BIBLE STUDY #85: MAYALTHO: THE PRESENTATION OF INFANT JESUS IN THE TEMPLE (February 2, FRIDAY)
- LUKE 2:22-40 (Evening, Morning, Holy Qurbana)
1. To follow the Law, Mary and Joseph presented Jesus
to the Lord for a life service (First born to be
presented to God in remembrance of the exile bondage
2. We have been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. So
we have to submit ourselves before God. We are not of
ours (1 Corinthians 6:19).
3. Because they were too poor to offer a lamb
(Leviticus 12:8), they offered turtle doves or young
pigeons for purification.
4. Two prophets (Simon and Anna) witnessed the
presentation of Infant Jesus at the temple. The
tradition is that when Simeon was copying the prophecy
of Isaiah from the leather parchments, he was stuck
with the information of virgin?s birth (the virgin
shall conceive and bear a son: 7:14), laughed and
stopped his work and then he had a revelation that he
will see the child before he dies. He carried the
child in his hands; we carry Him in us by receiving
5. Church is the temple, house of God (1Timothy 3:15).
The holiness of its members is the wealth of the
Church. God?s presence in the Church show through
worship and Godly people?s presence (Simon and Anna
6. Simon is a model for pleasing service to our Lord:
righteous, dedicated, looking for the coming of the
Messiah, and was directed by the Holy Spirit. He held
Jesus in His hands.
7. Simeon?s great purpose for living had been
8. Simeon?s three prophecies: (1) Jesus will cause for
the fall and rise of many (2) Jesus is a sign from
God, and (3) Mary would be pierced with grief at the
crucifixion of her son (Luke 2:35): Fear, sorrow,
doubts of the unwedded pregnancy, no place to deliver,
wandering with the child, afraid of the ruler, leaving
the child in the temple, becoming widow, son leaving
home at 30, threats from the Jewish leaders, trial
scene, sight of son carrying the cross, crucifixion,
death and burial - all these made her sword to pierce
9. The spiritual attitudes of the people will be
revealed through the acceptance or rejection of
10. The 84 year old Anna was a regular prayer
attendant with prayers and fasting.
11. Anna who witnessed the presentation spread the
12. Jesus, like John (1:80), grew and became strong
with divine strength.
LEVITICUS 12:1-8; 19:30-37
1. Israel placed higher value on a son over a
daughter. Uncleanliness for a son is 40 days, but 80
days for a daughter.
2. Burnt offering and Sin offering after the
purification days for atonement.
3. If cannot afford a lamb, two turtle doves or two
young pigeons to be offered.
4. Everybody shall keep the Sabbath.
5. Do not go after spiritism to choose darkness rather
6. Honor the senior citizens: Proverbs 23:22; 1
Timothy 5:1; Lamentations 5:12.
7. Love strangers, not just only neighbors
8. Be honest in judgment and dealings
9. ?I am the Lord? ... used 13 times in this chapter.
PROVERBS 6:20-24; 23:22-26
1. Observe a good father?s command
2. Follow the law of a loving mother.
3. These commandments and laws are those of God.
1. The promise of the Messiah
2. The Messiah will be descendant of David, the stem
3. God?s spirit will rest upon Him
4. He will fear the Lord
5. He will judge the world with righteousness
6. The death and destruction will be defeated and
arrogance and pomp will not be signs of leadership
7. The gentiles will seek Him.
1. Paul denies the accusation against him.
2. Paul affirms that most of his accusers shared the
resurrection of the just and unjust.
3. Every Christian should have a clear conscience.
4. Paul brought a gift from the gentile Churches to
the Christians at Jerusalem as an expression of thanks
(1 Corinthians 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Romans
5. Paul got liberty and friends got visitation
EPHESIANS 3:13-21; 6:1-4
1. The truth will be realized in our lives.
2. The Holy Spirit cleanses and empowers the heart
3. The basic Christian growth: strengthened by the
Spirit, have the indwelling Christ, and to be
established in the love.
4. We have to be rooted like a tree and grounded in
5. In Christian faith, we can grasp the magnitude of
6. The fullness of this love passes our human
knowledge: the fullness of the blessing (Romans
7. God?s power works in us with His blessings.
8. Children are ought to obey their parents (6:1-3).
In 5:22, wives are told to be submissive.
9. Parents should not be unreasonably severe with
children; instruct and correct them consistently to
serve the Lord.
