that it is best to face it head on and
explore a solution rather than hiding from the reality, the reality
being that our Sabha is vertically split into two. Any reapprochement
is a remote possibility now. So let us face it, there is no single
Malankara church anymore but two in the form of Orthodox and
Jacobite. Let both the factions part and peace prevail. I write this
not in glee but with deep regret and profound sense of loss"
I can understand and feel most of us in the forum would agree and
emphathise with your feeling of furstration/sadness in the Church
situation.However,to me the idea of seperating the church into two
must never cross our minds.It is important that we discourage any
thoughts/ talks of seperation.This has harmed the Church from
Apostolic times and in this context, please go though Mr. Thomas's
post two days back on unity.let us go a littl further .
A most significant split of CHURCH in history has been the Eastern
Orthodox churches from us at Chalcedon,unfortunately encouraged by
Emperors who felt seperation would be the best way.
The split of Eastern Orthodox Churches and Roman Catholic Church on
Petrine Supremacy has been aided who felt seperation would be best.
The split of protestants from Roman Catholic Church was also because
of arrogance that excommunication/seperation would be the best
Choice. Well , that choice has proved itself to split the Church into
thousands of factions.
In sharp contrast to sepration what did Our Lord do?- John 17
Our Church was the only Church in our Family of Oriental Orthodox
Churches that had the least influence of the Byzantine empire.
It was set up by St. Thomas and took root in a civilization that was
in par with any other civilization of that times.It had relationships
with the Persian Church as early as 3rd Century and influence of
portuguese in 17th century led us to come into contact more with the
As Indians,though we adapted well with traditions of Syrian church,
but we should never forget that we borrowed for our survival as a
Church and not for any other purpose.Too often shortcuts has only
hurt the Church.
There are some people who uses the 1934 costitution now as a shortcut
to present the Syrian Patriach as the head of our church.
Hello! wake up!- We should be brave to say it was no Syrian Patriach
or Syrians that made our Alapuzaha church that lay our foundation. It
was the people of India, Our achemar and us, who because we were
Orthodox before the advent of the Syrians, holding our faith and
independence dear.If the Antiochene church was so great since 16th
century, we would have seen its results around Antioch and across
present Syria with a lot more Parishes/priests than now.The
Patriachate had detriorated to such a pitiful state that instead of
seeking an alliance it want to subdue us using some.The
title'Spiritual head ' was given to Syrian patriach way back not
because we are under them, but to acknowledge our love to the syrian
fathers who had helped our 'Indian orthodox Church'.Also that title
comes with certain responsibities which has to go beyond
excommunication and elevating some one as Bishop/catholicose to split
the Church. The saddest part is we are not seeing through this and
Let us work for unity with this:
1We declare that there is only one 'Indian Orthodox Church' following
the faith of Oriental Orthodox Church, reaffirmed at the 1965 Adis
Ababa oriental Orthodox Church conference, under the ecclesiastical
and temporal leadership of the Malankara Catholicos who is also the
Metropolitan of the East, the Succesor to the thone of St. Thomas and
prelate to the Catholicate.
2.We place a special place to the Syrian Orthodox Church for
assistance and would in our prayers specially pray foremost for the
fathers of the Syrian church who had worked towards upholding our
3. In our Prayers, we would remember all the prelates of the 6
Oriental Orthodox Churches and would work towards establishing more
relationship among these churches, as one among the 6- neither
superior or inferior, but as one of the 6 sister Churches.
4. We would seek Gods mercy in prayers and work together as one Body
towards continuing our mission as Church having as its head 'Our Lord and God
Jesus Christ' confessed by first missionary to India-' St. Thomas'
If my memory serves me correctly, the kalpana received
after the Association Meeting at Parumala, regarding
the allocation of dioceses to the bishops supporting
the 1934 Constitution as decided by the Managing
Committee and approved by the Holy Synod, assigned Mar
Barnabas as the Diocesan Bishop for America and Mar
Nicholovos as the Assistant (Auxillary) Bishop for
America. Members of the American Diocese formally
welcomed Mar Nicholovos to the American Diocese some
months back in a grand reception in New York. A few
months later in Philadelphia during the MGOCSM One-day
conference, Mar Nicholovos Thirumeni was again
welcomed formally by Mar Barnabas Thirumeni and the
members of MGOCSM, Eastern Region.
I also questioned and felt uneasy about not mentioning
Mar Nicholovos Thirumeni's name in the thubden. Many
achens told me a kalpana from Catholicate Office was
to be received giving this permission and instruction
to do so. Having not heard of any kalpana, in
December, when Mar Barnabas Thirumeni came to
Baltimore for service, I and the achen asked him about
mentioning Mar Nicholovos Thirumeni's name in the
first thubden. Mar Barnabas Thirumeni said, without
hesitation, that we must most definitely do so. He
agreed that a kalpana from Bava Thirumeni should have
come, but regardless, it was proper to do so, and the
American Diocese has already received a kalpana
stating that Mar Nicholovos Thirumeni was assigned as
the Assistant Bishop. I asked him again the next day
just to be sure I understood what he said, and he
again said it was to be done. Thus, I have been
saying both bishops' names when reading the thubden.
Bava Thirumeni and/or Barnabas Thirumeni may send a
formal kalpana later, but it was clear to me that we
are permitted to do so. I had sent an email in the
achen's forum as well to this effect.
