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Reading: From the Gospel according to St. Matthew 24:42-51
Dear and Respected Brethren,
In between the smallest and biggest Lents, the 3 days’ and the 50 days’
Lents, there is a gap of 18 days and in our mother tongue it is known as the
‘Pathinettida’ (meaning the gap of 18 days.) During these 18 days there
comes two Sundays and on the first Sunday the Holy Church remembers the
entire departed clergy and on the second Sunday the Holy Church remembers
all the departed faithful. If the Lenten season could be seen as a period of
war, these 18 days prior to it and kept separate by the Church Fathers are
also equally important as the Lenten season. The soldiers who do exercises
and war games as a preparation for the war before the actual war, the
faithful are meant to utilize the 18 days for the preparation before
entering the 50 days Lent. As a part of our preparations, we seek the
co-operation, support and co-existence of the entire departed beloved ones,
including our respected clergy. We should not forget the fact that the
individual faithful are not observing the Lent, where as the Holy Church as
a whole is engaging in the observation of the Lent and each and every
individual are joining the Holy Church in the long process. We could see
that the blessed reading of this day on which we seek the continued
intercession of the departed clergy and the day to honor them, is so
significant and meaningful. In the first verse of today’s reading itself,
our Lord reminds us the need for watching out for His blessed second coming.
In verse 43 our Lord tells us that He would come again as a thief, who might
appear to loot the house, without notice. So he wants us to watch by keeping
vigil. St. Paul also exhorts in the similar way in his first epistle to
Thessalonians 5:6. We read, “Therefore let us not sleep as do others, but
let us watch and be sober/vigil”. Let us see what is given in Revelation
23:3. We find there “Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and
hold fast, and repent. I will come on thee as a thief and you shall not know
what hour I will come upon you”. The Holy Church is insisting us to depend
the intercession and blessing of the departed clergy (Priests and above) as
the Church is sure that her clergy were veterans in remembering what they
had received and what they had heard, throughout their lives and they had
held them fast and had a life of repentance. We have to follow the good
qualities of our departed clergy.
We find a question in verse 45. “Who then is a faithful and wise servant,
whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due
season”. St. Paul is answering this question in 1 Corinthians 3:2, where we
read, “ I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto you were
not able to bear it, neither yet now are you able.” Here St. Paul is
referring to the early Church. In the early stages of the Christian Church
on the world, the Apostles, other disciples and the Martyrs served the food
needed for the spiritual growth to one and all. The servants of the Holy
Church in the first century were honest and trustworthy and they appointed
the like-minded for the future services in the coming years. The same
procedure is being continued till date. In Hebrews 3:2, it is said that as
Moses was trustworthy in the house of Lord, Jesus was also trustworthy to
the one who called him and appointed him on the position. As Jesus had
appointed all the priests and High priests, selected and appointed our
former priests and Metropolitans are also honest, trust worthy and dutiful.
In the 46th verse we read that the servant who is found as dutiful and
honest he could have a wonderful reward from Lord God. Kindly also read I
We should not forget the fact that all priests and High Priests, were dear
and near to our Lord God. So it is better to seek their intercession,
co-operation and support. It will speed up our transactions
May God bless us all.
Jose Kurian Puliyeril.
Dear George Anonymous,
I'm happy that you've taken note of Joel Chemachen's email regarding
how we address those opponents of the Church.
What is apparent from Dn. Joel's email is that he is truthful and
firm in his convictions. I thank God for his messages, because he
is a breath of fresh air. So many are under the impression that
clerics should talk only happy thoughts and blow smoke up people's
In the New Testament, we find Christ consistently rebuking those who
opposed the Gospel's teachings of love. Has Dn. Joel ever advocated
not loving the IO hierarchy?
Blessed are the peacemakers indeed. Can man make peace when
erroneously proclaiming that one's "ignorance knows no bounds," or
one is "spewing arrogant and blasphemous propaganda" or making
sarcastic exclamations such as "miraculous," etc.? Maybe; maybe not.
Whereas you have opted to see the good chemachen's message as
"anything but humble," in reality, it emanates humility. Everything
Dn. Joel speaks about refers to yielding in love and respect; this is
the difference between the SOC and the IO church. Everything on
which the IO church was founded comes back to the "assertion of the
self." (using their own terms) That is the very antithesis of
What then is the point of Dn. Joel's message? Simply put, the point
is to be honest with ourselves and humbly submit to the truth.
Yes, it is indeed nice to make people happy by calling them by the
titles they like to be called. But is that always correct? If I
call myself a Medical Doctor, that does not make me one just because
I enjoy such a name—-it is a title that would recognize who I truly
am, if I were such a person.
Muslims believe that Mohammed is the Rasullilah (Messenger of God)
and a Nabi-ilah (Prophet of God). Should we then refer to the
founder of Islam as the Messenger or Prophet of God, when in our
faith, he clearly is not such a person? By calling him such a name,
we would be lending some form of legitimacy to something we don't
believe. In so doing, we'd be lying to ourselves and misleading
Would you like an example of a living person? Gordon B. Hinckley,
the head of the LDS (Mormon) church is called a "Prophet of God" by
one of his official titles. Do you believe this man is a prophet of
God? Below "God's Prophet" are twelve Apostles of God: Boyd K.
Packer, L.Tom Perry, Russell M. Nelson, Dallin H. Oaks, M. Russell
Ballard, Joseph B. Wirthlin, Richard G. Scott, Robert D. Hales,
Jeffery R. Holland, Henry B. Eyring, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, David A.
Bednar. Do you believe these gentlemen are the living apostles of
God? That is their official title. Would you be doing your own
religion justice and being truthful before God by referring to any
of these men by their preferred titles?
It is clear from the Scriptures that we are to test the spirits to
see if they are indeed from God or from the deceiver. Can you
honestly say that "self-assertion," church robbing, institution
robbing (i.e., hospitals, seminaries), grave robbing, and preaching
a gospel of inner-strife, while driving people out of the church,
are holy acts? The men who promote these activities may come to IO
churches preaching Bible stories (and perhaps you enjoy these
sermons), but they are known by their fruits.
You may not like Dn. Joel's way of expressing himself, but one thing
is certain: his voice is needed. It is truthful and full of resolve.
Truth is vital to our lives; reckoning with truth is the same as
reckoning unto God.
And as for ignorance, I'll close with a quote from Mor Augustinos:
"Ignorance itself is without a doubt a sin for those who do not wish
to understand; for those who, however, cannot understand, it is the
punishment of sin."
Dear Mr. George:
I totally disagree with your sarcastic comments in reply to Dn.
Joel's posting. I have seen a similar message from you in another
Methran Kakshi forum with clear intentions of mud throwing directly
at the Rev. Deacon. Well, you have done the same thing here, may be
going a couple of steps further more towards showing your direct
hatred. Please forgive the ignorant me. But, I strongly believe
that being members of the Syrian Orthodox Church, there are certain
norms that we have to follow. According to our Holy Church, it is
appropriate only to address our holy fathers, high priests and high
priests in direct communion with our Church as their Holiness,
Beatitudes, Eminences, and Graces. We give respect to the leaders
of other denominations and religious groups regardless who that is,
Dalailama, Amrithananthamayi, Sai Baba, Sree Narayana Guru, K.P.
Yohannan, Catholicos of the Indian Orthodox Church, Marthoma
Metropolitan, C.S.I Moderator..e.t.c. It is a different level of
respect and it is wrong to venerate them as equal to our Bishops.
