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Re: Vision Came to Patriarch

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  • Eapen George, Mumbai
    Dear Mr. E.S. John, In an episcopal Church, it is futile to attempt to separate spiritual authority from temporal authority. A person who adheres to another
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 3, 2011
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      Dear Mr. E.S. John,

      In an episcopal Church, it is futile to attempt to separate spiritual authority from temporal authority. A person who adheres to another faith, even if he is a Supreme Court judge, cannot really grasp this concept because he is conditioned by upbringing to temples administered by a local committee with little or no external affiliation.

      In the mid 1990s, in the parish I belong to, a section of members who were entrenched in the administration of the Church and School for a long time began to view the Vicar and the Diocesan Metropolitan as outsiders while the Parish General Body was seen as the SOLE OWNER of the properties under the Societies/Trust Act that governs religious organizations in the State. The argument they put forward was the same dangerous one - that the Metropolitan and his representative, the Vicar are religious authorities having only SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY, not TEMPORAL AUTHORITY. Fortunately, the Charity Commissioner ruled in favour of the Metropolitan and the idea also slowly died out.
      Concerning the figurehead status of the Patriarch, too, we are treading on the same slippery ground by owing part-allegiance to him. The only workable way forward, in my opinion, is to remove this allegiance altogether by passing a resolution in the Malankara Association. The idea of separation of Spiritual and Temporal authority would then cease to exist. If our brothers in the JSC cannot swallow this, let them continue under the SOC and let us all live in peace. Separation need not be equated with enmity. Did the Lord not say that it is better to go through life with one eye than to have the whole body suffer from a bad one?

      While we bring our status as a republic to fruition, we must never ever allow rancour to overtake our feelings. We must acknowledge the SOC as one of the greatest Churches in the Orthodox world and express our gratitude for the great liturgy, hymnody and other practices they bequeathed to us. Each one of us must realize that they are among the few people in the Middle East who have resisted the intense pressure of Arabization and Islamification for 13 centuries right up to the present, undergoing severe persecution of the kind we cannot imagine. As a full fledged independent member of the Oriental Orthodox family, we can be good friends with them as India is with Britain today. Without support from the SOC, the JSC will hopefully in due course wither away.

      Eapen George, Mumbai
    • E.s.John, Australia
      Dear Mr. Eapen George, In an episcopal Church, it is futile to attempt to separate spiritual authority from temporal authority. A person who adheres to
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 7, 2011
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        Dear Mr. Eapen George,


        "In an episcopal Church, it is futile to attempt to separate spiritual authority
        from temporal authority. A person who adheres to another faith, even if he is a
        Supreme Court judge, cannot really grasp this concept because he is conditioned
        by upbringing to temples administered by a local committee with little or no
        external affiliation."

        During the primitive days of our church one or two prelates used to govern the
        church and we simply followed them with piety and dedication, without grasping
        the implications of the outcomes because of the lack of the communication
        facilities and mobility problems. As we were a disorganised community, all the
        imperial churches imposed their yokes upon our shoulders for their benefits.
        There is a distinct difference between the era of colonial days and democratic
        days, the era of affluence and unbridled thrust of information technology. The
        episcopal churches don't have to follow the old administrative laws because of
        the changes of external and mind-set changes that have bloomed a different
        pattern of everyday life. Since materialism is the governing force of our social
        and secular life that goes in tune with democratic spirit, it is beneficial to
        bifurcate the once apparent authoritative church culture as temporal and
        spiritual authorities, otherwise both the spiritual and temporal power vested on
        one person goes beyond the control of his limits, resulting in hero worship and
        cronyism, the reasons for the germination of parish politics in most of our
        parishes which also finds its full expression in the administration of the
        church echelon/hierarchy. It is high time to make the division of labour because
        of the difficulties for a Vicar to do administer all the sacramental services
        and its aligned celebrations, multiplied by all the ecumenical, political and
        social protocol to be done at the same time, and coupled with his own family
        duties of bringing up his own children. A priest is expected to shed tears for
        all the flock every day, especially for those who have gone astray in their
        spiritual life and the disabled ones who wade through the river of sufferings
        and helplessness. This should be the case with our shepherds, Acts.6: 1-6. Go
        with the flow of the time to an extent without laying axe to the orthodox
        faith. My message on 'Division of Labour' was posted in this site a couple of
        years back. I suggested to have the MC to find resources in finance and the
        Vicar to administer the sacramental and spiritual organizations in the parish.

        "Without support from the SOC, the JSC will hopefully in due course wither
        away."

        This is what we are trying to convince the Patriarch to take off the SOC hand
        from the Malankara steering wheel. Allow the brothers to unite together in
        Malankara, so that the SOC can enjoy the love and cordiality that produce
        spiritual fruits in here. We accept the SOC contribution, but it doesn't mean
        that they have to treat us as their vassals on selfish reasons for all time to
        come. The Indian railways was started by the British, therefore, it doesn't mean
        that we have to keep an army of Britishers here as a sign of gratitude and
        giving tithes to them, so also our indebtedness to English language which
        unifies India's South and North and East and West. Imperialism and colonialism
        are the monsters of the past, so the SOC should part away from the Indian soil,
        so that we acknowledge their contributions that helped us to survive the tides
        of the time and be grateful to them. We don't want duplicate Catholicoses of
        different imperial churches here and independent orthodox churches that is a
        product of individualism and Satanism to sprout every decade, like the Gurgan
        church and its products, resulting in the original Orthodox Church to wither
        away from the Apostle's land. If we don't like to give a figurehead position to
        the Patriarch due to various adverse reasons, we have to ask the Patriarch to
        finish the unfinished work that goes in tune with the Patriarch's vision by
        giving full independence to the Malankara orthodox Church that has no more JOC
        elements but only one Indian orthodox Church under the name of St.Thomas, the
        Indian Apostle who shed his blood in Mylapore.

        E.s.John, Australia
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