Dn. George Mathew [Benny]
St. Thomas Indian Orthodox Church, Washington, DC
"If we truly think of Christ as our source of holiness, we shall refrain from
anything wicked or impure in thought or act and thus show ourselves to be
worthy bearers of his name. For the quality of holiness is shown not by what
we say but by what we do in life."
St. Gregory of Nyssa.
(Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And let
them say continually, "Let the Lord be magnified, Who has pleasure in the
prosperity of His servant.") Psalms 35:27
News from Indian Express, 29/01/03
HC rejects Christian faction plea for police protection
KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday turned down a plea of the Orthodox
faction of the Malankara Syrian Church to provide police protection to enter
1150 parish churches in the state and conduct religious services.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice J L Gupta and Mr Justice M
Ramachandran were of the view that the property rights of the parish churches in
the Malankara Church were not determined in the 1995 decision of the Supreme
It could not be said that The orthodox faction had an undisputed right which
could be enforced by a writ of mandamus or the state. Thus the police were under
an obligation to provide protection to them.
Baselius Marthoma Mathews II, Catholicos and other bishops of the Malankara
Church, sought police protection on the main ground that the apex court had
already upheld the validity of the 1934 constitution of the Malankaran
Association and declared that it was binding on the parish churches.
Rejecting this argument, the bench said that the basic declaration given by the
Supreme Court was that the constitution of 1934 bound all churches. However, so
far as the rights of parish churches were concerned, there was no declaration
against them as they had not been impleaded as parties.
The court noted that more than 200 suits were pending in various courts on the
dispute in the Malankara Church. Since these suits were pending adjudication,
the parties would lead evidence and prove their right in the civil court. The
trial of suits could not be stifled by allowing police protection.
The judges observed that since the purpose of police protection was concerning
religious rites, it involved sensitive issues. Interference of police in a place
of worship could only be a matter of last resort.
The bench rejected the contention of the Orthodox faction that parting of a
section from it was in violation of the decision of the Supreme Court.
Glory to God
Respected and dearly beloved brothers and sisters,
Thank you very much for Dr.M.S. Alexander-Leed's for the proposal that
" I request that every parish church should have women representative in the
The suggestion is very good. I have a doubt whether our constitution
allows it or not ? when I have asked our vicars at the time of general
elections earlier they advised that yet there is no rule in our church.
They opinined that "Women cannot sit in the meeting" and if they sit
they have no power to participate in the meeting, they have to sit as
mute spectataors. At the same time all adult men members (there is
no limit from one home itself) can participate and vote. If they are
not allowed to participate in the meeting, how can we elect them?
For raising this problem in our church,we have in our church one
widow is here, she has two daughters and no son, for their case I
argued with the vicars (two different occassions), and they advised
me that they are helpless in the matter, as there is no "Kalpana" yet
in this regard. At the same time we are collecting monthly
subscription and all other dues regularly from that family. Have they
no voice in the church administration?
I request the learned Form members, kindly clarify what is the actual
Pray for all ever & ever with love
Raju Baby Thaluvachira - Mehsana.
"Hence Christ also said of 'the good shepherd,' not that he is honored and
served, but that he 'lays down his life for his sheep.' This is the meaning
of leadership, this the art of being a shepherd, ignoring one's own concerns
and being preoccupied with those of one's people. What a physician is, after
all, so is a leader - or, rather, more than a physician. While the physician,
you see, procures people's welfare through skill, the leader does it through
risk to himself. Christ also did this, being scourged, crucified, suffering
St. John Chrysostom.
(He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects
Me rejects Him who sent Me.") Luke 10:16
+ + + + + Inform! Involve! Inspire! + + + + + +
+ + + I O I F! * * *! M A T R I M O N I A L + + +
+ + + LOOKING FOR BRIDE/GROOM FOR INDIAN ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS + + +
Look for "Matrimonial Particulars" in every IOIF Tuesday Digests. If
anybody would like to avail this free service, please send the relevant
information about bride/groom to IndianOrthodox@ hotmail.com. IOIF
digests reach around 2000 members all over the world. Please feel free
to forward the matrimonial information to any interested parties.
We will publish this information every Tuesday in 4 consecutive issues.
Those who would like to get direct responses should mention their
e-mail address in the body of the message. Those who would like to keep
their identity, including email id confidential may explicitly state,
so that we can request responses to IndianOrthodox@ hotmail.com and
forward the same to the concerned party with full confidentiality.
We Moderators do not take or assume any responsibility for the
particulars given by the advertisers. Concerned parties are encouraged
to verify the particulars.
Further correspondence to be done with the E-Mail address/Phone No.
given against each item (pl. note, no space needed after '@'sign in E
Mails, although space given here for proper display) quoting the Ref.
No. given on the top of each item. We would highly appreciate, if you
can give us your frank opinion about this column positive or
negative)including positive results if any to IndianOrthodox@
hotmail.com for our internal evaluation.
IOIF MATRIMONIAL - ISSUE NO. M 1048/2003 - Tuesday, 4th Feb 2003
(I) SEEKING BRIDEGROOM:
REF NO: MTM 10060B1
Orthodox parents settled in NY invite proposals for their 26 y/o,
God-fearing daughter from well qualified, preferably Orthodox boys,
settled in the US with strong christian and family values. Our daughter
is family oriented, petite, attractive and currently holds a Master's
in Physical Therapy.
