Since the respected Dn. Gregory mentioned my name in his last posting, I thought it appropriate to post a reply.
I am still not clear what the deacon is DOING for peace, except voicing that it is a good idea. Again, the SOC has not moved, either in India or other parts of the world. It remains true to the principles, faith, and tradition of Apostolic times. It is the IOC that has changed the faith, created their own way, and is embarrassing Christianity in India. For peace to ensue at this juncture, and since you have consecrated a saint (Vaterserril)without the consent of the Patriarch, you must accept the fact that the SOC and IOC are never going to be one in hierarchy again. Individuals may repent and return to the mother church. Or some may join the IOC.
The only thing left is to stop the attacks from your side.
This Patriarch, those before him, and other church leaders have worked for peace, hence the "status quo," the consecration of Mor Augen in the sixties, etc. I am sure there were mistakes made by our leaders, (although I don't know any specifics) but nothing like the scale of the IOC. On the other hand, I am sure there are many in the IOC that wish for peace. I wonder how many of them are willing to sacrifice for this desire, though.
I am sure that the Dn. has a nice parish community. I am sure he has IOC and SOC members in his family that support him equally. What he seems not to understand is that where his Catholicos is, there he is also, and his whole church. When Mor Milithious is publicly embarrasing his church, he is also there. You share from the same sacrament of priesthood. You are guilty of their actions by association - unless you rise up and publicly condemn bad behavior.(behavior that has been going on for a long time and does not look to change)
The Dn. also does not seem to understand that he is a leader in his church. He says in his post that his is the lowest in his community. "Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings YOU have perfected praise!"
The only concrete thing the Dn. can do to work for peace is to tell his elders in a respectful way to act in a Christian manner, something he feels powerless to do.
What is the point of continued dialogue, or a quest for peace, if one cannot stand up for common Christian decency in a church supposedly following Jesus Christ?
As to the Dn's question:
"I have one question, and I ask this with all due respect. In order for the IOC members to be accepted into the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, do you expect us to be re-consecrated with Holy Myron? If this is the case, why don't you just make it impossible for us to come back to the church (Or is requiring us to be re-consecrated just another way of saying this?)"
I am not sure if the Patriarch will or should accept the Mooron of your church. If he doesn't, you seem to not want peace by the tone of your question - the pride and rebellious nature of the IOC shines brilliantly before us. You excommunicated yourselves via your actions, and you demand that our Patriarch to do you a favor? Come on!
Again, the real question now is not moving as one church body. The question is whether or not the two churches can be close sisters.
This is up to people like you. It can happen, but I repeat, over and over again, not while your church is trying to destroy us via the courts, illegal actions (breaking the "status quo") and openly welcoming bishops who defect from our side with our property. Not while your church pays lip service to the Patriarch as "spiritual head" and then curse him in the same breath. Choose to accept him or reject him, and make yourselves clear.
You may ask, "what are you doing for peace, Dn. Zach?" Well, the only possible thing is to speak the truth, and let those that can hear it make up their minds.
I will tell the story of the universal church. Hers is the only message clergyman may have. If my leaders are in error, I will discuss my concerns with them. I publicly demand that the attacking court cases stop (where one side with a clear majority is being attacked by a much smaller faction.) I pray that those in error will repent of their ways and return individually to the mother church. I encourage taking concrete steps toward genuine personal reconciliation, not merely the assertation that peace is a good idea. I am willing to address groups and individuals with this message. I discourage fanatacism on both sides. I am generally willing to give up property that has been totally lost.
I want to make it clear that Dn. Gregory is a good sport for taking this abuse and replying. He is being challenged and hopefully will benefit from thinking about these matters. I surely have. I fancy that some may be strengthened in their faith via this dialogue and be led to stand up for their church.
Dn. Zacharia Varghese, M.D.
Member ID 0970