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Taking the Church issues to Streets

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  • T. V . Varghese (tvvarg...)
    The news that we get from Kerala about the Church politics is quite disturbing. On 27th June there was a meeting of the leaders of the church at Ernakulam.
    Message 1 of 20 , Jun 28, 2002
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      The news that we get from Kerala about the Church politics is
      quite disturbing. On 27th June there was a meeting of the
      leaders of the church at Ernakulam. And the decision was to start
      a 'Samaram'(strike) against the government for their partisan approach
      towards the problems in the church and for the interference of
      The state govt. to implement the court verdict. The samaram
      includes �nirahara satyagraham� by priests and Bishops !!!.

      I firmly believe that this will bring utter chaos in the already
      indisciplined church. One should understand that if the priests
      are dragged to the streets to fight against the authorities, one
      day they may even turn against the church authorities . For any
      small problems they will resort to samara tactics against the
      Church . We do not want our achans leading jathas shouting slogans
      blocking the traffic on the roads and picketing the secretariat
      and get arrested. If it happens it will tarnish the image of our
      church . Unfortunately the people and the government of the state
      of Kerala understand only the language of 'samaram'. And for the
      people there, samaram is a part of their life.

      I can�t understand what the government can do except that they
      can be impartial in this case . The government is bound to
      execute the court verdict . Let us imagine for a while that the
      government takes over the control of the churches and allows us
      to do service there . There need to be more policemen than the
      believers to avoid any trouble during the worship . Is that what we
      want?

      Why not the authorities think about calling for a synod of all
      the 5 Oriental Orthodox Churches to sort out the problems , as
      we have proved that we alone cannot settle the issues . Or
      alternately can we not think about giving any position ( not
      Catholicos Designate ) to Mar Dionysius with which he can be
      silenced ? Partition was another solution suggested by many , but I
      feel that the Church should be reunited .

      We should understand that if the government tries to implement the
      court verdict , the people who are going to suffer are those who
      belong to the minority Orthodox group in the areas which are
      strong holds of the Patriarch group . The people in the south will
      not feel the pinch . They can happily do satyagraha at
      Trivandrum .

      I would like all our members to write to our bishops not to go
      ahead with the decision taken at the Ernakulam meeting .

      Let us pray for our church.

      Varghese
    • Dr. Babu Paul
      1. HH may not be FULLY aware of either the developments or the implications. He normally gets a lot of mail from India, good, bad, true, false, halftrue,
      Message 2 of 20 , Jun 29, 2002
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        1. HH may not be FULLY aware of either the developments or the implications.
        He normally gets a lot of mail from India, good, bad, true, false, halftrue,
        exaggerated etc. etc.
        2. Patriarch, as far as I know, has NOT EVEN ONCE addressed Mar Dionasius as
        Catholicose Designate.
        3. Patriarch has nothing to do with the parumala meeting, according to the
        court verdict and even according to the 34 constitution.
        I shall not comment on subjective remarks.
        Dr. PCAlexander has written to me saying that he has accepted the unexpected
        turn of events philosophiclly and with calmness. He and Akkamma Kochamma
        deserve to be remembered in everybody's prayers.

        TOTUS TUUS MARIA
      • DR M.S.ALEXANDER-LEEDS, U.K
        PEACE IN OUR CHURCH One day H.H.The Patriarch and H.H.The Catholicose submitted a memorandum to God and asked Him, Lord can we see peace in our church in our
        Message 3 of 20 , Jun 29, 2002
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          PEACE IN OUR CHURCH
          One day H.H.The Patriarch and H.H.The Catholicose submitted a memorandum to
          God and asked Him,"Lord can we see peace in our church in our life time? God
          is very clever. He replied 'I don't know if it can happen in your life time.
          But I know that it will not happen in My life time."

          Sadly we could not find a solution through reconciliation among us. We went
          for litigation. The Supreme Court gave a legal solution for peace. It was not
          a legal problem and our problems continue in spite of legal solution.
          Government formed by politicians fails to implement court decision. There is
          only one church-MALANKARA ORTHODOX CHURCH-and our one and the only leader is
          H.H.The Catholicose.All those who are not with him are against him, and
          outside our dear church.