Interested parties please respond to: Nylotto777@ aol.com.
REF NO: MTM 10059B1
ORTHODOX NRI PARENTS INVITE PROPOSAL FROM PARENTS OF POSTGRADUATE
ENGINEERS/DOCTORS OR CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS IN INDIA OR ABROAD ,FOR THEIR
DAUGHTER 23/152 DOING POST GRADUATION IN ENGINEERING. INTERESTED MAY
PLEASE CONTACT JOHN_PHILIPOSE47@ YAHOO.COM.
REF NO: MTM 10058B2
MARTHOMITE SYRIAN CHRISTIAN NRI DOCTOR INVITES PROPOSAL FOR HIS
DAUGHTER BTECH ELECTRONICS 25/166 BEAUTIFUL WHEATISH SMART
COMMITTED CHRISTIAN EMPLOYED ABROAD FROM USA BASED GOD
FEARING CHRISTIAN PROFESSIONALS OR ENGINEERS WILLING TO RELOCATE EMAIL
REF NO: MTM 10057B2
Proposals invited for a God-fearing Marthomite Girl hailing from an
ancient family; 23 years 5' 2", M.Sc.Bio-chemistry from Madras University now
doing Bio-Informatics Course in Chennai, parents employed in Abu Dhabi,
U.A.E., from parents of professionally qualified and well settled boys of
Marthomite / CSI origin or Orthodox, settled outside Kerala, preferably in UAE.
Interested parties please contact :E-Mail Ids: john_susa@...
john_mathew@ bb-power.de or Telephone: 00971-50-7317983
REF NO: MTM 10056B2
Marthomite parents solicit matrimonial correspondence for daughter (23
years, 161 cm, Fair, B. Arch.) from parents of well placed professionals
(Marthomites from central Travancore, 25 ~ 28 years age, ~ 170 cm
height, Engineering + management qualifications preferred). Father is an
engineer (employed in Kuwait), mother housewife and only brother is an engineer
presently doing management studies in IIM. Interested / suitable parties
shall please send relevant information to "koreshi@ hotmail.com"
REF NO: MTM 10055B3
Marthomite parents living in Dubai invite proposals for their daughter
23 yrs/160 CM doing post graduation employed in a reputed British firm
in Dubai, smart,God fearing, pleasing. From parents of Marthomite /
Orthodox boys, God fearing, well educated and having family status,
preferaly from UAE/Dubai. Please contact IndianOrthodox@ hotmail.com
REF NO: MTM 10054B3
Well settled parents (Father: business retired, Mother: Principal, both
in middle east) invites proposals from interested parties(Orthodox) for
their only daughter(23Yrs) completing her MCA in May 2003. The girl is born
and brought up in middle-east, did her college studies in Kerala and Madras.
The girl is wheatish complexioned, 5'1", slim and smart, fluent in English
Please contact with details to IndianOrthodox @hotmail.com
REF NO: MTM 10053B3
Proposals are invited from interested parties, Orthodox or Marthomite,
for a girl from a middle class family settled in Pathanamthitta Dt, 24
years old, M. Sc (Physics) ( finishing her PG Diploma in Computer
applications in Kerala). The girl is fair complexioned, 5'2" tall, slim
and smart. Preference will be given to boys with Kerala background,
professional computer education and interested to work in US.
Please contact with details to IndianOrthodox@ hotmail.com
REF NO: MTM 10052B3
Orthodox parents invite proposals for their daughter, 24,5'3", studying
for electrical engineering in US (graduating in summer), from
professionally qualified Orthodox boys preferably working/studying in
Contact: amma_66@ hotmail.com
REF NO: MTM 10051B4
ADDRESS : No;4(OLD 84 A) 3rd Street,Gill Nagar,Chennai-600 094.
Telephone : 23743048(R). 28292777(O).
Church : St.Thomas Orthodox Cathedral,Broadway,Chennai-600 108.
Family : Thevelakara Vaidhyan- Vazhayil Ampanatu Veedu.
Occupation : Senior manager, MRF Ltd.,Chennai.
Wife : Mrs. Mary Thomas, Ex British Council Library,Chennai.
D/O. Late.Mr.M. Thommen, Secretary, Alwaye Fellowship
House. Two Daughters :1. Elder One (the proposed girl),DOB:Nov 1976.
155Cms, Medium Complexion. Qualification:M.A.Literature with post
graduate Diploma in Journalism.Will be completing M.Phil in July
2003.Schooling from Good
Shepard Convent, Chennai. SLET Passed.Working as Lecturer in W.C.C.
