Re: Indian Orthodox Church and Piravom
- Dear ICON friends
HG Dr Mathews Mar Severios did not ask anyone to vote in favour or
against any party. What Thirumeni said was that the non-implementation
of High Court order in the Kolencherry Church would be reflected in
the Piravom election. I think this comment came from Severios
Thirumeni after some leaders in the UDF camp were spreading canards
that the State Govt mediated an agreement in the Kolencherry Church
dispute. In the UDF election convention meeting held a couple days
back the top leaders said “Govt is not a party in the Church dispute”.
If the Govt is not a party involved in this issue, then why did they
sign a document saying that they are bound to implement the court
order within 15 days’ time? HG Mathews Mar Severios has every right to
speak about the issue during this time, particularly when political
parties are approaching the Church for votes.
I have a number of friends in the Piravom constituency who said a good
number of Orthodox voters are aggrieved about the issue and they would
vote against the UDF candidate. The pain of Orthodox Church faithful
living in Ernakulam district who face the church dispute on a daily
basis is understandable and it would be natural reaction if they
outpour their feelings and vote against the candidate supported by the
- - Dr. Babu Thomas, Parumala wrote:
>> I am saddened, seeing the attempts of our church, to destabilise the Govt of Shri.Oommen Chandy instead of encouraging him for whatever he is doing for the over all development of the state.I think some of you just look at one side of the issue. A kind of color blinded. There is no arguement that Shri Oommen Chandy is the best Chief Ministed Kerala had even seen. There is no arguement that he is our member. There is no arguement that he should not be favoring us when he is in his official position. We don't want that too.
I have two questions to Dr. babu Thomas Parumala.
1. Whether the Chief Minister kept his word he gave to His Holy Father in writing when he pushed the Holy Father to stop HH's fast at Kolenchery??
2. Whether Mr. Chandy is doing justice when he helps the other faction to implement the court orders favoring them and refuse the same opportunity to us when the court order favors us saying there will be law and order problem.
So, let our brothers and sisters who are going to the polling booth in Piravom and our leaders who guides them decide what to do.
They are going to decide who they need to lead them. Oommen Chandy may have been good to a lot of people; not to our people and our Bishops in Piravom. If they do not vote for Chandy's Government I would say that he deserves it for the injustice he has shown to our church and the disrespect he has shown to our Holy Father.
- Dear ICON friends,
I was following the debate on the Piravom by-elections on this forum.
I think we should let the people of Piravom to elect the candidate whom they think will be good for Piravom and the state of Kerala.
It is already late to have a separation of state and religion in Kerala politics. We should discourage religious leaders influencing political decisions of the people of Piravom. Let the people of Piravom decide whom to vote purely on the merit of the candidate, not by which church these candidates are affiliated to or
what side the religious leaders are supporting to. The opinions of the religious leaders are their personnel opinions. It is very unfortunate that they are insisting Piravom voters to follow their opinions in the election. I think it is not a healthy trend in a civilized society.
Benny Kurian, Piravom
- Dr.Babu's comment is very correct. Church authorities must give more importance for saving souls instead of church buildings.
