Re: The whole Patriarchy: Explaining our Position and Understanding each other
- --- In IndianOrthodox@yahoogroups.com, John Kochukutty wrote:
> Dear moderators,When we say "One Apostolic, Catholic Church", it is clearly not just
> I whole-heartedly support the views of Mr.Abraham.
> However a look at the archives show that such mails are very few in
> this forum. It could be because as Mr.Abraham says most of our
> members are not too obssessed with these things and would like to see
> that matters are resolved and we go forward and devote our energies
> in pursuing the true goals of the church.
> The other reason could be because you are filtering such mails out.
> If so kindly accept my compliments for doing a wonderful job of not
> allowing this group to degenerate in a hate mail / faction fight club.
the ethnic Malankara Orthodox faction living in India and the
diaspora. There are certain matters internal to this "One Apostolic
Catholic church", just as there are unsolved internal matters within
the local Orthodox faction. Thus there are these things to do as a
Church (meaning bishops, priests, and layman, all equal in "royal
priesthood" of new testament):
- focus on individual problems.
- focus on solving internal problems within local church
- focus problems affecting the One Apostolic, Catholic Church (Oecumene).
- focus on problems extrenmal to the Church (social commitments)
Concerning the Oecumene, which includes SOC in our understanding of
Oecumene, it is because of the cold nature of Orthodox faction that
the division in our church is continuing. The attitude "what benefit
for me if I involve in this" is rather cruel. Again the core desire is
"what benefit for me". This attitude is ruling Orthodox faction from
lay people to the top level. Orthodoxy is not "victorian morality"
and the associated coldness. The fact that we are prone to error, as
humans, should not make us numb.
If Syrians, who are part of us in Oecumene as saying that "the whole
Patriarchy needs an overhaul", then there are some serious issues.
These issues would affect us directly, meaning the very division in
If we do not reach solid conclusions useful for our community, it is
because we are not focused. We mix up issues.
Discussing our internal issues is an entirely different topic to focus
and to reach useful conclusions. But, it is a very different matter to
try to understand what divides SOC with us and how we understand the
Patriarch of Antioch and his role (the core matter of this division).
We do share the faith equally with every one (including our bishops),
and we have to explain our position to Jacobite peers as bishops,
priests and lay people.
It is largely due to the inability of the Orthodox faction
(officially) to explain the faith (our understanding of the Patriarch
and core matters of our common Oriental Orthodox faith) that we are
We need many official messages, in different ways (publications,
dialogues, internet, diocesan letters, etc. no limit to this)
explaining our position in clear terms, relying solely on true
evidences acceptable to Jacobites.
SOC constitution is one such evidence, acceptable to Jacobites.
Similalry the writings of our common fathers, especially St. Severus,
who is called the "mouth of the Universal church".
Then we should also listen to and accept sound explanations coming
from Jacobite peers. Thus it is a mutual process. One or two messages
may be harsh in this process, but that is natural.
There are hundreds of Jacobite materials on the internet explaining
their position, not only within us, but to other Apostolic churches in
this world. But very little is coming from the cold Orthodox faction.
If we explain our faith to Jacobites in clear terms, with proper
evidences (not telling any lie in doing so), Jacobites are just humans
as we are to accept reasonable explanations. But Orthodox faction
leaders are not doing this. We may be able to reach some conclusions
through the secular justice system, but that is not everything. Both
Orthodox and Jacobite factions depended on the law equally in differnet
ways - Jacobites directly using the law of the land (freedom of
association) and Orthodox asking the court to interpret the law.
But, how successful were the Orthodox leaders to reach the Jacobites
and vice versa? We need to keep in mind the human nature of Jacobites.
They are as weak and strong as us.
Large majority of Orthodox faction people are indifferent, this is
mere numbness, having nothing to do with true Christian peace.
Christianity is not about indifference and coldness. In true peace, a
Christian should try to seek unity first with his neighbor. Our
closest neighbor in India is the Jacobite faction. Can we escape
easily from this truth, even if we pretend numbness with the attitude
"what benefit for me"?
Swasti (let good prevail!)
"SURELY THE REST OF THE APOSTLES ALSO WERE THAT WHICH PETER WAS,
ENDOWED WITH AN EQUAL PARTNERSHIP OF OFFICE AND OF POWER"
[St. Cyprian of Carthage (+258) On the Unity of the Church]
- "The Lord, indeed, is the Lover of mankind, so full of tender compassion
whenever we turn completely toward Him and are freed from all things contrary.
Even though we, in our supreme ignorance, childishness, and tendency toward evil,
turn away from true life and place many impediments along our path because we
really do not like to repent, nevertheless, He has great mercy on us. He
patiently waits for us until we will be converted and return to Him and be
enlightened in our inner selves that our faces may not be ashamed in the day of
St. Macarius the Great.
"My eye wastes away because of affliction. Lord, I have called daily upon
You; I have stretched out my hands to You." Psalm 88:9