2.Second Daughter, 20 yrs. Studying in smaller classes
due to learning disability.However normal in all other respects such as
We are looking for an alliance from respected family preferably the boy
suitably employed in South India for our elder daughter. Please contact
over telephone or by E Mail: kmthomas84a@ yahoo.co.in
REF NO: MTM 10050B5
US based Orthodox doctor girl, currently doing
fellowship in general medicine.Pious, godfearing,
28yrs, 165cms, medium complexioned, slim, seeks
alliance from professionally qualified
boys/drs/phds...If interested please get in touch
REF NO: MTM 10049B6
Marriage proposals inviting for a Medical Doctor (MD), doing her first
year residency in anesthesiology in one of the best Medical School in
USA, Marthomite, US citizen, 25 years, 5' 4" slim, medium complexion,
well-disciplined, intelligent, high moral values and God fearing. Seeks
alliance from boys, Medical Doctor, Non-smoker, Non-drinker, high moral
values, tall, from Marthomite, Orthodox or Jacobite.Interested parties
please respond with a recent photograph, full details, address and
telephone number to (mathewg10@ attbi.com)
REF NO: MTM 10048B6
Kerala Settled Orthodox Christian parents inviting proposals for
their daughter Age 23 years , B.Pharm, fair and good looking. Presently
working as a Pharmasist in a reputed private hospital in Kerala. Father
Central Govt employee and brother working in Kuwait. Interested Parties may
contact binunlukose72@ yahoo.com or 00 91 474 452700
REF NO: MTM 10047B6
Brother (MS Student in USA) invites suitable alliance for younger
sister (23 years, 5' 9" tall, fair and good-looking, Orthodox
Christian, Central Travancore, Education: MSc(Information Technology),
awaiting results) from parents of Marthomite/Orthodox/CSI boys, God fearing,
well educated (26 - 29yrs old) and preferably with professional background
and employed abroad. Two younger sisters, both in college. Interested parents
details at pvarghes@ mail.uh.edu
REF NO: MTM 10046B7
I have an orthodox friend who is seeking an alliance to his twin
daughters aged 23 years.Date of birth 2/2/1979. Suni and Ani. Both
are working in Government of India office. One in BSNL and the other
Central Excise. Height 5'2" fair complex. Mother working in Govt.of
Gujarat and father retired. Three daughters. Elder married working in
GOI. Younger son studying in 10th std.
Proposals are invited from Orthodox families of working god
fearing boys. May contact on Phone No. 91 079 3261433
Mr. V.S.Yohannan or at e-mail apjohn20022002@ yahoo.com
REF NO: MTM 10045B8
Germany settled Orthodox Christian parents, from
Central Travancore, invites proposals for their
daughter, brought up in Germany, Medical Graduate, now
doing residency with excellent moral values and Indian
family values, good-looking, medium complexion, age
28, 150 cms, from Parents of well qualified Orthodox
Christian boys in India or abroad. Reply with details
and photo to Email: binibijo@ netscape.net or
(II) SEEKING BRIDE:
REF No: MTM 2030A1
Marthomite parents working in US (NY) is looking for an alliance from
well qualified professionals (Engineers, Doctors etc..) for their elder son
(31yrs/ 5'9"/ 155LBS) working as a Management Consultant in one of the
well known Accounting & Mgmt. Consulting firm. (Doing MBA as a part-time).
Arriving shortly to Kerala. Contact Mr. V.V. Varughese, Tel: (845)
356-5232 (USA), E-mail: varughesevv@ yahoo.com
REF No: MTM 2029A1
Orthodox Parents from central Travancore invite proposals for their
elder son, now working with Tata Infotech Bombay as Sr. Systems Engineer.
Travelled to USA for training(send by TATA). He is MCA,
(Master in Computer Application). Weatish colour, 5' 10" Other details
are as follows.Interested party may plese contact to (only from Orthodox
Name : Byju Mathew, Date of Birth : 30/08/1974
Father : Mr. C.V.Mathew (Dy.Branch Manager- State Bank of India)
Mother : Ponnamma Mathew - House wife
Younger brother (only one);Anish Mathew he is also MCA
Denomination : Indian Orthodox
Address : Chittadathu Saj Bhavan, Komalloor, Chunakara, Charummoodu
Mavelikara - 690505. Phone : 0479 384821
REF No: MTM 2028A4
Mumbai based, well settled orthodox parents invite
proposals for their son (28yrs, 168cm). He has done 4
years Engineering Diploma in Tool & Plastic Die Design
from Central Institute of plastic engineering and
technology (Govt of India). Presently he is working as
CAD/CAM Engineer in Mumbai.
Email: varghese892@ yahoo.com
REF No: MTM 2027A4
Proposals are invited for an Orthodox Christian boy, 35 years, employed
in Kuwait as Auto CAD draftsman, from parents of Orthodox/Marthomite/CSI
girls. Preference given to B.Sc. nurses or girls employed in Kuwait. The
boy hails from central Travancore Orthodox Christian family whose father
died many years ago, has mother, younger brother and two married
sisters. He is 5.7ft tall, medium complex, non-smoker and non-drinker.
If interested, please contact on email: anuchengannur@ yahoo.com
REF No: MTM 2026A6
Orthodox Parents settled in the U. S. invite proposals for their 31
year old son, U. S. citizen, non-smoker, non-drinker, family oriented,
studying Law, J. D. (Doctor of Jury) at a prestigious University after
graduating from a prestigious Graduate Business School and working some time
for a reputable company, from parents of professionally qualified (Accountant,
Lawyer, Doctor, Pharmacist, Engineer, etc.,) matching candidates with high
morale and values. Those who are interested may email to: kairali7@ yahoo.com
REF No: MTM 2025A7
Marthomite boy from a reputed family is looking for
Suitable qualified or employed girls. Boy is 26 plus old and 5'10""
tall. Works as a software engineer at Banaglore. Parents settled chennai.
Looking for fairly tall girls from jacobite/marthomite/orthodox
families, Expects God fearing girls with good looks.