Thomas Mathai, Ernakulam
- I thought ; the answers to the questions Mr. Ronnie Daniel raised , are already there in what I had written ; may be in an indirect way .I haven't seen neither have I read the letter which the Chief Minister wrote to the church. Obviously, I can't make any comment on that .Undoubtedly, there are and there will always be disputes between peoples. The way, they are to be resolved /dealt with , to my mind , is to be different in the spiritual world (between Christian brothers) from that in a secular world. ' Poulose Sleeha Danyan' has already told the way they are to be sorted out among brothers in Christ ( 1 Cor.6:1-6 ). Colossians 3:13 instructs us : " .... and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. " If we can't even sit around a table to discuss the issues with our brothers, with a 'give in' mentality from either side ; have we not failed as a church -- the bride of Christ ! ?. In stead, we want a Bahuleyan or a Hameed or a Kodiyeri to teach us lessons on love, forgiveness, reconciliation !!. And if we are even remotely responsible for desecrating the "Holy Thronose" of those closed down churches .....I know for sure that I was not alone in getting embarrassed seeing our ' Holy Fathers' lying in 'Samara Pandals' on the road side. As the Chief Minister of the state and as a member of the church , possibly Shri. Oommen Chandy wanted to see this fiasco ended some how. In all probability, that is what had happened. This is just my speculation only , though.May be a 'strange' thought , different from the majority view !! - Christian life style has to be in conformity with Biblical instructions. Don't ask me, how much do I practise ?. I totally agree that I am a very imperfect man. But somehow I expect my spiritual fathers / my shepherds to be role models .Sadly for many in our church, Bible does not have much of an importance . Please DO NOT misunderstand me : Most , if not all , ICONians appear to me to be real Bible scholars.I have a copy of the Bible on my table in the consulting room. Lot of my 'Orthodox' patients look at it surprised. Some dared to ask me even , to which Church I belonged. When I tell them that I belong to the Orthodox church ; they surprisingly tell me that; " seeing the Bible, I thought , you are either a Marthomite or a C.S.I."About a fortnight ago, a lad of three years was brought to me by his young parents ( who were on holidays from one of the Gulf countries ) and grand mother. His name was Aaron. Just out of curiosity, I asked them , who Aaron was. The husband and wife looked at each other with a smile. Then I said, he is a Bible character and in Malayalam , he is Aharon. Still they were a bit confused. Then I asked , do you know who Moses - Mosa- was. The response was the same. Then their mother ( in law) thought, she would intervene. She said, " they were desciples of Jesus. " Just by chance , two of the nurses ( One 'Grace' who is a Pentecostal and a 'Pooja' a Hindu girl ) from one of the wards walked in, to tell me about a patient transferred from Amrutha hospital to my ward. So, I just asked 'Grace' almost the same questions. Obviously , I don't have to write how 'Grace' answered. She was from an Orthodox family, but left for a Pentecostal fellowship , along with some of her friends.I do trust , none would form the impression that I was suggesting that Christian life is all about knowing who Aaron and Moses were !!.Dr. Babu Thomas , Parumala.
- Hi All,
It was quite interesting to read Dr. Babu Thomas' mail about Aaron and Moses. No doubt that the Bible knowledge of Protestant and Pentecostal denominations is much better than that of an average Orthodox believer. The reason, I guess, was that our ancestors came from an agrarian background, where interpreting the Bible was considered more of the job of priests; we got a Malayalam Bible probably not more than 100 years back. So reading was not in our tradition. In the west, following the industrial revolution, scientific progress helped in the popularization of printed copies of Bible, especially in the Protestant countries. So when, the Western Christians started Churches in India, it is natural that they have trained the believers to read the Bible. We, the Orthodox have also started the reading habits now!!
But you may appreciate that, our Church, without reading the Bible, existed here for 20 centuries without break, maintaining the core principles of Christianity. This is something which even the Hinduism (forget the Pentecostals) could not do (to the best of my knowledge) in this land of Hinduism. It had to be rekindled by Adi Sankara, when it became almost dead. Having said that, let me not delve into the need and necessity of reading the Bible, in the Practical Christianity. Nor am I satisfied with the current level of spiritual activities in our Church.
With all the criticisms Dr. Babu has for our Church, he continues to be our member and also contributes richly to this forum of ICON. I am sure that he will never quit the Church, out of his love for this ancient Church of St. Thomas, and what he brings to the table is a different set of ideas. That is something we always need, to enable us to think, discuss and choose the best course possible. And Dr. Babu is not alone in this process, there are lot many people in our Church who think in similar lines. But lets also understand the importance of maintaining unity and discipline, even when some personally uncomfortable decisions are made by the Church leadership, after careful considerations. The dissenting voices need to be properly heard and considered before such decisions.
Abey Jacob; Bangalore.