Dear Fellow Faithful,
"Then two more persons including a Marthoma priest asked certain
very relevant doubts regarding the religious and scientifical works of Bar Ebroyo for which the professor explained clearly. Then suddenly our Malankara Orthodox seminary Principal came with another `superb' question, this time a doubt which has no relevance with the seminar. This was his question "Professor, I belong to Orthodox Church. In almost all the Oriental Orthodox Churches and Byzantine Orthodox Churches, the bishops wear black robes except for the Syrian Orthodox Church which uses Red dresses. Why this is so ? Does that SHOW ANY FEUDAL nature/mentality ? Professor, Could you please explain and compare it with Latins?" . - unquote
Let us take it this way: The so called learned principal of the Orthodox Seminary at kottayam literally did not know the symbolic meaning of either the BLACK or the RED robes of the bishops. So pitiable !
Why don't we post answer to the question, my dear people? At least our curious children will be benefited or his poor students will be happy to see the answer which they couldn't get from their ignorant principal.
I am an ordinary person. My answer may not be correct theologically. If my answer is wrong let the theologians correct me. Let me draw your (including Rev.George) attention to the Holy Bible, St.Mathew 27: 28-30 : "And they stripped him and put on him a scarlet (bright red color) robe. And they had platted a crown of thorns; they put it upon his head and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed and smote him on the head" St.Mark 15:17-19 also describes the same situation of our Lord Jesus just before His crucifixion.
Although the assailants of our Lord Jesus were mocking at Him, they were inadvertently glorifying the Lord and God of all. Jesus is the Lord, He is the King and He is the Master. Red robes are meant for Lords, Kings and Masters. They should be noticeable among the crowd. What those assailants of Lord Jesus meant about the RED ROBE at that time was a ridiculous (laughable) robe and a satirical robe.
For the faithful of the Holy Syriac Orthodox Church, the bishops are the ambassadors of our Lord Jesus in this world and their red robes are the symbol of glory with their Master and may be ridiculous in the eyes of scornful persons like Rev.K.M.George. The word `feudal' belongs to his deceitful imagination. In these days `safron'izing of the robes may be a part of their indianization, but remember, we will not be surprised if we see them at the bank of river Ganges among others with that tailed covering. That is also a part of indianization, isn't it? However, they don't want to give up the word `syrian' from the name of their organization. What hypocrisy!
The BLACK ROBE: The black robe of a priestly (not the one in disguise) person is a symbol of submission as Lord's bride, a robe of separation, a symbol of renunciation of all worldly connections and a symbol of asceticism.
Peace to all.