VERY REV. THOMAS P. MUNDUKUZHY COR EPISCOPA
- Lessons from the Book of Jonah
Introduction. The book is about Jonah, not written by Jonah.
Jonah lived around 750 BC; this book about him is written, probably
after the Exile, perhaps around 400 BC.
The Book of Jonah is a parable, a story with a meaning.
Chapter 1 Jonah's call and disobedience.
Jonah runs away from God's call [1:1-17]
Chapter 2. His distress in the belly of the fish.
Jonah's song of praise for his rescue [2:1-10]
Chapter 3. Jonah preaches in Neneveh.
Jonah preaches and Nineveh repents [3:1-10]
Chpter 4. Jonah's displeasure at God not punishing Nineveh when it
Jonah's anger and God's mercy [4:1-11]
We learn about God
The book is not about the great fish, but about the GREAT GOD.
God is too big to run away from. This great God cares about all
creation, animals too. It insists that God's mercy is wide enough to
include even people who seem to us not to deserve God's care at all.
There is both warning and gospel in that message.
Some More Lessons: Listening to God is essential to walking with him
Adversity is a bridge to a deeper relationship with God.
Obey God and leave all consequences with him.
Obedience always brings blessings.
Disappointments are inevitable; discouragement is a choice.
We learn about Jonah
Jonah tries to run away from God
Inside the fish he prays a Psalm for help
Delivered he preaches to Nineveh; It repents and it is spared.
Jonah sulks, but God affirms compassion even for Nineveh.
When we fail to obey God's calling, we go no where but "down."
We learn about other people
God cares about the people of Nineveh. He cares not only about
Christians, other people too - all people as a matter of fact, he
JONAH AND JESUS - Death and Resurrection
Jonah gives us one of the Bible's great images of God's power to
save. Just as Joseph was rescued from prison to become prime
minister, and Daniel was kept safe among lions, so Jonah is preserved
in the belly of a great fish
These episodes prepare for their greatest sequel ? the resurrection
of Jesus from the tomb. Jesus went down into the depths of death and
experienced utter loss of God ? but was raised as the ultimate proof
Can we run away from God?
Will God help us when we are in trouble?
As God cares for all, can we care for all?
Love & blessings.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
2nd Day of Nineveh lent 2007
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- Dear All
I thought that I should share some of the news of the convention. The
convention was innaugurated by Union Minister for Labour, Shri Oscar
Fernandes. Other dignitories included Catholicos Designate Milithios
Thirumeni,Osthathios Thirumeni,Pachomeos Thirumeni, Dr. P.C. Alexander,
P.J.Kurien,MP, and MLA's Joseph Puthussery and Sivadasan Pillai.
Dr. P.C Alexander in his keynote address has outlined some key
proposals to end the strife in our community with the Patriarch faction.
Some of the proposals are
1. Complete breaking away from Antioch Patriarch as outlined in our
Constitution and proclaim our community as the Indian Orthodox Church
like in the case of Russia, Greece etc.
2. We need not have any relationship with the Antioch Patriarch and we
should we a separate church identity.
3. Our Catholicos should be supreme authority in our church.For this,
some articles have to be ammended which are linked to the Patriarch.
4. In churches, where we are in a minority, those churches should
gracefully aceded to the opposite faction.Dr.P.C.Alexander informed out
of 1500 churches, around 45 churches are under dispute and these can be
gracefully discussed and aceded, thereby creating our own Indian
Orthodox Church. By this, we can end decades of strife and judicial
The entire crowd at the convention applauded whatever Dr.P.C.Alexander
had to tell and this led to even the Sabha Secretary, Dr.Karackal
concurring with Dr.P.C.Alexander's proposals.
I think that our Church shoud take heed to what Dr. Alexander had to
say and move forward leaving behind the strife.
- Dear Susan,
I read your posting and honestly appreciate very much
your frankness and zest to learn the faith of Church.
I also appreciate your interest and wish you could be
a good source of encouragement to all those who are
unfamiliar with the Orthodox Church. I wondered at
times about your deep knowledge and good language. Let
me be very frank, I feel you know far more than what I
know and am happy for that. You are not alone, many
members in this forum are far better off than me. I
recognize that in humility. I surely agree with your
revised statement, "Kaivappu alone does not make a
priest. That word "alone" is lot different from the
first statement which attracted my response. No
Yet I hope you will consider that writings often
reflect the personal experiences and up-bringing of
the author, except in case of fictions and doctrines.
