Re: Why Are We Avoiding Oommen Chandy?
- I do not want to repeat the names to avoid repetition. I was ashamed to read (in the news paper) the comments of Mr. Pinaray that Orthodox Church and Marxist party together engaged in some charitable works in Kerala. I would request our church leadership to disclose the recipients and the amount. Was it a party donation or a donation from Mr. P. Vijayan.
Second, when did Church's modus operandi align with that of the Marxian ideology? How can diametrically opposing ideologies with extreme methodological variations claim working relationship? It is an oxymoron. One holds the view that the end and the means shall be pure and therefore violence cannot be allowed; the others says the ends justifies the means, so violence is ok. The perfect classless society of Marxism is only on books; the current Marxism practiced in Kerala is nothing but political smoke screens to exploit the poor people. Jesus Christ was not a Marxist, though K. Marx was influenced by His teachings. Stalin used the same ideology and annihilated millions to bring about the classless society!!!!!
Liberation strategies lost its place in Kerala.
Church on the other hand is to be a friend of the poor without any personal agenda or power cravings. Power struggle or fame or best place at the dinner table or any such popularity game is against the principles of Servant Leadership propagated by Jesus Christ and of which authority you claim as church leaders. The leaders (some) affinity toward leftist thinking, because of the current Sabha case, is irreligious and an anathema. Church reconciliation and peace process ends up as huge failures simply because of their political agenda. Let the politicians (church and state) be out of the talks and let the people decide, then they will find resolutions within days. Today Christians in Syria flee for their life while Syrian Christians in Kerala fight in luxury. What a paradox?
Mr. Oommen Chandy, at least is a devout Orthodox Christian who attends church regularly and stationed in Trivandrum. How come the Trivandrum diocese couldn't get him for the function? He was busy? If so, I have no quarrel. If they avoided him on political reasons, then it is time for a soul search. We need to keep church and politics separate, personal preference has no place in community living. Church leadership has to grow beyond narrow mindedness. Supporting the leftist ideology will not make one a friend of the poor; one has to stop the talk and walk the walk. When Gandhi ji received gifts on his return to India, he gave that to poor people. Today's leaders envy to get the most expensive car.
What a tragic situation was in Kerala during the "uparodha samaram"? How many poor families were supported with that meaningless samaram? How can a person be declared guilty simply on the ground of accusation? Was he found guilty? if not was he not innocent until proven guilty? Where was the moral conscious of the church community when people were struggling after the flood and other crises in Kerala? Why didn't the church and the one hundred thousand volunteers join hand together to help the flood victims? Where was the moral conscious of the church community when people were struggling after the flood and other crises in Kerala? My request to those in authority is: please do not mislead simple people with your variant political views; parishes, dioceses and church have to function beyond politics. Our Christian faith cannot be changed every five years (or Assembly election) to align to the ideologies of the ruling parties.
~Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Joy Pyongolil.
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I have noted Babu Prackel’s post (ICON #4989) on the topic. Relatedly, I have witnessed how the Church leaders treat their own lay leaders.
Our Church had a very illustrious son by the name E. John Jacob – popularly known as Elanjikal Baby. His birth centenary celebrations have been going on for past one year. This past winter, I spent my time in Kerala where I attended one of those meetings and where a host of church leaders from other denominations and of course CM Oommen Chandy showered praises on “Babychayan”. An Orthodox bishop’s name was printed on the program, but he skipped the meeting and did not bother to send a substitute or a message – he just skipped it. Later on I was told that this bishop had supported LDF in the last election.
Oommen Chandy may not relinquish minister post for the Church, but E. John Jacob would defend his dear Church at the cost of his political career. I came out of that meeting dejected at the attitude of these so called shepherds.
Dr. Eldho Joseph thinks ICON (#4991) should focus on “Faith, the Word of God, Church History, Sacraments.” While I respect his sentiments, I caution readers on the dangers of depending on postings on unofficial websites on such matters where possibilities exist of jack-of-all-trades writing on Faith, Sacraments etc. ICON is not an official Church website where these matters primarily belong to for discussion. So it is proper if we discuss political matters that relate to Church in ICON. At the same time I note that we play politics just for the sake of it and that should not have a place in ICON.
Coming back to Oommen Chandy, may I foresee that in 2103, my future generation will say that one of our forefathers predicted in 2013 that Orthodox Church would not have one of its sons becoming Chief Minister of Kerala in another 100 years, and how correct he was.
K. T. George, Canada
- Eldo Joseph's feelings are understandable and need to be appreciated.
As much as we are social and religious human beings, so also we are "political animals" to borrow a phrase from an ancient philosopher
When we live in this world where we have to make political decisions, we cannot avoid taking political stands. The fact that Malankara Orthodox Church did not invite Mr. Ommen Chandy is a political statement. The fact that Pinarai Vijayan was sharing the stage along with other political notables of Kerala is a political statement. Orthodox Church is not alone in using these types of occasions to make political statements. Whether these types of political statements will do any good for Orthodox Church or not is debatable. Other denominations and other religious based social organizations can deliver votes.
At least one Head of a Church, namely His Grace Joseph Marthoma, has come out strongly and stated that he did not believe that Ommen Chandy had done anything wrong in the solar scandal. According to His Grace, what he did wrong was that he trusted the people surrounding him.
Mr. KM Roy, one of the most prominent journalists of Kerala and former Chief Editor of Mangalam, has a very interesting article in that paper on solar scam.
I am sure most ICON members who are keen on Kerala politics would have read it. If not, I strongly urge them to have a look at it. It is an impartial assessment of Ommen Chandy.
Whether MOCs political statements will have any impact on Ommen Chandy's political future remains to be seen. While Congress Party depends on the support of religious groups, Oomen Chandy draws his support from the constituents he serves. No doubt his image has been tarnished a bit because of this scandal. But it is quite unlikely that Puthupally will disown him if decides to run again.
One thing is for sure. There are so many MOC members who are not very happy with the political statements that are made recently. So disregarding their feelings or totally antagonizing them is not in the best interest of MOC. Also political fortunes can change quite dramatically in a short period. It is better to play safe.
Well, as true believers, we can safely say no matter who disowns Ommen Chandy - whether it is MOC or any other religious or social group - he will be ok if God Almighty does not disown him or disregard him.
So far His Mighty Hands have come to his rescue event after event - in my judgment. I can only recite what the Lord said from the cross:
"Forgive them for they do not know what they are doing."
Let us all pray and hope MOC leadership shows magnanimity and grace in these types of occasions. There are thousands of MOC members who wholeheartedly follow and support Ommen Chandy. MOC would have earned a lot of respect if it had invited him instead of avoiding him.
George Mathew Panicker, Toronto Canada
- Dear Joy Achen & others,Please refer to the attachment and the news item in MTV regarding the program details of the dedication ceremony of Shantinilayam in Trivandrum. As per the notice, Chief Minister Sri. Oommen Chandy was supposed to inaugurate the meeting. It is very clear and I think no need to continue any sort of arguments in this subject. Let us keep more restraint on such matters, it will lead to unhealthy discussions, without knowing the truth.News source : http://marthoman.tv/?p=7027Biju PaulThengeli, Thiruvalla
- Very well said Joyachan. Church must steer clear of party politics. I feel very uncomfortable with some overtures of our respected achans and some Church officers displaying leanings towards a party which is openly against Christian Church.Personally, I have great appreciation for our CM for his many good deeds. Of course I don't approve of all his actions.Dr. K N Thomas, Kottayam.