Pl. contact: IndianOrthodox@ hotmail.com
Thanks to Mr. Benjamin Koshy for his factual reporting on the topic.
How long will we fight over property rights? Where's God?
Where's Faith in all this?
The latest I hear is that leaders of the Orthodox Church (My church! Our
church!) are now aligning themselves with BJP and have virtually declared Mr.
Oommen Chandy a pariah because he asked them to show some restraint and moral
I personally have no problem with better relationship with BJP, but it's all
being done for the wrong reasons. By alienating honorable leaders like Mr.
Oommen Chandy, our leaders are shooting themselves in the foot.
As I see and hear about the events in our Church, I'm repeatedly reminded of
the words from a song by Yesudas about Man, Religions and God. You know the
Some of my good friends recently started a campaign appealing for peace and
harmony between the factions and pledging to raise awareness across our
community everywhere. I reluctantly withdrew from the effort, because I
could see no sense in preaching spirituality to the Preachers.
It's a matter of poor understanding of wealth and economics. Wealth doesn't
have to come all from inheritance. We could become many times wealthier, if
only we gave up some of these claims to property rights and focused on
building wealth, managing what we have. We are undermining our own economic
existence by extended litigation.
No court verdict can ever fix this!! We won the Supreme Court verdict many
times over. Then, what happened? We're in a cycle of endless litigation
and ever mounting wasted expenses.
Forget about spirituality. Some understanding of the economics of wealth
might help. Let the two sides agree to divide the wealth using some formula
based on the strength of membership. Then, we can ask for Government support
to implement it.
It is heartening that a lot of communication chanels were open for members
of the Indian Orthodox Church through the IOIF. I just wondered how we would
have aired these opinions!! Many of our opinions are not "acceptable" to the
Church leadership. Naturally we are 'o'rthodox and 'O'rthodox. So we have to
show our conservativism through a cold shoulder to the pleas of the people.
Keep suggesting all the reforms. Sometime something will happen. The
people's voice will be in the archives of the IOIF and they can provide the
dcoumentary evidence that 'some' people feel this way.
Women and the Church: A week ago HG Mar Barnabas told me why can't you ask
the girls to read Old testament lessons in the Church? In some churches that
HG visited, HG himself asked them to do it. Change will come slowly. Keep
talking. Overnight change will never happen. Time will heal.
Holy Qurbana: It is so shameful for us Orthodox people who claim to be
keeping the original faith and practices. But we know the way we do the Holy
Qurbana is not the way it was conducted in the Early Church. I am not
talking about the externalities, the chanting or order of worship etc. But
the concept of HQ itself. HQ was so central to the Church that only those
who are serious about the HQ and got ready to take it were allowed in the HQ
worship. In other words, all those who attended the HQ were those who would
take part of the Holy Body and Blood of the Lord. Today majority of us are
onlookers at the HQ. Why? Didn't our leadership learn that we are Orthodox
and we should not allow anyone else other than those who are ready for the
Communion to take part in the HQ? All Others must exit the church
immediately after the morning prayers, Bible readings and the sermon. Now
we even deliver the sermons to suit to the lazy people of our Church who
would come at the end of worship. Why change won't come?
I cannot change such things. An individual cannot change it but the church
leadership should not allow this. I am hoping that change will come. Once
upon a time no one used to take communion without confession. Now the
"absolution" has made more people to take communion. And absolution was
given before and at the end of HQ to accommodate the lazy late comers.
These days that changed. There is no absolution in the middle instead the
lazy people get it after the Kaimuthu. Still that is not the right thing. I
am not talking about people who are sick or in a special situation with
which one could not attend the church on time.
I think time must come for our leadership to decide that only those who take
part of the HQ to attend the HQ. I am sure we will see the difference. All
political, hooligan, and anti-social elements who come to church will go
back early without disturbing the minds of those who are serious about being
connected to the Lord in real life. The total atmosphere of the HQ will
change. Perhaps priests will understand this. Once upon a time when Paulos
Mar Gregorios told me that the presence of another bishop in his worship
affected his devotion and so HG did not allow that bishop to take part in
the worship in a serious way, I found it difficult to understand that. Now I
can undersand that. Worship is the totality of the community's lifting up
into heaven. In that venture there is no place for people who are unwilling
to exchange kiss of peace, or kaimuth etc. Those who come with anger,
resentment, dirty mind etc. must be allowed to leave. Of course that
decision who is not qualified to attend must be made by the individual and
not the priest. Such people should have the opportunity to volunteer to
leave. All others who are left over in the church should get a general
absolution instead of personal absolution (this is short cut we discoverd in
the place of confession). In fact at the end of every promeon Sedra we have
a prayer pronounced by the celebrant, "from God may we receive remission of
debts and forgviveness of sins in BOTH the worlds for ever". This is the
general prayer of absolution. Individual absolution is meant for people who
come for personal confession. Personal confession is highly therapeutic and
edifying. It is a different sacrament not attached to the HQ. We should stop
falsifying the religion. Today we have people coming to worship simply for
political reason. IF THE CHURCH DECIDES TO DISPERSE ALL NON-COMMUNICANTS
BEFORE THE HQ, SOME PURIFICATION WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE CHURCH.
Again, it looks impossible but things will change, let us keep talking.