So when I suggested to, 'put what one writes to the
hierarchy for approval before publishing,' it was my
own experience. I have mentioned this in my article,
"Bible interpretation; The Eunuch's way." When I first
wrote about doctrine, my friend said to me, which
words still resonate in my ears, "Achankunje, (I was
not a priest then, my private name) you have no right
to handle this subject..." I sent that to highest
ecclesiastic authority and he approved my writing and
then I published it. This was in 1974 and I was in
Bangalore. It was not to offend you or anyone. Some
people would find it 'arrogant', or as 'preventing
them to write' or 'questioning their rights to free
speech/writing,' etc; believe me, none of these. I
have not discussed the rights of faithful to write or
speak about the subjects like, ethics, morality,
righteous conduct, politics, history, psychology,
spiritual matters and or any like subject. In this
matter I stand at par with all others.
I still hold that I am in line with the Church
fathers, that faithful must use caution and exercise
restraint when they deal with doctrines of the Church
because by doctrinal manipulations there had been a
lot of dissentions and divisions in the Church. My
posting need be considered in the doctrinal
perspective only, I mean, I have no person in mind.
My comparison of "Gandhi-Veerappan, etc, also does
not pertain to you. There were some such
confrontations in my life. You are not at blame for
There was another posting in the digest, though not
addressed me in person, I feel that was directed
against me. Here again, I clarify that I did not write
about members' rights nor I did justify the
wrongdoings of the clergy, while I believe that I have
no right to judge any. In fact, I stand with the
author in this regard. I believe, positive criticism
is a must for progress and I honestly try to correct
myself when faithful bring my failures to my notice.
But that aspect and doctrines are two different things
and I hope this explanation would put at rest all the
If a clergy fails to properly discern his spiritual
authority, and surely there are more failures than
being proper, dispense it for the benefit of the
faithful, he is in danger of greater judgment. In
other words, priests ought to handle the spiritual
authority very cautiously keeping the fear of judgment
in mind at all times. No authority, especially the
spiritual is meant for mishandling. All the Church
fathers stress this aspect though practical
application is seldom. Also the faithful will be free
from all such failures of the priests and that is a
consolation. I did not discuss this point also in the
I wish still you could make friendship with priests,
not unknowingly but knowing their spiritual authority.
I apologize, if my words caused confusion or injury to
your or anyone's feelings, Love, Johnachen.
- Dear Moderators,As your title suggests, some moderation is expected. Kindly try to get posts limited to ~ 400 words or so. More people will read it.Also, arguments back and forth may not help; could be rather counterproductive.
K N Thomas, Kottayam
Dear people of God,
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- Proselytism is not changing one´s opinion, whether it is in English,
German, Latin or any other language. It is the act of converting
another to one´s own faith, either overtly or covertly.
It is in that context that the BIRD (Bangalore Initiative for
Religious Dialogue) posted its Declaration on the ¨¨petitiononline¨¨
website and to which my earlier post provided a link.
I want to thank those who have added their signatures to the petition
and hope that many more will do so. IMHO, a Christian´s primary
responsibility is to walk the talk of a believer and not ´preach or
My reading of the scriptures tell me that my primary obligation to my
Jesus is to love my God with all my might and love my fellow human
as myself without ever having to judge any of them. In that process,
I have marveled at the admonition of Jesus (St.Mathew 23:15)when he
chastised the proselytisers (ye compass sea and land to make one
proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more than the
child of hell than yourselves). The Dalit Christians will say, Amen
Thank God we have had (Mar Gregorios) and still have (Mar Osthathios)
among us Orthodox theological leaders who are capable of
articulating the fusion of a transcending God with an immanent One.
Mar Osthahtios in his Deccan Herald interview (Feb 20, 2005)
eloquently said, ´human right is the most important thing in
Christianity. It preaches only one God for all people. This God is
advaitha, compassionate Allah, Triune God, Sachidananda...`´
As a Christian, I have learned not to judge another even in matters
of another´s faith. I seek the grace of my Lord to act, behave and
live as a true Christian, and always remain free of `that` millstone
around my neck to preach, teach or proselytise.
My readings of the sacred literature of many religions have shown
that none is devoid of myths, fables and self-serving
interpretations. My own Christian scriptures too, I must confess have
their share of concepts which are inconsistent with the evolution of
human thought, discovery and the struggles for egalitarianism among
peoples and sexes. Therefore, we have an obligation to remove the
pillars from our own eyes before we point to the motes in the eyes of
our non-Christian neighbors. That itself is a constant struggle
worthy of every Christian´s attention.