But, when it comes to our beloved spiritual heads we not only
respect them, but also, venerate, care, and consider them as our
spiritual fathers and we show our affection towards them by
addressing them as their Holiness, Beatitudes, Eminences, and
Graces. This is the reason why we pray for intercession to only our
Church's saints, and kiss the cross of spiritual fathers only from
our Church. I suppose Mr. George is from the methran kakshi, and
may be that is the reason why he got offended by Dn.Joel's posting.
So, please try to understand the fact that it is very difficult for
a true Jacobite Syrian Christian to consider Mor Vattasseril as a
saint, Mor Augen as His Holiness, and Mor Milithos as His Grace
because the history has drawn a lot of black marks on these
individuals which could never be erased even if after repeated
efforts of falsifying the truth and making "HIS stories" to suit to
the methran kakshi version of stories. As you have done, I would
also suggest you to take some "Red Bull" and chill instead of using
your knowledge with bible quoting to twist the facts and make it
sound like the Rev. Deacon did something very ridiculous. No, he
hasn't. The word "puppet" absolutely suits to the gang of people
who proudly say that they are the St. Mary's JACOBITE center and do
everything in their power to persecute the true faithful of the
Jacobite Syrian Church, to kick them out from their own Church and
put them under the rule of the Devalokam Catholicose. So, please
leave us alone. True faith runs in our blood, no matter what you
do, no matter how many court cases you file against us, we will
still do our prayers and defend our churches and cemeteries from the
hypocrites that dress up as wolves.
Member ID # 2333
Dear honorable members
Greetings in HIS name
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St. George Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church
Cheppaud, Alleppy Dist, Kerala, India.
Dearly Beloved readers of SOCM Forum,
"Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto
you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of
their conversation." Heb: 13:7.(KJV)
The Blessed 74th Memorial Feast of Late Lamented His Holiness Saint
Ignatius Elias III, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East (1867-
1932) falls on the 13th of February 2006. It is the esteemed
privilege of the Faithful of The Syrian Orthodox Church to
commemorate the venerable life and Patriarchal Reign of the
illustrious Omalloor (Manjanikkara) Bava. The (final) Apostolic
missionary journey to India of Saint Elias III, with a serious heart
ailment, itself is sufficient evidence of the bond of the Malankara
Church to the Holy Universal Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch.
Now, although the truthful facts of the nurturing and devout
mentoring that the Malankara Church received from the Spiritual
Fathers of Sheema and the Supremacy of the Apostolic Throne of St.
Peter are being challenged by few worldly powerful sectarian
leaders, the Malankara faithful, wherever they might be, cherish the
sweet memories of Omalloor Bava, through Holy Eucharistic Services
and Memorial Feasts.
Memorial Feasts are Biblical and the venerable mortal remains of
Saints (Holy Relics) are sources of miracles and intercessory
prayers are valuable spiritual tools. Saints are pillars of faith
whose intercessions are exceedingly acceptable to the Lord.
The compassionate intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary becomes
fruitful at the wedding in Cana of Galilee. St. John:2. "His mother
said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."; her interceding
Psalms: 112:6 "Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will
be remembered forever."
I Kings: 20:20-22 "Elisha died and was buried. Now Moabite raiders
used to enter the country every spring. Once while some Israelites
were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they
threw the man's body into Elisha's tomb. When the body touched
Elisha's bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet."
Joshua 24:32 "And Joseph's bones, which the Israelites had brought
up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem in the tract of land that
Jacob bought for a hundred pieces of silver from the sons of Hamor,
the father of Shechem. This became the inheritance of Joseph's
Acts: 19:11&12 "God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that
even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the
sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them".
Job:42:7-9 After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to
Eliphaz the Temanite, "I am angry with you and your two friends,
because you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job
has. So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job
and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will
pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you
according to your folly. You have not spoken of me what is right, as
my servant Job has." So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and
Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD
accepted Job's prayer.
1 Timothy 2:5&6.
"For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man
Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony
given in its proper time." This inimitable onetime mediation has
done by Christ on the Cross; there is no parallel to this redemptive
act that brought back the sheep (humans) that had gone astray. A
faithful should not be confused between the Sacrifice of Christ on
the Cross and the Communion of the Saints.
The Blessed Memorial Feast of Omalloor Bava is scheduled to be
conducted at The St. Ignatius Elias III Syrian Orthodox Church,
Atlanta, USA, on the 11th and 12th of February 2006. His Eminence
Archbishop Mor Titus Yeldho, Metropolitan of the Malankara
Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America, will be
presiding the Eucharistic Services. I am honored to invite all
faithful to share our spiritual joy at this solemn occasion. Let the
Blessed Memorial of Saint Ignatius Elias III be a stronghold to all
With Prayers and Regards,
Fr. Mathai Varkey Puthukkunnathu
Vicar: St. Ignatius Elias III Syrian Orthodox Church, Atlanta, Georgia.
Vice President: Malankara Syrian Orthodox Sunday School Association of North
Biography of Late Lamented His Holiness Saint Ignatius Elias III,
Patriarch of Antioch and all the East:
THOUSANDS ON PILGRIMAGE TO SAINT'S TOMB AT MANJINIKKARA
For more Links, visit:
THOUSANDS ON PILGRIMAGE TO SAINT'S TOMB AT MANJINIKKARA
Patriarchal delegate to open festival today
PATHANAMTHITTA: The year-long platinum jubilee celebrations of the
famous Manjanikkara Perunal will be inaugurated by the Patriarchal
delegate and Abbot of the Kurkuma Diara in Turkey, Mor Peelexinos
Saleeba Metropolitan, on Sunday afternoon.
The pilgrims groups coming from different parts of the State to the
tomb of St. Elias-III at Manjanikkara Diara near here will be
accorded a rousing reception at Omalloor Cross on Sunday afternoon.
Kuriakose Mar Eulios Metropolitan will be the chief celebrant at the
holy Eucharist at the Manjanikkara Diara Church at 8 a.m.
A public meeting, to mark the valedictory function of the annual
pilgrimage week, will be held on the Diara premises, later at 6 p.m.
The Patriarchal delegate will be chief guest at the meeting. The
meeting will be presided over by Catholicos Baselius Thomas-I.
The Platinum Jubilee celebrations will be inaugurated on the
occasion. Health and Water Resources Minister Thiruvanchoor
Radhakrishnan, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Adoor Prakash,
Francis George, MP; and K.K. Nair, MLA, will also address the
Fete ends on Monday
The Manjanikkara Perunal will come to a close with the Holy Rasa at
9 a.m. on Monday. The Patriarchal delegate will be the chief
celebrant at the holy Eucharist and prayers before the tombs of
St. Elias-III and Benyamin Mar Osthatheos.
Biography of St. Elias III, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East:
Invitation to our Patriarchal Day & 2nd Anniversary of the
Consecration of Archbishop H.E. Mor Titus Yeldho on February 18, 2006
Dearly Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
Hope this letter finds all of you doing well. We take great pleasure
in inviting all of you on behalf of our diocese, the Malankara
Archdiocese of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America, to the
Patriarchal Day Celebrations, the 74th Memorial of the late lamented
Saint: Mor Ignatius Elias III as well as the 2nd anniversary of the
Consecration of our Archbishop H.E. Mor Titus Yeldho. The
celebration is being hosted by St. Paul's Syrian Orthodox Church of
Philadelphia and will be held at the Trinity Lutheran Church, 1141
West Chester Pike, Havertown, PA 19083, on Saturday February 18,2006.
