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Armenian Church and St. Gregory the Illuminator

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  • George Varghese, Calgary, Canada
    The Malankara Orthodox Church belongs to a greater part of the ONE HOLY CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH which we believe is being firmly established on
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 4, 2011
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      The Malankara Orthodox Church belongs to a greater part of the "ONE HOLY CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH" which we believe is being firmly established on upholding 'rock of the faith' of the Three Holy Ecumenical Synods.

      If we believe that, it is important to rise above petty arguements in explaining to anyone who do not have the mind nor the will to understand and willingness to learn from knowing what it took for this faith to be handed down to our own times. For those who are willing, please find below pages on how the faith has been established in the Church in Armenia.


      http://wordfromthedesert.squarespace.com/meditations/2011/9/29/st-gregory-the-illuminator-apostle-of-armenia-pt-1.html

      http://wordfromthedesert.squarespace.com/meditations/2011/9/29/st-gregory-the-illuminator-apostle-of-armenia-pt-2.html

      http://wordfromthedesert.squarespace.com/meditations/2011/10/1/st-gregory-the-illuminator-apostle-of-armenia-pt-3.html

      Also find list of Church family we the Malankara (Indian) Orthodox Church share communion -
      1. Coptic Orthodox Church
      2. Syrian Orthodox Church
      3. Armenian Orthodox Church
      4. Ethiopian Orthodox Church
      5. Eritrean Orthodox Church

      Please teach this to our Children

      George Varghese, Calgary, Canada
    • Dr. K. C. Mammen
      There seems to be more than one Armenian Orthodox Church now in existence. There is one (the present set of mailings seems to be about this group) which seems
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 5, 2011
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        There seems to be more than one Armenian Orthodox Church now in existence. There is one (the present set of mailings seems to be about this group) which seems to consider any attempt at equimenism to be wrong and all other christian groups as schismatic. We recently had a visit from an Armenian church delegation as official guests of our church. This Armenian Orthodox church, which is the one our church officially acknowledges is a member of the World Council of Churches and all that this implies. I do not know if the writer of this letter is aware of this. I feel this correspondence should be brought to the notice of Fr. K.M.George and our Theological Seminary for an official clarification about this.

        Dr.K.C.Mammen

        Moderators' Note:
        Please include your place of residence with all messages.
      • Royce Cherian Thomas, Bangalore
        I know there are two Sees, i.e, the See of Etchmiadzin, in Armenia, and the See of Cilicia, in Lebanon. Also, in the last few years, we ve had the heads of
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 6, 2011
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          I know there are two Sees, i.e, the See of Etchmiadzin, in Armenia, and the See of Cilicia, in Lebanon. Also, in the last few years, we've had the heads of both these Sees i.e His Holiness Karekin II (See of Etchmiadzin), and Catholicos Aram I (See of Cilicia) visit us as official guests of the church. If am not wrong, Catholicos Aram I served/serves as Moderator of the Central and Executive Committees of the WCC. Therefore, this See for sure is a member of the WCC. If it's one of these groups that the author (Dr.K.C.Mammen) is referring to, would be great if someone could clarify which is the one we recognize, and why we don't recognize the other.

          Regards,

          Royce Cherian Thomas,
          St Thomas Orthodox Church,
          Bangalore
        • George Varghese, Calgary
          I am happy to see that this discussion is progressing with Mr. Royce Cherian clarifying the two Sees -The See of Etchmiadzin and Cilicia. The following web
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 7, 2011
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            I am happy to see that this discussion is progressing with Mr. Royce Cherian clarifying the two Sees -The See of Etchmiadzin and Cilicia. The following web page can clarify some of the questions.

            http://orthodoxwiki.org/Catholicosate_of_Cilicia#Establishment_of_Two_Catholicates

            At 1965, when the Oriental Orthodox Church fathers met in Ethiopia, it listed 5 Churches - Ethiopian, Indian, Armenian, Syrian and Coptic. And not 3 as some wished it. Fr. V.C Samuel of memory eternal clarifies in his book.

            Some previous postings in the group can be found on this topic:
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IndianOrthodox/message/29876
            http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IndianOrthodox/message/8095

            It is in the same light that we accept the Eritrean Church as our sister community with whom we partake in communion, the reason why I listed 6 and not 5.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oriental_Orthodoxy

            In the same spirit, we recognize both the heads of both the sees of Armenia as part of the One Armenian Church. If we look, we should see that both recognize St. Gregory the Illuminator in the history of their development and the unity of the Armenian people in faith.

            This is the very reason that we should see our Catholicate of Malankara (Indian) Orthodox Church as symbol of unity in India.

            When time permit, I am hoping to write and share some more thoughts on the closest with whom we should share communion not only in words but also in prayer and action - the Syrian Orthodox Church.

            George Varghese, Calgary, Canada

            P.S:
            A wonderful page to edify ourself in our faith from Armenia
            http://www.stgregoryofnarek.am/

            Another great Armenian saint whose prayers for 24 hours of the day is widely used by Armenian people but whom those who seek unity could learn from
            http://orthodoxwiki.org/Nerses_the_Gracious
          • Dr. K.C. Mammen, Kottayam
            My attention was first drawn to the Armenian church with a posting in this site where the web site of an Armenian church was given with reference in it to one
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 9, 2011
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              My attention was first drawn to the Armenian church with a posting in this site where the web site of an Armenian church was given with reference in it to one of their existing bishops whom they called a living saint.

              The beliefs of this particular church include considering Catholics, protestants and any other christian groups and all non christians as heretics who had to be cursed. Unfortunately I have lost this earlier letter and I hope this letter will be read by the original writer or the ICON Moderators to see if this church is one of the two now mentioned or a third one.