It is very counter-productive and downright violent for either the
Talibanic Islamicists or Christian fundamentalists to constantly hark
on the primary obligation of theirs to proselytise or make disciples
of all on this planet through conversions.
Thank God, at least the Indian Orthodox Church never allowed such a
millstone around its neck. And, that was the reason why even in pre-
Colonial India, the Orthodox Christians lived and thrived in full
amity with its Hindu brothers and sisters. That is what an
organization like BIRD is attempting to preserve for the future
generation of Christians, so that an environment of peace and
brotherhood will continue to prevail for Christians and others in a
predominantly Hindu India.
I also truly believe as Gandhiji did, that ¨proselytising is the
deadliest poison that ever sapped the fountain of truth¨. However,I
believe that the wielders of such poison whether Christian,or Muslim
must be forgiven by their saner brothers and sisters for the
former´s inability to love their neighbors, just as they are.
C. Alex Alexander, M.D., Odenton, MD
- My dear friends in Christ:
Greetings in Lord Jesus Christ !
It is with deep regret and sorrow that I have to inform the faithful that our beloved P. K. Punnoose Appachen, Puthenpurackal Venattukalathil House, Kurichi, Kerala (father of Molly Abraham, Leelamma George, Achamma Philip, Susy Thomas, and Sumana Alex), at the age of 94, passed away in the Lord peacefully on Monday January 29, 2007 in Washington DC, USA. He is survived by his five wonderful girls and families, including grand and great grand children. He was a very active and loyal Orthodox Christian, fought and ran his race faithfully for Jesus. His family and friends deeply mourn this great loss.
Wake and Funeral Service:
Wake: Saturday, February 3, 2007, from 5-8 p.m.
Hines-Rinaldi Funeral Home
11800 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD
Funeral Service: Appachen's body will be transported to Kerala for burial
At a time like this, our strength and comfort comes from our Lord. He is our strength and refuge. He is a God of sympathy and understanding. He knows our hurt and loneliness. He knows how we feel. The Bible tells us that He knows our sorrow and records our tears. That all our thoughts, our ways and our words are known to Him. And that a book of remembrance is written before Him for those that fear the Lord and think upon His name. In the midst of such sorrow may we turn to the words of God for strength. God is adequate for each situation and circumstance of life.
Psalm 121:1-8 -- "I look up to the mountains-- does my help come from there? My help comes from the LORD, who made the heavens and the earth! He will not let you stumble and fall; the one who watches over you will not sleep. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never tires and never sleeps. The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not hurt you by day, nor the moon at night. The LORD keeps you from all evil and preserves your life. The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever."
Lord, thank You for the spring of eternal life and joy that You have placed in all of us. We thank you for giving a wonderful and meaningful Christian life for Appachen. We proudly celebrate his fruitful Christian life, faith and trust in, and loyalty to you. He led his life to its fullest with his children and family, grand and great grand children pleasing you. We thank you for giving him that spring of eternal life and joy. Please be the strength and comfort for all family members. In His precious name Jesus Christ we ask. Amen.
Alexander (James) Kurien Achen
Vicar, St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church of
Greater Washington, DC
- Re:Dr. Poulos Mar Gregorios on the Throne of St. Thomas
Dear Mr. Thomas,
It may take much space of the ICON to give clarifications to your questions and doubts. Kindly go through the posting.
It is the argument of the patriarchal faction that the liturgy and worship of Malankara Orthodox Church has been inherited from Syrian Orthodox Church. Hence, the Malankara Orthodox Church must accept the Supremacy of Syrian Patriarch of Antioch. In this situation, I have made this comment that The Antiochenes accepted the formula of Chalcedon. The present Syrian Patriarch H.H Ignatius Zakka Iwas I (in the line of St.
Severius of Antioch) and his followers are the adherents of Alexandrian Christology.
Besides, I have asked that being the adherent of Alexandrian Christology is Syrian Orthodox Church ready to accept the supremacy of Alexandrian Patriarch. They use English language. Are they ready to receive the yoke of Britain? They have also used Old Testament of Hebrew people. The Apostles were Jews. The Christian (either Syrian or other) worship and liturgy has been developed from the Old Testament temple worship, from the Synagogue worship and from the Last Supper of our Lord. Are they ready to accept the supremacy of Jews and Israel? They use the scientific theories and modern technologies of Western countries for their survival. Are they ready to accept the supremacy of Westerners?