          There is not much point in wasting our time by fighting against those who
          are outside our church. Let all those who are inside join and stand
          together and look after our own interests-continue the
          work of our Lord. Let us declare that we will solve our problems by
          reconciliation, and not by litigation; none of us will ever file a case
          against our H.H.The Catholicose,or against any metropolitans.

          DR M.S.ALEXANDER-LEEDS, U.K.
        • Babu Thomas
          The factional differences within the church and as to who should be the rightful administrative and spiritual head, has become a continuous debate. Probably
          Message 4 of 20 , Jun 30, 2002
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            The factional differences within the church and as to who should be the rightful administrative and spiritual head, has become a continuous debate. Probably if few questions are answered, lay persons who are a bit confused and ignorant about the whole affair may benefit.

            1) When did the Church start in India?
            2) Did St. Thomas represent the Syrian Orthodox Church when he came here?
            3) When did a representative of the Syrian Orthodox Church come to India?
            4) Why did he come to India?
            5) What was the mission or assignment in India when already there was a church?
            6) Why do the Syrian Church do not want to severe the link with the Indian Church?
            7) Is it because of spiritual reasons or any other reasons, and what are they?

            Probably more questions can be asked. Whatever it may be, aren't we crucifying Christ again and again? How different are we from the Jews who crucified Christ at the Calvary?

            Babu Thomas, Chennai
          • Eldho Kuriakose
            Hi All, Thanks to Mr. Sinu and those who responded to his concerns. Faith must be practical and meaningful to those it tries to minister to. Some say that
            Message 5 of 20 , Jun 30, 2002
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              Hi All,

              Thanks to Mr. Sinu and those who responded to his concerns. Faith must be
              practical and meaningful to those it tries to minister to. Some say that
              Syriac is divine because Jesus spoke it. Jesus spoke a language that was
              understandable to those in the land, in the most understandable and easy
              way. How else could His message be clear and understandable to anyone? The
              Spirit gave each disciple gifts of different languages so that language may
              not be a hinderance to Christ. If a Church is Sincere to its ministry and
              work for Christ, then they won't force a foreign language or foriegn laws on
              people.

              The call to PRESERVE faith is analogous to pouring formaldahyde (used to
              preserve dead animals in biology labs) on a living being. Only dead things
              need preservation. If formaldayhde is poured on a living human being, he
              will probably die of cancer. However, we mainly see preservation in both the
              Orthodox churches. Our rememberance of saints is so that we may "stand on
              their shoulders and look further" (based on their lives and guidance, take
              the next step in making the kingdom of God a reality). However, we are
              encouraged to huddle at the feet of saints and remember them as mere
              historical stories behind which we can rally for random reasons.

              Thomas PA has repeatedly posted about the importance of having Indian
              Liturgy and songs. While I agree with this wholeheartedly, I must take note
              that other churches have been far more successful in inspring a love for
              Christ in Indian minds. In fact, our church uses the songs that were written
              by upadeshis and pastors in all our prayer meetings. The cassettes that were
              released by Tharangini, Dr. Yesudas and Fr. Abel are a genuine expression of
              India (both in music and being rooted in the life experiences of an Indian).

              The fact that there has been very little contribution from our church
              maybe due to the over stressing of tradition and desire to stick with what
              is there. Even when they do write something and submit to the CHurch, they
              get drastically changed. Also, a lot of the literature and songs that we put
              out tend to have heavier vocabulary and esoteric words. Gandhiji said that
              India's heart is in her villages. If we want something truly Indian, it must
              relate to the lives of average people in India.

              Eldho, NY.
            • Jose Kurian Puliyeril, Abu Dh
              Open letter to Mr. Sinu John. Dear Mr. Sinu John, This refers to your posting �����Peace in Church a trap�����. It will be well and good if you would admit
              Message 6 of 20 , Jul 1, 2002
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                Open letter to Mr. Sinu John.