              I mentioned about this church to Fr K.M.George and he told me about the different Armenian churches, and shortly after this the seminary hosted a bishop from the church which was part of the WCC and who did not curse other church groups. Is this a third church or one of the two now mentioned.

              Dr.K.C.Mammen,Kottayam

              From the Desk of Moderators:
              We thank Dr. KC Mammen (inspite of his very busy schedules) for raising his concerns about this important issue through ICON.
              The original posting in this regard by Mr. George Varghese and response by Mr. Royce can be accessed from the following link.
              Hope they (or someone knowledgeable on this matter) will find time to give a conclusive response to the point raised by Dr. KC Mammen.

              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/IndianOrthodox/msearch?query=armenian+church&submit=Search&charset=windows-1252
            • Royce Cherian Thomas, Bangalore
              Dear Sir, Unfortunately, am not able to locate the reference to the Armenian Church which brands other Christian groups and non-Christians as heretics on the
              Message 6 of 7 , Oct 11, 2011
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                Dear Sir,

                Unfortunately, am not able to locate the reference to the Armenian Church which brands other Christian groups and non-Christians as heretics on the said website. It surely would be more than interesting to know if there exists such a group within the Armenian Church. There's a possibility that this is one of the groups that connive with the few extremist Athonite monks who are against unity even between the Eastern Orthodox (EO) and Oriental Orthodox (OO), and brand the OO as heretical. There exist many splinter groups such as these within the Orthodox Christian Church. For example, while I was reading up on the "Aerial Toll Houses", I came across a reference to a movement called the Ephraimite movement amongst the Greek Orthodox in Chicago, America. This group too, according to the website is considered to be a fanatic group against the Ecumenical movement and the like. They also actively promote the doctrine of the "Aerial Toll Houses".

                However, when we say such groups are not officially recognized by our Church, what does that mean? Are they not Orthodox, are they too Orthodox, heretical? They too accept all the ecumenical synods, at least the first three common to all, and probably insist on being more "Orthodox".

                If Mr. George Varghese or anyone on this forum is able to shed more light on this, it would be greatly beneficial, at least to Dr. K.C. Mammen and me.

                Regards,

                Royce Cherian Thomas,
                St Thomas Orthodox Church,
                Bangalore
              • George Varghese, Calgary, Canada
                Dear Royce Sir/ Dr. K.C Mammen Sir: I have changed the title from Armenian Church and St. Gregory the Illuminator to Church -Orthodox or not, as the discussion
                Message 7 of 7 , Oct 19, 2011
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                  Dear Royce Sir/ Dr. K.C Mammen Sir:

                  I have changed the title from Armenian Church and St. Gregory the Illuminator to Church -Orthodox or not, as the discussion seem to be proceeding to more dimension.

                  Also,I am not sure if I am competent to write on what you were asking. However, it made me want to share these thoughts which i pray will be edifying.

                  The discussion progressed with a possibility of group that could be among the Armenian Church that says all the rest are heretical . To this I had clarified on the two groups within the Armenians that share the same faith common to us the Pre Chalcedonian Orthodox or those labelled as Oriental Orthodox.

                  First of all as you are aware, Orthodox is not a group or a branch like Hindus have like Nairs, Kshatriyan, Brahmins or Sudrans. The root is 'Ortho' - 'Right' and 'Doxa'- 'Glory' . Both us those who donot accept the Chalcedonian council as Ecumenical and those who affirn 'Chalcedon' as Ecumenical state we are the ' Orthodox Chuch' - community offering 'Right Glory' to Him

                  From the discussions brought about by inteaction of Theologians facilated by WCC, the Theologians of both sides understood in the spirit of Christian charity that it is possible that in the past both sides could have been calling each other heretics. However, full unity and full communion between the two claimants to being the ``Orthodox Church`` have not been established.

                  As Royce Sir has mentioned we know some Greek Anthonite monks opposed unity and from the internet we see that there exist others especially within the Chalcedonian communities who have joined the band wagon and calling us Heretics.

                  It is possible that a link to such a group had been there in one of the web pages but we should not the commune in such communities.

                  I would like to relate an intresting personal incident . When we moved as a family in 2000 to Calgary we didnot have an Indian Orthodox community and had communion in an EO parish after confessing to the priest and telling him that I am from the Indian Church. The EO priest confirmed with his Bishop who told him we should not be seen as any different than any other repentant person and and give us communion. In time when we slowly had our parish and HG Makarios of eternal memory came to Calgary, I asked him if it is wrong and He told that if we are treated in any way different, we should not go to commune there and in his Homily he spoke of the pride of us when in Genealogy of our Lord Jesus Christ there were prostitutes, adulteres.

                  I raised this to answer that our effort should not be to find those who are heretical , but to see whether we are truely Orthodox and correct ourselves - Are we praying, Are we worshipping, Are we giving due glory to God. Are we really participating or taking the effort to participate as a community when we come together as Church etc. etc.

                  This question:

                  'Are they not Orthodox, are they too Orthodox, heretical? They too accept all the ecumenical synods, at least the first three common to all, and probably insist on being more "Orthodox". .. '

                  I feel has no real meaning especially In India as there are not enough EO or splinter groups to call us Non Orthodox.

                  For North America as these groups have not approached us to commune in North America we should not be overly concerned.

                  A last thought that I read from an EO community which is not only applicable to them but to each of us
                  ---ORTHODOXY IS LIFE,One cannot talk about it,one must live it.
                  St. Nektary of Optina---

                  I have not lived it yet. Keep in prayer

                  George Varghese, Calgary, Canada
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