Thank you Johnachen for taking time to write about Infant Baptism and helping us
to understand well its significance from our (Orthodox) point of view. If you do
not mind I would like to know some more about apostolic succession and its
--- In IndianOrthodox@yahoogroups.com, Elizabeth Mammen wrote:
> I read the comments on holy communion.... I firmly believe its a
personal choice,.... it is there for those who believe in christ. I dont
think anyone has right to prevent one from prataking in the communion because of
denomination or faction you may attend due distance or what have
you. Anyone that stops a believer who have come forth prepared to recieve
communion, does not practice christian faith, but playing church
politics....and they should be ashamed of themselves.......
> Elizabeth Mammen , M.D.
How about other sacraments, are they also of personal choice and
convenience? How about marriage, baptism, ordination etc. Do we perfom
ordination from any where? Do we dip children in any place?
There is a general feeling that only Eucharist is related to Christ.
But all sacraments are related to Christ. In each sacrament, not only
the one directly receiving it, but all participants share the grace.
In marriage all believing participants of the church get the grace.
Same in Eucharist. Thus it is not just personal choice and
convenience - it is deeply related to other members in the church.
Hence external communion offending other believing members should be
avoided. While other things in secular life can be of personal choice,
in the church everything is sharing of grace. Communion from just
anywhere is not an absolute need for salvation. The grace from baptism
is there. Communion is thus a previlege for the baptised. Immediately
after baptism communion is given even to an infant in the Orthodox
No other church does this way. They all wait until the child is grown
up. With this one can understand the importance Orthodox church gives
to unity and one communion.
One can abstain if there is no church conforming to the faith.
Becase one has the grace from other sacraments like baptism which was
once received. We abstain not with pride, but with humility, not
hurting the faith of fellow members of the communion. Yet we pray for
the unity of churches which seperated in history. The very meaning of
the word communion is "being united", thus it is not an individual
If it is individualistic, then priest alone can perform communion and
consume it. But in the Orthodox church, participating members are
required - priest cannot conduct communion alone. Thus the validity of
priesthood is related to the faithful. Ordination is also a sacrament.
Of course there is pull from both sides - maintaining the unity in the
Church and a desire to follow the individualistic approach we take in
the world outside the Church.
Thus no sacrament is just of personal choice.
"Let us, then, cling to His blessing, and study the ways and means of
securing this blessing. Let us unroll the records of antiquity. For what
reason was our father Abraham blessed? Was it not that he did what was right
and lived up to the truth, enabled by faith? With confidence because he knew
the future, Isaac cheerfully let himself be led to the altar. Jacob was
humble enough to leave his country because of his brother, and went to Laban
and lived in servitude; and the twelve tribes were given to him."
St. Clement of Rome.
"The pastures are clothed with flocks; The valleys also are covered with
grain; They shout for joy, they also sing." Psalm 65:13
Refering to the mail from the Moderators regarding the sad state of
PM Sunny and family, I thank all involved in this effort, and pray
that the sincere efforts bear fruits for the family.
We are a global community and these efforts show the love of Christ
in us. Such efforts remind us of the true power of God working among
us - that ours is not just a discussion group where there is only
lip service, but that we are growing to be a vibrant organ for the
Witness of the Church and learning of His word.
I understand that the time frame is small and that the amount
required is large, I ask for earnest prayers for the said family -
for the Lord that you and I believe in - nothing is impossible. May
this faith guide us, as we work for this cause.
I request my fellow members to help in this program - and pray with
sincere tears for the family.
May this effort prove to be an oppurtunity for us to work in
whatever small means we can, for His glory.
Mathew Samuel, Austin, TX
From the Desk of the Moderators:
In the Digest No.734 we have posted a Request on behalf of Mr. P. M. Sunny and
Family from Kerala who are in distress seeking financial assistance and prayers.
Extracts of the original message is reproduced again for the convenience of
those of us who have missed it.
So far we have received around Rs. 50,000 and we are looking for another 100,000
for his immediate need. Partial contribution listing is as follows:
1. Abey V Abraham, TX $25.00
2. Mathew Samuel, PA $100.00
3. Wellwisher,TX (RJ) $100.00
4. Wellwisher, TX (SM) $500.00
5. Oommen Kappil, NY $50.00
6. Swopna Varghese, Dubai Rs.1,200
7. George Abraham, Abu Dhabi Rs.5,000
8. Wellwisher, MD Rs.2,000
9. Wellwisher, (VME) Rs.3,000
10. Jose, Dubai Rs.1,000
11.Koshy Samuel, Malaysia Rs.5,000
We again request everybody's prayers and support to help this family in distress
as done earlier in the case of Sosamma Chacko & Jimsha.
Excerpt from the Original Message:
".........The most unfortunate part is that although they have lost
everything except the small old ancestral home they are now living,
for the balance outstanding loan and cumulative interest the bank has now
decided to proceed with the "Japthi" formalities for this house
also. They have to pay minimum Rs. 1.5 lacs before 20th February
2003 to come out of this difficulty. Otherwise their small house
where they live also will be auctioned and this poor family will be
on the street from 21st Feb 03.
Normally a person from the middle class family (like most of us) has
got lot of difficulties to stretch his hands in front of others for
assistance when in difficulty/distress. Unfortunately when you are
in difficulty, normally even your close relatives and friends start
deserting you, and Sunny is no exception.