The Holy Qurbana will start at 8:30 AM.
Chief Celebrants for this occasion will be
Catholicose H.B. Mor Baselios Thomas I,
Archbishop H.E. Mor Titus Yeldho
H.G. Mor Severios Abraham and
H.E. Mor Ivanios Mathews from India.
Following the Holy Qurbana a public discussion will be held for the
general public and our youth with the theme "The Future of Our
Church & Diocese". There will also be discussions of various topics
concerning our Faith and the Ancient Syrian Orthodox Church. This is
a great chance for all of you to learn more about the history and
faith of our church. Therefore I humbly request that all of you take
time out on February 18 th to attend this auspicious event. Please
try your best in attending this event. We had our Oriental Orthodox
Concelebration last weekend which was a great success.
If you have any other questions or concerns please feel free in
contacting me by email at DNJERRYJACOB@...
Please inform St. Paul's Syrian Orthodox Church, Philadelphia of the
approximate number of people attending from your parish by
contacting the following:
Rev. Fr. Jose Daniel: (Home) 215-464-9112 or (Cell) 267-432-1830
Rev. Dr. Paul Parambath: (Home) 610-356-2532
John Thomas: (Cell) 610-717-7500
Paul Pathrose: (Home) 610-359-1307
Please try your best in attending this event. We had our Oriental
Orthodox Concelebration last weekend which was a great success.
Once again, we humbly request that all of you come to this
auspicious occasion. Please spread the word this Sunday at Church to
all the adults and youth members about this event.
Dn. Jerry Jacob
The words of God is God. When we read the bible , we will see the
God. When the God live in us, we will become real Christians. If we
are the only group who gets salvation means only less than one
percent of Christians in the world gets salvation.
Compare to the Christians in whole world, we are less than 1%. IOC
also the same.
First of all we are not political terrorists, we are christians.
Most of you have relatives in IOC.
When I read Dn. Joel's Message regarding the sheap, I was so sad. If
any body looks IOC as enemies, please do not get related with them
in the future. Do not let your kids or relative to marry an IOC.
That makes more enemies in your family. Please try to see others in
a biblical way. When you judge others, the same way you are going to
be judged by God. Lack of love, kindness, forgiveness and bible
study is the only problem in the recent issues. Both SOC and IOC
need God's mercy to stop the fight. Be a Christian first, then every
thing will be solved. Please do not teach terrorisom to our
children, please. Whoever makes these problems, they are going to be
judged by God soon.
May God bless us
From the desk of the Moderator:
Please sign your messages with member ID. If not having a member ID,
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Hello Dn. Joel,
In all the words you are absolutely right. I can understand your
feelings, because i am also like you, if anyone speak about our
church. A real follower of the Syriac Orthodox Church can speak like
that only. There were 4 Methrans from our church for "peace-lovers"
as Mr. George A. mentioned. Now also every one suffering due to
their "peace - loving" mentalty. Then i dont know why George still
supporting those people. I am also desire and daily praying for the
peace in our church. Surely i know it will not happen with IOC people
( i mean the leaders of IOC ), because day by day they are going
apart from our Holy throne and due to their actvities from God's love
"And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them
likewise." -- Luke 6:31
Anoop K Baby
St. Johns Hermon Church, Nellikkunnel
We never heard from this George when the IOC Catholicose addressed
our Catholicose by the first name. Dn. Joel in his posting never
advocated to disrespect any IOC bishops by calling their first name.
He is not cheap as the IOC chief.
There is only one 'His Holiness' for a Jacobite - His Holiness
Ignatius Zakka Iwas I, the Patriarch and supreme head of Universal
Syriac Orthodox Church. We don't consider self-proclaimed or
DUPLICATE (in former IOC chief's language)Holiness's. Dn.Joel
represents the young Jacobites who are faithful to their mother
church and spiritual leaders.
The 'bridge of fellowship' in George's posting should not be a one-
way bridge. And look what George's 'servants of God' doing....file
false cases against other servents of God....encroach the places of
worship of their brothers....show disrespect to deadbodies....create
trouble in places of worship and get it closed.....attack the mother
church by all means and try to destroy it....disobey and humiliate
the Supreme Head of the Church..... manipulate and distort the
history of the Holy Church...and so on. See the transformation
of 'servants of God' to 'serpents of Feud.' Excuse me George, we
don't see any holiness or grace in them.
Christ called these servents to love, not to hate.
My fellow Jacobites, please do not hate anybody. Please use common
names like Catholicose, Bishop, priest, brother etc. when you
address individuals in the IO faction.
Member ID #2341
THOUSANDS OFFER PRAYERS AT SAINT'S TOMB IN MANJINIKKARA
Patriarchal delegate inaugurates platinum jubilee of the feast
(The Hindu dt. 13-2-2006)
PATHANAMTHITTA: Thousands of faithful offered prayers at the tomb of
Antiochean Patriarch St Elias-III at Mar Ignatius Diara Church in
Manjanikkara near here on Sunday.
The believers from far-off places undertook their pilgrimage
procession to the Saint's tomb by foot.
The Metropolitans and priests of the Malankara Jacobite Syrian
Church accorded a rousing reception to the pilgrimage processions at
the nearby Omalloor Cross in the afternoon before being escorted to
the Manjanikkara Diara.
Diara chief Kuriakose Mar Eulios, Geevarghese Mar Dionysius and
festival committee convener Fr Samson Varghese were among those
The pilgrimage processions coming from the northern districts were
received by Youhanon Mar Milithieos Metropolitan at Ezhinjillom near
The pilgrims had stayed overnight at the Thiruvalla Simhasana Church
Geevarghese Mar Dionysius Metropolitan was the chief celebrant at
the holy eucharist held at the Diara Church in the morning. Minister
for Health and Water Resources Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan and Food
and Civil Supplies Minister Adoor Prakash were among those who
visited Manjanikkara on Sunday.
Patriarchal delegate and the Abbot of the Kurkuma Diara in Turkey
Mor Phelexinox Sleeba Metropolitan was the chief guest at the public
meeting on the Diara premises to mark the culmination of the annual
pilgrimage, later in the afternoon.
Catholicos Baselius Thomas I presided over the meeting. The
Patriarchal delegate formally inaugurated the year-long platinum
jubilee of the Manjanikkara Perunal on the occasion. Senior
Metropolitan of the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church Youhanon Mar
Phelexinox delivered the keynote address. K.K. Nair, MLA, also
addressed the meet.
Catholicos Baselius Thomas I will be the chief celebrant at the holy
eucharist to be held at the Diara Church at 5 a.m. on Monday. The
Patriarchal delegate will lead the holy eucharist at 8.30 a.m. The
festival will come to a close with the Holy Rasa later.
For more Links, visit:
I am searching scriptual references that reveals the sanctity for
praying for the dead. The reason too many people are wandering in ther
faith and it is high time Orthodox believes are being taught to all
Our prayers are very effective, our Qurbana contains all - glorifying,
thanksgiving, repentance etc... And now I have seen our priests are
conducting prayers like pentecosts and marthomites. I don't think it
is required. Teach what is our beliefs. In particular, I am searching
answers on the topic mentioned.
