Let's tear down this 'Berlin Wall' ?
- Hi All,
I feel our church is facing a real crisis now. In the media our church is highlighted for all wrong reasons,either regarding a court case or some law and order problem, "Holy Qurbana" under police protection, one more church handed over for administration by a court appointed Receiver etc, etc.About one year back, Asianet TV has telecasted one of the most shameful incidents happened somewhere near Moovattoopuzha in connection with the inauguration of one Computer Institute belonging to our church. Two of our Bishops (One Bishop from Orthodox and anothor Bishop from Patriarchial faction) were shown virtually fighting in front of TV cameras.It will take years to wipe out the memories of that shameful incident from the minds of people who have witnessed that "show".
I am sure we all deserve a much better treatment.
It appears to me more a "Managerial Problem" facing our church rather than anything else. May be the Administrative Structure is so centralized with no channel available for anybody to express their views. In the process, the true aspirations of the "people" are not known to our church leadership. An aging leadership with not much talented "Support Group" can also be another reason for this sorry state of affairs.
The most important current issue to my mind is that the litigations should come to a peaceful end immediately. As far as the general members are concerned there is only one church. (See the situation when marriage proposals are handled in our families. No sensible person bothers, whether the proposal is from "Bavakkashi" or "Methrankashi" irrespective of whichever faction he or she happened to be)
The issues involved for the division has nothing to do with faith or spiritual, but "purely political & materialistic", as I perceive. It is really unfortunate that, we all talk/preach and feel proud about the "Christian Love" "Ultimate Sacrifice" etc etc and practice exactly the opposite. Whom we all are trying to fool? Our Lord Jesus Christ ? If my understanding is correct, we are paying a particular Snr. Advocate of Supreme Court around Rs 1.00 lakh per Hour/sitting!!!(Perks etc extra). Remember, we are paying this out of the contributions made by all of us including the "penny donated by the widow" as mentioned in the Bible!! What an irony??
The way things look, we can not expect any initiative from the church leadership on this issue. It appears there is total bankruptcy of "ideas" and no sincerity at all. The only wayout is we the ordinary church members should raise our voice. When our beloved Bishops and other leaders come to our parishes, we should not hesitate to question them on this vital issue. We are talking about a small church .. Berlin wall was broken...Cold war ended...Two superpowers are now cooperating...South & North Koreas are going
to unite.. Even there is an earnest desire for India & Pakistan to progress together...
So the writing on the wall is clear...YOU ACT OR PERISH!!!.....HOPE OUR CHURCH LEADERSHIP, IF THEY LOVE THIS CHURCH WILL NOT ALLOW OUR CHURCH TO PERISH?
Let us wish and pray that Year 2001 should be the "YEAR OF LOVE AND UNITY FOR INDIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH".
I am convinced that our "strength" is enormous.Remember there is something very special about we "YAKKOBAYAKKAR"(at least for two more generations our community will be called that way only, inspite of our new "IndianOrthodox" brand). How many of us know that in the desert state of Rajastan, we have 14 Parishes/Congregations?These are all not organised/built by the "church", but only by the shear commitment and hard work of our "very ordinary members" who have gone to these places for their livelihood!!
In UAE no Indian Church has got their own indepentant place for worshipping (neither Marthomaites nor CSI, although all are trying hard to get one indepentant place for worshiping, for the last 30 plus years), but we have three churches of our own(Abu Dhabi, Dubai & Sharjah). This is only because of God's Blessings and due to the efforts and commitment of our "ordinary members".
Remember this particular characteristic is found only in the "Kerala Born Malayalees", to keep their identity whereever they are and our church and Marthoma church are benefitting from this trend to a large extent.No "British or American Christian Saayippu" will spend his time or energy to organise a congregation/church of his own, once he goes out of his country for any reason!!
I am sure with a "simple nod" by the "correct" leadership, "miracles" can happen in this church everyday by utilising the "FIRE" within all of us. But I am afraid, our church leadership fails to channelize this energy in a positive manner. I sincerely wish, this is the time we should have minimum about 40 to 50 "SELFLESS" Bishops, whose average age should not be more than 45 to 50 yrs to lead this "GREAT CHURCH" and 50% of them should be concentrating in "Mission Works" only on a rotational basis, away from the nittie-gritties of the day to day administration of the dioceses etc. Remember H.H. Parumala Thirumeni was ordained as a Bishop when he was hardly 28 yrs old,H.H Pampady Thirumeni was ordained as a Rambachan when he was 21 years and selected to be a Methrachan at the age of 26 years (understand Pampady Thirumeni told the then Bava Thirumeni, I do not deserve such a Great position and finally Vattacheril Thirumeni persuaded him and ordained him as a Thirumeni when he was 42), imagine the Great Vision of the then Leadership.There is also a need to fix a reasonable and realistic retirement age for our bishops, exception can be there for Bava Thirumeni(afterall human biological systems are the same for all human beings, after a particular age everyone needs rest.)
If we are not imaginative & innovative, our situation will be nothing better than the present state of affairs of Kerala. The neighboring three southern states are having exponential growth in true sense.... we are struggling hard to pay the salaries for an inefficient and self centered bureaucracy every month....Even God is helpless in our case it appears..??? If we all are not rising to the occasion to open the eyes of the church leadership, probably our children will not pardon us.
I have come out of Kerala, worked and travelled various places/countries for the last 22 yrs after my graduation. I can confess, I am speaking from my heart.
St. George Orthodox Church
- Dear George Abraham,
Well written I'm sorry to learn the stories and glad that I haven't
witnessed Asianet. Pope Pius lX had to flee but some tempral powers put the
Pope back in place. Vatican was established.
OUR CHURCH WILL NOT BE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION UNTIL WE SETTLE ALL COURT
CASES. LOOK, WHAT HAPPENED OUR LEADERSHIP LISTENED TO LEGAL COUNSEL AND ANNOUNCED MAHA ASSOCIATION and EXECUTIVE ORDERS (KALPANA) WENT OUT, now another
KALPANA STATING "HOLD ON".
THE CAHLLENGE before the church leadership is to show: humility,
reconcilitaion and compassion before we celebrate kalukazhukal, shubakkono,
etc. Can we, both groups withdraw all cases and function effectivley?
This general litigation mentality, affected all indvidual churches and
parishes. And splits in parsihes are encouraged by the visionless mission
lost administrative system in some dioceses. A shameful situation, house
fighting aginst itself.
But there's hope, Jesus Christ is the cause of our Hope.