His case was brought to our attention by the Priest who was
instrumental in preventing this family from the utmost step of
committing suicide. After going through all these problems, Sunny,
Saly along with their three young kids and the old and sick mother
firmly believe that God will not leave them even though the whole
world distances from them in this hour of crisis.
We had requested Rev. Fr. A.V.Varghese, who is In-Charge of the MGM
Abhaya Bhavan, Pothenpuram Dayara of Kottayam Diocese to recheck
Sunny's case before formally seeking assistance from anybody. Achan
was kind enough to take the pain to get in touch with this family in
distress and tried to console them and verified the particulars
This is the true story of one family among us who is in real
distress, due to some very unfortunate happenings. We feel, let us
take it as an opportunity given by God to prove our brotherly love
ON OUR REQUEST A JOINT SAVINGS BANK ACCOUNT WAS OPENED IN THE NAME
OF REV. FR. A.V.VARGHESE & MR. P.M SUNNY (OPERABLE BY BOTH ONLY).SB
ACCOUNT NO: SB14296 (One Four Two Nine Six) WITH INDIAN BANK, BAKER
JUNCTION, KOTTAYAM, KERALA PIN 686001.
We request voluntary financial assistance from our members in this
forum for this genuine cause to save a family, who are virtually on
PLEASE SEND YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS BY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING MEANS:
(1) DIRECTLY TO THE SPECIAL BANK ACCOUNT IN FAVOUR OF MR. P.M SUNNY, SB
ACCOUNT NO: SB14296 (One Four Two Nine Six) WITH INDIAN BANK, BAKER
JUNCTION, KOTTAYAM, KERALA PIN 686001.
(2) DIRECTLY TO MR. P.M SUNNY, POTTATHARA HOUSE, KILIROOR NORTH P.O,KOTTAYAM
DIST, KERALA, INDIA, PIN 686 020 THROUGH A/C PAYEE DD/CHEQUE. HOWEVER PLEASE
REMEMBER TO MENTION THE ABOVE A/C NO FOR PROPER ACCOUNTING.
(3)MEMBERS FROM THE U.S. AND CANADA CAN MAIL THEIR CHECK (PAYABLE TO MR P.M
SUNNY) TO ABRAHAM CHIRACKAL (MODERATOR, IOIF), 226 38TH AVE, E. MOLINE, IL-61244
FOR FORWARDING TO THE SAID ACCOUNT.
PLEASE DO REMEMBER TO NOTIFY US OF YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS VIA E MAIL TO
IndianOrthodox@ hotmail.com (No space after @ sign) FOR ACCOUNTING PURPOSE.
Those who have Yahoo ID can access the original messege using the following URL.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Does the Jacobite Syrian Church consider the Malankara Orthodox Church to be
heretic, schismatic, or something else? Does the MOC consider the JSC to be
heretic, schismatic, or something else? I am curious because of the level of
animosity between the two factions, make it seem like God Himself could not
reconcile the divisions. If the case is that the division is so deep, then
is God really pleased with any case or decision that comes? Is God really
present in any of our words, because ultimately, the judgement comes on all
who allow the young ones to go astray because of this fighting.
Being born, brought up, and still living in America, the Case in India
is far from my heart. Faith is more important to me than jurisdiction and
legality. But discipline and justice come with love and hope. And in India,
there seems to be empty justice and empty discipline, with no love, no hope.
What should be unity in faith, has led to divisions for authority... So
people of the Orthodox faith, both Syrian Orthodox and Malankara Orthodox,
have become the laughing stock of the ecumenical world, and especially the
Kerala Ecumenical world. We have no validity to ever preach the Word of God.
It is an embarassment for leaders of both sides, not just one. It takes two
hands to clap.
Sometimes reading this forum (SOCM) and the other one (IOIF) regarding Sabha
news is depressing and disgusting.
Your children and their children learn to fight, to take all their problems
to court, to criticize Church fathers, to hate without prejudice, and to
slander. They have never seen love, forgiveness, humility from any group
that exists in Kerala. If our children leave the Orthodox Christian faith,
then as the Lord says, it would be better for us to have a millstone tied
around our neck, and for to be thrown into the sea.
With concern and love,
Dn. Aju Philip Mathews,
Dear IOIF readers,
I have submitted the full text of the recent Kerala HC verdict in response
to the petitions filed by our Bava Thirumeni, as an attachment to this
This judgment being a legal document, is not written for the layman.
However, I strongly encourage all readers to peruse the entire judgement,
for 2 reasons:
1. I believe that readers within this forum are fully capable of forming
their own opinions, based on facts, arguments and counter arguments
outlined in the judgement.
2. Secondly, remember that the funds being used to fight these court cases
are derived from contributions from ordinary members. Since we can all
agree that our church does not possess vast financial resources (e.g.
Catholic), it is incumbent on us to act more responsibly.
Every argument to strengthen our stated goal of taking control of the
disputed churches and getting State Police protection to implement the SC
verdict was employed by our legal advocates. Obviously, our arguments were
contested by the other side and the judges have fully explained their
Many of the arguments used by our legal team were made in this forum and
had been contested by several readers.