From the desk of the Moderator:
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Dear Moderators & Prayer Partners,
Ever since we included Nikhil (Eldo) in our prayer list he was so
close to us, in fact one of us. We thought a miracle might happen and
Nikhil was going to open his eyes to pay attention to the whispering
of his dad & mom. The world's calls were not heard but when the
Heavenly Father called Nikhil fluttered to His abode to enjoy the
divine compassion, affection and became a little angel at the lofty
home. It is painful to all who are dear and near but a gain for the
Heavens. Our Prayer Cell will not stop praying for you dear Nikhil
until we see you at the other shore.
Recently I noticed a write-up of one IOC member in one of their forum as a reply
Dn. Joel's posting, part of which is reproduced below. My reply to the forum
not posted and hence request SOCM moderators to kindly put this message to clear
the smoke screen of the respected member.
"2. March to Manarcadu has cancelled because MOSC does not know how
to get 'armed' ( As Rev.Dn points out). Rev Dn again says that
Hindus and muslim supported it. What happened to this so called
support after one year when the name 'Manarcadu Church ' written in
the main road-round at Manarcadu was fully demolished during one
night. Where the persons with 'arms' at that time? ( 'Arms' were
only against MOSC brothers it seems). It is a pity that the
followeres of Church who themselves proclaims as security for JSC at
every incident could not save the name of that Holy Church written
on the round in their own courtyard."
Dear Thomas Varghese,
Let me point out some "factual blunders" in your message about the Manarcad
May be you all don't want to get it reminded. It was a well calculated move of
your Ex-Catholicose and a militant Metropolitan, with the help of a retired IOC
High Court Judge,
to obtain police protection to forcefully enter 'Manarcad Church'!! As you
it was NOT because IOC don't know how to 'get armed', but because of Kottayam
strict order to your Catholicose NOT TO GO there, the 'Great March' has to be
You may also dont want to know that there were 'kalpanas' issued to the IOC
Kottayam Diocese by your 'pious' leadership, instructing the members to
in the 'Great March' and conquer Manarcad Church 'at any cost'!! However, many
Churchs' General body meeting outrightly rejected that request and informed the
to your leadership.
Regarding the construction of a roundabout at Manarcad junction, if you had read
leading malayalam dailies of those days, including your Manorama, it was pointed
that a group of 'armed' so called 'hindu' people from 'Kottayam area' came in a
bus in the midnight and demolished the structure, in order to make tension
and 'Christians' at Manarcad. However, God had a different plan and those so
who were demolishing the structure had to flee from there when they were
'real Manarcad area' hindus and christians!!! The damaged structure was rebuilt
on the same
place at once with the help and support of 'real hindu' people from Manarcad!!!
So far it is
there without any problem and the name of the Church is also on it. So as
Manarcad area clearly knows, you could also do a calculated guess and find out
and sent the gundas from Kottayam as so called 'hindus', to attack and demolish
built by Manarcad Church!!!
Member Id No: 1024
The responses to Dn. Joel's original message have been interesting.
First of all, I find it funny that someone else has written under the
name of "George A." without an ID. I hope those who write messages on
this forum will first register and get a member ID. This will avoid
any potential discrepancies.
I read the comments of Mrs. Mary. I understand to an extent where she
is coming from. Yes, we must not judge one another and certainly not
fall into the trap of grouping everyone into one category. I don't
think Dn. Joel believes that all IOC are "wolves in sheep's clothing".
I know for certain this is not true. Majority of followers just want
to keep the traditions of their forefathers and pray in their
churches. But they must also be aware of the actions of their
leaders, their shepherds.
I think this is where the major contention of the SOC/IOC dispute
begins. The average person only wants peace, including myself. But
I'm also aware of the actions of the leaders.
"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing,
but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will
recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn-bushes, or figs from
thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree
bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree
cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is
cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of
heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in
your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many
miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away
from me, you evildoers!' (Matthew 7: 15-23)
As Mike mentioned earlier, Jesus tells us that it is the fruit of
one's action that God examines. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the
actions of some IOC leaders are not only bearing fruit but completely
destroying the tree! What do I mean? I'll point to just two examples.
Not too long ago, the Patriarch had visited India. Remember, this is
the spiritual head of the Indian Orthodox Church according to their
Constitution; no one can deny this. How did the IOC react when they
heard the news that their spiritual head is visiting? They tried to
prevent it by all means possible. Through God's guidance, they were
unsuccessful. Thousands upon thousands greeted him. Some claimed
that he was coming to cause more problems in India. What happened?
He visited his flock and helped organize the church and left with his
blessings. And all the while, the Indian Orthodox Church paid no heed
whatsoever to their spiritual head. I see no fruit in their action.
Second, the church closures are a testament of the wasted fruits of
some IOC leaders. Claims have been made that these churches belong to
the Indian Orthodox Malankara Metropolitan. I admit that I don't know
the legalistic verdicts of the court. Nevertheless, the vast majority
of these closed churches belong to the Jacobites. They somehow expect
these people to just leave their churches and hand it over to the IOC
Catholicos. Many of the minority IOC members in these churches
switched sides when three bishops left their Jacobite sheep for the
sake of "peace". All I know is that the actions of Bishop Nicholovas,
Athansius, and Meletius only caused greater tensions and certainly not
"peace". Their actions have yet to bear any fruit, only divisions.
Getting back to the point, these closed churches are certainly not
bearing any fruits. Thousands of families have no place to worship
except for a small chapel. Just visit these churches and you'll see
first hand the "fruit" it bears. A closed, worn-down cathedral stands
in-between two small chapels. For the sake of Christian love, why
does the IOC not take a step of bearing good fruit?
These problems can easily be solved if both sides make concessions.
The Patriarch, when he visited India, held a news conference in which
he conceded that he will recognize the IOC as a sister church if the
court cases stop and churches are opened. Whoever holds the far
majority, let them worship in their churches. If the IOC members do
not want to worship with the Jacobites, let them be compensated.
These words of the Patriarch have the potential to bear fruit. It is
progressive. Have the IOC leaders proposed any solutions to the
problem besides the "give us the churches" mentality?
"By their fruits you will recognize them"
There are leaders amongst the IOC faction who prevent any fruit from
bearing. If only they understood the potential fruits their actions
would yield. If these leaders, with a Christian spirit, opened these
churches for the far majority and moved on, then I would have the
utmost respect for them. Their action would bear witness to the power
of Christ and His love. Instead of the Catholicos on both sides
coming to America to raise funds to pay for these cases, their mission
would be focused instead on feeding the hungry, clothing the naked,
and spreading the Gospel. The churches, especially in America, could
work and worship together as sister churches. The youth without
question would most benefit. Our God-given talents would be utilized
together for His work.
These fruits can be born if the IOC leaders take a positive and
progressive step. Only then will they do the will of the Father.
And, then only, will God answer these leaders when they call out to
Him, "Lord, Lord".
May this time of the Great Lent allow the bearing of these fruits by
those in charge. Then will they bear the image of God.
Matrimonial Digest / 0007-06
We do not take or assume any responsibility for the particulars
given by the advertiser. Concerned parties are encouraged to verify
the particulars. As per the request of some advertisers we withheld
the contact details and will forward any reply to the advertiser for
further personal contact.
