Re: News - Jacobite Church In Serious Problems
- Dear Litto,
I was expressing my honest feeling, not for an argument for arguments never end and never reach us anywhere. Christian love and biblical virtues are quite different. The problem is that the present generation is born into and wired into schism. What you wrote is based on your reading of post-schism authors and partial knowledge. Your reading of SC verdict is not complete or you depend on wrong commentators. You wrote there are patriarchs claiming �Patriarch of Antioch.�� Say, �Gopal�� has a son named �Krishna��. When Krishna grew-up comes to know that there are 10 people with the name �Gopal�� in his town. Does that mean Krishna does not who is his father or some other Gopal is his father? There are 5 patriarchs in the same name; which is not a defense. Indian Orthodox should know which Patriarch of Antioch is mentioned the 1934 constitution, lack of that awareness is one of the root problems. Had you followed the proceeding in the SC this confusion would have been avoided. Still my position is, follow the same position in the SC and outside. That is the only solution to the century old problem.
Bringing up new issues would further complicate the matter. Our criteria should not be based on what �Jacobytes�� do or say. I was mentioning the in the context of the origin of problem of separation. Regarding repulsion of the nomenclature �Jacobyte�� I have written in the past. They invent new new ideas to provocate the Orthodox and eternalize the split; and we are being preys to their evil designs if we cite them as models.
Regarding the Patriarch�s power reaching a vanishing point by the acceptance of 1934 constitution is well received and I always wrote in favor of complete administrative independence. We must distinguish Spiritual and administrative or the Spiritual and temporal aspects and not mix together. HH Catholicos is the final authority for all administrative and temporal matters; no unity should ever take place compromising that liberty. I have a CD made from the office of the former Catholicos HH Mathews II; where he explicitly says, �Patriarch is my older brother��- think if it was by age or anyone else from among the five patriarchs you mentioned- or pointing to a particular Patriarch; �I will be happy to sit in the second position when HH is present.�� The Present HH Catholicos, spoke in the Family Conference in USA, we have a video clip, and �We are willing to give all the constitutional prerogatives to HH Patriarch.�� I have published that happy announcement in ICON immediately after the conference. Do you think HH was not clear which Patriarch he mentioned? I believe HH meant well and the large majority from both sides appreciate it but HH is being pulled back by influential lobby. I said only to follow-up those admissions and declarations, KK Johnachen.
Thank you and God Bless you,
KK Johnachen, Philadephia
- Dear Georgeachen,
Your comments, save and except the repartee concealed in it, are well received. You asked, �You people could not win over those thumping majority on the other side, isn't it the fact?��Yes, it is a fact. Not only we could not win over, but also we are labeled as �traitors, cheaters, defectors�� and with many such adjectives; as is well known to you. They say these because to them the Church is two, not one. Your wording, �You People��indirectly makes the same sense that Church is not one but two. This is the great difference between me and them. But I hope you will agree that we took a brave stand which not many even dare, against all odds such as ridicule, threat, intimidation, enmity from relatives, no entry into cemeteries, etc but people seldom appreciate what we are undergoing. I wonder how you expect from me what the learned bishops could not do (win over)! I am not a "stalwart" as you said, but accept it in humility as a Shakespeare�s word-pun. If you think earnestly and honestly, you will understand that �winning over�� them was not the duty of those who left them but the duty of Orthodox leaders. They failed in it because they never imagined that the other party had a �thumping majority�� in the first instance and secondly, the Orthodox leaders never imagined that now HB Thomas I had a following of thumping majority or at least he was capable of mustering a majority; in other words, they grossly underestimated HB Thomas I. They were inclined more to ridicule Patriarchal faction leaders than earnestly attempting to win their co-operation; the supposed strength being the victory of SC verdict. But the reality was either both lost or both won. This is what in a few words Mr. Ronnie mentioned. Leave the case of priests, as I said before, priests are no longer a significant influence factor in both groups, in the case of the bishops who came for unity are still not well received in many quarters. Ego-centric forces from within are creating problems for them so that they must quit, not stay; I am sorry if you do not know what has been happening in Kandanadu about Mor Athanasius, Trichur about Mor Milithios and US about Mor Nicholovos (just over a saga). Haven�t you read many �yellow-publications� detestable indeed, managed by certain so-called priests rebuking them both in and out of place fabricating and manipulating stories? None of them are given positions they are worthy of. Why the US diocese was divided into two? If it were not because of LL Barnabas thirumeni and some well-meaning faithful leaders (MC members), Mor Nicholovos would have been nowhere in US. Certain US and Kottayam leaders were hatching to oust him, was it not? Many priests and bishops who were once inclined for unity withdrew because of behind the scene dramas of some high level Orthodox Kottayam caucus. Many of the members in Patriarchal faction are still in favor of unity but what they say is; �Look at the sad plight of those already went saying unity; what unity they experience, what is the definition of unity,� etc? This is one reason why many priests from