Presently, as you know, five Church Hierarchs claim the title of Patriarch of Antioch and the succession of St. Peter. (In fact, six Patriarchates were existed until 1964). They are
1. H. H Ignatius Zakka Iwas I
2. H B Ignatius IV (Hazim)
3. H B Ignace Pierre VIII Abdel-Ahad
4. H B Nasrallah Pierre Cardinal Sfeir
5. H B Gregory III Laham
WHO IS H. H. IGNATIUS ZAKKA IWAS I?
All Oriental Orthodox Churches are the adherents of Alexandrian Christology one incarnate nature of God the Word (mia phusis tou logou sesarkomenee). But, in the early periods, the Syrian Patriarchs of Antioch and their bishops were against the Alexandrian teachings. We can see their hostility, especially in the attitude of John of Antioch towards St. Cyril of Alexandria during the time of Ephesus Council (431) and in the attitude of Syrians towards Dioscorus of Alexandria during the Council of Chalcedon (451). The Antiochenes joined with Rome in the condemnation of Dioscorus of Alexandria without any justification. Antioch was the strong center of Chalcedonians and they accepted the Chalcedonian formula that Christ , being made known in two natures. They officially accepted the Council of Chalcedon.
However, Antioch had also adherents of the Alexandrian theology of one incarnate nature of God the Word. Maximus was the Patriarch during the time of Chalcedon council. He died in 455 and his successors, Basil (456-459), Acacius (459-461) and Martyrius (461-471) were Chalcedonians.
While Martyrius was away in Constantinople in the year 468, the non-Chalcedonian fraction raised Peter the Fuller as the Patriarch. This Peter the Fuller, according to St. Severius of Antioch (Homily 125), was the promulgator of the Trisagion. However Peter the Fuller had been sent in exile by the State. After Martyrius, Calendion became the Patriarch of Antioch. But Calendion refused to sign the Henotikon of Emperor Zeno. Consequently he was expelled and the see was given to Peter the Fuller in 484, who accepted the Henotikon of Zeno. Peter the Fuller had died in 488. His successor was Palladius, whom Flavian II succeeded.
Emperor Zeno died in 491 AD, and the successor was Anastasius. He followed the religious policy of Zeno and tried to unify the Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians on the basis of the Henotikon. Flavian II was an adherent of the Chalcedonian position who had signed the Henotikon. He was opposed by the non-Chalcedonians under the leadership of Bishop Philoxenos of Mahbug, who was consecrated by Peter the Fuller in AD 485. In 512, a council was held at Laodicea, with imperial orders, and deposed Flavian II. Then Philoxenos came to Antioch with his supporters and, in the midst of a scene of violence, Flavian II was overthrown from the see. Flavian II was exiled to Petra in Arabia. Then twelve Syrian bishops consecrated Severius in AD 512 as the Patriarch of Antioch by the support of Philoxenos of Mahbug and the support Emperor.
Anastasius died in July 518 and Justin I became the Emperor. The accession of Justin I to the throne affected Severius of Antioch very badly. So he left to Alexandria and spent the rest of his life in Egypt. All this time Severius kept in touch with his section of the Church in Syria through letters and continued to defend the theological position of the non-Chalcedonian body as a whole.
The place of Severius was given by State nomination to Paul nicknamed the Jew, who was a civil officer in Constantinople. He persecuted the non-Chalcedonians in Syria; however, he was forced to resign in 521. His successor Euphrasius, who held the see till 526, died in an earthquake. Count Ephraim, a state officer, occupied that position till 545 and did everything in his power to establish Chalcedon in the Syrian province.
Severius died on 8 February 538, and Sergius was appointed to succeed him in 544. Jacob nicknamed Baradaeus, who was consecrated as bishop in 542, had an important role in raising Sergius as the Patriarch. During an episcopate lasting for over thirty-five years Jacob Baradaeus dedicated himself steadfastly to the service of the persecuted non-Chalcedon body in opposition to the mighty Roman Empire.