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"Abraham, ready to receive strangers, faithful towards God, devoted
in ministering, quick in his service, saw the Trinity in a type; he
added religious duty to hospitality, when beholding Three he
worshipped One, and preserving the distinction of the Persons, yet
addressed one Lord, he offered to Three the honour of his gift,
while acknowledging one Power. It was not learning but grace which
spoke in him, and he believed better what he had not learnt than we
who have learnt."
"The fear of the Lord is the crown of wisdom, making peace and
perfect health to flourish." Sirach 1:18
Barakmore / Shlomo
Fasting is a spiritual practice which is given much importance in Semitic
religions. The early Church instituted periods of fasting and abstinence
from certain foods following the examples of our Lord as well as those of
the Prophets such as Moses and Elijah. While the periods of fasting and
lenten observances are described in early texts such as Didascalia
Apostolorum, practices have varied over time.
For instance, the Rogation of the Ninevites was introduced only in the 7th
cent. first in the Church of the East and then adopted among the Syriac
Orthodox Madenhoyo (Easterners) and later in the entire Syriac Orthodox
Church. Through the influence of Syrians, the practice was adopted in other
churches such as the Coptic and Armenian Orthodox Churches.
We find that the duration of lenten observances have varied.
Bar `Ebroyo in his Ethikon states that: "Some people observe the fast of
Nativity forty days from the full moon of Teshri (approx November) the
second, others twenty-five days from the beginning of Kanun (approx.
December) the first, and still others two weeks from the tenth of Kanun the
first." (Teule, H.G.B. (trans.). Ethicon. Louvain: 1993, p. 80)
In the Nomocanon, Bar `Ebroyo gives more detailed information about the
identity of people who fast 40, 25 or 14 days. The ascetics fast 40 days,
lay people in the East (MadenHoye) from Kanun the first (=25 days) and lay
people in the west: two weeks from the 10th of Kanun the first. (Teule,
1993, p. 80, fn 44).
Regarding the fast of the Apostles, Bar `Ebroyo says in the Ethikon: "The
people in the West observe the fast of Apostles from the Monday after the
feast of Pentecost till the twenty-ninth of Hziran (approx June), which is
the feast of Peter and Paul; the people in the East till the completion of
fifty days. About this fast the Holy Jacob (of Edessa in "A Letter to John
the Stylite, ed. A. Voobus in Synodicon I, p. 238/219 trans.) said that it
is not compulsory; otherwise anyone not keeping this fast would be
blameworthy. But perhaps because our Lord said to his Apostles: the sons of
the bride-chamber cannot fast as long as the bridegroom is with them. But
the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them and then
they shall fast (Mt 9:15), therefore, when our Lord ascended and the Spirit
came, the Apostles fasted and this was accepted as a custom, but not
These are just some examples of varied practices within the Syriac Orthodox
Church recorded in the 13th cent. Similarly, the foods prescribed during
lent have also varied. For instance, in certain areas, in addition to animal
products, oil was avoided during lent. On the other hand, we find in a
letter of Mor Philoxenos to the Abu Ya'fur the Lakhmid Phylarch references
to Christian Turks being permitted to eat milk and meat--but only dried
meat--during lent. (Paul Harb (trans.), Lettre de Philoxene de Mabbug au
phylarque Abu Ya'fur... OLM Meltho (1967):183-222).
HH Patriarch Aphrem I's relaxation of lenten observances (No 620; Dec 2,
1952) upon appeal from the bishops in Malankara has to be seen in this
context. While the Patriarch's encyclical was promptly ridiculed by then
Malankara Orthodox Catholicos Geevarghese II (No 210; Dec 8, 1952), Konatt
Abraham Malpan (Malankara Malpan of the Malankara Orthodox Church) published
an article in Malayala Manorama, praising the wisdom and timeliness of HH
Patriarch Aphrem I's decision. In this article the learned Malpan
emphatically acknowledges the authority of the Holy Fathers of the Church to
set rules for periods of fasting. He welcomes relaxations to keep with the
times and changing circumstances. You can read this news clipping from the
Manorama at http://www.stgeorgecheppaud.org/MSCR/KAM.htm, provided by Mr T.M.
Chacko (Member Id # 0903 of SOCM-FORUM). An English translation will be made
available as soon as possible).
Those who are keen to criticize others regarding their fasting practices
would do well to remember how our Lord regarded the Pharisees and their
attitudes to the observance of the Sabbath. Just as "The Sabbath was made
for man, and not man for the Sabbath (St. Mark 2:27)", fasting was
instituted for man, and not man for fasting. As we pray in the evening
prayers of the great lent, "Observing lent by abstaining from food alone and
without abstaining from foul thoughts is in vain."
In Our Lord's Love
Dear Zachariah Mathew,
We, the Syrian Orthodox Church, do not pray for the Dead.
Please refer to Message#7169 (subj:The Jacobite Movement) of this
Forum, to get a detailed reply regarding this.
May God Bless.
Babu Jacob Nadayil
--- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com, Zachariah Matthew wrote:
> Dear all,
> I am searching scriptual references that reveals the sanctity for
> praying for the dead. The reason too many people are wandering in
> faith and it is high time Orthodox believes are being taught to all
> people alike.
> Our prayers are very effective, our Qurbana contains all -
> thanksgiving, repentance etc... And now I have seen our priests are
> conducting prayers like pentecosts and marthomites. I don't think
> is required. Teach what is our beliefs. In particular, I am
> answers on the topic mentioned.
> Zachariah Matthew
Autocephaly de jure
Georgy in his next article is trying to summarize his arguments on
the autocephaly of the Malankara Church. In the first part he claims
the 'autocephaly de facto'. All these issues raised by him were
dealt in detail in my former articles. So I am not repeating or
summarizing the same here. My arguments can be traced from the
respective messages of the fora.
The second part goes to survey the claims of 'autocephaly de jure'
based on the latest Supreme court judgment. He arrives at the
following conclusion that the court did not accept the IOC claim of
autocephaly. May be bacause of the legal finalitiesin this issue he
has put forwarded an appeal here to achieve autocephaly through a
consensus. You read now his own words and then we will proceed.
" The Supreme Court of India is inclined not to support our
autocephalous status because of the assertions made in our own
constitution. Therefore, we can state that we are a de facto
autocephalous church, but not one de jure. Instead of being in
denial, the challenge before our church leadership would be to
peacefully resolve this issue, even as we maintain our warm
relationship with the family of Oriental Orthodox Churches. In my
view, autocephaly through consensual route could be one way out of
the present conflict in our church. Instead of assuming that the
Syriac Church wouldn't grant us the same, we should first test the
assumption either on our own or through the offices of other
Oriental Orthodox Church prelates. The two Indian churches can then
learn to co-exist peacefully, the Indian Orthodox Church as an
autocephalous church, and the Jacobite Church as an autonomous one
having a more umbilical relationship with the Syriac Church."
But Georgy has to remember that the reasons de facto mentioned were
also presented and pleaded before the trial court and the higher
courts. But all the courts flatly denied these claims. Anyone who
glance through the affidavit filed in the main case show that the
main plea was centered in aiming declaration to this effect. I am
happy that the IO readers are told directly by one of their diligent
expositors that the court has not accepted their plea to declare
themselves autocephalous. The Malankara Church is not autocephalous
de jurie because it is not autocephalous de facto.
Anyone going into the basic reason of the split in Malankara can
beyond doubt arrive at the conclusion that it was nothing other than
the claim of autocephaly declared by Augen Bava on Sept. 26, 1972.