other side hesitate to come out openly. I am not sure if you know or not, back in 1997-98 more than 37 priests from Kottayam diocese and equal or more number of priests from Ankamaly diocese in complete opposition to then Mor Dionysius with written statement and signatures met and discussed LL HH Catholicos Mathews II and HH agreed to make a statement in the leading news-papers that HH accepts HH Patriarch with all Constitutional prerogatives, but that never saw light. I never claimed I am able to convince others in my favor. You know we have limits and within that, I have been putting my efforts for the sake of unity; in fact, the aim of the recent publication under reference is one such attempt. For sure, many of my acquaintances changed their rigid stand. The only visible result so far is gaining enmity from the activists in both groups. Anyone who works for unity and concord in a situation such as ours (church) has to enlighten the shortcomings of both sides; that is the only option for an impartial person. One who sees the other as enemy and vindictively hiding one�s own short-falls and extolling self-goodness is against unity. All leaders and activists need blind supporters, not those who talk the truth impartially. For example, one sentence I wrote, which is under reference, has provoked you and certain other orthodox members. (1) One Mr. Litto Niranam wrote many points as reasons against unity. I wrote a reply-explanation and sent to ICON. (2) Mr. Alexander Cheriyan ICON message #33917, says, my posting was thought provoking and yet he knows me only as �Mr. John Kunjukunju,� not as a priest, despite the fact that I am writing in the ICON even before I joined the Orthodox side. He asked many questions but I do not want to further obfuscate the matter with another reply. (3) One Mr. Santhosh Chacko, by message #24488 in SOCM forum in reply to my posting in ICON which we discuss now called me �ex-Jacobyte priest��and said among other things that I hate HB Thomas I, etc. But that is far from truth.
Secondly, you say, �We, the Orthodox Church, have already expressed our willingness for having Unity and Peace established within the holy Church.� I surely agree with that contention but that was not enough. Both former and present Catholicoses were in favor of meeting HH Patriarch. Before 2002 it was not so difficult because the present HB was not very popular at that time. In fact, the laxity and inaction on the part of Orthodox was the reason that made Mor Dionysius HB. We all know that he is a law unto himself. Orthodox faction should have moved a petition in the court to declare invalid the 2002 manifesto which they call constitution and his illegal election as �Niyukthan.� That would have prevented the Patriarch to consecrate him as catholicos, which he cherished for a long time. Since seventy�s Patriarch is biased against Orthodox faction for obvious reasons but a sincere approach in Christian love would have changed the situation. LL HB Poulose, former Catholicos of the other faction was in the bad books of HH. My contention is that, leave aside the legality nad logic replace it with love and forbearance, the Orthodox faction HH must have direct contacts with HH Patriarch and bring to light what the other side is all about. When we content that HB Thomas I is a stumbling block, and truly is, what is needed was not to keep quiet and allow him to flourish but to strongly work to destabilize such people. Let me clarify again that inviting or accepting Patriarch would not tantamount to handing over temporal powers. These are two different things, strictly guided by the SC verdict.
Achen wrote, �Your suggestion to forfeit the legal claims on Church property is dubious. We make no claim on the properties of the Church of Antioch.� I do not know why it is dubious. There are differences between churches in Syria/Middle-East and Malankara. Did anyone go to Middle-East to help out the Church there at any point in history? Did any Syrian claim our churches? I think not. It is our own people who claim the churches. We have 1934 Constitution, where Patriarch of Antioch is the Supreme Head or Primate of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. Syrians do not have a constitution saying, �Catholicos of the East is their Supreme Head, or sub-head or Deputy to Patriarch of Antioch�� and so on. If there was a clause like that, things would have differed. 1934 Constitution specifies certain rights and privileges to the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch over Malankara Church. Again, Patriarch is not directly responsible for the disputes after 1995, of course his weakness has contributed to it. Comparing two different things reveals most of the people including some priests are unaware of the real issues and what guides them is simply the emotional schism. Inviting Patriarch or accepting him publicly is simple obedience to the 1995 verdict; not doing that is disobedience. Did not the SC verdict say that Church is one, Church should be governed by the valid 1934 Constitution and the Supreme Spiritual Head is Patriarch of Antioch and that his temporal administrative power reached vanishing point, etc? Some people now ask which Patriarch! Most of our parishes are made by the sweat of the people; their ancestors shared them and they rest in the cemeteries. This is the sentimental side of the dispute. Such a situation does not exist in Antioch/ Middle-east. I do not further explicate for fear of escalating the already existing misunderstanding but be sure the situation will be unpredictably different if the Orthodox faction amend the 1934 Constitution removing the first 2 clauses and submit that in the SC. I am sure the leaders know the after-effects. Well, why should we recite the name of Patriarch in the Tubden, when we cannot invite or accept him as the spiritual head of the Church? Is it not a contradiction? Why the Church knowingly maintain a contradiction?
Thank you and God Bless you,
KK Johnachen, Philadelphia