Sergius died after three years. No successor could be consecrated for him till 564. Then Paul the Black was made Patriarch of Antioch with the approval of Jacob Baradaeus and other bishops in the East. In 571, Paul was arrested by imperial orders; then the help of bishop Stephen released him. Gradually, unfriendliness developed in between Jacob Baradaeus and Paul the Black. The result was a split in the Church in Syria into two camps, one favouring Jacob Baradaeus and the other following Paul the Black. The two parties denounced each other in a very pitiable way. (In fact, the nickname Jacobites was given to the adherents of Jacob Baradeaus by the party loyal to Paul the Black and not the Chalcedonians) The party loyal to Jacob consecrated Peter of Callinicus as Patriarch of Antioch in 581, while Paul the Black still alive. Consequently, Paul himself retired into a cave near Constantinople, and that he died there. Peter died in 591, and was succeeded by Julian who left his life after three years. Then Athanasius, nicknamed Gamolo, was made the Syrian Patriarch in 594.
During these periods the Chalcedonian party existed in Syria as a large community with their own Patriarch at Antioch. The non-Chalcedonian body of the Church suffered severe persecution from the Roman officials and their Patriarchs could not stay in Antioch more than ten years. It was in this time that the Arab invasion took place, and the non-Chalcedonians welcomed it with open arms. The Arabs permitted each groups to keep church buildings and other institutions, which had been in its possession at the time of the conquest. In AD 721 Patriarch Elias, a Syrian Patriarch, for the first time, that is, about 200 years after Severius entered in Antioch. Then successive Patriarchs were made in the line of Severious; and we entered into a relationship with them through Mor Gregorios of Jerusalem in 1665. The Present Syrian Patriarch H. H Ignatius Zakka Iwas I
is the successor of St. Severios
THE PRESENT SITUATION
Whether the Syrian Patriarch H.H. Ignatius Zakka Iwas I has entered into communion with the Roman Catholic Church and Greek Orthodox Churches is not our business, I think. It is their internal affairs. If they have committed such a mistake, they have to give answer to the holy Fathers of the Church. It is their ignorance. Indeed, they deviated from the Orthodoxy taught by St. Cyril of Alexandria and St. Severios of Antioch. May God forgive them.
Today, we can think the possibilities for the communion with Roman Catholic Church and Greek Orthodox Churches. But there are many obstacles for the union, viz, Biblical, Theological and Christological, Ecclesiological and Canonical.
The main issues:
1. Both Roman Catholic Church and Greek (Byzantine) Orthodox Churches have accepted the Chalcedon formula of faith. But Oriental (non-Chalcedonians) Orthodox Churches do not accept it.
2. Chalcedonians condemned Dioscorus of Alexandria and Severios of Antioch. The non-Chalcedonians condemned Pope Leo of Rome. How can the anathema pronounced on Dioscorus, Severios and Leo be removed? Are they ready to accept Dioscorus of Alexandria and Severios of Antioch as their Church Fathers?
3. Who will responsible for the persecution upon the non-Chalcedonians? Many of the non-Chalcedonians received Islam due to the persecution. What is the remedy for the case of these apostates?
4. Roman Catholic Church washed out the Christian community in the Middle East through Crusaders. Does it has any solution?
5. Number of Universal Councils: Oriental Churches accept three as Universal Councils. But, for Greeks, the numbers of the Universal Councils are seven and Roman Catholic Church claims 21 as Universal. What about the decisions of these Councils?
6. Supremacy of Pope: Biblically, Canonically and Ecclesiologicaly it is not acceptable.
7. Filioque clause: Roman Catholic Church added the filioque clause to the Nicene Creed. Biblically, Theologically and Canonically it is wrong and unacceptable.
8. Doctrine of Original Sin in the Roman Catholic Church
9. Ecclesiology of the Roman Catholic Church
10. Doctrine of Purgatory in the Roman Catholic Church
11. Division of Sacraments and Sacramentals and its explanations of the Roman Catholic Church
12. Teachings about Marriage and Confession in the Roman Catholic Church
13. Teachings about Bible and Tradition of the Roman Catholic Church
14. Sacramental theology and doctrine about the Holy Eucharist of the Roman Catholic Church
15. Teachings about hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church
16. Concept about faith and reason of the Roman Catholic Church
17. Doctrine of Holy Trinity of the Roman Catholic Church
18. Christology of the Roman Catholic Church and Greek Orthodox Churches
19. Mariology of the Roman Catholic Church
20. Sacrament of Confirmation in the Roman Catholic Church
21. Sacrament of Extreme Unction in the Roman Catholic Church
22. Veneration of Statues in the Roman Catholic Church
These are the main issues between Oriental Orthodox Churches and Chalcedonians (Byzantine and Latins). However, the dialogues like Pro-Oriente, may help to understand each other and lend the hand to minimize the issues.