( See the full text of the declaration in my book, 'Perumpilly
Thirumeni', pp 91-92) The litigation started on June 6, 1974 was
also for declaring this autocephalous nature of the church and for a
declaration in favor of the Malankara Metropolitan to be the
spiritual, ecclesial and temporal authority over all properties of
the Malankara church and its parishes. Georgy should also note that
the 1995 judgment of the SC of India also make it clear that the
parish churches and its properties were not all affected by any of
the findings of the apex court and that the Catholicose, Malankara
Metropolitan nor the diocesan Metropolitan has no authority over its
temporalities. The case was to declare the opposite. I hope you will
accept this also in the future. For fear of prolonging any further I
am not going into the other points dealt by the supreme court.
2.Let me try to concentrate on a very practical suggestion
forwarded at the end of the above quote from Georgy to make an end
to these war and rift. I request Georgy to propose a few guidelines
to achieve the proposal. How can we arrive at this peaceful co
existence ? Can you persuade the litigation maniacs at your church
head quarters to accept this?
Your proposal is a ray of hope to end the rift and rivalry in our
community. I am sure SOC will accept this and has already declared
its willingness to this effect. The recent incidents of the
reopening of parish churches prove this type of peaceful co
existence will be readily and willingly accepted by our people at
large. Moreover it is now clear that the real problems and fights
are not originated from among the people. They were mere puppets and
tools in the hands of the leadership. People wanted their churches
to opened and the worship services to be continued there. They are
now least bothered about issues like 'autocephaly de facto or de
jure'. So let us take an initiative at a larger perspective to
arrive at a conclusion put forwarded by you, if you can convince
your leaders. I don't even find the need of any mediators to
implement this. If the intentions are made very clear like this
statement of yours it need no intervention of the OO leaders or any
The declaration of the Mulanthuruthy Association 2005 under the
president ship of H.H. the Patriarch unequivocally declared that the
SOC is willing to accept IO as a sister church. I think it contains
all your suggestions. I will add that this is the only way out for
the IO to become an 'autocephalous' church. The SOC also will be at
the gaining point that it will be fairly allowed to progress without
hindrance in its endeared ties with the Patriarchate of Antioch.
In this line we can resolve the petty issues magnified through the
media as the great 'war' between the two divisions in a great and
glorious community. I appeal all through this posting to pray for
the success of the proposal made here by Georgy. I would also like
to remind about the failure(?) of the mission carried out by the
V.Rev. Dr. P.S. Samuel Corepiscopa, NY around this line about year
back. We had good reports of his mission till he went to India, but
nothing was heard after his return. So I find strong pressures of
the (vested) interested groups behind the perpetuation of rifts and
keeping live issues.
To read Georgy in his full text please click to the following link.
Next: Catholicate vs.Mafrianate
Kuriakose Corepiscopa Moolayil
1995 Parkside Dr. #2N
Park Ridge, IL 60068-1060
Tel. 847 635 4795
Cell.224 522 2656
Director, Mor Adai Study Centre
Dear precious prayer warriors
Praise be to the Lord Jesus
How are you? We do pray for you.
By God's grace we were having a 54 hours continuous fasting prayer
from last Monday to Wednesday (days of Moonnu Nombu) and it was a
great blessing. Around 300 people were attended for the fasting
prayer without having any solid food. We drank water, sometimes tea
without milk or some fruit juices. On thursday we participated in
the Holy Qurbana. Number of prayer partners around the world joined
with us in fasting prayer, somebody without having any solid food
throughout three days, some had only one time food per day and some
skipped one time food per day. Many of those who cannot skip food
because of their unhealthy condition joined with us in prayers. We
praise and thank God for each and everybody of those who
participated with us in prayers with or without food. We remember
you all in our intercessory prayers. We've printout all of the
prayer requests which you submitted through the website and did
intercessory prayers on every watches of the day and night. We will
continue praying for you all.
By God's grace we will be having a 12 days continuous fasting prayer
(without having any solid food, but one time of a day) from 5th of
April (Wednesday) to 16th of April (Easter), 2006. Please pray for
the blessings of the fasting prayer and for those who participate in
it directly or indirectly. Those who wish to participate, pray for
the courage and the power to sit under the feet of our Lord Jesus on
those days. You may "Post Your Prayer Requests" at the bottom
of "Worldwide Daily Chain of Prayer" in the left column of the
On 16th of April (Easter Sunday) 11 am we will be having a
fellowship with the beggars alongwith distributing a pair of new
clothes to each and every one of them. And at 12.30 pm we will be
having lunch with them together. There are about 100 beggars staying
at the house of beggars.
We want to find out money for distributing those beggars new clothes
and providing them Easter lunch from the tithes or offerings of the
children of God of those who pray, plan and prepare to join with us
in the fasting prayer directly or indirectly. Only at the time of
Easter lunch our 12 days fasting prayer will be completed.
Hepzy, my daughter is in 10th standard. She is praparing for her
public (school final) exam. She is having model examination this
week. Public examination will begin on 15th of March. My sons Besly
and Lesly also will be having their annual examinations by the end
of this month onwards.
By God's grace I will be going for the outreach ministries in the
Jungle Churches in Andhra Pradesh on 19th of February and will
return back on 3rd March. Please pray for the ministry trips.
The believers who accepted Jesus Christ as Personal Saviour in
recent times are asking us to get Bibles. So we wish to have
thousands of Bibles (with Old and New Testaments) and the New
Testaments in the languages of Hindi, Urdu, Kashmiri, Gujarati,
Oriya, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam. We need to distribute
Bibles to the prisoners also.
Our housing project for the 16 christian believers in the earthquake
devastation area is progressing. The structure of four houses has
been finished. We also got permission to build a community center,
residence for the local minister, a health center, a village school
for the poor children and a tailoring school for the poor women and
Hereby I am forwarding a message of the one of our dear brother
sharing the experience of the three days fasting prayer without
Yours in the love of Jesus Christ our Lord
Pastor Paul Ciniraj
for Salem Voice Ministries
"Who ever lives and believes in me will never die". St. John 11 : 26
Mr. Saji Varghese, Saudi Arabia, Son of Late Mr. C. K. Geevarghese,
Chettiankudiyil, Potthanicad, is moved to his permanent residence
where we all are expecting to reach. It is happened due to heart
attack during a badminton tournament on 9th February evening.
The Body will move by 9 pm on 15th Wednesday from Damamam central
hospital and will fly with Saudia on 16th 0.30 am. Funeral will
take place at St. Mary’s Church, Pothanicad. All Jacobites and his
friends will get together in the evening for his farewell.
On behalf of all Jacobite members, I wish to extend our heart-felt
condolence to the bereaved family.
Let us pray for the departed soul and also uphold the family
members in our prayers to adjust with their loss in this temporary
life and to strengthen them in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Karthave nin Raktha Sareerangal kaikondu ……
Makkalilappan Krupa Cheyvathupole Haleluyya...............
Sharanathale Nin Krupayil...................
Swargasthanaya Njangalude Pithave..................
Yours in Christ
Daniel B Daniel (Chev.)
Member ID # 0179
Dear Beloved All
I take this oppertunity to congratulate Mr. K.M. Abraham (Air India,
Doha - Qatar)and Mr. K.J. Daniel (Hamad Medical corporation, Doha -
Qatar)on their receipt of "Shevaliar" from our Holy Father.