                Dear Mr. Sinu John,

                This refers to your posting �Peace in Church a trap�. It will be well and
                good if you would admit that Malankara Orthodox Church does not keep
                plans/desires to trap someone. There is no need for trapping too. You must
                realize that your article appeared in the discussion group of members of
                Malankara Orthodox Church, which has its Headquarters at
                Devalokam, Kottayam. The moderators of IOIF were kind enough to publish
                your article,even though they were probably 100% sure that the contents
                of your message are against facts and figures.

                About the thirst for peace of HH the present Partriarch, I have nothing
                more to ask you other than the questions put forward by Ashok D Johnson
                in the same digest in which your article also appeared. About the thirst
                of peace of HH Mar Yakub III. Christians all over the world were stunned to
                hear the heresy introduced by his Kalpana in 1970. What was the purpose
                behind it? I am sure that it was not for peace, but for other personal
                gains.

                In 1970 only the foundation stone of Abu Dhabi�s first Orthodox Church
                was laid. When we thought of laying the foundation stone by a Bishop
                or HH the Catholicose from India, we had to withdraw ourselves because
                of shortage of funds. In those days HH Patriarch of Antioch was the accepted
                one for the Catholicate. So we thought of bringing HH the Patriarch itself
                as a state guest, as the Ruler used to bring some foreign dignitaries from
                the neighbouring Arab countries for his accession day celebrations. We
                pushed here and there and the program clicked. The Ruler invited HH Patriarch
                with a delegation of two Bishops, and a Ramban and they arrived on 4th
                Aug. The foundation Stone�s program was scheduled for 7th Aug and the
                Patriarch HH Yakub III celebrated Holy Qurbana on 5th in the local Anglican
                Church. And as per the invitation of HH the Patriarch, the benevolent Ruler
                and the present President of UAE, HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan
                visited the plot and laid the foundation stone, which was blessed by the
                Patriarch. If we had some idea of the heresy then and there, we would have
                restrained from inviting HH the Patriarch. From 4th Aug till the delegation
                left Abu Dhabi, I had to stay with HH the Patriarch assisting him as a lay
                secretary. In between HH asked me whether I heard about a Kalpana which he
                sent to Malankara. I said �No� because it had just reached Kottayam and I
                was totally unaware of it. HH specifically mentioned that there is no
                meaning in calling him HH-the head of the Church, unless and until some sort
                of financial assistance is rendered to HH at least from the Parishes outside
                India. HH also cleared that the Kalpana might open the eyes of the Synod in
                Malankara in sending substantial funds to Syria. He also mentioned that a
                good number of wealthy and well to do members of the Church in Syria had
                migrated to Australia, Canada and USA and hence HH�s income had deterioated
                much. HH could have informed the need instead of sending a heresy and hence
                becoming unpopular among world Christians.

                One thing is sure that in many of the foreign Churches veneration of
                St Thomas has increased much since the origin of the heresy. It is quite
                evident from the experiences of our priests /Bishops/laymen
                who visit foreign Churches in Europe and elsewhere. The representatives
                of such Churches accept our clergy with much respect and a question
                �You are a St. Thomas Christian�.

                See how far is the thirst for peace of the Patriarchs. Before about 50-60
                years our people had a feeling that the people of Syria and the Middle East
                are so close to God and they all are holy and divine.This was
                an average understanding of our people about sheema people.

                Sinu John, You must learn history well and understand whether HH Abdel
                Masiha Patriarch had lost any of his spiritual rights when the Turkey
                Govt.�s Farman was withdrawn. You must study about Abdullah Patriarch
                who had embraced Cathoilicism for worldly riches and positions when he
                failed in the election of the synod. In 1958, the Catholicate side was so
                lenient. They did not claim the court fee and other charges, which could
                have been claimed. But we loved the people of the patriarchal side. We
                ignored the riches and embraced the fellowmen, not through trapping but
                through real divine love. Sinu and the similar thinkers should not see it as
                a weakness of the Catholicose side.

                I once again remind you, bear in mind that HH the Catholicose of Malankara
                Church and the entire block behind HH welcome one and all brethren in the
                name of our Lord Christ, not by compulsion or trickery. Bear in mind that our
                constitution offers the due respect and reverence to HH the Patriarch of
                Antioch. The Orthodox faction will remain loyal to Antioch, as we stand
                loyal to other sister Churches.

