Taking the Church issues to Streets
- 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
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
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.
- 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
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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
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.
- 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
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.
+ + + + + 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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IOIF MATRIMONIAL - ISSUE NO. M 1018/2002 Tuesday, 2 July 2002
(I) SEEKING BRIDEGROOM:
REF NO: MTM 10023B2
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for their daughter, 26/5'5", MSW (Master of Social Work), Post-
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(IRPM), working as Program Officer with a national-level Development
Organization, from Orthodox Christian boys professionally qualified,
well-employed in India/Abroad, with good family background. Kindly
contact pkkoshy@... or 079-7451391.
REF NO: MTM 10022B4
Orthodox Christian parents migrated from Kerala invite proposals for
their daughter, 25 yrs, lawyer, Canadian citizen, 5'5", 120 lb, from
professionally settled in Canada or the USA.
Please respond with details and a recent photograph (scanned if
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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REF NO: MTM 10020A6
We are looking for a professionally qualified and well employed
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Respond to tuvarughese@ rediffmail.com
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REF NO: MTM 10018A6
Parents inviting proposals for their daughter born and brought up in
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Brother & Sister invite proposal for their sister (Orthodox /24/5'4"/
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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
Girl should be either an MBA, MCA, Engineer, Doctor,CA....and
resident preferably from UAE. The proposed is 29yrs/167cm. If
interested contact us at
Tel : 0091-473-451923(r)
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 FAIR, 5'5" HEIGHT, AND VERY COMPUTER LITERATE.
HE IS LOOKING FOR AN EDUCATED, GOD-FEARING MATCH WHO
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