(Both are belngs to St. James Jacobite Syrian Parish, Doha - Qatar.)
Doha - Qatar
Music, drums and drama marked the opening plenary session of the 9th
Assembly of the World Council of Churches. Declaring the Assembly
open, WCC moderator Catholicos Aram I remarked that it was the first
time an Assembly had been held in Latin America, and referred to the
record number of young people attending.
Prayer, Bible study and conversation were integral to the event, he
said, which could be described as a "consensus assembly" because of
the new voting procedures. Aram concluded, "This Assembly is
essentially a spiritual event. I invite and challenge you to make it
a spiritual event in the authentic sense of the word."
Delegates were greeted according to the region from which they came,
and guests brought greetings. Bishop Adriel de Souza Maia brought
greetings on behalf of Brazilian churches, saying that to host the
Assembly was "an honour" for Brazil. Bishop Julio Holguin, on behalf
of Latin American churches, said, "We open our arms and hearts to
receive you with the warmth and joy characteristic of our purposes
and our churches."
He added, "Our greatest desire would have been to come together
around the table of the Lord. The ecumenical movement ought to be
able to share the gift of grace in each one of us." Delegates
applauded his comments.
Greetings were also brought by the vice-mayor of Porto Alegre,
Eliseu Santos, and by the Honourable Germano Rigotto, governor of
Rio Grande Sul, who commended the Council and warned against
relativism and materialism.
Messages had been received from church leaders unable to be present
at the opening. The ecumenical patriarch, Bartholomew I, said, "An
assembly of the WCC is an exceptional event for the entire
ecumenical movement, and for the fellowship of churches constituting
the WCC in particular." He expressed his satifaction at the positive
reception of the special commission on Orthodox participation.
A greeting from Pope Benedict XVI was read by Cardinal Walter
Kaspar. The Pope said, "After forty years of fruitful collaboration,
we look forward to continuing this journey of hope and promise, as
we intensify our endeavours towards reaching that day when
Christians are united in proclaiming the gospel message of salvation
to all." Walter Cardinal Kaspar assured hearers that although the
Roman Catholic Church was not a WCC member, "ecumenical involvement
is an irreversible commitment".
Other greetings were received from the archbishop of Canterbury, Dr
Rowan Williams, who will travel to the Assembly later this week;
Lourdes Saad Oliviera, representing the World YWCA and World
Alliance of YMCAs; and the secretary general of the UN, Kofi Annan.
Annan urged the Assembly to pray for the UN, saying, "Pray that
world leaders find the wisdom and the will to use this tool to its
The welcome of 31 new member churches into the WCC was followed by
an act of recommitment led by Kobia. Those who had attended past
Assemblies were recognised, including Philip Potter, a past general
secretary who attended the first Assembly in Amsterdam as a young
The plenary closed with a song, "Deus em tua Graca." It was followed
by a celebratory prayer service in the Assembly tent.
More articles and free photos at
Message from Rev. Fr. George Mathew Nalunnackal
T will try to send more news in the days to come from here. Mor
Themotheose and Mor Gregoriose thirumeni are here. There is a strong
delegation from our church, including Syria and other places. I will
send details later.
The extracts of the interview with H.G. Dr. Kuriakose Mor Theophilose reprodced
was conducted, by the youth wing of the Syrian Orthodox Church (SOKU)in Sweden.
Q: When and where were you born?
A: I was born in the year 1966 on the first February in South India, in a
small state called Kerela. Most Syrian Orthodox Christians are from the South of
Q: When did you become a bishop?
A: I was consecrated as the first and so far only bishop by the hand of
Mafiryono Baselios Thomas the first, in the year 2003 on the 29th September
almost 3 years ago now. In the year 2002 the 12th November I was crowned
priest and for a long time before that, maybe during 16 or 17 years, I was a
Q: How is it like being a bishop?
A: It’s a beautiful but also a difficult task. Our church and tradition is very
unlike the protestant tradition. It is more like a father and son
relation/tradition. There is a need, the need from the people and from us.
His Holiness has entrusted me to look after our congregations in India but
also in Europe, so I have to travel a lot. Especially in Europe because many
of our people are travelling there to work in particular in the medical
field, as doctors and nurses. That is something we have to organise since
more congregations develop. Thanks to God, with His grace this is possible
and thanks to His Holiness.
Q: Could you please shortly tell us about your life?
A: A brief answer to why I became a bishop was because of Gods grace, not
because of my merits. He called me and I responded to His calling, but I
must say that my family and a group of people have guided me and supported
me through this. My family is very religious and I remember how our parents
always used to sing and pray with us 5:30 in the morning. The Sunday service
was a must for us! Each Syrian orthodox child has to visit church every
Sunday, because after mass they have 2-3 hours of Sunday school in which
they learn history, liturgy, bible and now we study the Syrian language.
From childhood I knew I wanted to be a priest and a bishop was in me, but I
was not sure. After collage and after I got my degree I thought of studying
low but the inner calling was very strong. Then I got a job but never
stopped praying, we prayed together a lot and actually my whole hometown,
the parish prayed for me and with me. Then I decided to join the seminary,
after 3 years of studying I got the diploma and after that, a couple of
months, I became the secretary of the Mafuryon. Then on the night of 5th
January 1989 I was ordered as deacon and then I went for my higher studies
in a ecumenical collage and came back to the seminaries to teach as a
lecturer for 2 years. Then I got the opportunity to go to Germany and do my
PhD there. At first I studied languages, German and Latin etc, then I did my
doctoring, became priest and later bishop.
In Germany I got very good contact with bishop Mor Dionosios Isa Gorbouz and
may he rest in peace bishop Mor Julius Yeshu Cicek
Q: What essential peace of advice do you have for the youth of our Syrian
A: You, the youth, are the future of our church. And our Lord was the youth
during His life, properly, and that was the most fruitful time of His life.
The youth is like the spring in nature; it blossoms. You can move whereever
you want, body mind and soul are intact, active and helping this youth
period. If the youth is healthy and helping the church, then the church will
In especially Syria, Turabdin and India we have good family traditions and
not much of a secularised and materialistic society. So that’s why it was
easy for the youth to go to church and be strong together but due to
globalisation, industrialisation, urbanisation and thanks to the media the
situation has been changed, the moral and ethical values have changed. And
when we talk about our youth in Europe I can understand the inner conflict,
since they are living in two worlds. On one hand they live in the family
that has a strong connection with church etc, but on the other when the
youth is going to school and work etc the moral and view of life is suddenly
different from what you know and been taught. Therefore, there becomes a
tension, an inner tension and battle. This can sometimes make it difficult
to be religious in such societies.
For instance, a girl I know started to pray before eating in school, it was
a Christian school and her friends looked funny at her. So the question
remains: what to do? I think that you should be aware of yourself and on
your guard, thinking of who you are, what you ought to be and why are you
here on this world? Just look at the story of Joseph, who was tempted all
the time to take the wrong way, by Pottifars wife. But he was very much
conscious of who he was and who he ought to be and he never forgot his God.
So in the same way, it is your responsibility to be faithful, both in faith
itself and in the traditions of the church, because it’s a very old and
precious tradition. In addition, always remember that you are never out of
the sight of God. And the youth in West must always remember and thank God
for the religious freedom and privileges that you have. When we think of the
life many of our fathers lived in Turabdin or other Muslim countries, the
life which they lived was not sweet at all, at the contrary very bitter.