                It seems amazing that Sinu John still does not like to breath air of
                freedom. But one thing is clear, you won't get much companions for such a
                silly cause. May God bless us.

                Jose Kurian Puliyeril.
              • IOIF Moderators
                ... + + + + + Inform! Involve! Inspire! + + + + + + + + + I O I F! * * *! M A T R I M O N I A L + + + + + + LOOKING FOR BRIDE/GROOM FOR INDIAN ORTHODOX
                Message 7 of 20 , Jul 1, 2002
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                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                  + + + + + Inform! Involve! Inspire! + + + + + +
                  + + + I O I F! * * *! M A T R I M O N I A L + + +
                  + + + LOOKING FOR BRIDE/GROOM FOR INDIAN ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS + + +
                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------

                  Look for "Matrimonial Particulars" in every IOIF Tuesday Digests. If
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                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------

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                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------

                  IOIF MATRIMONIAL - ISSUE NO. M 1018/2002 – Tuesday, 2 July 2002
                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------

                  (I) SEEKING BRIDEGROOM:
                  ===========================================================================================================================================
                  REF NO: MTM 10023B2
                  ******************************
                  Keralite Orthodox Parents well-settled in Ahmedabad invite alliance
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                  REF NO: MTM 10022B4
                  ******************************
                  Orthodox Christian parents migrated from Kerala invite proposals for
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                  Please respond with details and a recent photograph (scanned if
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                  ******************************
                  REF NO: MTM 10021A4
                  ******************************
                  Parents of Orthodox Syrian Christian faith, well settled in Canada
                  invite marriage proposals from parents of Orthodox Syrian Christian
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                  The girl is very pretty and very fair, with University degree, 27
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                  ****************************
                  REF NO: MTM 10020A6
                  ******************************
                  We are looking for a professionally qualified and well employed
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                  Respond to tuvarughese@ rediffmail.com
                  *****************************
                  REF NO: MTM 10019A4
                  ******************************
                  Looking for bridegroom belonging to Jacobite/Catholic
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                  Age - 24 years, 5'8'
                  Complexion - Fair
                  Qualification - M.Sc ( Maths), Bed
                  Job - Working in a reputed Un Aided School
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                  *****************************
                  REF NO: MTM 10018A6
                  ******************************
                  Parents inviting proposals for their daughter born and brought up in
                  delhi. from any denomination preferably Orthodox..daughter on the
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                  Presently working for an MNC in Delhi ....groom 2 be qualified and
                  well placed in India or anywhere outside India.
                  Interested parties may reply to : goodshepherd60@...
                  *****************************
                  REF NO: MTM 10017A7
                  ******************************
                  Brother & Sister invite proposal for their sister (Orthodox /24/5'4"/
                  BE electrical/now doing Computer Course)from God fearing boy/
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                  working in USA or Green Card Holder.Those interested may contact
                  phone: 001-405-354-4279(US)
                  0091-788-241737(India) 00971-50699318UAE)
                  E-Mail: IndianOrthodox@ hotmail.com
                  ===========================================================================================================================================
                  (II) SEEKING BRIDE:

                  ******************************
                  REF No: MTM 2011A1
                  ******************************
                  Inviting proposals from Qualified and beautiful looking Girls for an
                  Engineer currently working in an International Bank in Dubai. The
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                  Tel : 0091-473-451923(r)
                  00971-4-2219941(r)
                  00971-50-5486642(m)
                  email : ver_2000s@ rediffmail.com

                  ******************************
                  REF NO: MTM 2010A2
                  ******************************
                  ORTHODOX SYRIAN CHRISTIAN PARENTS SETTLED IN AMERICA
                  FOR THE PAST 35 YEARS INVITE PROPOSALS FROM RESIDENTS
                  OF U.S.A. OR CANADA FOR THEIR 31 YEAR OLD SON WHO IS A
                  LAW STUDENT (AFTER COMPLETED HIS MASTER'S DEGREE IN
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                  HE IS LOOKING FOR AN EDUCATED, GOD-FEARING MATCH WHO
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