Church is a worshipping community. Holy Eucharist is the center and life of the Church. How can the Churches come together for the Holy Communion with out unity in faith?
Fr Jose Thomas Poovathumkal
St Frumentius Theological College
Post Box 1444, Makalle, Tigray, Ethiopia.
- "In addition to its own efforts to nourish itself spiritually, the mind also attempts as much as possible to bring back the senses toward the mind so that they too may enjoy with it spiritual pleasures and thus become accustomed gradually to prefer them. This is how it happened before with the mind when it became accustomed through the senses to prefer physical pleasures. At first, generally speaking, the body attempted through the senses and the physical pleasures to make the mind and the spirit of man into flesh. On the contrary now, the mind seeks purposely through the enjoyment of the immaterial and spiritual realities to uplift the body also from its physical heaviness, and in a sense to make it into spirit..."
St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain.
"Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me; Lord, be my helper! You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness." Psalms 30:10-11
- Respected Achan,
Many thanks for your blessed words. I am not
supporting drinking for addiction. But there are
thousands who use alocohol in their daily life with
out its abuse. In the name of alcohol how many
calmities have been created in this earth.
Why only alcohol with all humility I like to draw the
attention to wards the church fued which is destroying
families, church buildings and the church itself.
Because of this church fight I lost my parents and
became an orphan in childhood. Because of my father's
prayer and the alter where he served his Lord The Lord
Jesus nurtured me. In malayalam there is a saying
'those who dined look for matress while others look
for leaf.' when we are in the happiness of life we
discuss the abuses and blames the society when we are
in agony we forget.
I remeber the word of our Lord ' vidhikkapetathirippan
vidhikkaruthu'. I fear more comments.
Please pray for me.
with humble prayers
Dr.George K John, Sharjah
- Dear moderators and members,
It is very proud movement to all Orthodox christians in India that one
of our members, Dr. TK Alex is announced to be deccorated by Padmasree
award. He is one of the senior directors in ISRO and member of St.
Mary's Orthodox church Jalahalli, Bangalore, and his parent parish is
St. Stephans Orthodox church Makkamkunnu. Let us congtatulate Dr.
From the Desk of Moderators:
Please sign with place information.
- Dear Achen
Thank you for the kind words. I was not questioning authority, I was
just saying that when doctrine differs from actual parctice, it is
easy for the groups to lead our women and young away. Enough said
about that topic.
Achens who are my friends have always been a source of blessing to me
and I have always been aware of their role as my spiritual fathers. It
i s to such that I can go for help in dark hours. More than my own
family, they have the strength and experience to guide. I really love
and respect them as those who know me well would vouchsafe.
We all know each other only through this forum and it is easy to
misjudge each other because the written word might carry nuances that
was not meant by the author.I am but an ordinary housewife. I would
like to share something I read in one of Rev. Henry Nouwen's books
which speaks better than I ever could.
The Call to Community: By ceasing to make our individual differences a
basis of competition and by recognising these differences as potential
contribution to a rich life together, we begin to hear the call to
community. In and through Christ, people of different ages and
lifestyles, from different races and classes, with different languages
and education, can join together and witness to God's compassionate
presence in our world. There are many common-interest groups, and most
of them seem to exist in order to defend or protect something.
Although these groups often fulfill important tasks in our society,
the Christian community is of a different nature. When we form a
Christian community, we come together not because of similar
experiences, knowledge, problems, colour or sex, but because we are
called together by the same Lord. Only God enables us to cross the
many bridges that separate us; only God allows us to recognize each
other as members of the same human family and only God frees us to
pay careful attention to each other. This is why those who are
gathered together in community (as the ICON) are witnesses to the
compassionate Lord.By the way they are able to carry each other's
burdens and share each other's joys, they testify to God's presence in our world.
Let ICON be more and more' a fellowship of people who together make
God visible in the world'.
Thank you achen for your generosity
- Dear and Respected Brethren,
It is a very happy news that Dr. T. K. Alex, a blessed son of Indian
Orthodox Church has been awarded with the prestigious Padma Sree, by the
Government of India. For and on behalf of all the Moderators and Members of
ICON, may I offer our heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Alex and thanks to
Mr. Abraham Mathew, for informing the news. The praise worthy and remarkable
services of Dr. Alex was noticed by the concerned officials several times
and honors from the Government agencies had reached in search of him several
times. There were Government notifications and statements in the News Papers
regarding the victorious achievements of this young Scientist, who is
honored as one of the decision making Scientists of ISRO. May God Almighty
bless him more and more to render more services to the nation in particular
and Universe in general. From the very childhood, Dr. Alex takes active
interest in the Church matters, for which I am a witness. May God bless
Jose Kurian Puliyeril.