Just think of the massacre in the year 1914, the year of the sword.
The role of the youth in the Western world is to work in the societies, to
be religious and to keep the moral values. And don’t forget your spirit
along with your body and mind.
Q: Do you think this happens (the unmoral way of living and looking at life)
because of to much freedom given to us?
A: No! Freedom is divine and given to us from God. But it’s about the right use
of freedom. Freedom is not to do whatever you want but it is the right to
collect whatever good you want. The most beautiful thing is freedom, but you
have to respect your neighbour and be aware of yourself. When God gives you
more He will ask you to give more! Everyone will be asked to give back
according to what he got.
Q: How do you look at the future of the Syrian Orthodox Church youths in India?
Does it look dark or bright?
A: When winter comes, everything is grey and looks so dark. But there is one
tree that always keeps its colour and bright, the spruce (svenska granen).
Meaning that God will never leave this world in total darkness or despair,
so it is the same with our church. We can see the wonderful way God
protected us and even carried us with His own hands. Especially if you look
at the history of the Syrian Orthodox church, it is a history of
persecution. From the beginning, we had to suffer a lot but God opens new
ways. When we had to suffer in one place the result of freedom and
acceptance became for instance in Sweden.
This church is safe in the hands of God. Let us go back to our church in
India and our youth. Our church has always 1750 years of history in India.
In the year 345 immigration came from Urhoy/Urfa or Edessa to Kerela in
India with a bishop, some priests and about 400 people and since that time
onwards our church in India has become the patriarch of Antioch. Till now,
without have breaking the relationship with Antioch, we are growing and we
are about 3 million people with about 1064 churches, 800 priests, 40
bishops, an organisation for women, we have the children with their Sunday
school and last but not least the youth association.
The youth association meet every week 2 or 3 hours, have bible studies,
discussions and talk about faith. Another program is to help the sick etc.
And they always defend the faith when something challenges it. We also have
special days 1-2 times a year where about 3000 youth comes together, spend
time praying and have camps etc. It is a very positive sign that our youth
in India arrange these kinds of social activities.
I was also very happy when I saw you here, youth from SOKU, in the
monastery. You want to keep our rich traditions. The meaning of rich
traditions means first of all the Syrian language, spoken by our Lord and
His disciples, that is our heritage. Secondly, the mystery shared to us
through the ceremony, the rich and holy 2000 years old liturgy – an
observation of a Western scholar. I know it is harder for you who live in
Europe, who are religious and faithful people, and that is why I respect you
a lot for not giving up and wanting to live this life. So I have hope and
I’m sure of that our church will survive these difficulties.
Q: How do you think we can strengthen the international relation between the
Syrian Orthodox Church youth in India and Sweden?
A: Unlike other orthodox churches, our church is a specific universal church,
because other orthodox churches have boundaries. Our Syrian Orthodox church
is a very big family, the patriarch of Antioch, our liturgy or church
fathers and Syriac language units us. Despite our church having geographical
distances, some are in India, others in Turkey etc, we are one family.
Therefore our patriarch of Antioch, our holy father, he is the one uniting
us and in him the whole church is one.
There are two big pilgrim destinations in India. One is the grave of His
Holiness the patriarch Elia the 3rd. He came there, died there and was
buried there. Many people came there and many wonders and miracles still
happen there. Another Mafriyono Baselios Eldro came from Turabdin to India
and many people comes to visit that place. Why I mention this is because our
church fathers, despite no travel facilities, came to India to look after
their spiritual children. And today we have all kinds of possibilities. I
have to mention His grace, may he rest in peace, seidna Mor Julius Yeshu
Cicek. He was a wonderful bishop, we have big seminars in India now and
without his support we would have never realised that project, where we have
hundreds students now and it is affiliated to the university and it going to
be an international Syriac research institute. He opened a new door for our
Syrian Orthodox people from West to India. He brought a group with him when
he visited India and got to know more and more about us in India etc. Also
youth from Germany comes to us every year, share faith and exchange
experiences together with our youth. This is a very good thing to do, an
exchange of youth, mind and soul. The internet is also a good mean where one
can see what you do and how you work. The essential thing needed in a
communication between countries and its youth, is good contact persons.
I can guarantee you that from our youth there will always be someone taking
good care of you and you are most welcome!
/May God bless and strengthen you.
"Fasting is acceptable to God when abstention from food is
accompanied by refraining from sins, from envy, from hatred, from
calumny, from vainglory, from wordiness, from other evils. He who is
fasting the true fast `that is agreeable' to God ought to shun all
these things with all his strength and zeal, and remain impregnable
and unshakeable against all the attacks of the Evil one that are
planned from that quarter. On the other hand, he who practices
abstention from food, but does not keep self-control in the face of
the aforesaid passions, is like unto one who lays down splendid
foundations for a house, yet takes serpents and scorpions and vipers
as fellow-dwellers therein. For just as the establishment of goodly
foundations for that house becomes a deadly trap to those that come
nigh, as the lurking reptiles fall upon them unawares with their
poison, so also that person who has established his fame among men
by means of fasting, while fostering within him the beastlike heads
of the passions, is fatal to those that meet him."
St. Photios the Great.
"If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But
there is forgiveness with You, That You may be feared."
It is heart-felt sad news, nobody would like to hear.
Please pass the condolonce to the grieving loved ones. Any idea how
old was the deceased? It is always better to include a brief
information about the immediate family on situations like this.
Member ID # 2357
As I informed you all, Almight God has pleased to help us to organise
a parish for us in Dublin. The parish is named as St.Gregorios Syrian
Orthodox Church, Dublin. H.E. Dr. Kuriakose Mor Theophilose Metropolitan
will be visiting Dublin on 19th February and will be saying Mass on
the Same day. We are trying to arrange it as a "Munninmel Qurbono".
Since this is the first visit of a Syrian Orthodox Bishop to Dublin,
I request you all to pray for the success of the visit.
Let me extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the members in this
forum who responded to my earlier mails informing about the attempts
to organise Syrian Orthodox People in Dublin. Please keep our Parish
in Your Prayers.
"May God Bless You all"
Fr. Thomas Palackathadathil
H.H. Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas consecrated Very Rev. Raban
Hazail Soumi as the metropolitan of Patriarchal Vicar for the
Archdiocese of Belgium and France at Monastery of St. Aphrem the
Syrian, in Ma`rrat Sayyidnaya, Damascus, Syria on 12 Februery 2006.
Rabban Hazail Soumi assumed the name "Mor Severius". Their Eminences
MOR DIOSCOROS BENYAMIN ATAS (Patriarchal-Vicariate of the Archdiocese of SWEDEN)
MOR JULIUS ABDULAHAD G. SHABO (Bishop of SWEDEN & SCANDNAVIA)
MOR CLEMIS EUGENE KAPLAN (Patriarchal Vicariate of Western USA)
MOR OSTHATHEOS MATTA ROHUM (Bishop of JAZIRAH & EUPHRATES)
MOR SEVERIOS MALKE MOURAD (Patriarchal-Vicariate for JERUSALEM & JORDAN)
MOR ATHANASIUS ELIA BAHE (Patriarchal Assistant)
MOR YUSPHINOS PAULOS (Patriarchal Vicariate for Zahle & Beqa), assisted His
Holiness in the consecration ceremonies.
to view the photo of Mor Severius Hazail Soumi.
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