We recently posted about the situations and atrocities faced by our faithful at St. Mary�s Church West Nyack. You could find the posting at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SOCM-FORUM/message/5171
Mor Nicolovas recently replied to our posting in the IO Forum, Digest Number 1332 message 2.
After one reads his reply it is very clear why according to him the Syrian Orthodox Faithful have to leave the church and give it to him.
Before everything Mor Nicolovas should have clearly mentioned who exactly were the plaintiffs and defendants in this court case.
Plaintiff: Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church
Defendants: Fr. Mathew Thomas, Mor Nicolovas, e.t.c.
Let us now get into the writings posted by Mor Nicolovas:
>In the beginning itself they did not try to go to the court(????????).
>They came with group of people and try to physically occupy the church"
The same group of people, the same faithful who build this church even before P.G. Cherian Achen was send to H.H. to be ordained a thirumeni and even a long time before P.G Cherian was ordained as a priest.
>Not a single person who is a member of that parish at the time of the
>initiation of the court case is with them.
Hope he doesn�t believe that we died. He is justifying it be true from his view point, because before the initiation of the Court case, he had suspended around 10 families from that Church for standing strong in the true Syrian Orthodox faith and had threatened the rest of our faithful that he was going to use the weapon of excommunication against them. We are the same people who are trying to get our place of worship back.
>St. Mary's was established to worship according to the traditions of the
>Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church.
At last he started saying the truth. Even he clearly knows the Church was established under the parental blessings of Late Lamented Mor Athanasius Samuel under the direct authority of the Patriarch of Syrian Orthodox Church. As per his quotes from the court verdict it is clear that IO has no place in this church and it is under the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church. I think he is in the world of fantasy that he is still the Archbishop of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church. But, Mor Nicolovas, you have to wake up. You are no more the bishop of Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church; as a matter of fact it is H.E. Mor Titus Yeldho.
>2. Based on the Constitution of the Church the Defendants have left the Church
> and cannot continue the possession of the church. (Actually the Parish do not
>have a constitution)
Again tactical !!. The court clearly says that the defendants, Mor Nicolovas, Fr. Mathew Thomas, and his followers have voluntarily left the church and they cannot continue the possession of the Church. So, Mor Nicolovas�are you ready to abide with this court ruling? Who has the keys of the Church?, Fr. Mathew Thomas and his family. Mor Nicolovas�as per the Court ruling would you dare to hand over the keys of the Church to the faithful members of the Church and then say that you do not have any possession of the Church.
>The membership of the St. Mary's church shall be determined by the Malankara
>Syrian Orthodox Church and the court shall not interfere with it.
Again the court clearly states it�the membership shall be determined by the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church. I guess Mor Nicolovas is not aware of the fact that the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church has an Archbishop and an Archdiocesan Council.
>The only clause they are interpreting on their behalf is the part about the
>possession of the property by the defendants.
Are the readers getting amused yet??? WHAT ABOUT THE PART THAT ST. MARY�S WAS ESTABLISHED TO WORSHIP ACCORDING TO THE TRADITIONS OF THE MALANKARA SYRIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH.
>Meanwhile they try to hide the fact that they have been trying very hard in
>all the procedures that they do not have any formal links to the Malankara
>Church and they are directly under the Patriarch.
The American diocese is not a part of the Malankara church but is directly under the control of Patriarch of Antioch as per the wish of the people in US. Mor Nicolovas should know it better than any one else that the diocese is officially called the Malankara Archdiocese of Syrian Orthodox Church in North America. Mor Nicolovas was ordained in mid 90s as the Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese under the direct authority of the Patriarch. Every body knows exactly what happened after that. Ignoring the emotions and opinions of the faithful of the archdiocese that there was no need of representing any body from the US diocese to the Malankara association, Mor Nicolovas made an alliance with the Devalokam Catholicose. Not even the diocesan committee asked any body to attend the association. But we all know what this P.G. Cherian Achen influenced by the IOC did. He without even consulting the diocesan committee and priests, decided to go for an association to which the American diocese was not even a part of. So who is the main cause in breaking the peaceful atmosphere that was prevailed in the Church in US? So why still stage all this in the name of �unity� and �peace�.
>I hope they will honor there own argument in Malankara that the Parish Church
>shall decide where they should belong and leave these parishes alone.
Exactly!!!! The majority of the members want to stay loyal to the Syrian Orthodox Church. Leave us alone. You left the Syrian Orthodox church and are no longer a part of the Syrian Orthodox Church as per the excommunication by the Patriarch who ordained you. So please leave us alone.
Well, isn�t this another clear-cut evidence of the double mindedness and tactical approach followed by certain people like Mor Nicolovas?. Think about it. Mor Nicolovas lives in the US. He doesn�t want to go with the verdict of the Supreme Court in US, rather he is saying that the Parish shall decide where they should belong to (1995 verdict of the Supreme Court of India). At the same time, Mor Nicolovas would go to India and would give our contradictory statement that the Churches does not belong to the members of the parish, but to the so-called Malankara Metropolitan, Devalokam Catholicose. What a great SHEPHERD? I dare Mor Nicolovas to call a meeting of all the members of the St. Mary�s Malankara Syrian Orthodox Church and then stick on to this opinion that let the members of the parish decide where they should belong to.
It is with a very heavy heart that I write this letter. This is the same person who I respected so much and was honored as H.E., who I boasted about to the IO group how educated our thirumeni was, who we prayed for every Sunday. I still remember vaguely how you came to U.S as an Achen and how you influenced faithful in getting selected as the bishop-designate above Joseph achen (H.G. Joseph Mor Gregorios), how we collected money to send you to Syria to get ordained by the patriarch, how the faithful ran around collecting money so you could have a place to stay, and bought a beautiful Aramana with apartments to rent out to support the Aramana. One day you decided that you didn�t want to be part of the Syrian Orthodox Church and left to join the IOC. Everyone in this great country is entitled to his/her own personal beliefs and as a free man living in a free country. But you took along with you all the money you borrowed from churches and the property of the Syrian Orthodox Church. Did any one even file one single court case against this P.G. Cherian Achen???? That�s is not the moral fiber of our people. What are you going to gain by physically conquering one more church from us? Didn�t you take plenty already? And all this against the same folk who you were once called to take care of. You chose to go your own way. We respect your decision. The Lord God never abandoned us, He provided us with great shepherds to lead his folk, our blessed Mor Julius Thirumeni, Mor Ivanios Thirumeni, and now Mor Theethose Thirumeni. Please, you went your ways and we survived the struggle in making ours. You do not belong to us, and we do not need you, so Please leave us alone and spare us from further pain.
SONS of KEFA
P.S. To be Continued: Fr. P.G. Cherian�s views on Mor Divannasious Vattasseril