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Orthodox Church in a Multicultural Society

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  • Fr. John-Brian
    The 24th Annual St. Gregorios Family/Youth Conference Theme: Orthodox Church in a Multicultural Society Wednesday, July 14, 2004 - Saturday, July 17, 2004
    Message 1 of 272 , May 4, 2004
      The 24th Annual St. Gregorios Family/Youth Conference

      Theme: "Orthodox Church in a Multicultural Society"
      Wednesday, July 14, 2004 - Saturday, July 17, 2004

      Marriott Renaissance Airport Hotel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

      Distinguished speakers:
      His Grace, Dr. Thomas Mar Makarios
      His Grace, Dr. Yuhanon Mar Melitius
      Rev. Fr. Mathai Idayanal, religious scholar and artist from India
      and others from India and USA

      Keynote speaker:
      Dr. Cyriac Thomas, Vice-Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi University

      Other highlights:
      Four days of Religion and Relaxation - panel discussion, devotional study,
      spiritual praise and worship, group discussion, one-on-one prayer and
      counseling, banquet, social hour, talent show and "a special event that you
      can't miss."

      Registration fees include everything and will be rising after June 1, 2004
      Registration brochures are available

      For more information:
      Samuel Kuriakose (215) 354-0077 nks9@...
      Thomas Korah (215) 535-7829 tkorah03@...
      Very Rev. Fr. C. J. Johnson, Cor-Episcopa - General Conference Convener
      (718) 646-1933
    • Thomas P
      I have few questions as a lay person and writing my opinion since our present reality is a system of election, a process which begins with people nominating
      Message 272 of 272 , Jun 14, 2004
        I have few questions as a lay person and writing my opinion since our
        present reality is a system of election, a process which begins with
        people nominating candidates. Since the reality is a church level
        election, as the people of the Malankara Church we expect the process
        to happen in a fair and just way 'from the beginning'. Please
        consider this message in a positve sense, towards improvement.

        The four candidates declared as elected would be elected even with
        out a secret screening committee and the panel, because they were so
        obviously among the best seven! Congratulations!

        Most news reports mention that the candidates in the panel were
        elected, stressing the panel. But if we closely examine, it is clear
        that panel has no relevance in the existing system (i.e. the system
        according to the present constitution). Perhaps the only effect of
        the panel is to sideline some candidates using the members of the
        secret screening committee.

        If it is truly 'Vox Populi' (voice of the people), then people of the
        Malankara Church elected six candidates!

        The candidates who are fifth and sixth in the elected list were not
        in the managing committee list. One of them was totally ignored by
        the secret screening committee, yet accepted by the people
        through 'vox populi'. What does this prove?

        Few questions to all to consider.

        1. Since the secret screening committee and a panel by the managing
        committee is not in the constitution, why the Synod is allowing an
        unconstitutional method again and again?

        2. Is it fair to have a screening committee not visible to people?
        Why we need secret committee and secret processes here? All Church
        processes should be clearly visible to the people. Church
        is 'janakiyam' in nature. Even Holy Qurbana cannot be celebrated
        without the presence of ordinary lay people.

        3. If the system is election, then it should be pure election as
        suggested by Shri Raju Babu here in IOIF. Panel actually is about
        slidelining some candidates (in effect equal to Church level negative
        campaigning), i.e. not allowing people to make decision through
        freewill. The Church can teach tradition, which includes the
        teachings of the Church about qualities of a bishop. Then people
        decide through freewill. A secret screening is not needed in a fair
        system, if the system is based on church level election. The freewill
        of people should be respected. Even Orthodox theology teaches

        4. If the Synod allowed something not in the constitution (screening
        before election, allowing managing committee to publish a list based
        on screening, and promoting it through leading newspapers), which
        negatively affected the election, then the Holy Synod can also select
        seven based on majority received through 'vox populi'. This means
        that the Synod can accept the next three in elected Christophorus
        Ramban, Fr. Dr. M.O. John and Fr. M.S. Skariah. The first two already
        received the votes of people to be elected.

        5. An alternate system was proposed by Chor-episcopa V. Rev Kuriakose
        Thottupuram. Will the Church consider this report.

        What can be done now?

        1. If a process not in the constitution was allowed before the
        election, then necessary allowances can be made after the election
        also by the Holy Synod towards electing seven as planned. This is one
        way to correct what happened now.

        2. In the future the Church can make amendments to the constitution
        or introduce a new method of electing bishops, so that from the
        beginning everything happens according to the guidelines of the

        What I wrote here is just my personal opinion as a lay person. No one
        asked me to write this, but thought of asking these questions to all
        to consider in the Church, since our present system is election
        (which we expect to happen in all fairness 'from the beginning').

        Thank you,
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