- John 8:31 - To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold
to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
Matthew 28:19 - Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the
I was supposed to submit my column to ICON yesterday. I could not
meet the deadline. In the mean time, I happened to see Ronnie's
passionate plea -Disciples Vs. Bible Workers - a plea to priests and
bishops to feed their people with the Word of God rather than seeking
to expand their kingdoms. I am sure there are other sincere souls who have experienced painful situations have cried and are still crying about injustice and carelessness from some of us.
So, I have taken the verses he took for his presentation and trying to make a self-examination.
As part of my discipline for the season, yesterday I took the time to
pray for all men, women and children, by name, everyone the Lord has
given me to care for. I thank the Lord for them and presented their
needs- physical, emotional, social and spiritual - before the Throne
of Grace. I always take the time during Sunday worship privately and
aloud, giving the opportunity to join me in praying for each other. I
am sure most clergy do this and similar things in the discharge of
Ronnie's retelling of the Mar Thoma Bishop's story of transferring a
priest to Idukki when he asked to be sent to the US for medical
treatment and him receiving the desired blessing is an amazing
example of how things can be done. Perhaps, a thing or two we can
learn from those our "separated brothers." Our God is a God who gives
second chances as we have learned in Jonah's story. Let us continue
to pray that wrong things happening in our Church be rectified by
appropriate actions of our leadership in all levels and categories.
"Hold on to the teaching of the Lord Jesus, and make disciples of
all nations" is a call we need to remind ourselves as we celebrate
the memories of our priests and bishops, who had served the Lord and
His Church from the time of the preaching of St. Thomas, the disciple
of our Lord to this day.
45-47"Who here qualifies for the job of overseeing the kitchen? A
person the Master can depend on to feed the workers on time each day.
Someone the Master can drop in on unannounced and always find him
doing his job.A God-blessed man or woman, I tell you. It won't be
long before the Master will put this person in charge of the whole
48-51"But if that person only looks out for himself, and the minute
the Master is away does what he pleasesabusing the help and throwing
drunken parties for his friendsthe Master is going to show up when
he least expects it and make hash of him. He'll end up in the dump
withthe hypocrites, out in the cold shivering, teeth chattering."
[Quoted from MESSAGE version of the Bible]
This is the day that we who are serving God's people as priests and
bishops to examine our way of serving.
In the backdrop of the story of Jonah, recalling of the repentance of
the people of Nineveh, which we are completing today, I dare say that
most of us including clergy in the US or any part of the world can
simply acknowledge that we are like Jonah.
Are we feeding ourselves or feeding the people?
Can we put ourselves in their shoes and experience where it pinches?
Are we not still their brothers, though we have been given the title
"Father' etc. We are in the positions in which we are because we
are their brothers. Let us not forget that. Any one that we dispise or
cannot understand could have been in our place if they chose it. We
don't always get the right people in the right place. Very often we
have the wrong people in the right place in all levels and ranks.
Perhaps this is the human condition.
How can we worthily serve?
This is a question that we need to bring to the Throne of grace every
time we stand there or kneel down.
I simply apologize for our proud, revengeful and uncharitable words
and actions that we throw at you in Church and outside Church.
Perhaps your painful words may help us to come to a realization of
the fact that we are where we are because of you and only because of
you.As we pay homage to the faithful clergy who served the Lord and
his people worthily and have gone on to be with the Lord, let us pray
for the serving clergy of all ranks be kept in God's mercy that they
may receive abundant grace to serve the Lord in His Church worthily.
Fr. Mathew C. Chacko
February 1, 2007
- Dear Mr.George Joseph,
We, on behalf of our Orthodox community in Bhairahawa wld be more than happy to welcome students from other colleges to attend such meetings and Qurbanas in the future.If you could pass us their contact details in Nepal it would really benefit us manyfold.I am presently on vacation and on reaching back, we will make the necessary arrangements to contact these students.Thirumeni's visit this time was on a short notice so there was not much of preparation that we could do.Anyway it is a positive sign to see people encouraging us in our small but humble venture.Plz do remember all our students in your daily prayers
Sultanate of Oman