A) Refer to #48 and #49. Here we basically say that the Kerala State
govt. should help us enter the parish churches because of the 1934
" The claim made by the petitioners in a nutshell is that the State should
be directed to provide them police help so as to enable them to enter and
administer the Parish Churches. They also claim that they are entitled to
exercise their rights, duties and privileges without any threat or
obstruction from the respondents in any manner whatsoever in accordance
with the Constitution of 1934. "
The courts response :
" On a consideration of the matter, we find that even under the judgment
delivered by their lordships of the Supreme Court, there is no declaration
affecting the rights of the Parish Churches. Secondly, it is the undisputed
position that a large number of suits are pending between the parties.
Thirdly, unanimous resolutions have been passed by various churches in
exercise of their fundamental rights under the Constitution by which they
have dissociated themselves from the Malankara Association. Fourthly, there
are provisions in the Code of Civil Procedure like Order XXI Rule 32 and
Order XLV Rule 15 which provide for the method by which the decree of the
Supreme Court can be executed. In this situation, it cannot be said that
the petitioners had an undisputed right, which can be enforced by the issue
of a Writ of Mandamus, or that respondents 1 to 4 are under an obligation
to provide them police protection. In fact, the appropriate remedy for the
petitioners is before the civil court where the disputed questions of fact
can be appropriately decided."
Also, the court responded :
" Police help cannot be ordered for the mere asking. It involves expense
for the State. It is not a substitute for proceedings before an appropriate
authority or court. It can be normally granted only when there is clear
evidence of an existing danger to person or property. "
B) Another very clever argument made on our behalf is in #52.
"Mr. Raveendra Bhat, in an effort to support the counsel for the
petitioners, went to the extent of contending that just as earth cannot go
out of the solar system, similarly no church could walk out of the
Malankara Association. The argument is apparently attractive. Yet, it
ignores the provisions of Articles 19, 25 and 26 of the Constitution, which
confer definite rights on the contesting parties. These rights have been
duly protected by their lordships of the Supreme Court."
Personally, I feel that many of our arguments are based on "Wishful
Thinking" and selective interpretation of past judgements. I do understand
that, many arguments used by the other side too are based on their version
of selective interpretation.
Unfortunately for us, with over 200 pending court cases and still more
expected to be filed, this has become a "Legal Checkmate"!
The Indian Constitution does give anybody the right to form a separate
Association and Church. Further the Kerala State Govt. is under no
obligation to step in and use force to resolve a religious dispute. Also,
the Supreme Court or any other High Court cannot force any religious group
to accept Catholicos as their spiritual superior, if this group claims that
the "spiritual superiority of the Patriarch is an article of their faith".
Our new plan of pandering to political leaders (see earlier message from
Abraham Phillips) can only be described politely as not smart.
Thanks again to Benjamin Koshy for informing us about the verdict.
Let us deal in facts, rather than allegations when we discuss this
judgement and its implications.
Thanks for listening.
Mr. Jiji Alex, Washington D.C., USA
(See attached file: Full text of HC verdict on the Church conflict.doc)
Dear Dn. George, In many parishes both Mar Barnabas and Mar
Nicholavos are remembered and prayed for. In one parish , the altar
servant, an young boy, did not include the name of Mar Nicholavos.
The priests should correct such young people. Also kindly request H.G.
Mar Barnabas to remind all parishes, through issuing a Kalpana, to
pray for both bishops. In many parishes young people read what is
marked in the book, "Mar Barnabas" is already marked in existing
copies for their convenience. A reminder Kalpana is cleary required.
This will also take care of those priests not reminding the altar
I think Resp. Kuriakose Achen's mail in this digest is the best I have ever
read in this forum. Especially the suggestion to restrict Holy Qurbana to
those who receive it. This is a wonderful idea. Let our Church be a place
of real worship, not a place for politics. It may reduce the attendance,
hence result in reduced offertory, but we must believe in quality, not in
I would like to thank Fr. Kuriakose and Thomas P. for the wonderful
write ups in the last digest. To often this point of ''abstaining if
there is no church conforming to the faith. Becase one has the grace
from other sacraments like baptism which was once received. We
abstain not with pride, but with humility, not hurting the faith of
fellow members of the communion. Yet we pray for the unity of
churches which seperated in history. The very meaning of the word
communion is "being united", thus it is not an individual act. '' is
not empahsised and taught firmly in our Churches for a person from
childhood. This is the reason why see so many moving away partaking
communion at wherever they feel.
Also Fr.Kuriakose achens write up on making the statement,It was
edifying and agree on your point that Holy Qurbana be given to only
those that come prepared. Though I agree the shortcut absolution be
not considered a prerequisite, I would say that a rule that a person
coming forward to Holy qurbana must have had confession before a
priest in the past 3 months could be enfored in parishes. For this
the Kalpana doesnt have to be awaited. Every priest is given that
authority to ensure that the blood and flesh of Christ be given to
those who come prepared only.
''IF THE CHURCH DECIDES TO DISPERSE ALL NON-COMMUNICANTS BEFORE THE
HQ, SOME PURIFICATION WILL TAKE PLACE IN THE CHURCH.''
If Church does that it might drive away too who might have had an
encounter by being part of service and repenting that he/she is not
in position to partake of Holy qurbana. The world out of Church is
full of all kinds of people luring those who have been baptised into
the Church elsewhere. Also, the priests and kappiars might have to
come with Guns and Vadikal to drive away those who now come to Church
to only cause problems. Just some quick thoughts.
Just address an email to IndianOrthodox@yahoogroups.com
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